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ERIC Number: ED346389
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992
Pages: 34
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Mail Survey Research in Counseling Psychology: Current Practice and Suggested Guidelines.
Weathers, Pamela L.; And Others
A review of the literature identified factors and methods that affect survey response rates. A set of procedures was identified as having varying degrees of positive impact on return rates to mail questionnaires (e.g., prenotification, personalization of the cover letter, inclusion of university sponsorship of the research, i.e., letterhead, and inclusion of the date when the actual questionnaire would be mailed). A worksheet was developed to summarize and critique the specific research methods employed by investigators conducting mail surveys as reported in the Journal of Counseling Psychology (JCP) from January 1980 through December 1989. Forty studies using mail survey procedures were identified. Each of the articles was reviewed to gather detailed information about specific procedures used in the study. To better understand how researchers actually conducted their studies, a questionnaire was developed to ascertain if (and how) various survey design procedures were used. Thirty-one authors, representing 34 JCP studies, completed surveys for a response rate of 85%. Only two of these studies referred to mail survey methodological literature to support design considerations. Counseling researchers appear to rely upon professional custom, not empirical research, when designing mail surveys and this circumstance makes these studies vulnerable to internal and external validity criticisms. The results of this study indicate that counseling researchers need to continue to incorporate empirically-based mail survey methods into studies, thereby enhancing the internal and external validity of their studies. (ABL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A