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Challenges in Completing Interviews with Latinos in the California Health Interview Survey
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*Sherman Edwards, Westat 

Keywords: Spanish-language interviewing;nonrepsonse

The California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) uses a variety of methods to reach non-English-speaking Californians: a multi-language letter, translations of the survey instruments, and bilingual telephone interviewers. Despite these efforts, the completion rate for adult interviews requiring a Spanish-bilingual interviewer has consistently been about 20 points lower than that for other cases. Possible reasons for this difference include respondent suspicion about the survey’s motives; cultural differences in perceptions of surveys; the fact that Latino households tend to be larger than non-Latino households, meaning that more often the adult respondent is not the same person who answered the screening questions; differential skill levels between monolingual and bilingual interviewers; and so on. This paper will use survey paradata from CHIS 2009 and 2011 to better understand the difference in survey response and suggest possible tailored approaches for increasing response. It will also assess the possibility of bias in certain survey estimates arising from differential nonresponse.

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