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|Longitudinal Study:||LSAC||Title:||Engaging adolescents and minimising attrition in longitudinal studies||Authors:||Harvey, J||Publication Date:||19-Jul-2011||Keywords:||attrition
|Abstract:||For longitudinal developmental studies, the issue of respondent attrition is a continuous challenge that needs to be addressed. Data capturing the lifespan is sought and therefore respondent engagement from infancy to adulthood is most desirable. However particular developmental stages, such as the transition from childhood to adolescence, can present critical points of respondent engagement within these studies. Not only is this transition from childhood to adolescence a time of significant developmental changes but it also marks the point in many longitudinal studies where the main respondent shifts from the parent to the adolescent.To ensure ongoing respondent engagement, it is essential that this shift be managed using a sensitive and informed approach to the study design and methodology. This paper reports the findings from the respondent discussion groups that were conducted for the wave 5 development of LSAC. Participants were recruited from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) dress rehearsal sample, the general population and schools in the Melbourne metropolitan region. Forty-one children aged 11 to 13 years, 40 parents and 9 teachers shared their views and experiences during discussions guided by a facilitator. Key findings indicated that the discussion groups presented a significant opportunity to ‘touch base’ 119 with the LSAC target populations for Wave 5. In broad terms, much of the content already developed for Wave 5 was raised as being important during the discussion groups with 12 to 13 year olds and their parents for example, the transition to secondary school, substance use, puberty, sexuality, antisocial behaviours, bullying, body image and friendships.The discussions also suggested the importance of assessing this age group’s use of media and technology for social networking, given the current significance of these tools for connecting with friends and enhancing not only belongingness and identity but also peer influence. In summary, some of the information provided indicated that the direction and development of Wave 5 content and methodology is appropriate, whereas other reporting suggested that further work is required well before the Dress Rehearsal to ensure that the information that is collected taps additional key relevant issues and is ‘pitched’ at the appropriate developmental stage. The outcomes of this qualitative research highlighted the challenges that longitudinal research faces. Consultation with respondents is essential to ensuring that the research design and methodologies employed translate into an enjoyable, meaningful and engaging experience for participants of all ages, which in turn reduces attrition in longitudinal studies.||Conference:||AHDA Conference||Conference location:||Dunedin, New Zealand||Keywords:||Surveys and Survey Methodology -- Survey response; Surveys and Survey Methodology||Research collection:||Conference Papers|
|Appears in Collections:||Conference Papers|
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