Data Collection on Sensitive Topics with Adolescents Using Interactive Voice Response Technology

Paula Fomby, Narayan Sastry


We describe the development and implementation of a survey administered using interactivevoice response (IVR) technology to collect information on sensitive topics in a USnational sample of adolescents age 12-17. Respondents were participants in the Panel Study of Income Dynamics 2014 Child Development Supplement (N=1,098). We review questionnaire design, fieldwork protocols, data quality and completeness, and respondent burden. We find that in the context of research on sensitive topics with adolescents, IVR is a cost-efficient and flexible method of data collection that yields high survey response rates and low item nonresponse rates with distributions on key variables that are comparable to other national studies.


interactive voice response; adolescents; sensitive topics; social desirability bias

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Copyright (c) 2018 Paula Fomby, Narayan Sastry

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