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Cognitive Interview Research Report: Findings and Recommendations Resulting from Pretesting the 2007 National Crime Victimization Survey’s School Crime Supplement

Andrew Jocuns, Theresa J. DeMaio

KEY WORDS: school crime, cognitive interviews


At the request of the Demographic Surveys Division, staff from the Center for Survey Methods Research in the Statistical Research Division cognitively pretested revised questions for the 2007 NCVS School Crime Supplement. The changes resulted from requests for content changes by the sponsors, the Bureau of Justice Statistics and the National Center for Education Statistics, as well as results from debriefing of Field Representatives who administered the 2005 School Crime Supplement.

Results of cognitive interviews conducted with 21 respondents between May and August, 2006 showed the following: 1) although the reference period for the survey is the last six months, respondents were thinking about the entire school year when answering questions; 2) respondents did not understand the term “service clubs” or “Key Club,” which is a specific service club; 3) respondents did not understand the phrase prescription drugs without a prescription; and 4) respondents preferred a 4-point scale labeled “strongly agree, agree, disagree, strongly disagree” over one labeled “definitely true, mostly true, mostly false, definitely false” when answering opinion questions. The report contains recommendations to alleviate the question wording problems uncovered.


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

Created: October 18, 2006
Last revised: October 18, 2006

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