When handling missing data, a researcher should be aware of the mechanism underlying the missingness. In the presence of non-randomly missing data, a model of the missing data mechanism should be included in the analyses to prevent the analyses based on the data from becoming biased. Modeling the missing data mechanism, however, is a difficult task. One way in which knowledge about the missing data mechanism may be obtained is by collecting additional data from non-respondents. In this paper the method of re-approaching respondents who did not answer all questions of a questionnaire is described. New answers were obtained from a sample of these non-respondents and the reason(s) for skipping questions was (were) probed for. The additional data resulted in a larger sample and was used to investigate the differences between respondents and non-respondents, whereas probing for the causes of missingness resulted in more knowledge about the nature of the missing data patterns.
Quality & Quantity – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 6, 2004
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