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Strength of Attachment: Survey Coverage of People with Tenuous Ties to Residences

Elizabeth Martin

KEY WORDS: household roster, decennial census, coverage errors, omissions, residential attachment, measurement error, residential ambiguity, residence


This article draws on evidence from an exploratory survey of living situations to assess the validity of assumptions about residence and to offer methodological innovations to improve coverage of people with tenuous attachment to households. These innovations include more inclusive probes and questions used to compile the roster of household residents; review of the places a person stayed the previous few months; and a Residential Attachment scale that measures strength of attachment to households. This scale shows that it takes more probing to list tenuously attached people than most surveys do, suggesting that tenuously attached people are likely to be omitted from the typical survey roster. The Residential Attachment scale is correlated with social and economic participation in households, suggesting that participation is fairly high even among those with tenuous or no residential attachment.

CITATION: Elizabeth Martin. 2007. “Strength of Attachment: Survey Coverage of People with Tenuous Ties to Residences.” Demography 44(2): 427-440.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Statistical Research Division

Created: July 26, 2007
Last revised: July 26, 2007

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Statistical Research Division | (301) 763-3215 (or |   Last Revised: October 08, 2010