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Re-opening closed questions: respondents' elaborations on categorical answers in standardized interviews.
Madison, Wisconsin, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Center for Demography and Ecology,1993 Aug. 13 p. (CDE Working Paper No. 93-24)The participants in a survey interview draw on an interactional substrate of conversational skills and practices to achieve each answer, much as other pairs of interactants involved in standardized, formatted question-and-answer activities (Maynard and Marlaire, 1992). In most cases this process occurs smoothly, in a familiar sequence of "question-answer-(receipt)-entry of answer", or, if necessary, "question-answer-probe-answer-(receipt)-entry". The participants reach an accountable answer, the interviewer records it, and they move on to the next question. Arriving at an answer to one question is required for proceeding to the next one. The focus of this study is a phenomenon occurring at a particular point in that sequence. The cases presented here are examples of a respondent producing talk that is one of the offered answer choices for the question at hand, and then proceeding to engage in further talk after that answer. What kinds of actions are these, and more importantly, what consequences do they have for the collection of the data in the interview? (excerpt)
SOCIETY. 1997 Mar-Apr; 34(3):31-5.The author discusses the undercount problem and considers whether and how the U.S. census can compensate for data shortcomings. Various questions about data collection, data quality, political considerations, and public opinion are considered. (ANNOTATION)
Research policy and review 23. The view of academic social scientists on the 1991 U.K. Census of Population: a report of the Economic and Social Research Council Working Group.
ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING A. 1988 Jul; 20(7):851-89.This is a report on the survey conducted for the United Kingdom Census Office by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) concerning the 1991 census. "The primary task was to solicit views on the priority which [academic social scientists] attached to the proposed topics to be covered by the Census and to ascertain their views on the changes in question wording which are under consideration....Views were also sought on different methods for giving academics access to individual-level data from the 1991 Census." (EXCERPT)
[Methodological and organizational issues involved in the sample formation for surveys conducted simultaneously and after the 1985 population and housing census] Metodologichni i organizatsionni problemi pri formirane na izvadkite za reprezentativnite izsledvaniya, provedeni po vreme i sled obshchoto prebroyavane na naselenieto i zhilishchniya fond v NR Balgariya prez dekemvri 1985 godina.
NASELENIE. 1987; 5(3):62-7.The author discusses methodological and organizational issues concerning the sampling surveys conducted in conjunction with Bulgaria's 1985 census. These surveys were designed to enrich the data collected in the census and to assess public opinion on selected population-related issues. They covered topics such as fertility, migration, the labor force, towns and villages, and population health. (SUMMARY IN ENG AND RUS) (ANNOTATION)
DEMOGRAPHY. 1988 Feb; 25(1):145-54.The production of social statistics has been challenged in certain West European nations by the 'privacy issue'. Privacy advocates contend that computerized data files containing information about individuals endanger personal privacy and other civil liberties. The privacy issue has taken two forms: anti-census campaigns and data protection systems. Although those responsible for statistical data have traditionally safeguarded their records, they are often drawn into this issue. Increasingly, they have had to deal with the sociopolitical environment through legislative liaisons, lawyers, and advertising agencies. They have also had to revise data collection and processing procedures. In some situations, they have had to suspend censuses and surveys. (EXCERPT)
[Unpublished] 1986. Paper presented at the Population Association of America Annual Meeting, San Francisco, April 3-5, 1986. 28,  p.Based on 1980 census data, this paper examines the demographic characteristics of recent immigrants to Los Angeles, specifically focusing on Mexican immigration. In 1980, 1/4 of all foreign-born persons in the US lived in California. Results of a 1983 Urban Institute poll of public attitudes toward the impacts of immigration in southern California and the consequences of US immigration reform are also presented. Over 22% of Los Angeles County's total population was foreign-born in 1980. Public opinion shows that: 1) over 65% of all respondents predicted that the size of the undocumented population in southern California would increase over the next 5 to 10 years, 2) 75% thought that most undocumented immigrants would remain in southern California permanently, 3) 88% described the situation as very or somewhat serious, and 4) 70% felt the influx of illegal immigrants had a very or somewhat unfavorable effect on the state as a whole. Although the survey respondents were about evenly divided on whether illegal immigrants took jobs away from other residents, a 69% majority thought that undocumented workers tended to bring down wages in some occupations. Congress has responded to similar concerns throughout the US by proposing a comprehensive reform of US immigration laws. Results of the Urban Institute regression analysis find no significant relationship between black unemployment rates and the concentration of Hispanics. However, there is some evidence of wage depression attributable to immigrants. California's major challenge in the future will not be deciding how to provide for the economic integration of the millions of immigrants already in the state and the millions more to come, but rather learning how to absorb these immigrants into the mainstream of society.
