Focus on Methodology: Beyond paper and pencil: Conducting computer-assisted data collection with adolescents in group settings

Marcela Raffaelli, Jessica Armstrong, Steve P. Tran, Aisha N. Griffith, Kate Walker, Vanessa Gutierrez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Computer-assisted data collection offers advantages over traditional paper and pencil measures; however, little guidance is available regarding the logistics of conducting computer-assisted data collection with adolescents in group settings. To address this gap, we draw on our experiences conducting a multi-site longitudinal study of adolescent development. Structured questionnaires programmed on laptop computers using Audio Computer Assisted Self-Interviewing (ACASI) were administered to groups of adolescents in community-based and afterschool programs. Although implementing ACASI required additional work before entering the field, we benefited from reduced data processing time, high data quality, and high levels of youth motivation. Preliminary findings from an ethnically diverse sample of 265 youth indicate favorable perceptions of using ACASI. Using our experiences as a case study, we provide recommendations on selecting an appropriate data collection device (including hardware and software), preparing and testing the ACASI, conducting data collection in the field, and managing data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Adolescence
Volume49
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding for the Pathways Project was provided by the William T. Grant Foundation (Grant No. 10914 ; Reed Larson, P.I. and Marcela Raffaelli, co-P.I.). We acknowledge the contributions of the Pathways Project research team, and of the programs that served as our research partners.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 The Foundation for Professionals in Services for Adolescents.

Keywords

  • ACASI
  • Adolescents
  • Computer-assisted data collection
  • Methodology
  • Questionnaires

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