Objective: To present an overview of the design and field procedures of the National Comorbidity Survey Replication Adolescent Supplement (NCS-A).
Method: The NCS-A is a nationally representative face-to-face household survey of the prevalence and correlates of DSM-IV mental disorders among U.S. adolescents (aged 13-17 years) that was performed between February 2001 and January 2004 by the Survey Research Center of the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. The sample was based on a dual-frame design that included 904 adolescent residents of the households that participated in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (response rate 85.9%) and 9,244 adolescent students selected from a representative sample of 320 schools in the same nationally representative sample of counties as the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (response rate 74.7%).
Results: Comparisons of sample and population distributions on census sociodemographic variables and, in the school sample, school characteristics documented onlyminor differences that were corrected with poststratification weighting. Comparisons of DSM-IV disorder prevalence estimates among household versus school sample respondents in counties that differed in the use of replacement schools for originally selected schools that refused to participate showed that the use of replacement schools did not introduce bias into prevalence estimates.
Conclusions: The NCS-A is a rich nationally representative dataset that will substantially increase understanding of the mental health and well-being of adolescents in the United States.