Trends and patterns in the attitudes of the public toward legal abortion in the United States, 1972-1978.
Research in Nursing and Health. 1985 Sep; 8(3):219-225.The attitudes of the public toward legal abortion in the US were studied for the period 1972-78. Purposes of the study were to: 1) analyze the trends and patterns in attitudes toward legal abortion in that period; 2) assess the possible effect of selected demographic, socioeconomic, religious, and fertility variables on attitudes towards legal abortion; and 3) determine the relationship between attitudes toward abortion and attitudes toward selected related issues such as premarital sex, sex education in public schools, birth control for teens and for anyone who desires it, and woman's role in the home, business, and politics. The independent variables found to have an effect on attitude toward abortion were: age, sex, marital status, geographic region, size of place, education, occupational prestige, women's employment status, religious preference, denomination, strength of religious preference, frequence of attendance at religious services, number of siblings, number of children, number of children expected in the future, and ideal family size. The data were drawn from the General Social Surveys (GSS) conducted by the National Opinion Research Center each year between 1972-78. A total of 10,652 respondents completed the interviews. Attitudes toward abortion were derived from combining the responses to 6 items which required the respondents to indicate whether or not it should be possible for a pregnant woman to obtain a legal abortion. Using the Guttman scalogram analysis, responses to the abortion items were tested for scalability and were found to scale well. The single largest group of respondents approved for legal abortion for all of the 6 reasons mentioned and the next largest group approved it only for the hard reasons (woman's health, rape, and possible child deformity). Trends in attitudes toward legal abortion were analyzed by percentage distribution. 2 major shifts in trend were noted in the attitudes of the public toward legal abortion in the abovementioned period. In 1973, the percentage of approval rose considerably for each of the 6 reasons. In 1978, the 2nd shift occurred when the percentage of approval declined sharply for all but the reasons of woman's health and rape. Both shifts followed important judicial and congressional decisions made in the US with respect to the abortion issue. Generally speaking, younger, white, never-married respondents, and those who lived in the Pacific, Mid-Atlantic, and New England regions, and in the large central cities were slightly more favorable toward abortion than were their counterparts. Education proved to be the most important socioeconomic variable in explaining the variability of attitude toward abortion. Jews showed the most favorable attitude and Catholics the least favorable attitudes toward abortion. Those who came from small families, or who had small families themselves, or who favored small family size ideal were more favorable toward abortion than those connected to larger families. Significant positive associations were found between attitudes toward premarital sex, sex education in public schools, availability of birth control information for teens, woman's role in the home, business, and politics, and attitudes toward abortion. Variability in attitudes toward abortion among white adults in the US between 1972-78 was best explained by the frequency of attendance at religious services combined with the variables of education, family size ideal, attitude toward available of birth control information to teens, attitude toward sex education in public schools, and attitude toward women's role in the home, business, and politics. (author's modified)
In: Rice RE, Paisley WJ, ed. Public communication campaigns. Beverly Hills, California, Sage, 1981. 227-38.Formative research provides data and perspectives that can help to improve communication of public service messages. It is done in 2 phases: 1) a preproduction phase in which data are accumulated on audience characteristics that relate to the media, the message, and the situation in which the behavior will occur; and 2) production testing. Formative research can be conceived of as an area of potentially cumulative knowledge within the broader areas of applied communications research. An example of the role of formative research in the design of a combined television, radio, and print campaign which promotes improved health practices is the Children's Television Workshop's Health Minutes, a series of 50 60-second television programs on health with 25 30-second adaptations for radio and 5 each of illustrated booklets and posters. The target audience is lower and middle income urban dwellers with access to television. The programs were a result of seminars and a project newsletter. A formative research project was undertaken involving a review of related literature, an empirical survey, and field tests. The Health Minutes model established focused on 10 topics: 1) individual needs and values, 2) barriers to good health practices, 3) family members' involvement in health decisions, 4) prior improvements in lifestyle, 5) prior influence of television and radio, 6) subject matter explorations, 7) knowledge of symptoms, 8) health lexicon, 9) inventory of household medications, and 10) parents' perceptions of themselves as child trainers. The 2nd phase focused on 6 audience characteristics: comprehension, credibility, identification, relevance, do-ability and intention. Formative research involves hunch-making and hypothesis-generation although there is a certain discipline involved as well; most importantly it brings the responses of the intended audience into the presentational design process.
