Contemporary Challenges in School Recruitment for Criminological Survey Research: Lessons From the International Self-Report Delinquency Study in England, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United States

Renske S. van der Gaag*, Lauren Herlitz, Mike Hough

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Several multiwave cross-national surveys have experienced drops in school participation for youth health and risk behavior (HRB) surveys in Western European countries. This article considers explanations for the challenge in recruiting schools for surveys in England, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United States and the most important lessons learned during school recruitment for the third wave of the International Self-Report Delinquency Study in these four countries. Comparing school response rates for international academic surveys with those focused on HRB, schools have been increasingly less likely to participate in HRB surveys over the past two decades. However, considerable variation within and across surveys and countries suggests there are numerous influences on school recruitment, and there may be facilitators on which researchers could capitalize. We conclude that when planning future school-based HRB surveys, researchers should consider multiple strategies to engage schools from the outset, tailored to regional and national settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)386-409
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Contemporary Criminal Justice
Volume35
Issue number4
Early online date3 Sept 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019

Funding

van der Gaag Renske S. 1 2 Herlitz Lauren 3 4 Hough Mike 5 1 Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands 2 Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands 3 London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK 4 University of East London, UK 5 Birkbeck, University of London, UK Renske S. van der Gaag, Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Faculty of Social Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam 1081 HV, The Netherlands. Email: r.s.vander.gaag@vu.nl 8 2019 1043986219870940 © The Author(s) 2019 2019 SAGE Publications Several multiwave cross-national surveys have experienced drops in school participation for youth health and risk behavior (HRB) surveys in Western European countries. This article considers explanations for the challenge in recruiting schools for surveys in England, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United States and the most important lessons learned during school recruitment for the third wave of the International Self-Report Delinquency Study in these four countries. Comparing school response rates for international academic surveys with those focused on HRB, schools have been increasingly less likely to participate in HRB surveys over the past two decades. However, considerable variation within and across surveys and countries suggests there are numerous influences on school recruitment, and there may be facilitators on which researchers could capitalize. We conclude that when planning future school-based HRB surveys, researchers should consider multiple strategies to engage schools from the outset, tailored to regional and national settings. school recruitment cross-national research youth health youth risk behavior school response rates nederlandse organisatie voor wetenschappelijk onderzoek https://doi.org/10.13039/501100003246 NWO 464-13-115 economic and social research council https://doi.org/10.13039/501100000269 ES/L016656/1 edited-state corrected-proof We would like to thank Diego Farren and Katharina Neissl for providing technical reports, contact logs and other relevant information respectively for Germany and the US, and for their contribution to early drafts. We would also like to thank the reviewers and guest editors for their helpful comments. Authors’ Note All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced by print, photocopy, or any other means without the written permission of the authors. Declaration of Conflicting Interests The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article. Funding The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This paper was conceived from cross-country discussions that took place during the implementation of the International Self-Report Delinquence study (ISRD3) and draws on documentation from the research process. ISRD3 was funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO 464-13-115) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ES/L016656/1) under an Open Research Area grant.

FundersFunder number
Economic and Social Research CouncilES/L016656/1
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek464-13-115

    Keywords

    • cross-national research
    • school recruitment
    • school response rates
    • youth health
    • youth risk behavior

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