Monday, March 11, 2019

Query Regarding General Social Survey (Cycle 30, 2016)

A researcher writes: “We are working with the GSS Cycle 30, 2016. There are certain items that assess things like internet usage and resilience in people (e.g., IUR_01). Were these items taken from psychometrically validated instruments and inserted in the GSS? We have thoroughly scoured the documentation available online (including codebooks, etc.) and cannot find how these items came to be?”

The Main code book for this GSS cycle kindly notes sources of each variable. I looked at the IUR_01 as well as the resilience questions (RES_xx) and noted that for a couple the source is another Survey (adapted from), but many of them are “new question.” So, if I’m interpreting the researcher’s question correctly, he would like to know on what that “new question” was based.

We’ve received the following response from subject matter:

1.       “Resilience questions

The resilience questions were based on broad research (academic and NGO) including individual, child and community resilience (see some of the resources consulted below) as well as consultation with subject matter experts both within and outside Statistics Canada. The final stage included the development of a resilience factor table that was used to generate questions most suitable to the target population of the General Social Survey. Where possible, existing questions from within Statistics Canada were used. All new questions developed in house and based on the previous research underwent rigorous qualitative testing and only ones that tested well were retained. In some instances, wording was changed as a result of testing to render the question more user friendly.

Some resources consulted in developing resilience questions:

The Dispositional Resilience Scale - Bartone (1989; 1991; 1995)

The ER 89 - Block & Kremen (1989)

Connor-Davidson Scale - Connor & Davidson (2003)

Youth Resiliency: Assessing Developmental Strengths - Donnon & Hammond (2003)

The Resilience Scale for Adults - Friborg et al. (2003)

Resiliency Attitudes and Skills Profile - Hurtes & Allen (2001)

Adolescent Resilience Scale - Oshio et al. (2003)

The Brief Resilience Scale - Smith et al. (2008)

The Resilience Scale (AUS) - Wagnild & Young (1993)

Psychological Resilience - Windle, Markland & Woods (2008)

Ego Resiliency - Klohnen (1996)

The Resilience Scale for Adolescents - Hjemdal et al. (2006)

  • The well-being and resilience paradox, Technical Report; The Young Foundation
  • Resilience and well-being: Definitions, measurement and intervention; Doug Coatsworth, Penn State University
  • Resilience: A Literature Review; Patrick Martin-Breen and J. Marty Anderies, Rockefeller Center
  • Survey of Emergency Preparedness and Resilience in Canada (SEPR); Statistics Canada

2.       Internet questions

Research was conducted on the topic of technology and the Internet, to reveal existing knowledge as well as data gaps on specific points of interest. One of such topic was the ownership of technology devices. After the initial research, consultations with experts who designed and conducted Statistics Canada’s Canadian Internet Use Survey, was carried out.  There was general consensus that given the accelerated availability and cost reduction of consumer electronics, inquiring about the device types that people own is important for understanding their distribution (and ultimately use). This is the background to the new question on the ownership of technology devices.”