The Impact of Respondent-Interviewer Familiarity and Repeated Survey Participation on Abortion Reporting

Evidence from Rajasthan, India

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

CONTEXT: Researchers have long assumed that familiarity between an interviewer and a survey participant reduces the validity of responses, especially for such sensitive behaviors as abortion. However, little empirical evidence exists on this issue. METHODS: Data on 6,041 women aged 15-49 and 133 interviewers who took part in the second (2017) round of the Performance Monitoring and Accountability 2020 survey in Rajasthan, India, were used to examine the effect of interviewer-respondent acquaintance and participation in the prior survey round on women's reporting of induced abortion. Associations were identified using multivariate, multilevel models that adjusted for respondent, interviewer and community characteristics, and that included interviewer random effects. RESULTS: On average, interviewers completed interviews with 41 respondents from their assigned cluster; they reported that they were acquainted with 61% of respondents and that 13% of respondents had participated in the prior survey round. Four percent of women reported having had an abortion. Neither interviewer-respondent acquaintance nor participation in the previous survey round was associated with abortion reporting in any of the multivariate models or in additional sensitivity analyses. CONCLUSIONS: The findings do not support the hypothesis that respondent familiarity with the interviewer or the survey process is associated with lower reporting of sensitive behaviors, like abortion. Future studies should further explore these and other design features to identify those that provide statistically significant improvements in the reporting of abortion and other sensitive behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-156
Number of pages10
JournalInternational perspectives on sexual and reproductive health
Volume44
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

Fingerprint

familiarity
abortion
India
Interviews
participation
interview
evidence
Epidemiologic Effect Modifiers
accountability
Recognition (Psychology)
Surveys and Questionnaires
performance monitoring
Induced Abortion
monitoring
Social Responsibility
woman
responsibility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

@article{399e7c1441ca42b9af17cb941d8387b3,
title = "The Impact of Respondent-Interviewer Familiarity and Repeated Survey Participation on Abortion Reporting: Evidence from Rajasthan, India",
abstract = "CONTEXT: Researchers have long assumed that familiarity between an interviewer and a survey participant reduces the validity of responses, especially for such sensitive behaviors as abortion. However, little empirical evidence exists on this issue. METHODS: Data on 6,041 women aged 15-49 and 133 interviewers who took part in the second (2017) round of the Performance Monitoring and Accountability 2020 survey in Rajasthan, India, were used to examine the effect of interviewer-respondent acquaintance and participation in the prior survey round on women's reporting of induced abortion. Associations were identified using multivariate, multilevel models that adjusted for respondent, interviewer and community characteristics, and that included interviewer random effects. RESULTS: On average, interviewers completed interviews with 41 respondents from their assigned cluster; they reported that they were acquainted with 61{\%} of respondents and that 13{\%} of respondents had participated in the prior survey round. Four percent of women reported having had an abortion. Neither interviewer-respondent acquaintance nor participation in the previous survey round was associated with abortion reporting in any of the multivariate models or in additional sensitivity analyses. CONCLUSIONS: The findings do not support the hypothesis that respondent familiarity with the interviewer or the survey process is associated with lower reporting of sensitive behaviors, like abortion. Future studies should further explore these and other design features to identify those that provide statistically significant improvements in the reporting of abortion and other sensitive behaviors.",
author = "Suzanne Bell and Bishai, {David M}",
year = "2018",
month = "12",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1363/44e7018",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "44",
pages = "147--156",
journal = "International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health",
issn = "1944-0391",
publisher = "Alan Guttmacher Institute",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The Impact of Respondent-Interviewer Familiarity and Repeated Survey Participation on Abortion Reporting

T2 - Evidence from Rajasthan, India

AU - Bell, Suzanne

AU - Bishai, David M

PY - 2018/12/1

Y1 - 2018/12/1

N2 - CONTEXT: Researchers have long assumed that familiarity between an interviewer and a survey participant reduces the validity of responses, especially for such sensitive behaviors as abortion. However, little empirical evidence exists on this issue. METHODS: Data on 6,041 women aged 15-49 and 133 interviewers who took part in the second (2017) round of the Performance Monitoring and Accountability 2020 survey in Rajasthan, India, were used to examine the effect of interviewer-respondent acquaintance and participation in the prior survey round on women's reporting of induced abortion. Associations were identified using multivariate, multilevel models that adjusted for respondent, interviewer and community characteristics, and that included interviewer random effects. RESULTS: On average, interviewers completed interviews with 41 respondents from their assigned cluster; they reported that they were acquainted with 61% of respondents and that 13% of respondents had participated in the prior survey round. Four percent of women reported having had an abortion. Neither interviewer-respondent acquaintance nor participation in the previous survey round was associated with abortion reporting in any of the multivariate models or in additional sensitivity analyses. CONCLUSIONS: The findings do not support the hypothesis that respondent familiarity with the interviewer or the survey process is associated with lower reporting of sensitive behaviors, like abortion. Future studies should further explore these and other design features to identify those that provide statistically significant improvements in the reporting of abortion and other sensitive behaviors.

AB - CONTEXT: Researchers have long assumed that familiarity between an interviewer and a survey participant reduces the validity of responses, especially for such sensitive behaviors as abortion. However, little empirical evidence exists on this issue. METHODS: Data on 6,041 women aged 15-49 and 133 interviewers who took part in the second (2017) round of the Performance Monitoring and Accountability 2020 survey in Rajasthan, India, were used to examine the effect of interviewer-respondent acquaintance and participation in the prior survey round on women's reporting of induced abortion. Associations were identified using multivariate, multilevel models that adjusted for respondent, interviewer and community characteristics, and that included interviewer random effects. RESULTS: On average, interviewers completed interviews with 41 respondents from their assigned cluster; they reported that they were acquainted with 61% of respondents and that 13% of respondents had participated in the prior survey round. Four percent of women reported having had an abortion. Neither interviewer-respondent acquaintance nor participation in the previous survey round was associated with abortion reporting in any of the multivariate models or in additional sensitivity analyses. CONCLUSIONS: The findings do not support the hypothesis that respondent familiarity with the interviewer or the survey process is associated with lower reporting of sensitive behaviors, like abortion. Future studies should further explore these and other design features to identify those that provide statistically significant improvements in the reporting of abortion and other sensitive behaviors.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85071062619&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85071062619&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1363/44e7018

DO - 10.1363/44e7018

M3 - Article

VL - 44

SP - 147

EP - 156

JO - International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health

JF - International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health

SN - 1944-0391

IS - 4

ER -