Interviewer Remarks

Interviewer Remarks

 

Child

Interviewer Remarks in the Child Supplement. At the conclusion of each child interview, interviewers complete a summary evaluation of the overall interview and a series of "testing conditions" items, found at the end of the Child Supplement. These items, most of which are prefixed for with the phrase TESTING CONDITIONS or INT REMARKS, are assigned to the CHILD SUPPLEMENT area of interest.  The following titles are used to describe these items in the documentation:

  • INT REMARKS: ANY PROBLEMS WITH CHILD'S HEARING?
  • INT REMARKS: ANY PROBLEMS WITH CHILD'S STATE OF HEALTH?
  • INT REMARKS: ANY PROBLEMS WITH CHILD'S VISUAL SHARPNESS
  • TESTING CONDITIONS: AMOUNT OF INTERFERENCE FROM DISTRACTIONS
  • TESTING CONDITIONS: AMOUNT OF INTERFERENCE FROM INTERRUPTIONS
  • TESTING CONDITIONS: AMOUNT OF INTERFERENCE FROM LIGHTING
  • TESTING CONDITIONS: AMOUNT OF INTERFERENCE FROM NOISE
  • TESTING CONDITIONS: AMOUNT OF INTERFERENCE FROM OTHER SOURCE
  • TESTING CONDITIONS: AMOUNT OF INTERFERENCE FROM PRESENCE OF OTHERS
  • TESTING CONDITIONS: AMOUNT OF INTERFERENCE FROM TEMPERATURE
  • TESTING CONDITIONS: CHILD'S ATTITUDE TOWARD BEING TESTED
  • TESTING CONDITIONS: CHILD'S COOPERATION
  • TESTING CONDITIONS: CHILD'S MOTIVATION/INTEREST
  • TESTING CONDITIONS: CHILD'S PERSEVERANCE/PERSISTENCE
  • TESTING CONDITIONS: CHILD'S RAPPORT WITH INTERVIEWER
  • TESTING CONDITIONS: WERE THERE ANY OTHER SOURCES OF INTERFERENCE?

The Child Supplement also contains two items in which the Interviewer indicates how shy the child was at the beginning and end of the interview. In 1986, these two items are documented as follows:

  1. SHYNESS AT START
  2. SHYNESS AT END

After 1986, the titles for these two items are as follows:

  1. HOW SHY/ANXIOUS WAS CHILD WHEN HE/SHE MET INTERVIEWER
  2. TESTING CONDITIONS: HOW SHY/ANXIOUS WAS CHILD AT END OF SUPPLEMENT?

In addition, the CHILD SUPPLEMENT area of interest contains interviewer check items that indicate the following:

  • THIS HEALTH INFORMATION RELEVANT TO FUTURE INTERVIEWS?  
  • WHERE WAS CHILD SUPPLEMENT ADMINISTERED?             
  • IN WHAT LANGUAGE WAS THIS CHILD SUPPLEMENT ADMINISTERED?             
  • ANY SKIP ERRORS, QUESTIONS THAT WERE CONFUSING OR DIDN'T WORK? 

Assessment-Specific Interviewer Remarks. At the conclusion of each interviewer-administered assessment in the Child Supplement, there is a series of interviewer remarks designed to describe the factors that might influence a child's performance. For each assessment the interview records:

  • the child's energy level
  • who else was present during testing
  • what impact others might have had on a child's performance
  • whether an assessment was prematurely terminated

Interviewers are also instructed to make comments in the assessments or interviewer remarks section if other languages were used in the interview to facilitate understanding. These remarks are in the CHILD SUPPLEMENT area of interest. The titles for these items are prefixed with the name of each assessment.

CSAS Interviewer Remarks. In the paper years, the Interviewer was asked to complete this question after the child had completed the Child Self-Administered Supplement:

  • LIST QUESTIONS THAT CONFUSED, ANGERED, OR CAUSED DISCOMFORT TO THE CHILD OR QUESTIONS THAT YOU FEEL THE CHILD DID NOT ANSWER TRUTHFULLY. EXPLAIN.

Starting in 2002, when the Child Self-Administered Supplement became a CAPI instrument, the CSAS interviewer remarks question is documented as followed:

  • CHILD SELF-ADMIN: INT REMARKS-NO QUESTION CONFUSED OR ANGERED CHILD

Starting in 2006, an additional question was added:

  • CHILD SELF-ADMIN: INT REMARKS - CHILD HAD PROBLEMS WITH HOW TO USE DEVICE (LAPTOP)    

Interviewer Remarks in the Mother Supplement.  In the Mother Supplement CASI section, the interviewer indicates the language of administration, which, if any, questions caused problems and rates the mother's attitude about using the CASI section. These items are documented as follows:

  • MS INTERVIEWER REMARKS: IN WHAT LANGUAGE WAS THIS MS ADMINISTERED  
  • MS INTERVIEWER REMARKS: RATING OF RESPONDENT'S UNDERSTANDING OF QUESTIONS              
  • MS INTERVIEWER REMARKS: NO QUESTIONS CONFUSED, ANGERED RESPONDENT

 

Important Information

Users are encouraged to examine both the assessment-specific remarks and the general interviewer observations when evaluating quality issues associated with assessment reliability. In the majority of cases, interviewers indicated that they encountered no particular problems or distractions and they viewed the interviewing environment as quite appropriate. Where an assessment was prematurely terminated, the reason for the termination is frequently noted in the interviewer remarks at the end of that particular session. Based on one's research intentions, individual researchers can choose to exclude certain children from their study. For example, children coded with low energy level or who were in testing environments characterized by substantial interference could be excluded from analyses.

In some instances interviewers neglected to complete the remarks items. Thus, an individual user should proceed with caution when using an interviewer remark that suggests that no one other than the target child was present during testing. This is an unlikely scenario in situations where younger children are being assessed. With respect to the interviewer remark items that indicate the presence or absence of parents or siblings, a positive response (i.e., one or greater) indicates that this particular relation was present. However, the absence of that relation was often left blank or not coded zero, particularly in survey years prior to CAPI.

To date little in-depth analysis has been completed that uses the interviewer reports of testing conditions. One study based on the NLSY79 child data found that differences in achievement test scores by race/ethnicity could be partly explained by testing conditions, including interviewer characteristics, interviewer-child interactions, and the testing environment (Kim et al., 2003). In a study of intergenerational predictors of racial differences in achievement, Mandara, Greene and Varner used the testing evaluation items to construct a scale of "test-taking motivation." They found that motivation was one important predictor of achievement as measured by PIAT Math and Reading scores (Mandara, et al, 2006).

The NLSY Children 1992: Description and Evaluation (available on the Research/Technical Reports page) contains a discussion of the impact of testing conditions on selected outcomes. Analyses of the information about the presence of others during the testing indicate that younger children may experience some difficulty in certain cognitive tasks when there is interference in the testing environment and when other adults are present. Younger children who took the SPPC assessment tended to report more positive self-evaluation in the presence of other adults while the presence of other children tends to boost the reports of older children on this assessment. These early results helped inform the field-testing protocol so that interviewer procedures could be refined to minimize any external effects on child performance.

 

Young Adult

At the conclusion of each young adult interview, interviewers complete a summary evaluation of the overall interview. The Young Adult interviewer remarks section, located at the end of the questionnaire, contains interview-specific and interviewer comment information, including the type of interview (personal or telephone); the language used to conduct the interview; various interviewer remarks on respondent's race, attitude, understanding of the questions, and presence of anyone else during the interview; and interviewer identification codes. These variables are located in the "YA Interview Remarks" area of interest and have question names starting with "QIR."