Home Is Where the Cooperation Is: The Association between Interview Location and Cooperation among Cellphone Users

Christopher Douglas Ward, Becky Reimer, Meena Khare, Carla Black


Interviewing respondents on cellphones poses challenges to survey researchers. Using data from the National Immunization Survey, a national, dual-frame random-digit dial survey, we examined whether respondents’ level of cooperation varies by their telephone status and location at the time of the interview. Specifically, we used regression models to compare the cooperation rates for respondents who are contacted on landlines while at home, those who are contacted on cellphones while at home (“cell-at-home”), and those who are contacted on cellphones while away from home (“cell-away”). Our models included a number of respondent characteristics that may be related to the likelihood of cooperation versus breakoff during the survey. Results indicated that observed differences in cooperation between landline and cellphone-while-away respondents are primarily due to cell-away respondents being less likely to respond. Our results also suggest that time of interview is a significant predictor of likelihood to provide permission to access children’s health care records. This research provides insight into the behavior of cellphone respondents and the conditions under which they may be most likely to respond.


response; cooperation; consent; cellphone; landline; CATI; location; interview; data quality; regression

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