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Chamratrithirong, Aphichat; Morgan, S. Philip; & Rindfuss, Ronald R. (1992). Why Is It Important? A Reply to Knodel and Chayovan. Social Forces, 71(2), 517-518.


Our initial reaction to the Knodel and Chayovan (1992) comment was to nitpick their results. After all, the Thailand Demographic Health Survey (HDS) sample size for the central region - the region where we did our original work - was only 92. Their estimate of 8% living apart among those married in the last 12 months, assuming a simple random sample, would have a 95% confidence interval of plus/minus 6%. But given that it was not a simple random sample, the confidence interval would be even larger. Further, their question structure makes it easier for the interviewer to presume the conventional and indicate that the married couple is living together. Also, the data of the THDS in the central region included the rainy season Uune and July), a time when many who migrate seasonally to Bangkok for work have returned to work in their home villages. Hence, living apart is probably least common during the rainy season. In contrast to the THDS, our data were collected in the heart of the dry season (December to April). Further, those married women living apart from their husbands who were residing in dormitories attached to factories would
not have been in the THDS sample frame, and thus they were probably missed in the study's estimates. Our retrospective procedure did, of course, capture this behavior. Finally, the THDS was part of a large multicountry project sponsored by the U.S. Agency for Intemational Development (USAID) to provide data useful for policymakers regarding the use of family planning and health programs. Thus, Knodel and Chayovan's data come from a standardized multinational data collection effort and such data are weak for providing information of the subtleties on which Knodel and Chayovan comment (Caldwell 1985).


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Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Social Forces


Chamratrithirong, Aphichat
Morgan, S. Philip
Rindfuss, Ronald R.