Journal Article

Effect of ACASI on reporting of abortion and other pregnancy outcomes in the US National Survey of Family Growth

Abortion is a behavior that is stigmatized and difficult to measure. To improve reporting of abortion and other sensitive behaviors in the United States, the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) supplements the interviewer administered face‐to‐face (FTF) interview with audio computer‐assisted self‐interviewing (ACASI). This paper estimates differential reporting of abortion and other pregnancy outcomes (miscarriage, live birth) in the NSFG (2002, 2006–2010, 2011–2015) between women's ACASI and FTF interviews. Examining reporting of less stigmatized pregnancy outcomes can help understand the relative contributions of stigma and survey‐level factors in reporting of abortions. More women reported abortions, miscarriages and births in the ACASI than the FTF interview. Differences in reporting were moderated by the length of recall. The ACASI elicited relatively more reporting of abortions and miscarriages among non‐white and low‐income women. Reporting ratios increased over time. ACASI is a tool that may work differently across time, for different measures, and with varying survey contexts.

Published in a peer-reviewed journal of the Population Council.