Completion of Self-Administered Questionnaires in a Sex Survey.
Sell-administered questionnaires (SAQs) are a commonly used method of eliciting information on sensitive topics in personal visit or face-to-face (jargon, chat) face-to-face - (F2F, IRL) Used to describe personal interaction in real life as opposed to via some digital or electronic communications medium. surveys. SAQs have been used in studies ranging from sexual behavior sexual behavior A person's sexual practices–ie, whether he/she engages in heterosexual or homosexual activity. See Sex life, Sexual life. (e.g., Catania Catania (kätä`nyä), city (1991 pop. 333,075), capital of Catania prov., E Sicily, Italy, on the Gulf of Catania, an arm of the Ionian Sea, and at the foot of Mt. Etna. , Gibson, Chitwood, & Coates, 1990; Catania, McDermott McDermott is a surname, and may refer to:
Either of two commercially important North Atlantic species of food fish in the cod family (Gadidae). , 1986; Johnson & DeLamater, 1976; Smith, 1992; Tourangeau, Rasinski, Jobe, Smith, & Pratt, 1997; Tourangeau & Smith, 1996) to drug use (e.g., Aquilino, 1992, 1994; Turner, Lessler, & Gfroerer, 1992) and abortion reporting (e.g., London London, city, Canada
London, city (1991 pop. 303,165), SE Ont., Canada, on the Thames River. The site was chosen in 1792 by Governor Simcoe to be the capital of Upper Canada, but York was made capital instead. London was settled in 1826. & Williams, 1990). SAQs are hypothesized to improve reporting of sensitive information by increasing privacy and reducing social desirability effects associated with interviewer administration (Schober, Fe Caces, Pergamit, & Branden, 1992; Turner et al., 1992). Given the widespread use of SAQs it is important to understand the conditions under which they lead to improvements in data quality, and to examine potential limitations of their use.
Much of the research on SAQs has focused on nonresponse, both at the unit level (noncompletion Non`com`ple´tion
n. 1. Lack of completion; failure to complete. of the entire SAQ SAQ Société des Alcools du Québec
SAQ Speed, Agility & Quickness (UK based movement training company)
SAQ Self Administered Questionnaire
SAQ Short Answer Question
SAQ Safety Attitudes Questionnaire
SAQ Self-Assessment Question ; see Johnson & DeLamater, 1976; Smith, 1992) and at the item level (noncompletion of some, but not all, items in the SAQ; see for example Catania et al., 1986; Wiederman, 1993). Other studies have examined measurement error issues related to SAQs (see reviews by Catania, Binson Binson was an early manufacturer of echo machines. Unlike most other analog echo machines, they used an analog magnetic drum recorder instead of a tape loop. Their most famous product was the Binson Echorec. , van der Straten, & Stone, 1995; Catania et al., 1990). This paper extends the research on SAQs by examining yet another potential source of error--completion of the SAQ, but not by the respondent In Equity practice, the party who answers a bill or other proceeding in equity. The party against whom an appeal or motion, an application for a court order, is instituted and who is required to answer in order to protect his or her interests. . Depending on how this is treated, the error could be considered measurement error or nonresponse error. In most surveys, the information on who completed the SAQ is not recorded, and it is generally assumed that the SAQ was completed as designed --by the respondent.
The National Health and Social Life Survey (NHSLS NHSLS National Health and Social Life Survey : Laumann, Gagnon Gagnon is a surname, and may refer to:
Michael (mī`kəl) [Heb.,=who is like God?], archangel prominent in Christian, Jewish, and Muslim traditions. In the Bible and early Jewish literature, Michael is one of the angels of God's presence. , & Michaels This article is about the U.S. crafts retail chain. For the bidding convention in the card game of Bridge, see Michaels cuebid. For the same-sex couple in Canada, see The Michaels.
Michaels is the largest arts and crafts retail chain in the United States. , 1995; Michael, Gagnon, Laumann, & Kolata Kolata is the traditional folk dance of the state of Karnataka, located in Southern India on the western coast. Similar to its North Indian counterpart Dandiya Ras, it is performed with coloured sticks and usually involves both men and women dancing together. , 1994), conducted in 1992, provided a unique opportunity to explore this issue. Four SAQs were used in the survey, followed by an interviewer check item to record who actually completed the SAQ. We used these data to explore reasons why people may choose not to self-complete portions of the questionnaire designed for self-administration. We explored hypotheses related to capacity or ability to complete the SAQ, motivation to do so, and reasons related to the sensitivity of the content. We also examined the potential effect of this decision on the quality of the data obtained in SAQs.
A key assumption of SAQs is that data quality for sensitive items is improved under self-administration. But for such quality gains to be achieved, the SAQ must indeed be self-administered. To the extent that interviewers may assist respondents In the context of marketing research, a representative sample drawn from a larger population of people from whom information is collected and used to develop or confirm marketing strategy. in the completion of SAQs or even treat them as interviewer-administered items for some respondents, the data quality gains may be diminished di·min·ish
v. di·min·ished, di·min·ish·ing, di·min·ish·es
a. To make smaller or less or to cause to appear so.
b. . This may be especially true if those most likely to exhibit the sensitive behavior (e.g., drug use, abortions, high-risk high-risk adjective Referring to an ↑ risk of suffering from a particular condition Infectious disease Referring to an ↑ risk for exposure to blood-borne pathogens, which occurs with blood bank technicians, dental professionals, dialysis unit sexual practices) are more likely to be assisted by an interviewer, potentially negating the effects of self-completion.
BACKGROUND AND HYPOTHESES
Several studies have examined the issue of nonresponse to SAQs. For example, Johnson and DeLamater (1976) found that 8.3% of adult respondents in the Erotic erotic /erot·ic/ (e-rot´ik)
1. charged with sexual feeling.
2. pertaining to sexual desire.
1. Of or concerning sexual love and desire. Materials National Survey refused to complete the SAQ. They found that persons who did not complete the SAQ were older and less educated. Similarly, Smith (1992) reviewed the sexual behavior questions in the General Social Survey (GSS (storage) GSS - Group-Sweeping Scheduling. ), which uses a short SAQ. He found response rates to the SAQ of 93.4% in 1988, 91.2% in 1989, and 85.5% in 1990.
