Recognizing the significance of children’s living condition during a period of rapid social change and the potential consequences throughout the life course, the Taiwan Birth Cohort Study (TBCS) was initiated in 2003 by the Taiwan HPA. This study has three main goals: (1) to record and assess health and developmental trajectories of children in Taiwan; (2) to examine the early origins of adult health; (3) to investigate the impact of social environment on children’s wellbeing.
Sampling and Survey Method
We randomly selected a national representative sample of children born in 2005 from the birth reporting data. Multistage stratified systematic sampling design was applied. A total of 21,248 children from 85 townships were recruited. This series survey were conducted at 6 months, 18 months, 3 years, 5.5 years, 8 years, 12 years and 13 years of the children’s age.
Content of the Survey
Data were collected by face-to-face interviews with mothers or primary caregivers. The content of the questionnaire covers a wide range of information about social and physical exposures of the children in relation to family, neighborhood and institutions such as child care. Children’s wellbeing, including physical growth, psychosocial development and health conditions, is also recorded at each survey.
The information gathered on the children’s development, family environment and child care institutions is able to shed new insight into health profile of children growing up in Taiwan at the start of 21st century. The results could also provide reference for policies on children health and social welfare.
Research findings of the first four waves of surveys were compiled in the “Health Profile for Children of the 21st Century in Taiwan: from Birth to 18 Months (in Chinese)” and the “Health Profile for Pre-School Children of the 21st Century in Taiwan: from 3 Years to 5.5 Years (in Chinese)”. The full content of the books can be free downloaded from the Taiwan HPA website (https://www.hpa.gov.tw/Pages/Detail.aspx?nodeid=248&pid=1299