National Survey of Family Growth, Cycle IV, 1988 (ICPSR 09473)

Alternate Title:  1988 NSFG

Principal Investigator(s):


The National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) Cycle IV interviews covered respondents' pregnancy histories, past and current use of contraception, ability to bear children, use of medical services for family planning, infertility, and prenatal care, marital histories, and associated cohabiting unions. Data on occupation and labor force participation and on a wide range of social, economic, and demographic characteristics are also presented. Cycle IV added questions about AIDS and cohabitation and asked detailed questions on adoption and sexually transmitted diseases.

Series: National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) Series

Access Notes

  • These data are freely available.

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    This study is provided by ICPSR. ICPSR provides leadership and training in data access, curation, and methods of analysis for a diverse and expanding social science research community.


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DS0:  Study-Level Files
DS1:  Respondent File - Download All Files (181.888 MB) large file
DS2:  Interval File - Download All Files (114.456 MB)

Study Description


United States Department of Health and Human Services. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics. National Survey of Family Growth, Cycle IV, 1988. ICPSR09473-v3. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2009-08-12.

Persistent URL:

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This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Health and Human Services. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics
  • United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
  • United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health
  • United States Department of Health and Human Services. Office of Public Health and Science. Office of Population Affairs

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   adoption, AIDS, birth, birth control, birth expectations, families, family planning, family size, fertility, pregnancy, prenatal care, reproductive history, womens health care

Geographic Coverage:   United States

Time Period:  

  • 1988-01--1988-08

Date of Collection:  

  • 1988-01--1988-08

Unit of Observation:   individual

Universe:   Data have been weighted to be representative of the noninstitutionalized population of women in the United States, 15-44 years of age, regardless of marital status. Black women were oversampled in order to yield reliable estimates by race.

Data Types:   survey data

Data Collection Notes:

The original hierarchical data collection had two types of records. There was one respondent record for each of the 8,450 women in the survey. These records included most of the information from the interview and contain approximately 1,330 variables. Following each woman's respondent record were the interval records, one for each of her closed pregnancy intervals (completed pregnancies) yielding approximately 180 variables in each interval record cover information about the characteristics of each pregnancy and any contraceptive methods used during that interval. The hierarchical files have, however, been replaced by two rectangular ASCII files (respondent and interval).

Data for CYCLE I, 1973 (ICPSR 7898), CYCLE II, 1976 (ICPSR 7902, 8181), CYCLE III, 1982 (ICPSR 8328), CYCLE IV, 1990 TELEPHONE REINTERVIEW (ICPSR 6643), and CYCLE V, 1995 (ICPSR 6960), and CYCLE VI, 2002 (ICPSR 4157) are also available from ICPSR.

The following codes are undocumented for variable A_4 (State where R was born: 227, 318, 395, 407, 593, 775, 886).

Due to certain Stata restrictions some value labels were omitted from the data collection. For variables CJAN84 thru CAUG88 and METHCAL, value labels for codes 170-1369 (simultaneous method use) and 8170-9369 (sequential method use) are not given. Please see appendix 4 "Simultaneous and Sequential Method Use" for further information on the coding of these variables.

The following codes are undocumented for variable F_70 (Current/last occupation): 246, 460, 760, 761, 994.

The following codes are undocumented for variable F_72 (Current/last business or industry): 8, 19, 83, 406, 407, 416, 668, 837.

The following codes are undocumented for variable F_88 (Husbands/partners current/last occupation): 110, 431, 660, 800, 994.

The following codes are undocumented for variable F_90 (Current/last business or industry): 407 and 633.

The variable BOX45_46 is undocumented in the original codebook. BOX45 and BOX46 both appear in the original questionnaire (Does R intend to have [more] babies? 1 -- Yes, 2 -- No, 8 -- Don't know), however they are not present in the codebook frequencies or the file index.

Part 1: The variable label for C31M3 and the value labels associated with missing data codes for several variables have been updated.


Sample:   The 8,450 women interviewed for the NSFG, Cycle IV, were drawn from households in which someone had been interviewed for the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), between October 1985 and March 1987.

Mode of Data Collection:   face-to-face interview

Data Source:

personal interviews

Extent of Processing:  ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Created variable labels and/or value labels.
  • Created online analysis version with question text.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

Restrictions: In preparing the data file for this collection, the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) has removed direct identifiers and characteristics that might lead to identification of data subjects. As an additional precaution NCHS requires, under Section 308(d) of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 242m), that data collected by NCHS not be used for any purpose other than statistical analysis and reporting. NCHS further requires that analysts not use the data to learn the identity of any persons or establishments and that the director of NCHS be notified if any identities are inadvertently discovered. ICPSR member institutions and other users ordering data from ICPSR are expected to adhere to these restrictions.


Original ICPSR Release:  

Version History:

  • 2009-08-26 The pages of the ICPSR Variable Description and Frequencies for Part 2 of this collection that were previously omitted in the last update of this study have been added to the ICPSR codebook.
  • 2009-08-12 The SPSS, SAS and Stata setup files, the SPSS and Stata system files, the SAS transport (CPORT) file, the codebook, and SDA for Part 1 of this collection have been updated.
  • 2008-11-24 This study has been updated to include the full product suite including SAS, SPSS, and Stata setup files as well as SAS transport (CPORT), SPSS system, and Stata system files. An SDA version of this study has also been prepared as part of the update.
  • 2000-05-17 The codebook and data collection instruments for this study have been converted to Portable Document Format (PDF).

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