A number of other studies examined item nonresponse or partial completion of SAQs. Catania et al. (1990) reported that refusal rates (item noncompletion) in SAQs ranged from 6% to 13% for items assessing frequency of vaginal vag·i·nal
1. Of or relating to the vagina.
2. Relating to or resembling a sheath.
pertaining to the vagina, the tunica vaginalis testis, or to any sheath. intercourse INTERCOURSE. Communication; commerce; connexion by reciprocal dealings between persons or nations, as by interchange of commodities, treaties, contracts, or letters. , from 6.7% to 19% for masturbation masturbation
Erotic stimulation of one's own genital organs, usually to achieve orgasm. Masturbatory behavior is common in infants and adolescents, and is indulged in by many adults as well. Studies indicate that over 90% of U.S. males and 60–80% of U.S. items, and an average of about 6% for number of sexual partners. London and Williams (1990) included a 5-item SAQ on abortion in the 1988 National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG NSFG National Survey of Family Growth
NSFG Naked Stick Figure Guy ). They reported that 98.4% of women completed at least one of the five items, with the highest nonresponse (4.6%) for a question on age at first abortion. Wiederman (1993) examined item nonresponse using the same 3 years of GSS data as Smith (1992), and reported levels of item nonresponse higher than the overall noncompletion rate for the SAQ, suggesting that his analyses are based on those who completed at least some of the SAQ rather than the total sample. He found that nonresponders were generally older and reported less income and less education than responders.
All these studies (and others) that examined full or partial nonresponse to SAQs assumed that if an item was completed, it was done so by the respondent as intended. One exception is a study by Couper
Couper could refer to:
CASI Center for Aerospace Information
CASI Council on Accreditation and School Improvement
CASI Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute
CASI Canadian Association of Snowboard Instructors ) with the SAQ being administered on a laptop computer A portable computer that has a flat LCD screen and usually weighs less than eight pounds. Often called just a "laptop," it uses batteries for mobile use and AC power for charging the batteries and desktop use. Today's high-end laptops provide all the capabilities of most desktop computers. . They found that 79% of respondents completed the CASI items themselves, while in 7% of the cases the interviewer assisted the respondent, and in 14% the interviewer completed the self-administered items for the respondent. They speculated that part of the reason for the low self-completion rate may be due to respondent reluctance to use the computer. We examined whether similar effects were found in paper-and-pencil SAQs.
One reason why this issue has received little attention may simply be that the information on who completed the SAQ is often not recorded or provided to analysts. The NHSLS was an exception, and we used this opportunity to examine the extent of self-completion versus interviewer-completion across four different SAQs in that study. We hypothesized that there are three types of reasons why people may choose not to self-complete an SAQ, given that they have agreed to do the interview and provide data to the interviewer. We label these capacity, motivation, and sensitivity.
We hypothesized that some respondents may be unable to complete a self-administered questionnaire because of illiteracy illiteracy, inability to meet a certain minimum criterion of reading and writing skill. Definition of Illiteracy
The exact nature of the criterion varies, so that illiteracy must be defined in each case before the term can be used in a meaningful or health conditions (e.g., impaired vision) that cognitively or physically constrain con·strain
tr.v. con·strained, con·strain·ing, con·strains
1. To compel by physical, moral, or circumstantial force; oblige: felt constrained to object. See Synonyms at force.
2. their ability to do the SAQ. Literacy is a necessary requirement for self-completing a questionnaire. Results from the National Adult Literacy Survey (Kirsch kirsch
A colorless brandy made from the fermented juice of cherries.
[French, short for German Kirschwasser; see kirschwasser. , Jungeblut, Jenkins Jen´kins
n. 1. A name of contempt for a flatterer of persons high in social or official life; as, the Jenkins employed by a newspaper s>. , & Kostad, 1993) suggest that the ability to comprehend and respond to written questionnaires may be a serious impediment A disability or obstruction that prevents an individual from entering into a contract.
Infancy, for example, is an impediment in making certain contracts. Impediments to marriage include such factors as consanguinity between the parties or an earlier marriage that is still valid. for many adults in the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. .
Smith (1992) found that cognitive ability (as measured by education, a vocabulary test vocabulary test A component of IQ tests in which a person is asked to define words of varying level of difficulty, and use them in context, which provides the examiner with a measure of the person's intellectual achievement and aptitude. See IQ test. , and interviewer rating of comprehension comprehension
Act of or capacity for grasping with the intellect. The term is most often used in connection with tests of reading skills and language abilities, though other abilities (e.g., mathematical reasoning) may also be examined. ) was significantly related to the likelihood of item nonresponse on two of the SAQ questions in the GSS. Johnson and DeLamater (1976) found similar effects when using education as a proxy for literacy, as did Couper and Rowe (1996) in examining CASI self-completion. In line with these studies, we employed respondents' level of education as an indicator of literacy.
Visual impairment Visual Impairment Definition
Total blindness is the inability to tell light from dark, or the total inability to see. Visual impairment or low vision is a severe reduction in vision that cannot be corrected with standard glasses or contact lenses and may also serve as a constraint Constraint
A restriction on the natural degrees of freedom of a system. If n and m are the numbers of the natural and actual degrees of freedom, the difference n - m is the number of constraints. on SAQ self-completion (Catania et al., 1990). Couper and Rowe (1996) found that those who reported serious vision problems in the last 12 months were much less likely to self-administer a CASI survey. They also found that persons age 65 and older were significantly less likely to complete the CASI items themselves (59.6% compared to 82.1% of those 45-64 and 64.5% for those 30-44). Smith (1992) also found age to be significantly related to item nonresponse on two SAQ items in the GSS, with 89% of those ages 18-48 completing both items, compared to 79% of those ages 49-69 and 71% of those age 70 or older. Johnson and DeLamater (1976) found nonresponders to an SAQ to be older than those who completed the SAQ (see also Catania et al., 1990). Age may serve as an indicator of possible visual limitations, but may also be an indicator of literacy. In summary, we expected those with less education and older persons to be less likely to self-complete the SAQs because of the increased difficulty of the task.
