A Comparison of Three Online Recruitment Strategies for Engaging Parents

Jodi Dworkin, Heather Hessel, Kate Gliske, Jessica H Rudi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Family scientists can face the challenge of effectively and efficiently recruiting normative samples of parents and families. Utilizing the Internet to recruit parents is a strategic way to find participants where they already are, enabling researchers to overcome many of the barriers to in-person recruitment. The present study was designed to compare three online recruitment strategies for recruiting parents: e-mail Listservs, Facebook, and Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk). Analyses revealed differences in the effectiveness and efficiency of data collection. In particular, MTurk resulted in the most demographically diverse sample, in a short period of time, with little cost. Listservs reached a large number of participants and resulted in a comparatively homogeneous sample. Facebook was not successful in recruiting a general sample of parents. Findings provide information that can help family researchers and practitioners be intentional about recruitment strategies and study design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)550-561
Number of pages12
JournalFamily relations
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016


  • Data collection
  • Facebook
  • MTurk
  • online recruitment
  • parenting


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