Indicator List for Positive Indicators

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Child Trends is a leader in long-term efforts to conceptualize and measure positive indicators for children and adolescents. Child Trends has developed rigorous national indicators of flourishing among children and youth for inclusion in national surveys, research studies, and program evaluations. Read about our Positive Indicators Project.

Indicator List for Positive Indicators

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Breastfeeding

There has been substantial progress in recent years in getting mothers in the U.S. to breastfeed their infants, and the latest available national data have met Healthy People 2010 goals, but not those for 2020.

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Condom Use

Six in ten high school students who are sexually active reported they used condoms at their most recent sexual intercourse. Condom use among this group increased from 46 percent in 1991, to 63 percent in 2003, and was 59 percent in 2013.

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Dating

The share of twelfth-grade students who report dating frequently has declined steadily since 2001, reaching a new low of 17 percent in 2012, while the proportion who report not dating at all increased to 36 percent.

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Early Childhood Program Enrollment

The proportion of three- to six-year-old children (not yet in kindergarten) who attended center-based early childhood care and education programs increased from 55 to 61 percent between 2007 and 2012. Gains were particularly high for Hispanic children.

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Early School Readiness

Compared with white or black children, Hispanic children are less likely to be able to recognize the letters of the alphabet, count to 20 or higher, or write their names before they start kindergarten. Black children are similar to white children on these measures, but are more likely than white children to be reading words in books.

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Educational Attainment

Among 25- to 29-year olds, the proportions who have attained a high school education, some college, or a bachelor’s degree are all rising, according to long-term trends. However, despite progress, in 2013, only a third of this population had a bachelor’s degree or higher.

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Family Meals

Children in poorer families, and those whose parents had less education, are more likely to have meals together with their families than are children with wealthier or more educated parents.

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