Data Sharing for Demographic Research

This study was originally processed, archived, and disseminated by Data Sharing for Demographic Research (DSDR), a project funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).

National Couples Survey, 2005-2006 (ICPSR 24384)

Alternate Title:   Married and Cohabitating Couples Study and the Dating Couples Study

Principal Investigator(s): Grady, William R., Battelle Centers for Public Health Research and Evalulation; Billy, John O.G., Battelle Centers for Public Health Research and Evalulation; Klepinger, Daniel H., Battelle Centers for Public Health Research and Evalulation; Cubbins, Lisa A. , Battelle Centers for Public Health Research and Evalulation; Tanfer, Koray, Battelle Centers for Public Health Research and Evalulation


Data from the National Couples Study (NCS) were collected as part of two NIH-funded studies examining couples' contraceptive decision-making (but not consistency of use). Completed interviews were obtained from both partners of 413 married couples, 261 cohabiting couples and 335 dating non-cohabiting heterosexual couples (2,018 individuals), where the female was age 20 to 35 years and the male was age 18 or older. Other eligibility criteria were that the female was not currently pregnant, postpartum, or trying to get pregnant, and that both partners were neither medically nor surgically sterile (for whom consistency of contraceptive use is of limited interest). The survey used computer-assisted self interviewing (CASI) to collect data from an area probability sample of household residents in four cities and their adjacent county subdivisions: Baltimore, MD; Durham, NC; St. Louis, MO; and Seattle, WA. This survey obtained separate, parallel reports from both partners, providing unique and detailed data on the power relations, birth desires, method-related expectancies, values, perceptions, preferences, and behaviors of men and women making contraceptive and disease prevention choices within the context of an intimate heterosexual relationship.

Access Notes

  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.


DS0:  Study-Level Files
DS1:  Wave 1 Data - Download All Files (25.104 MB)
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DS2:  Wave 2 Data - Download All Files (5.56 MB)
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ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup    Stata Setup   
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Study Description


Grady, William R., John O.G. Billy, Daniel H. Klepinger, Lisa A. Cubbins, and Koray Tanfer. National Couples Survey, 2005-2006. ICPSR24384-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2009-02-16.

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Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    birth control, family planning, fertility, household income, income, job history, living arrangements, marital relations, marital status, occupational status, sexual behavior

Geographic Coverage:    Baltimore, Durham, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, Seattle, St. Louis, United States, Washington

Time Period:   

  • 2005--2006

Date of Collection:   

  • 2005-05--2006-10

Unit of Observation:    individual, couples

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

Wave I, conducted in-person with the Wave II survey of married and cohabiting couples, was conducted via telephone.


Sample:    The sample design for this investigation can be characterized as a stratified, probability-proportional-to-size sample of compact clusters. These compact clusters contained 66 adjacent listings from the DSF file, where ZIP+Four zip codes and postal walk sequence codes were used to group addresses so they were physically adjacent. The cluster size of 66 addresses was chosen to ensure that there would be 50 occupied housing units on average in each cluster. The sampling began by grouping Census blocks until segments were obtained of the size 75 or larger based upon the size measure used. Using Census-derived data, the segments within each of the four sites were stratified into four strata based upon the percent of Black households. Sample segments were selected with probability proportional to their size measure using systematic sampling. Each sampled address was visited by an interviewer who verified its residential status and then enumerated the married/cohabitating couples and age-eligible unattached adults living at the sampled address whose members met the study's age requirements. If the household contained multiple couples and/or unattached adults or a mixture of couples and unattached adults, the interviewer consulted a sampling table to randomly select a specific couple or unattached person for eligibility screening based upon the number of couples and the number of unattached persons in the household. This sampling table was custom generated for each sampled address.

Weight:    For the studies supporting the collection of these data, analysis weights were developed that account for the differential probabilities of selection and allow the data for the four sites to be analyzed together. For weight development, analysis weights were first created for each individual site (SITELEVELWT) and then a combined weight suitable for analyzing the data set as a whole (STUDYLEVELEWT) was created. The analysis weights for each site were constructed by developing sampling weights reflecting the probability of selection of each sampled address and of the couple sampled from that address (if any), and then adjusting these weights to account for nonresponse. The intention of the two couples studies was to analyze the data combined across sites and to have each site have equal impact on the analysis. To facilitate this approach, a combined weight was created by adjusting each site's weights so that they summed to a common population total.

Mode of Data Collection:    computer-assisted self interview (CASI), telephone interview

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:

  • Performed consistency checks.
  • Created variable labels and/or value labels.
  • Standardized missing values.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


Original ICPSR Release:   2009-02-16

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