Gaining Consent to Survey Respondents’ Partners: The Importance of Anchors’ Survey Experience in Self-administered Modes
Keywords:consent, dyadic survey, panel survey, survey experience, self-administered modes
Dyadic surveys aim to interview pairs of respondents, such as partners in a relationship. In dyadic surveys, it is often necessary to obtain the anchors’ consent to contact their partners and invite them to a survey. If the survey is operated in self-administered modes, no interviewer is present to improve the consent rate, for example, by providing convincing arguments and additional information. To overcome the challenges posed by self-administered modes for dyadic surveys and to improve consent rates, it is important to identify aspects that positively influence the likelihood of anchors giving consent to contact their partners. Ideally, these aspects are in the hands of the researchers, such as the survey design and aspects of the questionnaire. Thus, in this study, we analyzed the relationship between anchors’ survey experience and their willingness to consent to surveying their partners in self-administered modes. Based on data from the German Family Demography Panel Study (FReDA), we found that the anchors’ perceptions of the questionnaire as “interesting” or “too personal” were related to consent rates. These relationships were consistent across different survey modes and devices. Effects of other aspects of the questionnaire, such as “important for science” and “diverse” varied between modes and devices. We concluded with practical recommendations for survey research and an outlook for future research.
* This article belongs to a special issue on “Family Research and Demographic Analysis – New Insights from the German Family Demography Panel Study (FReDA)”.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Tobias Gummer, Pablo Christmann, Tanja Kunz
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