Collecting large personal networks in a representative sample of Dutch women

Gert Stulp*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

In this study we report on our experiences with collecting large personal network data (25 alters) from a representative sample of Dutch women. We made use of GENSI, a recently developed tool for network data collection using interactive visual elements that has been shown to reduce respondent burden. A sample of 758 women between the ages of 18 and 40 were recruited through the LISS-panel; a longitudinal online survey of Dutch people. Respondents were asked to name exactly 25 alters, answer sixteen questions about these alters (name interpreter questions), and assess all 300 alter-alter relations. Nearly all (97%) respondents reported on 25 alters. Non-response was minimal: 92% of respondents had no missing values, and an additional 5% had fewer than 10% missing values. Listing 25 alters took 3.5 ± 2.2 (mean ± SD) minutes, and reporting on the ties between these alters took 3.6 ± 1.3 min. Answering all alter questions took longest with a time of 15.2 ± 5.3 min. The majority of respondents thought the questions were clear and easy to answer, and most enjoyed filling in the survey. Collecting large personal networks can mean a significant burden to respondents, but through the use of visual elements in the survey, it is clear that it can be done within reasonable time, with enjoyment and without much non-response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-71
Number of pages9
JournalSocial Networks
Volume64
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan-2021

Keywords

  • Ego-centric
  • GENSI
  • Personal networks
  • Respondent burden
  • Survey methodology

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