The Impact of Incentives on Survey Participation and Reports of Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence
Carley-Baxter, L. R., Lynberg, M., & Twiddy, S. E. (2007, August). The Impact of Incentives on Survey Participation and Reports of Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence. Presented at ASA JSM 2007, Salt Lake City, UT.
In addition to facing the challenge of declining response rates, telephone survey methodologists are also confronted with conducting more “sensitive topic” surveys. An experiment involving one traditional method used to increase survey participation, payment of an incentive, is being used in a Pilot Study for the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS). The NISVS Pilot is a nationwide random-digit-dial survey that collected sensitive information on the perpetration and victimization of physical violence, sexual violence, stalking, and emotional abuse from adults 18 years of age and older. Sampled telephone numbers were pre-assigned to receive either a $10 or $20 incentive payment upon completion of the interview. All households for which an address is available were mailed an advance letter noting the incentive amount (as assigned). In addition, a $1 cash incentive was mailed with the advance letter to further encourage households to consider participating in the survey. In this paper, we compare response rates, respondent demographics, and substantive differences on particular indicators between respondents selected for a $10 incentive versus those selected for a $20 incentive. Due to the sensitive nature of the survey questions, the NISVS pilot also includes a series of questions about the respondent’s reactions to the survey. We analyze the potential impact of differing incentives on the respondent’s reactions to questions about intimate partner violence and sexual violence.