Planning and development of the continuous national survey of family growth

Robert M. Groves, William D. Mosher, James M. Lepkowski, Nicole G. Kirgis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objectives This report describes how the continuous National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) (begun in 2006) was designed, planned, and implemented. The NSFG is a continuous national survey of men and women 15-44 years of age designed to provide national estimates of factors affecting pregnancy and birth rates; men's and women's health; and parenting. Methods The survey used in-person, face-to-face interviews conducted by trained female interviewers. One person per household was interviewed from a national area probability sample. The data collection used computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI). Separate questionnaires were used for male and female respondents. The last section of the questionnaires used a self-administered technique called audio computer-assisted self-interviewing or ACASI. Each data collection period lasted 12 weeks-10 weeks for "Phase 1," the main data collection protocol, and 2 weeks for "Phase 2," an intensive attempt to locate and interview nonrespondents. Results Each year, about 5,000 persons were interviewed in about 33 areas, called primary sampling units (PSUs). Over a 4-year period, 110 PSUs will be used. This report gives an overview of the procedures used in the conduct of the continuous NSFG. A later report will describe response rates and other results of the data collection, but the early fieldwork has gone well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalVital and Health Statistics, Series 1: Programs and Collection Procedures
Issue number48
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012


  • Continuous interviewing
  • Paradata
  • Responsive design
  • Survey methodology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Health Information Management


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