Even if respondents have the capacity to complete an SAQ, they may be unwilling to do so. We hypothesized that the cognitive (and possibly physical) effort involved in self-completion is greater than that involved in responding to an interviewer's questions. Thus, allowing the interviewer to administer the items may be a form of satisficing Satisficing is a decision-making strategy which attempts to meet criteria for adequacy, rather than identify an optimal solution. A satisficing strategy may often, in fact, be (near) optimal if the costs of the decision-making process itself, such as the cost of obtaining complete (Krosnick, 1991). The task is still completed, with minimal additional effort expended ex·pend
tr.v. ex·pend·ed, ex·pend·ing, ex·pends
1. To lay out; spend: expending tax revenues on government operations. See Synonyms at spend.
2. . Catania et al. (1990) discuss motivation as a source of measurement error in SAQs, but we hypothesized that low motivation may also be manifested in non-self-completion.
We thus expect that respondents who are less motivated mo·ti·vate
tr.v. mo·ti·vat·ed, mo·ti·vat·ing, mo·ti·vates
To provide with an incentive; move to action; impel.
mo to participate in the survey initially, or who are less engaged in the interview, are also less likely to self-administer the SAQs. Indicators of initial reluctance (e.g., initial refusal, number of calls to complete interview, additional payment offered), observed prior to the start of the interview, may or may not be overcome once the interview has started. On the other hand, indicators of lack of engagement during the interview are usually assessed after the fact (by interviewer ratings of respondent cooperation). We expected the latter to be stronger indicators of non-self-completion as they are more closely related to the interviewing task. However, these post-interview ratings may be contaminated contaminated,
v 1. made radioactive by the addition of small quantities of radioactive material.
2. made contaminated by adding infective or radiographic materials.
3. an infective surface or object. by the willingness of the respondent to complete the SAQ items, and may be an outcome rather than a cause of self-completion.
Laumann, Gagnon, Michael, and Michaels (1994) analyzed an·a·lyze
tr.v. an·a·lyzed, an·a·lyz·ing, an·a·lyz·es
1. To examine methodically by separating into parts and studying their interrelations.
2. Chemistry To make a chemical analysis of.
3. distributions on key sexual behavior items by a variety of reluctance indicators in the NHSLS data, and concluded that "reluctant and nonreluctant respondents are not very different along important dimensions of sexual life" (p. 564). However, our focus is on whether reluctant and nonreluctant respondents differ in the likelihood of completing the SAQs, and whether self-completion is related to differences in sexual behaviors and attitudes.
The third factor we consider relates to the sensitivity of the SAQ items. Bradburn, Sudman, Blair Blair , Anthony Charles Lynton Known as "Tony" Born 1953.
British lawyer, politician, and Labour Party leader who was elected prime minister in 1997. , and Stocking (1978); Catania et al. (1986); and Johnson and DeLamater (1976) found sensitivity of the topic to be related to SAQ nonresponse. On the other hand, Smith (1992) found no significant relationships between a variety of sexual attitude measures and the likelihood of nonresponse to SAQ items on the number of sex partners. In looking at who completes the SAQ, we hypothesized that those who regard the SAQ items as most sensitive would be more likely to self-complete, rather than having the interviewer assist them with the task.
However, the measurement of sensitivity may be confounded with the argument that self-completion improves reporting of such sensitive information. Those who engage in sensitive behaviors might be more likely to self-administer the SAQs, but self-administration is hypothesized to increase the reporting of socially sensitive behaviors over interviewer-administration. Thus, we cannot tell whether the act of self-completion leads to more honest reporting Honest Reporting (also HonestReporting or honestreporting.com) is a watchdog organisation that monitors the media for what it deems to be media bias against Israel. or simply that those who have more to reveal are more likely to choose self-administration. To avoid this problem, indicators of sensitivity were developed using items in the interviewer-administered portion of the interview.
Another factor that may increase the sensitivity of the items is the presence of others during the interview. While every attempt is made in surveys such as this to ensure privacy during the interview, there may still be others present for all or part of the time (e.g., Aquilino, 1998; Reuband, 1992). We hypothesized that with others present, respondents may be more likely to self-administer the SAQs.
Another indicator of potential sensitivity may be the gender of the respondent and the interviewer. While the findings on gender matching are mixed (see, for example, Catania et al., 1996; Catania et al., 1995), we hypothesized that same-gender interviews would lead to less potential threat than different-gender interviews. Given that most interviewers in the NHSLS were women (Laumann et al., 1994), we hypothesized that female respondents talking to Noun 1. talking to - a lengthy rebuke; "a good lecture was my father's idea of discipline"; "the teacher gave him a talking to"
rebuke, reprehension, reprimand, reproof, reproval - an act or expression of criticism and censure; "he had to female interviewers would find the SAQs less sensitive than male respondents talking to female interviewers. Hence, we used gender of the respondent as a weak proxy for a (mis)match of respondent and interviewer gender.
DESIGN AND ANALYSIS
A full description of the sample, data collection, and other design features of the NHSLS appears in Laumann et al. (1994), and will not be repeated here. A few details of relevance to the present study will be mentioned. The NHSLS was based on a multistage mul·ti·stage
1. Functioning in more than one stage: a multistage design project.
2. Relating to or composed of two or more propulsion units. area probability sample of households in the United States. The population of inference (logic) inference - The logical process by which new facts are derived from known facts by the application of inference rules.
See also symbolic inference, type inference. was all people ages 18-59 with adequate English 1. English - (Obsolete) The source code for a program, which may be in any language, as opposed to the linkable or executable binary produced from it by a compiler. The idea behind the term is that to a real hacker, a program written in his favourite programming language is proficiency pro·fi·cien·cy
n. pl. pro·fi·cien·cies
The state or quality of being proficient; competence.
Noun 1. proficiency - the quality of having great facility and competence living in households. The sample consists of two parts, a cross-sectional cross section also cross-sec·tion
a. A section formed by a plane cutting through an object, usually at right angles to an axis.
b. A piece so cut or a graphic representation of such a piece.
2. sample and an oversample of Blacks and Hispanics. One person was randomly selected from each household. The survey was conducted face to face in respondents' homes by trained National Opinion Research Center (NORC NORC National Opinion Research Center
NORC Naturally Occurring Retirement Community
NORC National Organization for Research at the University of Chicago
NORC Naval Ordnance Research Calculator
NORC North Oakland Republican Club (Waterford, MI) ) interviewers using paper and pencil questionnaires. Gender or race matching of interviewers to respondents was not attempted; however, most of the interviewers used for the study were women. An overall response rate of 78.6% was achieved. The majority of the nonrespondents were refusals (16.8%), while there were 1.9% noncontacts and 2.7% other noninterviews. This yielded a total of 3,432 completed interviews, 3,159 of which were from the cross-sectional sample with the remaining 273 from the oversample.
