Date of Award

5-2006

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Social Work

Major Professor

Terri Combs-Orme

Committee Members

Priscilla Blanden,

Abstract

Maintaining a longitudinal sample is methodologically important to the integrity of research conclusions. The amount of effort devoted to retaining samples varies across research studies. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between the effort needed to interview and track longitudinal respondents and the respondents' demographic characteristics, their collateral information, and various measures of the respondents' stability. The sample consisted of 246 mothers of newborns who were interviewed twice over 6 to 12 months as a part of the Volunteer Infant Parent Study. By using eight variables and latent class analysis, mothers of newborns were categorized into three mutually exclusive interview and tracking effort (ITE) groups. The three groups consisted of 149 easy-to-interview and track women, 54 difficult-to-track women who required more telephone calls and 43 difficult-to-track women who required more unscheduled home visits. Multinomial logistic regression was used to determine what demographic characteristics, collateral characteristics, and stability measures were associated with each ITE group membership.

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