UWSC researchers examine factors associated with providing biomarkers by mail among graduates in the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study

UWSC researchers along with collaborators at Loyola University Chicago and UW-Madison recently published findings in Public Opinion Quarterly of a study examining factors associated with compliance to a request to provide a salivary DNA sample by mail as part of a separate data collection effort of the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study.

Respondents were contacted in 2007, and over 50 percent provided a saliva sample. Participation was lower among females, those with less education, those who were more socially isolated, those with lower cognitive ability, those in poorer health and with less contact with the healthcare system, those who were more religious, and those whose past behavior indicated resistance to participation. The analysis adds to the small but growing body of research on factors influencing the collection of biological measures in household surveys, particularly household panel surveys. Conclusions include recommendations for maximizing participation rates and reducing costs.

This study contributes to a fuller understanding of how the characteristics of respondents affect the provision of a saliva sample, one of the many increasingly common requests made across a variety of survey endeavors.,” write the authors. (Users within the UW system can download the article at https://academic.oup.com/poq/article-lookup/doi/10.1093/poq/nfw045; others should contact Jennifer Dykema (dykema@ssc.wisc.edu), for a copy of the paper.)