Community environment and women's health outcomes: Contextual Data

William D. Mosher, Lionel P. Deang, Matthew D. Bramlett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Objectives This report presents some illustrative data and analyses from the Contextual Data File for the 1995 National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG). Data are shown by the woman's race and Hispanic origin, and selected characteristics of the community in which she lived. Methods Cycle 5 of the NSFG was based on in-person interviews with a national sample of 10,847 women 15-44 years of age in the United States in 1995. The interview included questions on the woman's births, marriages, contraceptive use, and characteristics such as her race and education. Measures of the characteristics of the woman's neighborhood were added to the interview data. Results This report shows that several simple measures of the social and economic status (SES) and resources of the woman's community of residence are closely associated with outcomes such as delayed childbearing, unwanted births, current marital status, the use of male or female contraceptive sterilization, breast-feeding, vaginal douching, and cigarette smoking. Conclusions It is well-documented that the outcomes studied in this report are closely associated with individual characteristics such as age, race, education, and household income. But this report shows that these outcomes are also related to characteristics of the communities in which the individuals live. Researchers are encouraged to use the NSFG Contextual Data File to study these relationships further.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalVital and Health Statistics, Series 23: Data from the National Survey of Family Growth
Issue number23
StatePublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Breast-feeding
  • Contextual data
  • Contraception
  • Fertility
  • Marriage
  • Multilevel models
  • Sterilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Family Practice


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