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The American Community Survey (ACS) is a household survey conducted by the United States Census Bureau. The Census Bureau called for the conduct of about 170-180 cognitive interviews using the American Community Survey (ACS) Spanish and English Computer Assisted Telephone Interview (CATI) and Spanish and English Computer Assisted Personal Interview (CAPI) data collection instruments. This pretesting research was divided into three separate and independent sections – Section I (Demographic questions also included in the Decennial census), Section II (Housing questions), and Section III (Additional person-level questions). Each section was pretested in Phases I, II, and III respectively. Two rounds of cognitive interviews were administered for each phase accordingly.
The primary objective of the first round of testing in each phase was twofold: 1) to identify areas in a given section of the instrument where the Spanish and English questions and/or terms can be improved, and 2) to develop recommendations for alternative wording to improve them. A small number of English language cognitive interviews was conducted in each phase to provide an anchor point to determine whether issues identified in Spanish cognitive interviews are translation problems or whether they are problems stemming from the English original. Where relevant, changes are suggested to the English language instrument.
This report presents the results of the first round of testing of the first section of the instrument. It focuses on how Spanish-speaking respondents and monolingual English- speaking respondents interpret and understand select terms and questions on the questionnaire. Recommendations for term and question revisions are provided. The changes made were tested in a second round of interviews with approximately the same number of respondents as were interviewed for Round 1.
Patricia Goerman, Rosanna Quiroz, Georgina McAvinchey, Leticia Reed, and Sonia Rodriguez. (2013). Census American Community Survey Spanish CAPI/CATI Instrument Testing Phase I - Round 1 Final Report. Center for Survey Measurement Study Series (Survey Methodology #2013-21). U.S. Census Bureau. Available online at <http://www.census.gov/srd/papers/pdf/ssm2013-21.pdf>.