UPDATE:   Since I last posted I have acquired new information and am now well positioned to pose a more precise question. BACKGROUND:  The following query on the above tables yields the data shown below the query. SELECT * FROM parent_table LEFT OUTER JOIN child_table ON parent_table.id = child_table.id LEFT OUTER JOIN ref_table ON parent_table.id = ref_table.id WHERE parent_table.id = '2' id: 2 usertype: 2 username: beth userbio: I am Beth. ref_id: 4 ref: 6 count_ref: 1 id: 2 userty