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Designing Questionnaires for Children and Young People. Alice Bell Families and Children Group National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) Royal College of Nursing Conference ‘Consulting with Children and Young People’ Friday 9th June 2006. Session outline.

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Designing questionnaires for children and young people l.jpg

Designing Questionnaires for Children and Young People

Alice Bell

Families and Children Group

National Centre for Social Research (NatCen)

Royal College of Nursing Conference

‘Consulting with Children and Young People’

Friday 9th June 2006


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Session outline

  • Quantitative and qualitative research

  • When to use questionnaires with children and young people

  • Designing questions for children and young people - the Question and Answer Model

  • Question testing techniques

  • Interactive quiz!


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Quantitative

Qualitative

Two types of research


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Quantitative

Fixed (questionnaires)

Qualitative

Flexible (e.g. topic guides)

Two types of research


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Quantitative

Fixed (questionnaires)

Incidence & prevalence

Qualitative

Flexible (e.g. topic guides)

Reasons & explanation

Two types of research


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Quantitative

Fixed (questionnaires)

Incidence & prevalence

Representative sample

Qualitative

Flexible (e.g. topic guides)

Reasons & explanation

Purposive sample

Two types of research


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Quantitative

Fixed (questionnaires)

Incidence & prevalence

Representative sample

Data ordered & numerical

Qualitative

Flexible (e.g. topic guides)

Reasons & explanation

Purposive sample

Data disorderly & rich

Two types of research


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Choosing an appropriate methodology (1)

  • Traditional leaning towards using qualitative techniques with children and young people

  • Quantitative research widely considered feasible from age 7…

  • …but age only a rough proxy for various aspects of ‘development’


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Choosing an appropriate methodology (2)

  • Be clear about your research questions

  • Identify your population

  • Consider time and budget

  • Quant and qual in combination?


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Range of quantitative options

  • Face-to-face interviewing (paper or computer-assisted)

  • Telephone interviewing (paper or computer-assisted)

  • Self-completion questionnaires (paper or computer-based - including online)


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Question-Answer Model

Comprehend

question

Respond

Retrieve

information

Judge

(Tourangeau 1984)


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Comprehension

  • Vocabulary

  • Question length

  • Ambiguity

  • Double-barrelled questions

  • Depersonalised/indirect questions

  • Complex constructions

  • Negative questions

  • Suggestively phrased questions


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Retrieval

  • Level of recall

  • Complexity of retrieval process

  • Reference periods


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Judgement

  • Filtering responses - social desirability

  • Context effects

  • ‘No right or wrong answers’

  • Sensitive questions and topics


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Response

  • Number of response categories

  • Ordering of response categories

  • Scales and labels

  • Explicit vs implicit ‘Don’t Know’s

  • Showcards


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Question testing

  • Sometimes called ‘cognitive testing’

  • Used to revise and refine questionnaire

  • In-depth interviews; retrospective probing and ‘think-aloud’ techniques

  • Other options: expert appraisal, focus groups, observation


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Question testing - example (1)

Do you have a personal computer (PC) at

home?

(Tick one box)

Yes

No


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Question testing - example (1) revised

Do you or your family have a computer at

home?

(Tick one box)

Yes

No


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Question testing - example (2)

How often, if ever, are you punished at

school e.g. detention, sent to see the

head teacher, sent out of the classroom?

Never

Rarely

Sometimes

Often


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Question testing - example (2) revised

In the last four weeks, how many times

have you been punished at school?

Never

Once or twice

Three or more times


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