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Results and Recommendations from the Cognitive Pretesting of the 2003 Recipiency History Module

Kristen Hughes and Jennifer Hunter

KEY WORDS: pretesting, SIPP, welfare, cognitive interviews


Staff in the Statistical Research Division conducted cognitive research on the revised Recipiency History Topical Module prior to fielding it as a part of the 2003 SIPP Methods Panel. This report contains the results of the testing and associated recommendations.

The instrument seemed to successfully capture aspects of the respondents' program history. Few changes were recommended, and most recommendations were accepted by the sponsor. One notable problem was the reference to the receipt of TANF/AFDC, Food Stamps, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) during one's adult life. One respondent received TANF and Food Stamps in her own name when she had a baby at 16 (prior to SIPP's definition of an adult). The report includes recommended changes to several questions that might be affected by this relatively common situation to alleviate sensitivity issues, and make the interview more comfortable for respondents and interviewers. The report also documents minor wording changes to other questions with the goal of using language that is consistent with respondents' use of language. For example, rather than asking respondents if they received Food Stamps continuously between given dates, we recommend asking if they received Food Stamps every month between the given dates. This is more consistent with how respondents in the study talked about Food Stamp receipt.

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

Created: 26-JUL-2003

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