Ethical Issues in Survey Research Workshop

Ethical Issues in Survey Research Workshop

Ethical Issues in Survey Research Workshop

Survey Research Laboratory

University of Illinois at Chicago

Selected Readings

Andeman, C., Cheadle, A., Curry, D. S., Diehr, P., Shultz, L., & Wagner, E. (1995). Selection bias related to parental consent in school-based survey research. Evaluation Review, 19, 663–74.

Beck, S., Collins, L., Overholser, J., & Terry, K. (1984). A comparison of children who receive and who do not receive permission to participate in research. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 12, 573–80.

Botkin, J.R. (2001). Informed consent for the collection of biological samples in household surveys. Pp. 276-302 in National Research Council, Cells and Surveys: Should Biological Measures be Included in Social Science Research? C.E. Finch, J.W. Vaupel & K. Kinsella (Eds.). Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.

Broome, M. E., & Stieglitz, K. A. (1992). The consent process and children. Research in Nursing & Health, 15, 147–52.

Colsher, P. L. (1992). Ethical issues in conducting surveys of the elderly. In R. B. Wallace & R. F. Woolson (Eds.), The epidemiologic study of the elderly (pp. 39–45). New York: Oxford University Press.

Dent, C. W., Galaif, J., Sussman, S., & Stacy, A. (1993). Demographic, psychological and behavioral differences in samples of actively and passively consented adolescents. Addictive Behaviors, 18, 51–56.

Dent, C. W., Sussman, S. Y., & Stacy, A. W. (1997). The impact of a written parental consent policy on estimates from a school-based drug use survey. Evaluation Review, 21, 698–712.

Eaton, D.K., Lowry, R., Brener, N.D., Grunbaum, J.A. & Kahn, L. (2004) Passive versus active parental permission in school-based survey research: Does the type of permission affect prevalence estimates of risk behaviors: Evaluation Review, 28, 564-577.

Ellickson, P. L., & Hawes, J. A. (1989). An assessment of active vs. passive methods for obtaining parental consent. Evaluation Review, 13, 45–55.

Esbensen, F. A., Deschenes, E. P., Vogel, R. E., West, J., Arboit, K., & Harris, L. (1996). Active parental consent in school-based research: An examination of ethical and methodological issues. Evaluation Review, 20, 737–53.

Frey, J. H. (1986). An experiment with a confidentiality reminder in a telephone survey. Public Opinion Quarterly, 50, 267–69.

Groves, R.M., Fowler, F.J., Couper, M.P., Lepkowski, J.M., Singer, E., & Tourangeau, R. (2009) Principles and Practices Related to Ethical Research, Chapter 11 in Survey Methodology, Second Edition. New York: John Wiley.

Holliman, W. B., Soileau, G. A., & Hubbard, J. M. (1986). Consent requirements and anxiety in university undergraduate students. Psychological Reports, 59, 175–78.

Jacobs, L. R., & Shapiro, R. Y. (1995-96). Presidential manipulation of polls and public opinion: The Nixon Administration and the pollsters. Political Science Quarterly, 110, 4. (available at

Jason, L. A., Pokorny, S. B., & Katz, R. (2001). Passive versus active consent: A case study in school settings. Journal of Community Psychology, 29, 53–68.

Ji, P.Y., Pokorny, S.B. & Jason, L.A. (2004) Factors influencing middle and high schools’ active parental consent return rates. Evaluation Review, 28, 578- 591.

Johnson, K., Bryant, D., Rockwell, E., Moore, M., Straub, B. W., Cummings, P., & Wilson, C. (1999). Obtaining active parental consent for evaluation research: A case study. American Journal of Evaluation, 20, 239–49.

Kearney, K. A., Hopkins, R. H., Mauss, A. L., & Weisheit, R. A. (1983). Sample bias resulting from a requirement for written parental consent. Public Opinion Quarterly, 47, 96–102.

Labott, S.M. & Johnson, T.P. (2004) Psychological and social risks of behavioral research. IRB

Ethics & Human Research, 6, 1-5.

Labott, S.M., Johnson, T.P., Fendrich, M., & Feeney, N.C. (2013). Emotional risks to respondents in survey research: Some empirical evidence. Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics, 8, 53-66.

Lueptow, L., Mueller, S. A., Hammes, R. R., & Master, L. S. (1977). The impact of informed consent regulations on response rate and response bias. Sociological Methods & Research, 6, 183–204.

