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Arland Thornton photo

Obtaining Respondent Cooperation in Family Panel Studies

Publication Abstract

Thornton, Arland, D.S. Freedman, and D. Camburn. 1982. "Obtaining Respondent Cooperation in Family Panel Studies." Sociological Methods & Research, 11(1): 33-51.

Problems of maintaining respondent rapport in surveys are exacerbated when respondents are asked to participate repeatedly over time or when several members of a family are interviewed. This article details the techniques used to maintain respondent rapport in a longitudnal study involving six interviews over eighteen years, which, after being expanded to include a second family member, still included 85% of the original respondents. The article describes techniques designed to assist and motivate the interviewers to do an effective job and those utilized to make the interviewing process pleasant and rewarding for the respondents.

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