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A Structural Equation Model of Support for English-only Policies and Social Limitation of Immigrants and Minorities
Unformatted Document Text:  Social Limitation Structural Equation Model 20 of change had been measured, then the findings may have been different. Anglo- Americans accustomed to living in geographic areas where English has typically been the only language in the media may feel uncertainty when that begins to change. With regard to other potential limitations associated with this research, telephone interviewing is becoming increasingly difficult due to the prevalence of telemarketing. This is reflected in the low response rate (46%). However, the expected “cooperation rate” among telemarketers varies between 30-40% (STS, 2000); therefore, by that standard, the response rate for this study was acceptable. It is impossible to say though if individuals who refused to participate were significantly different from those who agreed. This may have compromised the findings in terms of representation of the population under study. Also, there was a considerable gender imbalance in favor of female participants in the sample. One reason may be that women tend to answer the telephone more than men (D. M. Dozier, personal communication, October 4, 2001). In a study of trends in attitudes toward participation in survey research, Schleifer (1986) noted that women are much more willing than men to participate in surveys. In this study there were no gender effects relating to support for English-only policies or social limitation of immigrants; therefore, the gender imbalance presents less of a threat to validity than might appear. Unfortunately, there may have been an element of social desirability with regard to answers relating to social limitation of immigrants. Interviewers reported reluctance by some participants to respond to these items even though anonymity was assured. Proposition 227 had already limited bilingual education, and so respondents may have felt less inhibited about responding to the support for English-only items.

Authors: Barker, Valerie. and Giles, Howard.
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Social Limitation Structural Equation Model 20
of change had been measured, then the findings may have been different. Anglo-
Americans accustomed to living in geographic areas where English has typically been
the only language in the media may feel uncertainty when that begins to change.
With regard to other potential limitations associated with this research, telephone
interviewing is becoming increasingly difficult due to the prevalence of telemarketing.
This is reflected in the low response rate (46%). However, the expected “cooperation
rate” among telemarketers varies between 30-40% (STS, 2000); therefore, by that
standard, the response rate for this study was acceptable. It is impossible to say though
if individuals who refused to participate were significantly different from those who
agreed. This may have compromised the findings in terms of representation of the
population under study.
Also, there was a considerable gender imbalance in favor of female participants
in the sample. One reason may be that women tend to answer the telephone more than
men (D. M. Dozier, personal communication, October 4, 2001). In a study of trends in
attitudes toward participation in survey research, Schleifer (1986) noted that women are
much more willing than men to participate in surveys. In this study there were no gender
effects relating to support for English-only policies or social limitation of immigrants;
therefore, the gender imbalance presents less of a threat to validity than might appear.
Unfortunately, there may have been an element of social desirability with regard to
answers relating to social limitation of immigrants. Interviewers reported reluctance by
some participants to respond to these items even though anonymity was assured.
Proposition 227 had already limited bilingual education, and so respondents may have
felt less inhibited about responding to the support for English-only items.


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