We used the full weighted sample in our analyses. The weight used is a combination of a sampling weight (to reflect the oversample), an eligibility weight (for household size), and a poststratification weight (primarily for differential nonresponse). Tests of statistical significance and standard error estimates are based on a Taylor Taylor, city (1990 pop. 70,811), Wayne co., SE Mich., a suburb of Detroit adjacent to Dearborn; founded 1847 as a township, inc. as a city 1968. A small rural village until World War II, it developed significantly in the second half of the 20th cent. Series approximation approximation /ap·prox·i·ma·tion/ (ah-prok?si-ma´shun)
1. the act or process of bringing into proximity or apposition.
2. a numerical value of limited accuracy. , reflecting the complex sample design. The models were estimated using SUDAAN SUDAAN is a statistical software package for the analysis of correlated data, including correlated data encountered in complex sample surveys. SUDAAN originated in 1972 at RTI International (formerly Research Triangle Institute). Current version
SUDAAN Release 9. (Shah Shah is a Persian term for a monarch (ruler) that has been adopted in many other languages. This term is a Post Islamic Revolution term for monarchs in Iran which is replaced by valie faghih or Supreme Leader. , Barnwell There are a number of places called Barnwell:
The NHSLS instrument contained four SAQs, interspersed throughout the interview. The content of each SAQ was, briefly, (a) SAQ1: Personal and family income; (b) SAQ2: Number of sex partners, frequency of sex, etc.; (c) SAQ3: Masturbation; and (d) SAQ4: Oral sex, anal sex Noun 1. anal sex - intercourse via the anus, committed by a man with a man or woman
anal intercourse, buggery, sodomy
sexual perversion, perversion - an aberrant sexual practice; , paid sex, drug use, etc. (separate male and female versions). Interviewers were instructed to hand the SAQs to respondents (Rs) at the appropriate points in the interview. On completion of each form, respondents were instructed to place it in a privacy envelope which was sealed at the end of the interview. The instruction preceding each SAQ stated "If the R cannot read and asks for your help, you may assist him/her in filling out this form" (e.g., Laumann et al., 1994, p. 668). Interviewers then completed the following check item for each SAQ:(1)
R filled out SAQ 1 Interviewer assisted with SAQ 2 R refused SAQ 3
We use this classification for examining response to individual SAQs. We also examined the completion pattern across the four SAQs. Finding no other clear pattern across the four in preliminary analysis, we created a combined measure with the following three categories: (a) R did all SAQs, (b) R did some SAQs, and (c) R did no SAQs. Note that this last category includes both those respondents who refused all tour SAQs and those who had the interviewer complete all tour for them. In terms of the capacity hypothesis, we assumed that those respondents who completed any of the four SAQs to be capable of completing an SAQ. On the other hand, for the motivation hypothesis, we consider those who completed all four SAQs to be highly motivated. In other words Adv. 1. in other words - otherwise stated; "in other words, we are broke"
put differently , we expected the capacity measures to be more closely associated with the third category of the combined variable, and the motivation measures to be associated with the first category. For the sensitivity hypothesis, which is more likely to depend on the nature of the questions, we expected to see differential completion (some but not all SAQs). However, we also examined individual SAQs to explore the sensitivity issue.
We posed three general questions. First, who does and who does not self-complete SAQ items? Second, why do some self-complete and others do not? We examined these two questions together in the next section. The final question was what effect does self-completion versus interviewer completion have on the data? In other words, would different conclusions be reached if these cases were included in or excluded from the analyses?
We first examined the overall patterns of completion for the four SAQs. These are presented in Table 1. In each of the SAQs, at least 11% of respondents sought interviewer help in completing the self-administered items. Furthermore, between 4% and 16% did not complete the SAQ at all. This is consistent with the range of past findings on SAQ nonresponse. Across all four SAQs, 17.2% of respondents sought assistance from the interviewer at some point, while 3.3% of the sample provided no information on any SAQ.
Table 1. Completion of the Four Self-Administered Questionnaires
Who completed SAQ Respondent Interviewer Neither or Total only assistance not reported SAQ1 79.7 15.0 5.3 100.0% SAQ2 82.3 13.3 4.4 100.0% SAQ3 79.6 11.6 8.8 100.0% SAQ4 73.4 11.0 15.6 100.0%
Note. The unweighted n for all row is 3,432.
Combining these variables into a single measure produced the following distribution: (a) 65.7% completed all SAQs without assistance, (b) 19.8% completed some SAQs without assistance, and (c) 14.6% completed no SAQ without interviewer assistance. This combined variable confounds refusals with interviewer assistance, but is sufficient for our purposes. The middle group is dominated by refusals (70% of those who did some SAQs sought no help on any SAQ), while the last group is dominated by helpseekers (77% of those who did no SAQs themselves sought interviewer assistance, while the balance refused to do any SAQs). We used this composite variable in the next few sections to explore the extent to which various types of respondents self-completed all SAQs.
Who Self-Completes and Why?
Capacity. We have only two indicators of capacity in the NHSLS data, education and age. The bivariate bi·var·i·ate
Mathematics Having two variables: bivariate binomial distribution.
Adj. 1. relationships between these two variables and respondent completion of the SAQs are presented in Table 2. Contrary to our expectation, we found a curvilinear curvilinear
a line appearing as a curve; nonlinear.
see curvilinear regression. effect of education, with the proportion self-completing all SAQs peaking at some college, then declining slightly.
Table 2. Self-Completion of SAQs by Capacity Indicators All Some None (unweighted n) Education Less than 12th grade (%) 54.2 23.5 22.3 (530) High school (%) 65.0 19.9 15.1 (1,007) Some college (%) 69.8 19.1 11.1 (1,115) Completed college (%) 69.8 17.3 12.8 (541) Graduate school (%) 64.7 19.8 15.6 (239) [chi square] = 36.0, d.f. = 8, p [is less than] .001 Age 18-24 (%) 69.7 20.7 9.6 (558) 25-34 (%) 65.9 18.6 15.5 (1,070) 35-44 (%) 65.8 20.1 14.1 (947) 45-54 (%) 62.9 19.8 17.3 (595) 55-59 (%) 61.8 20.9 17.3 (262) [chi square] = 15.4, d.f. = 8, n.s.
