Factors Associated with Participation in the Collection of Saliva Samples by Mail in a Survey of Older Adults

Jennifer Dykema, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Kerryann DiLoreto, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Kenneth D. Croes, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Jeremy Beach, USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service
Dana Garbarski, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Biological measures are increasingly collected along with survey responses in household surveys. While the promise of collecting these measures is rich, there are many barriers to gathering data accurately and reliably, which may lead to a winnowing of the sample to a more select group. Research is needed to determine what factors are associated with respondents’ willingness to provide biological measures in a survey and what barriers impede successful collection. We examine factors associated with compliance to a request to provide a salivary DNA sample as part of a separate data collection effort for the highly successful Wisconsin Longitudinal Study. Over 50% of eligible respondents returned a self-administered saliva sample through the mail. Using survey responses from prior waves and paradata from the survey data collection process, we examine factors associated with returning the saliva sample including respondents’ socio-demographic characteristics, cognitive ability, health, religiosity, and prior participation in the survey.

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Presented in Poster Session 1