Using Facebook to locate sample members
Locating and retaining sample members is a challenge for any longitudinal study. If sample members are lost to follow-up, the potential for non-response bias increases and power for analyses decreases. Survey researchers have several tools available to locate sample members and a new one has emerged: the internet. This article reports on the use of social media—in particular, Facebook—to contact participants in a longitudinal study and encourage them to complete a telephone interview. Individuals we located on Facebook were significantly more likely to be white, have attended at least some college, and have higher household incomes than the rest of the study sample.