Because the NHSLS limited the sample to persons between the ages of 18 and 59 years, it is not surprising that age was unrelated to completion. The bivariate results show a monotonic monotonic - In domain theory, a function f : D -> C is monotonic (or monotone) if
for all x,y in D, x <= y => f(x) <= f(y).
("<=" is written in LaTeX as \sqsubseteq). but nonsignificant non·sig·nif·i·cant
1. Not significant.
2. Having, producing, or being a value obtained from a statistical test that lies within the limits for being of random occurrence. (p [is greater than] .05) decline in self-response (the "All" category) with age.
Motivation. Table 3 presents SAQ completion by various indicators of reluctance. Those respondents who showed greater initial reluctance (i.e., the case was transferred to another interviewer, completed by telephone, required an incentive, etc.) were less likely to self-complete the SAQs.
Table 3. Self-Completion of SAQs by Indicators of Initial Reluctance
Case transferred to another interviewer Yes (%) No (%) [chi square] = 22.6, d.f. = 2, p [is less than] .001 Telephone conversion of case Yes (%) No (%) [chi square] = 51.7, d.f. = 2, p [is less than] .001 Fee paid to respondent Yes (%) No (%) [chi square] = 17.8, d.f. = 2, p [is less than] .001 Persuasion letter sent Yes (%) No (%) [chi square] = 1.4, d.f. = 2, n.s. Interviewer rating of difficulty of gaining cooperation Very easy or easy (%) All other (%) [chi square] = 19.0, d.f. = 2, p [is less than] .001 Case number for interviewer Late cases (10+) (%) All other (%) [chi square] = 27.6, d.f. = 2, p [is less than] .001 Number of contract attempts made Total attempts (mean) F = 12.65, d.f. = 2, p [is less than] .01 All Some Case transferred to another interviewer Yes (%) 52.7 19.8 No (%) 68.1 19.7 Telephone conversion of case Yes (%) 45.7 14.0 No (%) 68.0 20.4 Fee paid to respondent Yes (%) 61.9 21.8 No (%) 71.3 16.8 Persuasion letter sent Yes (%) 63.4 19.1 No (%) 66.1 19.9 Interviewer rating of difficulty of gaining cooperation Very easy or easy (%) 68.9 19.1 All other (%) 59.8 20.9 Case number for interviewer Late cases (10+) (%) 62.0 19.0 All other (%) 71.3 21.0 Number of contract attempts made Total attempts (mean) 6.91 7.12 None (unweighted n) Case transferred to another interviewer Yes (%) 27.5 (515) No (%) 12.1 (2,644) Telephone conversion of case Yes (%) 40.3 (335) No (%) 11.6 (3,097) Fee paid to respondent Yes (%) 16.3 (2,060) No (%) 12.0 (1,372) Persuasion letter sent Yes (%) 17.5 (495) No (%) 14.0 (2,664) Interviewer rating of difficulty of gaining cooperation Very easy or easy (%) 12.0 (2,205) All other (%) 19.3 (1,227) Case number for interviewer Late cases (10+) (%) 19.0 (2,049) All other (%) 7.8 (1,383) Number of contract attempts made Total attempts (mean) 12.43 (3,432)
We found similar results for indicators of lack of engagement in the interview. The three interviewer ratings were all highly skewed skewed
curve of a usually unimodal distribution with one tail drawn out more than the other and the median will lie above or below the mean.
skewed Epidemiology adjective Referring to an asymmetrical distribution of a population or of data , so they were collapsed into dichotomies. As shown in Table 4, all three indicators of engagement in or commitment to the interview related significantly to the likelihood of self-completing the SAQs. Specifically, the more positive the interviewer's rating of the respondent's performance (recorded after completion of the interview), the more likely the respondent was to self-complete the SAQs.
Table 4. Self-Completion of SAQs by Indicators of Lack of Engagement
All Some None Respondent comprehension Excellent, good (%) 67.4 19.4 13.2 Other (%) 47.3 23.5 29.2 02 = 17.1, d.f. = 2, p [is less than] .001 Respondent's cooperation Very cooperative (%) 68.0 19.2 12.8 Other (%) 53.1 22.9 24.1 02 = 33.1, d.f. = 2, p [is less than] .001 Frankness of respondent's answers Entirely frank (%) 68.5 18.7 12.8 All other (%) 58.9 22.3 18.8 02 = 15.3, d.f. = 2, p [is less than] .001 (unweighted n) Respondent comprehension Excellent, good (%) (3,148) Other (%) (248) 02 = 17.1, d.f. = 2, p [is less than] .001 Respondent's cooperation Very cooperative (%) (2,897) Other (%) (535) 02 = 33.1, d.f. = 2, p [is less than] .001 Frankness of respondent's answers Entirely frank (%) (2,417) All other (%) (1,015) 02 = 15.3, d.f. = 2, p [is less than] .001
Sensitivity. The interviewer-administered portion of the NHSLS contained a series of 14 items on the appeal of various sexual behaviors, including oral sex, anal sex, group sex, and so forth. An index of sensitivity was created by summing the number of times respondents declined to answer these questions. Given the skewness Skewness
A statistical term used to describe a situation's asymmetry in relation to a normal distribution.
A positive skew describes a distribution favoring the right tail, whereas a negative skew describes a distribution favoring the left tail. of this distribution, we collapsed this into any item not answered versus all items answered. The cross-tabulation of this variable with the combined SAQ completion indicator is presented in Table 5. The expectation that those who were unwilling to provide answers on these sensitive questions to interviewers may be more willing to self-complete the SAQs because of the sensitive nature of the information being sought was not supported. In fact, those who declined to answer one or more sensitive interviewer-administered items were less likely to self-complete all SAQs, although the effect is not statistically significant (p [is greater than] .05).
