Two for the Price of One: Can One Partner Really Tell Us All We Need to Know?

Andrea Lazar, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Since sex research is primarily based on self-reports of sensitive information, the accuracy of such reports may be comprised due to various factors. Using a large sample of young adult couples from a nationally representative study (the couples sub-sample of Wave III of Add Health), this paper will test the validity of such reports by comparing partners’ reports to the corresponding reports of their mutual partners. The findings of this paper have implications for how relationship and fertility research are conducted. High levels of concordance on certain measures indicate that the convention of obtaining data from one partner on those measures is adequate; however, if discordance is found, it raises certain concerns about data quality and the validity of our results. Furthermore, if certain individual- and relationship-level characteristics are associated with discordant reports of particular types sexual behavior, this could suggest areas of improvement in couple research, study, and design.

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Presented in Poster Session 3