Data on Health and Well-being of American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Other Native Americans. National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG)

12/01/2006

Sponsor: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)/National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)
Description: The National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) is a periodic survey initiated to provide current information on fertility and infertility, family planning, childbearing, contraceptive practice, and other aspects of maternal and child health and to gauge the effects of these processes on population growth. The NSFG Cycle 6 interviews, conducted in 2002, covered the respondents pregnancy history, past and current use of contraception, ability to bear children, use of medical services for family planning, infertility, prenatal care, marital history, and associated cohabiting unions. Data on occupation and labor force participation and on a wide range of social, economic, and demographic characteristics are also presented. In addition, Cycle 6 adds detailed questions on HIV risk behaviors and fatherhood and father involvement.
Relevant Policy Issues: Health Disparities, Measures of Well-being for Families/Households, and Identification of Evidence-based Practices and Programs that Improve Family Well-being.
Data Type(s): Survey
Unit of Analysis: Individual
Identification of AI/AN/NA: Race is self-reported to the interviewer (during the face-to-face interview), using the following CAPI instructions:

Which of the groups on Card 2 describe your racial background? Please select one or more groups.
[Interviewers are instructed to enter all that apply. They are to enter all groups that are part of the mixture if the respondent reports a mixture of several races (biracial, mixed, mulatto, etc.).]

  • American Indian or Alaska Native (AI/AN)
  • Asian
  • Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander (NH/PI)
  • Black or African American
  • White

[If respondent selected multiple race groups, interviewer asks this question.]
Which of these groups, that is (Race groups selected) would you say best describes your racial background?

AI/AN/NA Population in Data Set: It is not possible to identify AI/AN/NA persons in the public use file. However, in the restricted Cycle 6 data set (2002), the following cases are available:
AI/AN, Non-Hispanic: 368 (159 men and 209 women)
AI/AN, Hispanic: 579 men and women (most identified themselves as Mexican and South American)
NH/PI: 91 (45 men and 46 women)
Geographic Scope: The geographic scope of the study is national. Detailed geographic identifiers are available on the restricted access contextual data file. These variables include the state code, the county code, census tract, block group, metropolitan status, urban/rural identifiers, and information regarding the land area and population count for the county, tract, and block group.

Analysis can be done for the four major census regions (Northeast, Midwest, South, West) and for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. Estimates cannot be made for individual states or for smaller areas.

Date or Frequency: This is a periodic survey. Previous cycles of data collection for all races include:
Cycle 6: 2002 [7,643 women, 4,928 men (the first time NSFG included a sample of men)]
Cycle 5: 1995 (10,847 women)
Cycle 4: 1988 (8,450 women)
Cycle 3: 1982 (7,969 women)
Cycle 2: 1976 (8,611 women)
Cycle 1: 1973 (9,797 women)
Aggregation: Researchers may wish to pool data from the different cycles of the NSFG to increase the numbers within rare subgroups (such as Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders). Details on the way race information was collected in earlier cycles of the NSFG are provided below:

Cycle 3 (1982): Question F-47:
Which of the groups on this card best describes your racial background?
Alaskan Native or American Indian has 83 cases (out of 7,969 women).
Only one race was coded in Cycle 3.

Cycle 4 (1988): Question F-9:
Which of the groups on card 30 best describe your racial background? (Code all that apply)
Alaskan Native or American Indian has 238 cases out of 8,450, allowing multiple mentions. The standard RACE recode is shown only as black, white, and other, but the original variable contains more detail.

Cycle 5 (1995): Question IC-3 and 4:
Which of the groups on Card I-1 best describes your racial background?
First mention= 344 Alaskan Native or American Indian.
2nd mention = 9 Alaskan Native or American Indian.
3rd mention = 3 Alaskan Native or American Indian.

CDC does not recommend using the AI/AN/NA race identifiers on the Cycle 1 (1973) and Cycle 2 (1976) data sets, as this information was collected differently and should not be combined with later cycles.

