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Sept 17 -- The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), invites public comments to OMB by October 20, 2021 regarding the 2022-2024 National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG).
 
The NSFG is designed to provide nationally representative, scientifically credible data on factors related to birth and pregnancy rates, family formation and dissolution patterns, and reproductive health. The NSFG was conducted periodically between 1973 and 2002, continuously in 2006-2010, and after a break of 15 months, continuously in 2011-2019, by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS/CDC).  
 
The NSFG program produces descriptive statistics which document factors associated with birth and pregnancy rates, including contraception, infertility, marriage, cohabitation, and sexual activity, in the US household population 15-49 years (15-44 prior to 2015), as well as behaviors that affect the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STD). The survey also disseminates statistics on the medical care associated with contraception, infertility, pregnancy, and related health conditions.  

Intended use of the resulting data: Supplementing and complementing data from birth certificates on factors that affect birth and pregnancy rates, such as sexual activity, contraception, marriage and cohabitation, and infertility. Providing estimates of behavioral and demographic factors associated with reproductive health and use of related health services. Disseminating statistics on adoption and other aspects of family formation.  
  
Methods to be used to collect: Multi-stage probability-based sample of respondents drawn from the U.S. household population.  As part of multi-phase, multi-mode design, online surveys conducted via the web using a standardized, programmed questionnaire that includes more sensitive survey content. In-person interviews conducted by trained interviewers using a standardized, programmed questionnaire, including a self-interview component for the more sensitive survey content.

Subpopulation to be studied:  Males and females aged 15-49 in the U.S. household population, with special attention to substantively significant differences by key demographics such as age, race and Hispanic origin, marital or cohabiting status, education, and poverty level income.

Proposed changes in the NSFG for 2022-2024 include streamlining information collection content in some sections as well as adding a limited number of new questions, including questions about childhood experiences that may impact fertility and health outcomes in adulthood. Approximately 10% of respondents will be asked to participate in a brief verification process. Responses to the NSFG are confidential.

In addition, CDC plans to conduct several methodological studies designed to improve the efficiency and validity of NSFG data collection for the purposes described above. These include a test of face-to-face interview mode compared to multi-mode participation that also includes a web-based survey component; test of an electronic life history calendar; enhanced introductory and reminder emails to increase response rate; and collection of auxiliary information to reduce nonresponse bias or improve nonresponse bias estimation.  
 
How data will be analyzed:  The primary dissemination plan is to release public-use NSFG data files and related documentation for general use in program planning and multi-disciplinary research.  Descriptive and analytic reports will also be produced by survey staff, using statistical techniques appropriate for the analysis of complex, cross-sectional survey data.
 
The NSFG collects the following information from a national sample of men and women 15-49 years of age:

•    Demographic characteristics including age, marital status, educational attainment, religious affiliation, and labor force participation;
•    Births and pregnancies (had, from women; or fathered, from men);
•    Marriage and cohabitation (current and past);
•    Contraceptive methods used currently and in the past;
•    Use of medical care for contraception, infertility, and reproductive health;
•    Attitudes about marriage, children, and parenting;
•    From men, father involvement in raising their children.  

In the final section of the survey, which is self-administered for those respondents who complete the earlier sections with an interviewer in person, data are collected on potentially  more sensitive topics, including substance use, adverse childhood events, sexual behavior other than vaginal intercourse, same-sex sexual activity, sexual identity, and income.

On an annual basis, up to 13,500 persons may complete a household screener interview yielding 7,800 households with an eligible respondent aged 15-49.  From these households, about 5,000 respondents will complete a main interview:  2,750 females and 2,250 males. The mean interview length is estimated to be 75 minutes for females and 50 minutes for males. The NSFG selects a random 10% sub-sample of the cases completed by each interviewer (both screener and main interview) to be rechecked using a brief interview to verify the completeness and accuracy of the interviewer’s work. This results in roughly 1,350 of the respondents to the screener interview and 500 respondents to the main survey being re-contacted by telephone for a short (2-minutes for screener and 5-minutes for main) verification interview. The response rate during the 2011-2019 data collection period ranged from 64.5% to 74.0%, and the cumulative response rate for this eight-year fieldwork period was 67.7%.
 
NSFG website: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nsfg/index.htm  
2022-2024 NSFG proposal to OMB:  https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202108-0920-018 Click IC List for data collection instruments, View Supporting Statement for technical documentation. Submit comments through this webpage.
FR notice inviting public comments to OMB: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/09/17/2021-20154/agency-forms-undergoing-paperwork-reduction-act-review
 
Point of contact: Anjani Chandra, Ph.D., Principal Investigator and Team Lead, National Survey of Family Growth Team, Division of Vital Statistics/Reproductive Statistics Branch, CDC/National Center for Health Statistics  301-458-4138 achandra@cdc.gov
 
For AEA members wishing to submit comments, "A Primer on How to Respond to Calls for Comment on Federal Data Collections" is available at https://www.aeaweb.org/content/file?id=5806

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