The Relationships in America Survey is a nationally representative probability sample of 15,738 non-institutionalized adults between the ages of 18 and 60 residing in the United States. The survey was fielded in January and February 2014 by GfK Group, formerly known as Knowledge Networks, a company with a strong record of generating high quality, nationally representative surveys.
GfK recruited the first online research panel that is representative of the entire U.S. population. Panel members are randomly recruited through probability-based sampling, and households are provided with access to the Internet and hardware if needed.
GfK recruits panel members by using address-based sampling methods (formerly GfK relied on random-digit dialing methods). Once household members are recruited for the panel and assigned to a study sample, they are notified by email for survey-taking, or panelists can visit their online member page for survey-taking (instead of being contacted by telephone or postal mail). This allows surveys to be fielded quickly and economically. In addition, this approach reduces the burden placed on respondents, since email notification is less intrusive than telephone calls, and most respondents find answering internet questionnaires more interesting and engaging than being questioned by a telephone interviewer. Furthermore, respondents have the freedom to choose what time of day to complete their assigned survey.
The Relationships in America survey was conducted in both English and Spanish. Of those contacted, 62 percent completed the survey. To increase completion rates, GfK contacted potential respondents three and six days after the survey was fielded to remind them to complete the survey.
In order to correct for biases that may be introduced by non-response, Knowledge Networks provides survey weights so that each sample is representative of the nation as a whole. Appropriate survey weights were used in every estimate in this report, unless otherwise indicated.
In each of the questions asked in the survey, some small fraction of respondents refused to answer the question, or skipped the question. Skip/refusal rates were generally quite low for most questions, and although slightly elevated for other questions, were still quite low for even sensitive questions. Questions about abortion were outliers, often garnering refusal rates above 10 percent. Most questions exhibited fewer than five percent refusals or skips. Such cases were eliminated from analyses of items for which they skipped or refused to answer, unless otherwise indicated.
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