Revisiting Retrospective Reporting of Birth Intendedness

Karen B. Guzzo, Bowling Green State University
Sarah R. Hayford, Arizona State University

Concerns over the measurement and accuracy of retrospective reports of unintended fertility are common. Although there is a broad literature on unintended fertility measurement (generally concluding that existing measures are valid), a major gap has been the inability to explore the consistency of retrospective reports. In this research, we take advantage of the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health (Add Health), one of the few data sources with information about the same birth at two different time points. Our main focus is consistency of unintendedness reports, but we also examine less subjective measures (relationship status and contraceptive use) for comparison. Our preliminary analyses show that a fair number of women change reports of intendedness (22%), contraceptive use (30%), and relationship status across waves (38%). We plan to analyze report consistency in a multivariate setting to examine the role of socioeconomic factors as well as the inter-relationship between measures.

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Presented in Session 216: Methodological Issues in Measuring Desires Related to Fertility