Time Use and Population Representation in the Sloan Study of Adolescents
with Barbara Schneider and Rustin Wolfe
Do studies of time use interfere too much in the lives of the subjects? As a result are those who agree to participate a biased sample of the population? We examine the characteristics of the Experience Sampling Method (ESM) adolescent sample from the Alfred P. Sloan Study of Youth and Social Development in order to detect and quantify instances of sampling and nonresponse bias. According to available proxies for time use and standard demographic variables, the Sloan ESM sample is nearly representative in terms of teen employment rates, parental employment rates, a student's grade point average, and TV watching. Work hours are slightly undercounted in the study because of slightly higher nonresponse rates by teenagers working long hours. The sample is less representative in terms of the time of week and gender; nonresponse is relatively common on school nights and (to a lesser extent) on weekends, and among boys. We offer some suggestions regarding general implications of our findings for the measurement of time use.
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