ESRA 2019 Programme at a Glance


Surveying Children and Young People 4

Session Organisers Ms Kate Smith (Centre for Longitudinal Studies, UCL Institute of Education, London )
Dr Emily Gilbert (Centre for Longitudinal Studies, UCL Institute of Education, London )
TimeThursday 18th July, 16:00 - 17:30
Room D18

Many large-scale surveys successfully collect a variety of distinct types of data from children and young people (up to the age of 25). 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 the challenges and experiences of including children and young people in surveys as they move from childhood to adulthood, and related survey design issues. A major challenge when interviewing teenagers is that while children’s participation in surveys is often mediated by and involves their parents, teenagers and young people make autonomous decisions, bringing challenges particularly in terms of engagement. The session aims to explore a variety of methodological issues around surveying young people. Submissions are particularly welcomed on:
- designing questionnaires for children and young people, including question testing methods
- collecting data on sensitive topics from young people, including methods for ensuring privacy and encouraging accurate reporting
- collecting different types of data from children and young people including physical measurements and cognitive assessments
- 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 children and young people with lower literacy levels
- assessing the reliability and validity of children and 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
- the challenges of retaining young people’s contact and interest in surveys over time
- ethical issues in involving children and young people in surveys, including gaining informed consent and protecting young people’s rights and well-being

Keywords: Children, young people, surveys

A Social Desired Response Behaviour of 12-Year-Olds? A Comparison of the Parents’ and Child´s Self-Perspectives on the Social Behaviour of 12-Year-Olds

Ms Carina Schönmoser (Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories) - Presenting Author

Youth at the age of 12 years are entering a critical life stage, which makes it important to keep a watch on their social and emotional behaviour. But can researchers rely on the youth self-assessment? To obtain the most comprehensive impression of peoples’ social behaviour, researchers refer to a multi-informant-perspective (self- or external assessments), because different informants tend to vary in their evaluation of the same behaviour. The aim of this study is to investigate whether there are systematic differences between the youth self-assessment and the parent assessment of social behaviour considering several sociodemographic indicators (e.g., the child’s gender, the parents’ education and socio-economic status (SES), the number of child’s siblings). Using the data from the German National Educational Panel Study (NEPS) and running multi-level models, this study analyses the parent evaluation and the youth self-evaluation of 2905 12-year-olds’ prosocial behaviour and peer relationship problems while controlling for sociodemographic characteristics.
The results show that parents assess their children as more prosocial and less problematic than the youth themselves. Both assessments correlate with the above-mentioned sociodemographic indicators but with different intensity. This means that youth base the evaluation of their social competence on other factors than parents: The results seem to demonstrate that children at the age of 12 try to meet the expectations of their parents or their social environment, which are,- in turn, linked to the social class- and gender-differences in the German society. Parents at the other side assess their children’s peer relationship problems differently as soon as they have more than one child in the household.


Comparison Between Children’s and Parents’ Educational Aspirations Based on Longitudinal Dyadic Data

Dr Hiroko Osaki (University of Tokyo) - Presenting Author

This paper aims to assess children’s self-reported educational aspirations (or educational status they want to achieve). The educational aspiration of the student in junior high school or high school is considered as a determinant of one’s socioeconomic status in one’s future. To precisely analyze the effect of students’ educational aspirations, we need to measure students’ attitudes as their autonomous decisions. However, students’ responses in surveys might reflect not their autonomous aspirations for their educational attainment but their parents’ aspirations for it, because surveying children often involves their parents.
Therefore, this paper will investigate how children’s responses of educational aspirations in surveys are affected by their parents, using longitudinal dyadic data called Japanese Longitudinal Study of Children and Parents, wave 1-4 (2015-18), conducted by the Benesse Educational Research and Development Institute and the University of Tokyo. The respondents were students of elementary school to high school and their parents. The number of monitored pairs was about 21,000.
We will make analyses as follows. First, we will examine how students’ educational aspirations are stable or shifting in the advance of students’ grade by longitudinal comparisons. Second, we will investigate how students’ aspirations are consistent with their parents’ aspirations, and in which grades the consistency tends to occur. Based on these analyses, we will discuss the influence of parents’ mind on students’ response for educational aspirations as the autonomous decision.


Reconstructing the Child’s Life: The Triangulation of Data from Parents, Children and Social Workers

Dr Ksenia Eritsyan (National Research University Higher School of Economics) - Presenting Author
Dr Maia Rusakova (The Sociological Institute of the RAS – Branch of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences; Saint-Petersburg State University)
Dr Veronika Odinokova (The Sociological Institute of the RAS – Branch of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences; NGO )
Mrs Alexandra Lyubimova (The Sociological Institute of the RAS – Branch of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences; NGO )

The surveying children raise number of methodological and ethical concerns. Among methodological concerns there are ones related to child’s cognitive development, ability to fully reconstruct some factual information and casual relationship which might lead to the data trustworthiness concerns. Therefore, accumulating information from the several sources including adults who are well aware of the child’s life might be considered as one of the potentially effective solutions.
In the project "Social trajectories of childhood in contemporary Russia” we were focused on the children and young people who are in close connection with social protection system due so some unfavorable life conditions. A total of 90 cases of children aged 10-17 years consisted of extensive quantitative and qualitative data from the three sources (children, their parents or caregivers and social workers) focused on child’s personal story and well-being were triangulated.
The identified challenges of triangulation included huge differences in the factual information about child’s life received from the three sources; interpretation of the life events origins and importance of those for child’s life trajectory as well as evaluation of child’s wellbeing. For all types of informants the social desirability bias was identified however the different types of data was vulnerable to it. The level of adults’ knowledge of child’s personal life dependent on both the level of trust and involvement in the child’s life. The child often missed in their narrative important details about family life and sometimes made significant errors in chronology.
Our experience showed that information about child’s life received from just one source might be significantly flawed and none of the mentioned sources might be considered as preferable one in terms of identify objective life events of the child. Despite being methodologically and organizationally challenging using several sources of data might give unique picture of children’s life.


Relationships Between Household Members: Parent-Reported Versus Young Person-Reported Information

Ms Vilma Agalioti-Sgompou (Centre for Longitudinal Studies, UCL) - Presenting Author

The cohort members of the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) have reached the age of 17 and in Sweep 7 (2018) they are becoming the primary respondents instead of their parents. The household relationships grid consists of questions about the relationships between the members of the household and until Sweep 6 it was answered only by the parents. Sweep 7 of MCS is the first time that the cohort members (17 y.o.) had the option to answer the household relationships questionnaire instead of their parents. This talk will present findings on response differences between parent-reported and young person-reported household relationships questionnaires. More specifically, it compares data collected in families where the parent answered the household questionnaire compared to families where the questionnaire was answred by the cohort member (young person). Moreover, results of longitudinal analysis are presented: the comparison between household relationships collected in Sweep 7 (2018) and the information collected in Sweep 6 (2015, when the questionnaires were answered by the parents only).