ACSPRI Conferences, RC33 Eighth International Conference on Social Science Methodology

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The Time of Their Lives - Collecting time use data from children in the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC).

Joanne Corey, Jennifer Ann Gallagher, Elisabeth Davis

Building: Law Building
Room: Breakout 10 - Law Building, Room 105
Date: 2012-07-11 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Last modified: 2012-06-04


As the children in our study have grown and changed, so have the methods we use to collect the dta. We change our methods of collection for a number of reasons, including to promote engagement, to increase response rates and data quality, to keep up-to-date with technology, and to decrease processing time.
In Wave 1-3 of LSAC, two 24 hours paper time use diaries were left with parents to complete. Over time, the proportion of families returning completed diaries has declined significantly, and the Interviewers reported respondent fatigue with this component of the study. In Wave 4, a paper diary was developed for the older cohort (10-11 years at that time). Prior to the interview, the child was sent a 4 page paper diary, together with an explanatory letter, clock pen, and food/drink stickers to assist them in completing the diary. During the home visit, the Interviewer went through the completed diary with the child, entering the information into an electronic instrument and asking additional prompts of the child where necessary. This methodology has been improved and will be utilised for Waves 5 and 6.
This paper describes the development proceess, and covers the key results incuding response rates, details of diary completion level with a particular focus of the crucial role of the Interviewer in increasing the quality of the data collected and engaging the respondent.