Conference Programme 2015

Conference floor plans and map
Tuesday 14th July      Wednesday 15th July      Thursday 16th July      Friday 17th July     


Friday 17th July, 11:00 - 12:30 Room: L-103

Surveying children and young people 4

Convenor Miss Emily Gilbert (Centre for Longitudinal Studies, Institute of Education )
Coordinator 1Ms Lisa Calderwood (Centre for Longitudinal Studies, Institute of Education)

Session Details

Many large-scale surveys successfully collect a variety of different types of data from children and young people. However, there is relatively little methodological evidence in this area. Much of the literature relating to children and young people’s participation in research focuses on small-scale qualitative studies and tends to concentrate on ethical issues relating to the rights of children and young people in research. This session will cover experiences of including children and young people in surveys, and related survey design issues. The session aims to explore a variety of methodological issues around surveying children and young people. Submissions are particularly welcomed on:
- designing questionnaires for children and young people, including question testing methods
- collecting sensitive data from children and young people, including methods for ensuring privacy and encouraging accurate reporting
- collecting different types of data from children and young people, including physical measurements, cognitive assessments, biological samples and time use data
- using different methods of data collection, including the use of innovative technology such as the web and mobile phones
- inclusivity in data collection methods, including facilitating the participation of young people with lower literacy levels
- assessing the reliability and validity of young people’s self-reports
- preventing non-response by engaging young people in research, including designing survey materials to appeal to young people and using new technology and digital media for participant engagement
- ethical issues in involving children and young people in surveys, including gaining informed consent and protecting children’s rights and well-being

Paper Details

1. Survey Design and Results for the 2014 Child Development Supplement to the U.S. Panel Study of Income Dynamics
Professor Narayan Sastry (University of Michigan)
Dr Paula Fomby (University of Michigan)

The 2014 Child Development Supplement (CDS) to the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) is a major new nationally-representative survey of children in the U.S. CDS-2014 collects data on all children in PSID households. The study builds on, and contributes to, PSID’s genealogical panel design. We describe key design features of CDS-2014, which include revised questionnaires, time diaries, consent for linkage to administrative records, saliva samples, cognitive assessments, an interactive voice-response module for collecting sensitive data, and in-person visits for a subsample of households. We also provide the first set of fieldwork results.


2. Tweets, Branding and Swag: Engaging Teenagers in Research
Ms Emily Gilbert (Centre for Longitudinal Studies, UCL Institute of Education)
Ms Lisa Calderwood (Centre for Longitudinal Studies, UCL Institute of Education)
Ms Meghan Rainsberry (Centre for Longitudinal Studies, UCL Institute of Education)

Twenty-first century teenagers are a difficult group to engage in research. This is the challenge facing the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS).

At the sixth sweep of MCS study members will be 14-years old. This sweep may be the last at which parents are so heavily involved. Therefore, direct engagement with the young people will be crucial for retaining them in the study.

This paper described different strands of participant engagement research conducted before the survey and details how evidence from this work informed survey development and ongoing engagement. The findings provide insight into maximising engagement among this age



3. Using open-ended questions as a tool to inform the design of a survey of young people. The example of the YLT survey
Dr Dirk Schubotz (ARK, Queen's University Belfast)
Dr Martina Mcknight (ARK, Queen's University Belfast)

In this presentation we discuss how we have used open-ended questions in an annual postal survey of 16-year olds in Northern Ireland to give young people themselves a say in what topics should be covered in future surveys. We discuss how the suggestions and comments by young people have shaped the question wording and question content over the years, including the incorporation of issues that are regarded as sensitive. Using the example of time series questions on community relations, we also show how qualitative comments in a survey questionnaire can potentially be used to inform the survey design.