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Cognitive Interview Research Report: Findings and Recommendations Resulting from Pretesting Activities with the Current Population Survey’s High School Validation Study Questions

Ashley Landreth, Theresa DeMaio, and Andrew Jocuns

KEY WORDS: Current Population Survey (CPS), high school validation study, cognitive interviews, high school diploma, secondary education credential


In response to the creation of a new question series regarding high school educational attainment, called the Current Population Survey’s (CPS) High School Validation Study, staff in the Statistical Research Division (SRD) cognitively pretested these questions for the U. S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and the Demographic Surveys Division (DSD). The CPS High School Validation Study questionnaire, to be embedded (as follow-on questions) into the CPS’s 2006 education supplement, aims to collect data from residents of the sampled address between the ages of 18 and 24.

The NCES initiated the validation study in an effort to better understand reporting behavior for “regular” high school diplomas and General Education Diplomas (GED) collected by core and supplemental CPS questions. The CPS High School Validation Study questions collect several types of information toward this goal: 1) the type of high school diploma, equivalent, or credential received by respondents; 2) information about the issuing school or organization (e.g., name, whether it is a public or private institution, and address); and 3) the year in which the diploma or credential was earned. This cognitive pretesting report describes the findings and recommendations resulting from 25 interviews with respondents.


Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Statistical Research Division

Created: February 8, 2006
Last revised: February 8, 2006

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Statistical Research Division | (301) 763-3215 (or |   Last Revised: October 08, 2010