Ethnic minorities and non-response: Evidence from the Millennium Cohort and lessons for Understanding SocietyISER Internal Seminars

h4. Design decision on Understanding Society: Interviewing in a language other than English (presented Jonathan Burton)


This presentation briefly reviews the procedures used in sample surveys in the UK to interview sample members who speak a language other than English. This review informs the decisions over (i) what languages should Understanding Society cater for and (ii) the process by which the survey is translated.

h4. Ethnic minorities and non-response in the Millennium Cohort Study (presented by Shirley Dex)


Attrition is one of the perennial worries in conducting prospective longitudinal surveys. Knowledge has advanced over time about the characteristics of those respondents who are more or less likely to continue to participate. In relation to ethnicity, a number of US longitudinal studies have shown that black respondents usually suffer higher attrition rates than white respondents (NLSY, SIPP, PSID), but if in addition they are young black men, the rates are dangerously high and threaten to make
analyses of this group unviable. Less is known about survey non-response for minority ethnic groups in the UK and especially about attrition for specific minorities in longitudinal surveys.

Analyses of non-response helps to uncover biases in longitudinal data, and can provide the necessary information to produce non-response weights, but potentially can also offer advice on future fieldwork strategies that are likely to help to minimise attrition. There is the notable case of the National Longitudinal Study of
Youth (NLSY) where analyses of non-response changed the follow up rules for longitudinal survey participants (Olsen, 2005). This paper sets out to analyse the non-response of mothers who took part in Sweep 1 of the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) focussing in particular on differences in response by ethnicity. The main aim is to learn lessons that may help future field work practice for longitudinal studies including significant minority ethnic samples.

Presented by:

Jonathan Burton (ISER), Shirley Dex (Centre for Longitudinal Studies, Institute of Education)

Date & time:

29 Apr 2009 12:00 pm - 29 Apr 2009 13:00 pm

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