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Behavior Coding across Multiple Languages: The 2003 California Health Interview Survey as a Case Study

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Abstract:

Coding of interviewer and respondent behavior within the fielded interview has become an important tool for evaluating survey questions. Cannell et al (1968) described a behavior coding system that has evolved into perhaps the one most commonly used for this purpose (Fowler and Cannell, 1996). Previous research (e.g., Oksenberg et al, 1991; Zukerberg et al, 1995; Edwards et al, 2002) has focused on issues such as the system's reliability, whether it works equally well with live monitoring and recorded interviews, the sample size needed for pretesting, and the number of codes needed to identify questions that present problems for interviewers and respondents. This paper will describe an extension of behavior coding to assess questionnaire functioning across language, as part of an evaluation of the degree to which translated versions exhibit cross-cultural equivalence. For this study, behavior coding was performed for several portions of the questionnaire administered to adults (via telephone) in the 2003 California Health Interview Survey. The sample of interviews to be coded was selected so as to include interviews conducted in English, Spanish, and Korean. Further, language of interview and respondent cultural group were independently varied, so that some Korean respondents were interviewed in English and some in Korean; Latino respondents were interviewed in both Spanish and English; all other respondents were interviewed in English. Bilingual staff applied a system of codes specifically adapted for use in cross-cultural applications, and coded interviewer and respondent behaviors from the recorded interview segments. The paper will describe the coding process, assess inter-coder reliability across languages, and compare the frequency of problem codes across cultural group and across languages of interview. In summary, the paper will discuss the usefulness of behavior coding as a potential means for assessing the cross-cultural functioning of survey questions.

Author's Keywords:

behavior coding, cross-cultural
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Association:
Name: American Association for Public Opinion Research
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http://www.aapor.org


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URL: http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p116049_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Edwards, Sherm., Zahnd, Elaine., Willis, Gordon., Grant, David., Lordi, Nicole. and Fry, Stephanie. "Behavior Coding across Multiple Languages: The 2003 California Health Interview Survey as a Case Study" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Public Opinion Research, Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs, Phoenix, Arizona, May 11, 2004 <Not Available>. 2009-05-26 <http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p116049_index.html>

APA Citation:

Edwards, S. , Zahnd, E. , Willis, G. , Grant, D. , Lordi, N. and Fry, S. , 2004-05-11 "Behavior Coding across Multiple Languages: The 2003 California Health Interview Survey as a Case Study" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Public Opinion Research, Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs, Phoenix, Arizona <Not Available>. 2009-05-26 from http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p116049_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Coding of interviewer and respondent behavior within the fielded interview has become an important tool for evaluating survey questions. Cannell et al (1968) described a behavior coding system that has evolved into perhaps the one most commonly used for this purpose (Fowler and Cannell, 1996). Previous research (e.g., Oksenberg et al, 1991; Zukerberg et al, 1995; Edwards et al, 2002) has focused on issues such as the system's reliability, whether it works equally well with live monitoring and recorded interviews, the sample size needed for pretesting, and the number of codes needed to identify questions that present problems for interviewers and respondents. This paper will describe an extension of behavior coding to assess questionnaire functioning across language, as part of an evaluation of the degree to which translated versions exhibit cross-cultural equivalence. For this study, behavior coding was performed for several portions of the questionnaire administered to adults (via telephone) in the 2003 California Health Interview Survey. The sample of interviews to be coded was selected so as to include interviews conducted in English, Spanish, and Korean. Further, language of interview and respondent cultural group were independently varied, so that some Korean respondents were interviewed in English and some in Korean; Latino respondents were interviewed in both Spanish and English; all other respondents were interviewed in English. Bilingual staff applied a system of codes specifically adapted for use in cross-cultural applications, and coded interviewer and respondent behaviors from the recorded interview segments. The paper will describe the coding process, assess inter-coder reliability across languages, and compare the frequency of problem codes across cultural group and across languages of interview. In summary, the paper will discuss the usefulness of behavior coding as a potential means for assessing the cross-cultural functioning of survey questions.

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