New York, Harper and Brothers, 1950. 624 p.The author attempts to bring together the current procedures used by population surveyors in such fields as marketing, political opinion polling, government census, and radio audience measurement, as well as in the more academic attempts to evaluate populations by questionnaires. The historical background and current practices of population surveying, polling and sampling are presented, covering the following areas: 1) social surveys and polls in the US, 2) planning the survey, 3) methods of securing information, 4) the role of sampling, 5) organization and personnel of the survey, 6) construction of the schedule or questionnaire, 7) types of sampling, 8) procedures for drawing samples, 9) sample sizes, 10) interview procedures, 11) mail questionnaire procedures, 12) sources of bias, 13) editing the schedule data, 14) coding the data, 15) data tabulation, 16) data and sample evaluation, and 17) preparation and publication of the report.
In: Godwin, R., ed. Comparative policy analysis: the study of population determinants in developing countries. Lexington, Massachusetts, D.C. Heath, 1975. p. 157-172During the past 20 years, which have been a period of change in the acceptance of fertility control, a number of public opinion surveys were conducted in many countries. While these studies were often limited by the methodology used, they may still be viewed as historical documents that are indicative of general social conditions, which may in turn be represented as a set of abstract variables. The techniques of scale analysis, multivariate analysis, and clustering are the tools appropriat e for this task; rank order of size or approximate order of magnitude is the result to be achieved. An example is given using 2 sets of multinational surveys, one by USIA and the other by CELADE.
Bangkok, Ministry of Public Health, National Family Planning Programme, Thai Population Clearing-House-Documentation Centre, 1983 Jan. 101 p. (ASEAN/Australian Project No. 3: Developing/Strengthening National Population Information Ststems and Networks in ASEAN Countries)To study the flow of population information from the producers to the users in Thailand and to evaluate the use of population information by the user groups, users were divided into 3 groups--policy makers and acamedicians, program implementors, and the general public. Data were collected by mail questionnaire. Among the policy makers and the academicians, basic demographic data were the most utilized. Academicians indicated that data on population and family planning were consistent with their needs. Considering usefulness of the data for their work, data on family planning policy and birth control were the most useful for makers while basic demographic data were the most useful for academicians. Data on urbanization, law, and population policy of other countries seemed to be the least utilized and the least useful. The policy makers did not receive enough information on: population and social and economic development, production and consumption of agricultural products, population education, and law and population policy of Thailand. The academicians did not receive enough information on almost all 13 topics except information about population policy and birth control, services, and administration. Both groups indicated that the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) was the major source of the data they received. The policy implementors dealt with documents and printing materials in family planning and indicated that the "Journal of Family Health", format was suitable. Regarding the programmed manual or lessons in family planning, the implementors indicated that they were interesting and consistent with their needs. Regarding the kit, the folder, sampling of contraceptive devices, and the model of the uterus were the most utilized materials. The implementors indicated that folders on 6 types of contraceptive methods were useful and adequate for their work. The study directed to the general public dealt with information in family planning disseminated through radio and posters. 2 types of programs were transmitted the radio: song supplemented with information on family planning and drama supplemented with information. The public indicated that the 1st type was a good and interesting program. The respondents evaluated the drama program as good. The majority of the respondents had seen the posters about family planning and indicated a fair amount of interest in them.