An Evaluation of Respondent Selection Methods for Household Mail Surveys

Posted: 18 Aug 2009

See all articles by Michael P. Battaglia

Michael P. Battaglia

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Michael Link

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Martin Frankel

Baruch College, CUNY

Larry Osborn

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Ali H. Mokdad

University of Washington

Date Written: Fall 2008

Abstract

Mail surveys are a staple of the survey industry; however, they are rarely used in surveys of the general population. The problem is twofold: (1) lack of a complete sampling frame of households and (2) difficulties with ensuring random selection of a respondent within the household. However, advances in electronic record keeping, such as the U.S. Postal Service Delivery Sequence File, now make it possible to sample from a frame of residential addresses. Unfortunately, less is known about the effectiveness of within-household selection techniques for household mail surveys. A six-state pilot study was conducted as part of the 2005 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System using the Delivery Sequence File to sample addresses for a mail survey. The pilot study tested three respondent selection methods: any adult, adult with the next birthday, and all adults. The next-birthday and all-adults methods yielded household-level response rates that were comparable to the any-adult method, the method assumed to have the least respondent burden. At the respondent level, however, the response rate for the all-adults method was lower when we accounted for within-household nonresponse.

Suggested Citation

Battaglia, Michael P. and Link, Michael and Frankel, Martin and Osborn, Larry and Mokdad, Ali H., An Evaluation of Respondent Selection Methods for Household Mail Surveys (Fall 2008). Public Opinion Quarterly, Vol. 72, Issue 3, pp. 459-469, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1455034 or http://dx.doi.org/nfn026

Michael P. Battaglia (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Michael Link

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Martin Frankel

Baruch College, CUNY ( email )

17 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10010
United States

Larry Osborn

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Ali H. Mokdad

University of Washington ( email )

Seattle, WA 98195
United States

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