Table 5. Self-Completion of SAQs by Indicators of Sensitivity Number of items answered One or more not answered (%) All answered (%) [chi square] = 3.84, d.f. = 2, n.s. Lack of appeal of sexual behaviors Mean (s.e.) F = 13.09, d.f. = 2, [is less than] .01 Number of sex partners in past years None (%) One (%) Two or more (%) Missing (%) [chi square] = 40.5, d.f. = 6, p [is less than] .01 Presence of others during interview Yes (%) No (%) [chi square] = 3.28, d.f. = 2, n.s. Respondent's gender Male (%) Female (%) [chi square] = 1.47, d.f. = 2, n.s. All Some Number of items answered One or more not answered (%) 56.3 25.0 All answered (%) 66.1 19.5 Lack of appeal of sexual behaviors Mean 3.08 3.07 (s.e.) (0.02) (0.02) Number of sex partners in past years None (%) 61.3 23.7 One (%) 69.7 18.8 Two or more (%) 64.7 23.8 Missing (%) 15.7 14.7 Presence of others during interview Yes (%) 66.0 22.9 No (%) 65.6 19.3 Respondent's gender Male (%) 66.2 18.8 Female (%) 65.1 20.7 None (unweighted n) Number of items answered One or more not answered (%) 18.6 (120) All answered (%) 14.4 (3,312) Lack of appeal of sexual behaviors Mean 3.20 (3,432) (s.e.) (0.02) Number of sex partners in past years None (%) 15.1 (408) One (%) 11.5 (2,353) Two or more (%) 11.5 (517) Missing (%) 69.6 (154) Presence of others during interview Yes (%) 11.1 (410) No (%) 15.1 (3,022) Respondent's gender Male (%) 14.9 (1,511) Female (%) 14.2 (1,921)
We also examined respondents' actual answers to the same 14 items. The assumption was that those who admitted to finding fewer "disapproved" sexual behaviors appealing may be less likely to self-complete the SAQs, as they have less to hide. On the other hand, they could be unwilling to admit engagement in such behaviors to interviewers, but may indeed be willing to acknowledge similar behaviors in an SAQ. We thus created an index of those 14 items, rescaled to the original response categories ranging from 1 (very appealing) to 4 (not at all appealing), so that a high score indicates greater sensitivity. Here we found that those who self-administered none of the SAQs reported significantly (p [is less than] .01) more behaviors to be unappealing than those who self-administered all or some of the SAQs.
A further indicator of sensitivity may be the number of sex partners reported by respondents in the interviewer-administered portion of the interview. We assumed that those in a monogamous relationship or those with no sex partners would find reporting the self-administered items to an interviewer to be less sensitive. As seen in Table 5, we found mixed results, with those reporting one partner being more likely to self-administer all SAQs than those reporting either no partners or more than one partner. However, it appears that the statistical significance of this measure is largely driven by the missing cases. Item-missing data in the interviewer-administered portion of the interview appears to be associated with non-self-completion of the SAQs, which again suggest motivational issues more so than sensitivity.
In about 12% of the interviews, another person (spouse spouse A legal marriage partner as defined by state law , other adult, or child over 6) was present for all or part of the interview. We found no significant effect of the presence of others on the likelihood of self-completion (see Table 5). Finally, we also found no significant effect for respondent gender on self-completion of the SAQs.
Combined Analyses. We included all of the variables described above in a multinomial mul·ti·no·mi·al
[multi- + (bi)nomial.]
mul logistic regression In statistics, logistic regression is a regression model for binomially distributed response/dependent variables. It is useful for modeling the probability of an event occurring as a function of other factors. predicting the likelihood of respondents completing all versus some and versus none of the SAQs themselves. As noted earlier, self-completion of some (but not all) SAQs may suggest greater sensitivity depending on the topic, whereas the capacity hypothesis would predict non-self-completion of all SAQs. We thus needed to examine these categories of the dependent variable separately. We also fitted a model for SAQ3 and SAQ4 (containing the most sensitive items) respectively. These results parallel those for the combined indicator for completion of all SAQs, and are not discussed further here.
The final model presented in Table 6 is the result of several model-trimming steps. We first ran separate models on the variables for each of the three sets of hypotheses (capacity, motivation, and sensitivity). Several variables remained statistically nonsignificant in both bivariate and multivariate The use of multiple variables in a forecasting model. analyses, and were dropped from the final model. In addition, variables failing to reach traditional levels of significance (p [is less than] .05) in any of the separate models tested were also dropped from the final model. The multinomial logistic regression coefficients, standard errors, and odds ratios for the remaining variables are presented in Table 6.
Table 6. Multinomial Logistic Regression of Self-Completion of SAQs None vs. All coeff. s.e. O.R. Constant -0.065 (0.72) Education Less than 12th grade 0.24 (0.24) 1.27 High school -0.36 (0.32) 0.70 Some college -0.61(**) (0.22) 0.54 Completed college -0.63(*) (0.29) 0.53 Graduate school -- Case transferred(a) 0.92(**) (0.23) 2.52 Phone conversion(a) 1.39(**) (0.21) 4.01 Fee paid(a) 0.045 (0.20) 1.05 Late case indicator(a) 0.89(**) (0.21) 2.43 Total attempts 0.0099(**) (0.0033) 1.01 R comprehension good or excellent(a) -1.08(*) (0.30) 0.34 Lack of appeal of sexual behaviors 0.62(**) (0.14) 1.86 Number of sex partners None -3.37(**) (0.31) 0.034 One -3.55(**) (0.31) 0.029 Two or more -3.24(**) (0.31) 0.039 Not reported -- Some vs. All coeff. s.e. O.R. Constant 0.55 (0.59) Education Less than 12th grade 0.24 (0.24) 1.27 High school -0.022 (0.24) 0.98 Some college -0.12 (0.21) 0.89 Completed college -0.27 (0.28) 0.77 Graduate school -- Case transferred(a) 0.28 (0.20) 1.33 Phone conversion(a) -0.12 (0.20) 0.89 Fee paid(a) 0.42(**) (0.13) 1.53 Late case indicator(a) -0.11 (0.11) 0.90 Total attempts 0.0006 (0.0035) 1.001 R comprehension good or excellent(a) -0.44(*) (0.20) 0.64 Lack of appeal of sexual behaviors -0.089 (0.10) 0.91 Number of sex partners None -1.05(*) (0.44) 0.35 One -1.35(**) (0.39) 0.26 Two or more -1.11(*) (0.42) 0.33 Not reported --
(a) 1 = Yes.
(*) p < .05.
(**) p < .01.
As found in the bivariate analysis, age had no discernible dis·cern·i·ble
Perceptible, as by the faculty of vision or the intellect. See Synonyms at perceptible.
dis·cerni·bly adv. effect on completion of the SAQs. This is consistent with expectation, given the truncated truncated adjective Shortened age range of the NHSLS sample. Education remained statistically significant (Wald Wald , George 1906-1997.
