Journal of Official Statistics, Vol.26, No.3, 2010. pp. 535557

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Bilingual Questionnaire Evaluation and Development through Mixed Pretesting Methods: The Case of the U.S. Census Nonresponse Followup Instrument

The objective of this research was to develop and improve a Nonresponse Followup (NRFU) instrument for the U.S. Census. This research is unique because multiple pretesting methods were used in the development of an instrument in two different languages: English and Spanish. This article discusses results of three rounds of English cognitive testing, two rounds of Spanish cognitive testing, two rounds of behavior coding of the instrument in both languages, and an observational study in the field in both languages. The application of mixed pretesting methods to the development of one survey instrument is an all-too-uncommon situation. This article presents lessons learned about the types of findings made possible by the different pretesting methods, and offers the unique opportunity to examine issues of equivalency between a source and a translated version of a survey instrument through multiple measures.

Bilingual questionnaire development, pretesting methods, cognitive interviewing, behavior coding, observational study

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