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ERIC Number: ED409326
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Mar-27
Pages: 10
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Effects of Active Parental Consent on Response Rates for a Statewide Secondary School Substance Use Survey and Relationships with School Level Measures of Student Ethnicity, Poverty and Educational Advancement.
Skager, Rodney; Austin, Gregory
Legislative mandates in California and at the federal level require written parental consent for surveys of children and youth on: sexual behavior and attitudes; illegal, antisocial and criminal behavior; and psychological problems. Active parental refusal and nonresponse to requests for permission threaten the generalizability of information obtained in large-scale population surveys. The California Student Substance Use Survey, administered biennially since 1985, initiated an active consent policy for the most recent (1995-96) survey. Thirty-eight percent of the intended sample was lost as a result of the consent requirement--6% due to denial of permission and 32% due to failure to return consent forms. School level student data revealed that parental response rates correlated significantly and negatively with measures of poverty (percent on Assistance to Families with Dependent Children and percent on school food programs) and positively with measures of educational advancement (percent of seniors graduating and percent taking college preparatory courses), as well as with percent Asian students. The feasibility of proposed tactics for increasing response rate is explored, and these tactics are dismissed as impractical for large-scale surveys. The tendency of media and interested parties to ignore qualifications by researchers about the generalizability to the intended population of samples based on actual parental consent is noted. (Contains three tables and eight references.) (Author/SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California