American biologist. He shared a 1967 Nobel Prize for research on the role of vitamin A in vision. F = 3.6, p [is less than] .01) in the multivariate model, suggesting capacity is a factor in the decision to self-complete.
Similarly, several of the indicators of reluctance were significant predictors of the self-completion decision, controlling for other factors. However, the lack of engagement measures (based on interviewer reports following the interview) do not appear to be reliable predictors of willingness to self-complete. The single exception is the rating of the respondent's comprehension of the survey, which may suggest a capacity measure rather than motivation.
Finally, the two measures of sensitivity remained significantly related to self-completion. While arguments could be made that capacity and motivation can be considered ignorable nonresponse--to use Rubin's (1987) terminology--if sensitivity to questions about sexual behavior, attitudes, and experiences is related to the willingness to complete SAQs on these topics, this suggests the presence of nonignorable nonresponse. In other words, the missing data on these sets of questions appear to be related to the variables of interest.
What Effect Does This Have on Estimates?
The results thus far indicate that a subset A group of commands or functions that do not include all the capabilities of the original specification. Software or hardware components designed for the subset will also work with the original. of respondents did not self-complete the SAQs. The question that then arises is whether this phenomenon affects the estimates obtained from the SAQ data. To address this question, we examined SAQ responses for both self-completers and interviewer-assisted completers to determine whether any differences exist. To elaborate, we focused on SAQ3 and SAQ4, which contained the most sensitive questions.
The third SAQ in the NHSLS contained a series of items on masturbation (Laumann et al., 1994). Table 7 presents the percentages of respondents reporting various activities on this SAQ by who completed the SAQ. The results are generally in the expected direction: Those who sought interviewer assistance reported lower levels of engagement in these sensitive behaviors than those who self-completed the SAQ.
Table 7. Responses to Masturbation Items by Who Completed SAQ, Percentages
Who completed SAQ Respondent Interviewer only assistance Total Frequency of masturbation Men Once a week or more 26.2 11.5 24.3 Other 36.8 41.9 37.4 Not at all 37.0 46.6 38.6 Total 100.0 100.0 100.0 (n) (1,173) (164) (1,337) [chi square] = 20.3, d.f. = 2, p < .01 Women Once a week 6.9 4.3 6.5 Other 33.7 20.7 32.2 Not at all 59.4 74.9 61.3 Total 100.0 100.0 100.0 (n) (1,521) (215) (1,736) [chi square] = 12.2, d.f. = 2, p < .01 Among those who reported masturbating: Always or usually have orgasm during masturbation Men (%) 89.3 83.9 88.8 (n) (758) (87) (845) [chi square] = 1.3, d.f. = 1, n.s. Women (%) 75.6 63.9 74.6 (n) (653) (63) (716) [chi square] = 3.04, d.f. = 1, n.s. Always or usually have feeling guilty after masturbation Men (%) 60.6 28.9 57.2 (n) (748) (87) (845) [chi square] = 15.9, d.f. = 2, p < .01 Women (%) 53.2 34.0 51.7 (n) (653) (63) (716) [chi square] = 5.0, d.f. = 1, p < .01
While there are statistically significant differences in response to several
of these items by self-versus interviewer completion, the overall effects are not large (comparing the respondent-only column to the total column). This is largely due to the relatively small proportion of those seeking interviewer assistance on these items. Thus, while those who sought interviewer assistance in the completion of this SAQ exhibit very different behaviors, overall estimates are not seriously biased.
SAQ4 contained a series of items on sexual practices (see Laumann et al., 1994). Table 8 presents these items by who completed the SAQ. These results generally mirror those found in Table 7 above. It is interesting to note that the effects appear larger for women than for men (as indicated by the percentage differences between the two groups, and the statistical significance of these relationships). This is somewhat surprising given that almost all interviewers were women.
Table 8. Percentage Reporting Selected Sexual Practices, by Who Completed SAQ
Who completed SAQ Respondent Interviewer only assistance Total Active oral sex Men 74.9 62.6 73.3 [chi square] = 5.3, d.f.= 2, n.s. Women 66.9 48.0 64.5 [chi square] = 17.3, d.f. = 2, p < .01 Reception oral sex Men 75.9 68.2 74.8 [chi square] = 3.5, d.f. = 2, n.s. Women 71.9 54.4 69.7 [chi square] = 9.9, d.f. = 2, p < .05 Active anal sex: Men 23.6 19.3 23.0 [chi square] = 1.5, d.f. = 2, n.s. Receptive anal sex: Women 19.3 10.9 18.3 [chi square] = 8.8, d.f. = 2, p < .05
The percentages in Table 8 suggest differences in the reporting of these sexual practices by self-administration or interviewer-assisted completion of the SAQ. For men, none of the three differences reach statistical significance (p [is greater than] .05), while all are significant for women. The effect of interviewer assistance is to lower the estimates of engagement in the practice (comparing the "Respondent only" column to the "Total" column in Table 8). However, given that the proportion of respondents who sought interviewer assistance on this SAQ was small, the effect of the differences on the overall estimates is not large.
Incidentally, the estimates in the "Total" column in Table 8 are all lower than those reported in Laumann et al. (1994), which are based on all SAQ responses (whether self-completed or not) and on the unweighted cross-sectional sample only. For example, their estimates for active oral sex were 76.6% for men and 67.7% for women, while for receptive receptive /re·cep·tive/ (re-cep´tiv) capable of receiving or of responding to a stimulus. oral sex they were 78.7% for men and 73.1% for women. Their estimates for anal sex were 25.6% and 20.4% for men and women respectively. This suggests that the effect of excluding the oversample (as they do) is to inflate inflate - deflate the estimates of various sexual practices, while including the self-completers (again as they do) reduces the estimates.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS
The analyses presented here suggest that there are systematic differences in the likelihood of self-completion of SAQs by respondents. We found some support for the capacity hypothesis, suggesting that completion of a self-administered questionnaire is determined in part by the reading ability or literacy of the respondent. While the effect is not large in a national survey such as this, it may be a potential problem in surveys of certain subgroups (i.e., those with low literacy).