While there are no CDC-specific guidelines for pooling data, the agency provides the following suggestions for combining the data:

Researchers can append the data from each cycle of interest and use the year of the survey as an independent variable. For obtaining unbiased standard errors for each cycle:

  • For the 2002 and 1995 surveys (Cycles 6 and 5) researchers can use SUDAAN or STATA software.
  • For 1988 (Cycle 4) there are Balanced Repeated Replicate (BRR) weights available. STATA version 9 does BRR variance estimation. The command and the column locations of the weights can be obtained from CDC.
  • For 1982 (Cycle 3): Replicate weights to allow calculation of valid standard errors for complex sampling were not included on public use files. Instead, generalized variance estimates were developed and published for estimated numbers and percentages.

Additionally, researchers should examine the sampling methodology and question text and response options across the different cycles to decide whether pooling data across the different cycles is feasible.

Data Collection Methodology: Data are collected through in-person face-to-face interviews conducted by trained female interviewers. Interviewers use computer assisted personal interviewing (CAPI) to record responses, except for the last section of the questionnaire, which uses audio computer assisted self-interviewing (ACASI) for sensitive questions.
Participation: Optional, with incentives. For Cycle 6, an incentive of $40 was given for completed surveys.
Response Rate: For 2002, the response rate is reported as 80 percent for women and 78 percent for men.
Sampling Methodology: The NSFG employed a multistage national area probability sample design. The target population consisted of women 15-44 years of age in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The first stage of sampling involved combining all counties in the U.S. to form 2,402 primary sampling units (PSUs). From this, 121 national and Hispanic sample PSUs were selected. Stage 2 divided the sample PSUs into four domains based on estimated key characteristics of the population within a block. From this, a total of 783 segments were selected from the initial sample of 1,414 segments for fieldwork. For stage 3, trained household listers visited each of the sample segments to list housing units on the blocks in the segments. Sampled housing units were drawn from these housing unit lists. The fourth stage consisted of selecting eligible persons from within the sampled households.
Analysis: The CDC website includes several examples of programs used to create variance estimation for Cycle 6 data of the NSFG. There is not a report that publishes specific design effects for the variables of interest, but the examples included on this website may be very useful to researchers: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/about/major/nsfg/nsfgvar.htm.
Strengths: Data are collected on key policy issues, including health and family well-being.
Limitations: Since AI/AN/NA persons are not identified in the most recent (2002) public use file, researchers will have to analyze the data through the NCHS Research Data Center. In addition, to increase sample size, researchers may wish to combine the data for 2002 with data from one or more of the previous surveys that collected AI/AN/NA race, conducted in 1995, 1988 and 1982. Researchers are also encouraged to cross-tabulate the data on AI/AN race by Hispanic origin.

In the full sample data, the number of NH/PI is very small.

Access Requirements and Use Restrictions: The AI/AN race categories were included in an other category on the public use file due to disclosure risk. To do analysis using these categories separately, a researcher may use the Research Data Center (RDC) at NCHS, which is a physical space located within the NCHS facilities in Hyattsville, Maryland, where researchers are allowed access to NCHS restricted data files not released to the public. These data files do not contain direct identifiers such as name or social security number, but may contain identifiers for small geographic units such as block or census tract.

There are 3 ways to access data through the RDC once a project has been approved:

  1. remote access, in which the user submits a SAS program electronically and the output is screened and returned electronically;
  2. by physically going to the RDC at NCHS, and doing the research there, using any software the researcher wants to use; and
  3. staff-assisted access, in which the researcher submits a program to an RDC staff member who submits and screens it and returns the output.

There are fees for each type of access.

Contact Information: National Survey of Family Growth Staff
Division of Vital Statistics
National Center for Health Statistics
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
3311 Toledo Road, Floor 7
Hyattsville, Maryland 20782
(301) 458-4222
nsfg@cdc.gov

Research Data Center: (301) 458-4277 or e-mail: rdca@cdc.gov

 

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