How important are interview methods and questionnaire designs in research on self-reported juvenile delinquency ? An experimental comparison of internet vs. paper-and-pencil questionnaires and different definitions of the reference period

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It was possible to publish this article open access thanks to a Swiss National Licence with the publisher.
Serval ID
serval:BIB_CCABA53E0F5A
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
Collection
Publications
Institution
Title
How important are interview methods and questionnaire designs in research on self-reported juvenile delinquency ? An experimental comparison of internet vs. paper-and-pencil questionnaires and different definitions of the reference period
Journal
Journal of Experimental Criminology
Author(s)
Lucia Sonia, Herrmann Leslie, Killias Martin
ISSN
1573-3750
Publication state
Published
Issued date
2007
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Volume
3
Number
1
Pages
39-64
Language
english
Abstract
There has been relatively little change over recent decades in the methods used in research on self-reported delinquency. Face-to-face interviews and selfadministered interviews in the classroom are still the predominant alternatives envisaged. New methods have been brought into the picture by recent computer technology, the Internet, and an increasing availability of computer equipment and Internet access in schools. In the autumn of 2004, a controlled experiment was conducted with 1,203 students in Lausanne (Switzerland), where "paper-and-pencil" questionnaires were compared with computer-assisted interviews through the Internet. The experiment included a test of two different definitions of the (same) reference period. After the introductory question ("Did you ever..."), students were asked how many times they had done it (or experienced it), if ever, "over the last 12 months" or "since the October 2003 vacation". Few significant differences were found between the results obtained by the two methods and for the two definitions of the reference period, in the answers concerning victimisation, self-reported delinquency, drug use, failure to respond (missing data). Students were found to be more motivated to respond through the Internet, take less time for filling out the questionnaire, and were apparently more confident of privacy, while the school principals were less reluctant to allow classes to be interviewed through the Internet. The Internet method also involves considerable cost reductions, which is a critical advantage if self-reported delinquency surveys are to become a routinely applied method of evaluation, particularly so in countries with limited resources. On balance, the Internet may be instrumental in making research on self-reported delinquency far more feasible in situations where limited resources so far have prevented its implementation.
Keywords
CAWI, self-reported juvenile delinquency, time reference period
Open Access
Yes
Create date
06/10/2009 11:13
Last modification date
01/10/2019 7:19
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