The effects of question format and group membership on the selection of factors important to the health of adolescents



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One thousand one hundred seventy-five students, 639 parents, and 265 teachers participated in an adolescent health needs assessment survey in an attempt to determine whether question format affects the responses individuals provide concerning which health-related factors are most important regarding the health of adolescents and whether adolescents, their parents, and their teachers differ on these responses. Chi square and multivariate analyses yielded results suggesting the presence of effects of both question format (X2 's=1975, 1928, p<.0001) and group membership (X2 's=260, 315, p<.0001; Wilk's Lambda=.71, p<.0001). Results suggest open-ended questions yield responses reflecting only a limited range of factors and adults and adolescents agree regarding the importance of substance abuse and safety issues, disagreeing regarding mental health and teen fertility issues. Implications for the design of future adolescent needs surveys and for further investigations to explore the relationships which were found are discussed.



Youth, Health and hygiene, Questionnaires