Combating Telephone Fatigue After Multiple Waves: Testing Prepaid Incentives and a Hard-Copy Questionnaire in a Telephone Survey of Youth With Disabilities and Their Parents
Kenyon, A. E., Newman, L., Triplett, S. E., Knokey, A., Valdes, K., & Smith, H. A. (2009, May). Combating Telephone Fatigue After Multiple Waves: Testing Prepaid Incentives and a Hard-Copy Questionnaire in a Telephone Survey of Youth With Disabilities and Their Parents. Presented at AAPOR 2009, .
The National Longitudinal Transition Study 2 (NLTS2), funded by the U.S. Department of Education, is a nationwide longitudinal study designed to collect information on the education, activities, and development of youth with special needs. NLTS2 follows approximately 10,000 youth with disabilities and their parents over a 10-year period as the youth move from high school into their young adult lives; interviews are conducted by telephone every two years. The study has faced an increasing challenge to meet response rate goals from wave to wave, as participation, particularly from parents, has declined.
Researchers have described and tracked the decline in telephone survey response rates (Singer, 2000; Steeh, 2001; De Leeuw, 2002; Curtin, 2005) as well as methods to try to stem the decline, such as the use of advance letters and various forms of incentives (Singer 2002; Curtin, 2005). Despite using advance letters and incentives, NLTS2 has experienced declining response rates, prompting the study team to test alternative approaches to encourage response. In 2007, we conducted an experiment to test the effectiveness of using a token prepaid incentive (rather than just a post-survey incentive) and a hard copy questionnaire (as an alternative to the telephone interview).
This poster illustrates the impact of offering various combinations of a hard copy questionnaire, a token prepaid incentive, or just a reminder of the full incentive to three groups of nonresponding parents. We describe the three experimental groups and the response rates achieved for each group. Using F-tests for differences of means or proportions, we examine the demographics of the experimental groups prior to the experiment and compare them with the demographics of the responding parents to determine whether parents of youth with particular disabilities or with certain demographic characteristics are more likely to respond under each of the three experimental conditions.