Moberg, D. P., & Piper, D. L. (1990). Obtaining active consent via telephone in adolescent substance abuse prevention research. Evaluation Review, 14, 315–23.

Mugge, R. H. (1993). Informed consent in U.S. government surveys. Journal of Official Statistics, 9, 345–60.

Noll, R. B., Zeller, M. H., Vannatta, K., Bukowski, W. M., & Davies, W. H. (1997). Potential bias in classroom research: Comparison of children with permission and those who do not receive permission to participate. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 26, 36–42.

O'Donnell, L. N., Duran, R. H., Doval, A. S., Breslin, M. J., Juhn, G. M., & Stueve, A. (1997). Obtaining written parental permission for school-based health surveys of urban young adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Health, 21, 376–83.

Pokorny, S. B. (2001). Do participation rates change when active consent procedures replace passive consent? Evaluation Review,25, 567–80.

Reamer, F. G. (1979). Protecting research subjects and unintended consequences: The effect of guarantees of confidentiality. Public Opinion Quarterly, 43, 496–506.

Renger, R., Gotkin, V., Crago, M., & Shisslak, C. (1998). Research and legal perspectives on the implications of the Family Privacy Protection Act for research and evaluation involving minors. American Journal of Evaluation, 19, 191–202.

Ross, J. G., Sundberg, E. C., & Flint, K. H. (1999). Informed consent in school health research: Why, how, and making it easy. Journal of School Health, 69, 171–76.

Severson, H. H., & Ary, D. V. (1983). Sampling bias due to consent procedures with adolescents. Addictive Behaviors, 8, 433–37.

Severson, H., & Biglan, A. (1989). Rationale for the use of passive consent in smoking prevention research: Politics, policy and pragmatics. Preventive Medicine, 18, 267–79.

Sieber, J. E. (1993). The ethics and politics of sensitive research. In C. M. Renzetti & R. M. Lee (Eds.), Researching sensitive topics (pp. 14–26). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Singer, E. (1978). Informed consent: Consequences for response rate and response quality in social surveys. American Sociological Review, 43, 144–62.

Singer, E. (1979). Informed consent procedures in surveys: Some reasons for minimal effects on response. In M. L. Wax & J. Cassell (Eds.), Federal regulations: Ethical issues and social research. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

Singer, E. (1984). Public reactions to some ethical issues of social research: Attitudes and behavior. Journal of Consumer Research, 11, 501–9.

Singer, E. (1993). Informed consent and survey response: A summary of the empirical literature. Journal of Official Statistics, 9, 361–65.

Singer, E. (2003). Exploring the meaning of consent: Participation in research and beliefs about risks and benefits. Journal of Official Statistics, 19, 273-285.

Singer, E. (2003). The eleventh Morris Hansen Lecture: Public perceptions of confidentiality. Journal of Official Statistics, 19, 333-341.

Singer, E., & Frankel, M. R. (1982). Informed consent procedures in telephone interviews. American Sociological Review, 47, 416–26.

Singer, E., Hippler, H. J., & Schwarz, N. (1992). Confidentiality assurances in surveys: Reassurance or threat? International Journal of Public Opinion Research 4,256–68.

Singer, E. & Levine, F.J. (2003). Research synthesis: Protection of human subjects of research: Recent developments and future prospects for the social sciences. Public Opinion Quarterly, 67, 148-164.

Singer, E., Von Thurn, D. R., & Miller, E. R. (1995). Confidentiality assurances and response: A quantitative review of the experimental literature. Public Opinion Quarterly, 59, 66–77.

Singer, E., Van Hoewyk, J., Gebler, N., Raghunathan, T. & McGonagle, K. (1999). The effect of incentives on response rates in interviewer-mediated surveys. Journal of Official Statistics, 15, 217-230.

Sobal, J. (1982). Disclosing information in interview introductions: Methodological consequences of informed consent. Sociology and Social Research, 66, 348–61.

Sobal, J. (1984). The content of survey introductions and the provision of informed consent. Public Opinion Quarterly, 48, 788–93.

Survey-Related Ethical Codes of Conduct

American Association for Public Opinion Research

  • Code of Professional Ethics and Practices (2010)
  • Best Practices for Survey and Public Opinion Research and Survey Practices AAPOR Condemns (1997)

Council of American Survey Research Organizations

  • Code of Standards and Ethics for Survey Research (1998)

Section on Survey Research Methods, American Statistical Association

  • Ethical Guidelines for Statistical Practice (1998)