Interviewer Remarks

Interviewer Remarks

Each NLSY79 questionnaire includes an interviewer remarks section that interviewers complete after finishing the interview with the respondent. Some of the information is objective (the presence of another person during an in-person survey, for instance) while other information is subjective on the part of the interviewer (such as rating how cooperative the respondent was).

Special circumstances. All survey rounds feature a series of questions about special circumstances that might have affected the quality of the data. The interviewers were asked to assess whether the respondent was hard of hearing, unable to see well, unable to read, lacking in basic social skills, mentally handicapped or retarded, physically handicapped, ill/injured, had a poor command of English.

Respondent's general demeanor and responsiveness. In all survey rounds, interviewers rated how informative and cooperative a respondent was during the interview. In addition, the interviews assessed the respondent's overall understanding (good, fair, poor) of the questions.

Presence of others during interview. All survey rounds include information about whether others were present (listening and/or participating) during in-person interviews and who the person or persons were (infant child, family member, etc.). Interviewers attempt to secure a private environment for all interviews, so the presence of another individual (other than a small child) is an exception and can be considered a disruption to the interview. 

Interviewer characteristics. Interviewers provide information on their own ethnicity, age, gender, highest grade completed, and how much experience (measured in years) they had as an interviewer.

Interview methodology. Interviewers record whether any portion of the interview took place on the phone and indicate if the interview was in Spanish or English.

Interviewer retention. Interviewers indicate each survey round whether they had interviewed that respondent the previous survey year.