Within-household selection methods: A critical review and experimental examination

Jolene D. Smyth, Kristen Olson, Mathew Stange

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


Within-household selection aims to provide each member of a sampled household with a known, nonzero chance of being selected for the survey. Thus, it helps to ensure that the sample represents the target population rather than only those most willing and available to participate and, as such, reduces total survey error. This chapter reviews recent literature on within-household selection across survey modes, identifies the methodological requirements of studying within-household selection methods experimentally, and provides an example of an experiment designed to improve the quality of selecting an adult within a household in mail surveys. It summarizes current implications for survey practice regarding within-household selection. The chapter focuses on selection of one adult out of all possible adults in a household; screening households for members who have particular characteristics has additional complications, although designing experimental studies for screening follows the same principles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationExperimental Methods in Survey Research
Subtitle of host publicationTechniques that Combine Random Sampling with Random Assignment
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9781119083771
ISBN (Print)9781119083740
StatePublished - Sep 30 2019


  • Experimental examination
  • Methodological requirements
  • Self-administered surveys
  • Survey practice
  • Telephone surveys
  • Total survey error
  • Within-household selection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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