Tierney, Katherine I. (2017). Missing cases: An evaluation of abortion underreporting in Add Health.
The underreporting of abortions on surveys is a problem that limits the ability of researchers to understand who has abortions, under what circumstances, and with what consequences. This paper is the first to evaluate the quality of the abortion data in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health). The overall quality of these data and patterns of underreporting are evaluated. The paper also uses multi-level analyses to uncover the characteristics associated with reporting over time. The accuracy of Add Health abortion data varies across years and method of evaluation used. We find that Add Health captures 35% of expected abortions when using an abortion rate comparison, 43% when using a ratio comparison, and 20% when using a modeling technique. Additionally, we find that the consistency of reporting over time is influenced by the circumstances under which women have an abortion. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
Social sciences Abortion underreporting Add Health Fertility Sociology Demography
Tierney, Katherine I.
Harris, Kathleen Mullan
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
City of Publication