Sexually Transmitted Infections - Add Health

The question on this tool is taken from a larger questionnaire administered to students and young adults ages 15 and up as part of the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health (Add Health).

The Add Health study is a nationally representative study originally designed to examine how social contexts (such as families, friends, peers, schools, neighborhoods, and communities) influence teens' health and risk behaviors. The study is now examining how health changes over the course of early adulthood. The study began in 1994 under a grant from the NICHD, with co-funding from 17 other federal agencies.  The Add Health study is the largest, most comprehensive survey of adolescents ever undertaken.

For more information about the Add Health survey, see:


Administration Method
Number of Questions
Creator(s) of Tool
Complete measurement tool reference
Resnick, M., Bearman, P., & Blum, R. et al. (1997). Protecting adolescents from harm: Findings from the National Longitudinal Study on Adolescent Health. JAMA, 278, 823-832. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550100049038

Adaptation made/subset of questions selected
The question selected to assess this indicator is included in the following sections of the Add Health, adolescent in-home survey:
Wave 1: Section 24: Contraception (question 16)
Wave 2: Section 23: Contraception (question 19)
Wave 3: Section 16: Sexual Experiences and STDs (question 21)
Wave 4: Section 15: Suicide, Sexual Experiences, and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (question 36)

Complete measurement tool hyperlink
Scoring / Benchmarking
Before analyzing data, code answers marked with an X as a “1” and code unmarked answers as a “0”. Then, for each participant, create a sum to indicate the number of sexually-transmitted infections endorsed.

To create a summary score describing the percent of participants having been diagnosed with an STI, code any score over 0 as a 1. Take the sum of all responses and divide by the total number of responses to obtain a percent.

You may refer to information about the prevalence of STIs, to set benchmarks for your program, by going to:
Background / Quality
Studies that have used this tool include:
Crosby, R., Leichliter, J.S., & Brackbill, R. (2000). Longitudinal prediction of sexually transmitted diseases among adolescents: Results from a national survey. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 18, 312-317. doi:10.1016/S0749-3797(00)00122-7

Fiscus, C., Ford, C. A., & Miller, W. C. (2004). Infrequency of Sexually Transmitted Disease Screening Among Sexually Experienced U.S. Female Adolescents. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 36, 233-238. doi:10.1363/3623304

Shrier, L A., Harris, S. K., & Beardslee, W. R. (2002). Temporal Associations Between Depressive Symptoms and Self-reported Sexually Transmitted Disease Among Adolescents. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, 156, 599-606.
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