Protocol - Current Marital Status
The interviewer asks about the respondent’s current marital status by presenting a numbered card that lists the answer choices. The respondent may select one category.
While the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) protocol is administered by interviewers and only to adults over 18 years, the PhenX Steering Committee suggests that there are multiple acceptable modes to administer this question (e.g., self-report paper-and-pencil and computer-assisted interviews) and that it may be administered to those under the age of 18 if a researcher finds it necessary.
1. Are you…
5[ ]Never married
6[ ]A member of an unmarried couple
Do not read:
Personnel and Training Required
The interviewer must be trained to conduct personal interviews with individuals from the general population. The interviewer must be trained and found to be competent (i.e., tested by an expert) at the completion of personal interviews.* The interviewer should be trained to prompt respondents further if a "don’t know" response is provided.
* There are multiple modes to administer this question (e.g., paper-and-pencil and computer-assisted interviews).
The PhenX Steering Committee acknowledges these questions can be administered in a computerized or noncomputerized format (i.e., paper-and-pencil instrument). Computer software is necessary to develop computer-assisted instruments. The interviewer will require a laptop computer/handheld computer to administer a computer-assisted questionnaire.
|Specialized requirements for biospecimen collection||No|
|Average time of greater than 15 minutes in an unaffected individual||No|
Mode of Administration
Adults 18 years or older
This protocol was selected because it is the most current and inclusive.
English, Other languages available at source
Process and Review
The PhenX Steering Committee reviewed this measurement protocol. Guidance from the SC includes:
- Replaced protocol
- New data dictionary
Not back-compatible: requires changes to Data Dictionary
Previous version in Toolkit archive (link)
Variable mapping (link)
Protocol Name from Source
Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), Core Section 8: Demographics, 2018
Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) 2018 Core Section 8: Demographics Question C08.06.
Pierannunzi C, Hu S, Balluz L. A systematic review of publications assessing reliability and validity of the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), 2004–2011External 2013, 13:49
Li C, Balluz LS, Ford ES, Okoro CA, Zhao G, Pierannunzi, C. A Comparison of Prevalence Estimates for Selected Health Indicators and Chronic Diseases or Conditions from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, the National Health Interview Survey, and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2007-2008. Preventive Medicine. 2012 Jun; 54(6):381-7.
Nelson DE, Powell-Griner E, Town M, Kovar MG. A comparison of national estimates from the National Health Interview Survey and the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. American Journal of Public Health, 2003; 93:1335–1341.
Rutigilano, R, Esping-Andersen, G. Partnership Choice and Childbearing in Norway and Spain. European Journal of Population. 2018; 34(3): 367-385.
|Variable Name||Variable ID||Variable Description||dbGaP Mapping|
|PX010903000000||What best describes your current marital status?||N/A|
Current marital status
June 4, 2019
Question asking the respondent for his or her current marital status.
Marital status has been linked to health and mortality.
current marital status, Demographics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, cohabiting, marriage, spouse, partner, married, National Survey of Family Growth, NSFG
|Protocol ID||Protocol Name|
|10901||Current Marital Status|
|10902||Current Marital Status|
|10903||Current Marital Status|
Loring, D. W., et al. (2022) Rationale and Design of the National Neuropsychology Network. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society. 2022 January; 28(1): 11-Jan. doi: 10.1017/S1355617721000199
Purvis, R. S., et al. (2021) Trusted Sources of COVID-19 Vaccine Information among Hesitant Adopters in the United States. Vaccines. 2021 December; 9(12): 1418. doi: 10.3390/vaccines9121418
Sanderson, S. C., et al. (2017) Public Attitudes toward Consent and Data Sharing in Biobank Research: A Large Multi-site Experimental Survey in the US. Am J Hum Genet. 2017 March; 100(3): 414-427. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2017.01.021