Inaccuracies in Self-Report Measures of Adolescent Risk-Taking Behaviors
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute Of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Self-report measures of adolescent sexual behaviors are essential for monitoring risk and evaluating prevention program effectiveness, yet relatively little is known about the accuracy of these measures across developmental stages and demographic groups. This R03 research project will provide new information about the rates of inconsistencies, by types (e.g., “yes” to ever had sex at baseline survey and “no” at 12-month follow-up) and across demographic subgroups, in adolescents’ self-reported sexual behaviors using data from four large longitudinal studies of the effectiveness of HIV/STI/pregnancy prevention programs for high-risk youth. It also seeks to contribute new information about the impact of removing different types of inconsistent cases on study power and generalizability. Finally, it will identify subgroups of youth with whom to explore, in a future study, reasons behind and potential remedies to inconsistent reporting of sexual behaviors.