Principal Research Scientist, Guttmacher Institute
Dr. Laura Lindberg is a Principal Research Scientist at the Guttmacher Institute, where she has worked for nearly two decades. As a social demographer, Dr. Lindberg focuses on measuring the trends, determinants and consequences of sexual and reproductive health in the U.S. population and working to improve the quality of survey data on sexual and reproductive behaviors. She currently has two NICHD grants on measurement of core demographic constructs, abortion and contraceptive failure rates. Over the course of her career, she has conducted policy-related research on adolescent sexual behaviors, sex education, adolescent preventive services, unintended pregnancy and contraceptive use. Dr. Lindberg received her undergraduate degree from Princeton University; she earned her MA and PhD in sociology at the University of Michigan, where her favorite class was on survey research methods with Bob Groves.
Quality of Abortion Reporting in the US and Pathways to Improvement
Despite the fact that an estimated one in five pregnancies in the United States end in induced abortion, abortion remains a highly sensitive, stigmatized and thus difficult-to-measure behavior. I will present on a body of recent research designed to help to develop new techniques and improve existing methodologies for measuring abortion reporting. First, I share a series of quantitative analyses to identify the scope and correlates of abortion underreporting for three of the most commonly used national fertility surveys in the United States: the National Survey of Family Growth, the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997, and the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health. These analyses informed the development of new question designs were explored in cognitive interviews and experimentally tested and evaluated in a national survey. Abortion underreporting in population surveys has far-reaching implications for research in sexual and reproductive health and maternal and child health.