Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Field methods. 2018 May;30(2):140-154. doi: 10.1177/1525822X18769498. Epub 2018 Apr 16.

Interviewer-driven variability in social network reporting: results from Health and Aging in Africa: a Longitudinal Study of an INDEPTH community (HAALSI) in South Africa.

Author information

1
Insitute for Global Health, University College London, London, UK.
2
Africa Health Research Institute, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
3
Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, Harvard University, Cambridge MA, USA.
4
Center for Global Health, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston MA, USA.
5
MRC/Wits Rural Public Health and Heath Transitions Research Unit, School of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.
6
INDEPTH Network, Accra, Ghana.
7
Department of Sociology, Harvard University, Cambridge MA, USA.
8
Division of Epidemiology and Global Health, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Centre for Global Health Research, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.
9
Department of Population Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK.
10
Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.
11
Institute of Public Health, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.
12
Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston MA, USA.

Abstract

Social network analysis depends on how social ties to others are elicited during interviews, a process easily affected by respondent and interviewer behaviors. We investigate how the number of self-reported important social contacts varied within a single data collection round. Our data come from HAALSI, a comprehensive population-based survey of individuals aged 40 years and older conducted over thirteen months at the Agincourt health and demographic surveillance site in rural South Africa. As part of HAALSI, interviewers elicited detailed egocentric network data. The average number of contacts reported by the 5059 respondents both varied significantly across interviewers and fell over time as the data collection progressed, even after adjusting for respondent, interviewer and respondent-interviewer dyad characteristics. Contact numbers rose substantially after a targeted interviewer intervention. We conclude that checking (and adjusting) for interviewer effects, even within one data collection round, is critical to valid and reliable social network analysis.

PMID:
30618492
PMCID:
PMC6320223
[Available on 2019-05-01]
DOI:
10.1177/1525822X18769498

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center