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Activity Number: 282
Type: Topic Contributed
Date/Time: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 : 8:30 AM to 10:20 AM
Sponsor: Social Statistics Section
Abstract - #305379
Title: Determinates of Tracking Success After an Extended Hiatus: Results from the Project Talent Pilot Test
Author(s): Celeste Stone*+ and Jenny Bandyk
Companies: American Institutes for Research and University of Michigan Survey Research Center
Address: 2000 K St NW, Washington, DC, 20006, United States
Keywords: Tracking ; Sample attrition ; Locating ; Project Talent ; Longitudinal

All longitudinal studies face a common challenge of locating study participants for future waves. Long lags between data collections can make tracking participants particularly difficult and costly. This paper provides results from the 2011-12 Project Talent Follow-up Pilot Study, a pilot test developed to assess the feasibility of finding and reengaging a representative random subsample of Project Talent participants who had not been contacted in 37 to 51 years. We examine the impact of key factors (e.g., availability of Social Security numbers, participation in previous waves, and availability of recently updated information) on tracking success and explore the effectiveness of two locating strategies: (1) batch searches of administrative data; and (2) interactive internet, database, and phone tracking of participants not located using method 1. We evaluate the extent to which interactive tracking was able to locate subpopulations that were not found using batch tracking methods and identify subpopulations that may continue to be disproportionately under-located. Qualitative assessments of the strategies are also examined.

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