We found stronger support for the motivation hypothesis. Respondents who were initially reluctant appeared less likely to self-complete the SAQs. Efforts to reduce nonresponse error through increasing response rates may increase measurement error, as reluctant respondents may be less motivated than those who are initially willing to participate (see Couper, 1997). The relationship between nonresponse and measurement error deserves further research attention. The curvilinear effect of education on self-completion may also suggest that capacity constraints CONSTRAINTS - A language for solving constraints using value inference.
["CONSTRAINTS: A Language for Expressing Almost-Hierarchical Descriptions", G.J. Sussman et al, Artif Intell 14(1):1-39 (Aug 1980)]. (i.e., literacy) operate at the lower education levels, but motivation may be a greater concern at the higher education higher education
Study beyond the level of secondary education. Institutions of higher education include not only colleges and universities but also professional schools in such fields as law, theology, medicine, business, music, and art. levels.
We found little support for the sensitivity hypothesis in our analyses. This is an encouraging finding, in that respondents' decisions to self-complete do not appear to be related to the behaviors and attitudes measured in the SAQs themselves. While the content of the SAQ may affect nonresponse (refusal to do the SAQ in toto in toto (in toe-toe) adj. Latin for "completely" or "in total," referring to the entire thing, as in "the goods were destroyed in toto," or "the case was dismissed in toto."
IN TOTO. In the whole; wholly; completely; as, the award is void in toto. ), it does not appear to affect whether the respondent chooses to self-complete or seek interviewer assistance in completing the SAQ.
Our findings parallel those reported by Couper and Rowe (1996) for a computerized computerized
adapted for analysis, storage and retrieval on a computer.
computerized axial tomography
see computed tomography. self-administered instrument, suggesting that the problem of non-self-completion is common to both paper-and-pencil and computerized instruments. In the last few years, the Years, The
the seven decades of Eleanor Pargiter’s life. [Br. Lit.: Benét, 1109]
See : Time development of audio computer-assisted self-interviewing (audio-CASI audio-CASI Audio-enhanced, computer-assisted self-interviewing Clinical studies A method used to improve the quality of survey data from questionnaires, intended to overcome respondents' limited literacy and incentives to misstate the answers to questions that may ) has shown great promise for the collection of sensitive information on a variety of topics (see Tourangeau et al., 1997; Turner et al., 1998). While audio-CASI is likely to minimize the effect of literacy on the decision to self-complete, other factors, such as experience with or knowledge of computers, may be manifest manifest 1) adj., adv. completely obvious or evident. 2) n. a written list of goods in a shipment.
MANIFEST, com. law. A written instrument containing a true account of the cargo of a ship or commercial vessel.
2. . To date, most audio-CASI applications have been with younger people (those with greater experience of computers), and the issue of who completed the self-administered items has not yet been addressed. Further, the use of audio-CASI is unlikely to have much effect on the motivational factors, suggesting that the issues raised here may still be of concern in audio-CASI.
We also found evidence that self- self-
1. Oneself; itself: self-control.
2. Automatic; automatically: self-loading. versus interviewer completion is associated with different responses to SAQ items. This is consistent with the argument for using SAQs in the first place. While the overall effect is not large (given the relatively small proportions of those who chose not to self-complete), the impact on estimates may be more pronounced in subgroup sub·group
1. A distinct group within a group; a subdivision of a group.
2. A subordinate group.
3. Mathematics A group that is a subset of a group.
To summarize sum·ma·rize
intr. & tr.v. sum·ma·rized, sum·ma·riz·ing, sum·ma·riz·es
To make a summary or make a summary of.
sum , there is ample empirical evidence from a number of studies that self-administration increases the overall reporting of traditionally underreported behaviors. Our results suggest it is important to explore ways to maximize self-completion by respondents in order to reap the full benefit of this mode of administration. While audio-CASI may mitigate mit·i·gate
To moderate in force or intensity.
miti·gation n. the effect of literacy on the self-completion decision, we need to find ways to address the motivational component.
Our findings also raise questions about the relationship between nonresponse and measurement error. While those who are unable or reluctant to do the SAQs at least provide answers to the questions (i.e., they are not nonresponders), the answers they give appear to differ when they respond to interviewer administration of these items (measurement error). At the least, these findings suggest that we can identify those at risk for non-self-completion of the SAQs (e.g., those with low education levels, those who were initially reluctant to participate) early in the interview. A variety of strategies could be targeted to these respondents to increase the likelihood of self-completion. This may include a variety of motivational strategies (e.g., Cannell, Miller, & Oksenberg, 1981), as well as incentives.
Finally, our results suggest that who completes the SAQs is an important survey quality indicator, similar to item-missing data rates or nonresponse rates. The routine collection of such indicators could be used for a variety of purposes, ranging from interviewer evaluation to statistical adjustment to compensate for non-self-completion. Our work does not raise serious questions about the quality of data collected from SAQs, but certainly suggests several fruitful fruit·ful
a. Producing fruit.
b. Conducive to productivity; causing to bear in abundance: fruitful soil.
2. lines of further enquiry into this and related methods for improving reports of sensitive information.
(1) The check item variables were not included in the ICPSR ICPSR Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research release of the data. We are grateful to NORC for providing these variables to us in a form that could be merged to the substantive data from the NHSLS.
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Manuscript manuscript, a handwritten work as distinguished from printing. The oldest manuscripts, those found in Egyptian tombs, were written on papyrus; the earliest dates from c.3500 B.C. accepted April 14, 1999
An earlier version of this paper was presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Public Opinion Research, May 1997. The NHSLS data were obtained through the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research. We are grateful to Stuart Michaels and Fay Booker of NORC for providing the additional data needed for the analyses reported here. The views expressed here are the sole responsibility of the authors and do not represent the official views of the Bureau of Labor Statistics Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
A research agency of the U.S. Department of Labor; it compiles statistics on hours of work, average hourly earnings, employment and unemployment, consumer prices and many other variables. . We thank the editor and reviewers for their very helpful comments on earlier drafts of this paper.
Address correspondence to Mick Couper, Survey Research Center, P.O. Box 1248, Ann Arbor, MI 48103; e-mail: email@example.com.
Mick P. Couper University of Michigan (body, education) University of Michigan - A large cosmopolitan university in the Midwest USA. Over 50000 students are enrolled at the University of Michigan's three campuses. The students come from 50 states and over 100 foreign countries. and University of Maryland University of Maryland can refer to:
Linda L. Stinson U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Washington D.C. and University of Maryland