Retention and Reasons for Non-Interview

National Longitudinal Survey of Youth - 1997 Cohort

Retention & Reasons for Non-Interview

This section provides information on Retention Rates in the NLSY97 and Reasons for Non-Interview.

Retention Rates in the NLSY97

The overall retention rate for round 16 is 79.5 percent. Table 1 shows the retention rates by sample type for rounds 2-16 of the NLSY97.

Table 1. Retention Rates by Sample Type and Gender

  Cross-sectional Supplemental Sample Total
Interviewed Retention rate Interviewed Retention rate Interviewed Retention rate
Round 2
Male
Female
Total
3213
3066
6279
92.9%
93.2%
93.0%
1070
1037
2107
93.9%
94.6%
94.2%
4283
4103
8386
93.1%
93.6%
93.3%
Round 3
Male
Female
Total
3144
3029
6173
90.9%
92.1%
91.5%
1026
1010
2036
90.0%
92.2%
91.1%
4170
4039
8209
90.7%
92.1%
91.4%
Round 4
Male
Female
Total
3097
2957
6054
89.6%
89.9%
89.7%
1019
1007
2026
89.4%
91.9%
90.6%
4116
3964
8080
89.5%
90.4%
89.9%
Round 5
Male
Female
Total
3011
2907
5918
87.1%
88.4%
87.7%
977
987
1964
85.7%
90.1%
87.8%
3988
3894
7882
86.7%
88.8%
87.7%
Round 6
Male
Female
Total
2995
2903
5898
86.6%
88.3%
87.4%
1002
996
1998
87.9%
91.0%
89.4%
3997
3899
7896
86.9%
88.9%
87.9%
Round 7
Male
Female
Total
2951
2831
5782
85.3%
86.1%
85.7%
977
996
1972
85.7%
90.1%
88.2%
3928
3826
7754
85.4%
87.3%
86.3%
Round 8
Male
Female
Total
2816
2784
5600
81.4%
84.7%
83.0%
916
986
1902
80.4%
90.1%
85.1%
3732
3771
7502
81.2%
86.0%
83.5%
Round 9
Male
Female
Total
2734
2703
5437
79.0%
82.2%
80.1%
932
969
1901
81.7%
88.4%
85.0%
3666
3672
7338
79.6%
83.8%
81.7%
Round 10
Male
Female
Total
2850
2774
5624
82.4%
84.3%
83.3%
953
982
1935
83.4%
89.6%
86.5%
3803
3756
7559
82.7%
85.7%
84.1%
Round 11
Male
Female
Total
2803
2718
5521
81.0%
82.6%
81.8%
932
965
1897
81.7%
88.0%
84.8%
3735
3683
7418
81.2%
84.0%
82.6%
Round 12
Male
Female
Total
2819
2741
5560
81.4%
83.3%
82.3%
948
982
1930
83.1%
89.5%
86.3%
3767
3723
7490
81.9%
84.9%
83.3%
Round 13            
Male
Female
Total
2835
2781
5616
81.9%
84.5%
83.2%
950
995
1943
83.3%
90.8%
86.9%
3785
3776
7559
82.3%
86.1%
84.1%
Round 14
Male
Female
Total
2816
2728
5544
 81.4%
 82.9%
82.1%
 949
986
1935
83.2%
89.9%
86.5%
3765
3714
7479
81.8%
84.7%
83.2%
Round 15
Male
Female
Total
2792
2709
5501
80.7%
82.4%
81.5%
951
971
1922
83.4%
88.6%
86.0%
3743
3680
7423
81.4%
83.9%
82.6%
Round 16
Male
Female
Total
2647
2638
5285
76.5%
80.2%
78.3%

898
958
1856

78.8%
87.4%
83.0%
3545
3596
7141

77.1%
82.0%
79.5%

 
Note: Table based on RNI (R25102., R38277., etc.), KEY!SEX (R05363.), and CV_SAMPLE_TYPE (R12358.). Retention rate is defined as the percentage of all base-year respondents participating in a given survey. Deceased respondents are included in the calculations.

Factors used to help bolster NLSY97 retention rates:

  • Locating efforts: Because transiency is a common characteristic of the age cohort interviewed in the NLSY97, locating the respondent is a major component of the fielding process each time. At the end of each interview, respondents are asked to provide names and phone numbers of close contacts that might know of their whereabouts if they were to move before the next survey round. Advance letters are mailed to the last known address of a respondent with a request to the post office for forwarding information if the respondent is no longer at that address. Other standard locating services are employed for respondents who cannot be found through contacts or the post office.
  • Regular respondent mailings: Respondents receive an advance letter mailed before each fielding effort. The letter reiterates the importance of their participation in the NLSY97 and includes a survey fact sheet. Additional marketing materials are available throughout the field period so that interviewers will have information to share with respondents about the importance of the study.
  • Multiple contact attempts: Interviewers try multiple times to contact a respondent, varying the time or date of contact to maximize success.
  • Additional incentives offered: In some rounds, a sub-sample of respondents were offered different levels of incentives to see if higher incentives affected survey participation. The most successful incentive approaches are then implemented survey-wide.
  • Interviewer consistency: Where possible, an interviewer who completed a successful interview with a respondent in a previous round is assigned that respondent in the next round.