A Comparison of Results From a Spanish and English Mail Survey: Effects of Instruction Placement on Item Missingness
Wang, K., Sha, M., & Peytcheva, E. (2010, May). A Comparison of Results From a Spanish and English Mail Survey: Effects of Instruction Placement on Item Missingness. Presented at AAPOR 2010, .
Few research studies compare results from self-administered bilingual paper questionnaires on how the positioning of skip instructions may affect the respondent’s ability to follow skip patterns. Using data from the 2004 and 2005 of the Phase 5 Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) mail survey questionnaire, this paper attempts to fill this gap. We examined whether the positioning of skip instructions can produce differences in item nonresponse rates in subsequent items and how results compare between English and Spanish language questionnaires.
About 30 PRAMS vital records registry areas (consisting of 29 states and New York City) had their own mail questionnaire in 2004-2005, and the majority also offered a Spanish language version. Because different questions could be selected by each PRAMS area for certain question topics and the questionnaire layout is in a two-column multi-page format, there were five different placements for the skip instruction for a common item across the surveys. Our goal is to examine how differences in displays of skip instructions were associated with differences in item nonresponse. We found that across all conditions there is higher data missingness in the data collected through the Spanish questionnaires as compared to the English questionnaires for both Non-Hispanics and Hispanics. However, the type of skip instruction placement has more of an effect on item nonresponse in the English version than in the Spanish version. These results will be of interest to designers of bilingual self-administered survey questionnaires in guiding respondents through the intended navigational path with skip patterns.