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Report of Cognitive Interview Results from the Alternative Administrative Records Use Paragraph of the SIPP Advance Letter

Ashley Landreth

KEY WORDS: pretesting, advance letter, SIPP, administratiave records linkage

Staff evaluated the newly created alternative administrative records use paragraph, which will be embedded in the advance letter for the 2002 SIPP Methods Panel experiment on administrative record use disclosure statements and response rates. The main objective for this research was to create and pretest an alternative administrative records use disclosure paragraph, which would be comparable to the previously used paragraph, in that it would disclose the Census Bureau's intention to link data, but would not mention that Social Security numbers would be requested or needed for this procedure. The new paragraph was pretested within the context of the revised SIPP advance letter, developed for the 2001 SIPP Methods Panel and the production survey. In addition, a prototype "permission" question was administered near the end of the cognitive interviews, to gain some insight into how respondents would react to an explicit request for permission to obtain their administrative records from other government agencies.

The proposed alternative paragraph seemed to perform well in the cognitive interviews, although respondents were fairly eager to know which agencies in the Census Bureau would contact to obtain additional data. This curiosity intensified at the end of the interview when the permission question was posed. The alternative paragraph is recommended in the form and location that it is presented in this report. It is also recommended that interviewers receive training concerning this new paragraph so that they can adequately and confidently address the likelly respondent concerns.

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

Created: 10-JUL-2003

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