Recruitment Issues in School-Based Research: Lessons Learned from the High 5 Alabama Project

Academic Article


  • School-based research requires a multi-level recruitment process to ensure an adequate sample. This article describes the High 5 Alabama recruitment experience at four levels: district, school, classroom and individual. One hundred percent of 28 schools across three districts and 108 classroom teachers contacted agreed to participate. Moderate success (69%) at the individual level, which required active parental consent for the student and parent to participate, resulted in 1,698 student/parent participants. An examination of differences between participants and nonparticipants revealed under-representation of a subsample of the population in the project sample. Suggestions obtained from project staff and teachers intended to enhance future school-based recruitment strategies include enlistment of a district advocate; meeting with teachers to solicit support; using incentives with students and teachers; direct contact with parents; having teachers keep rosters of students returning consent forms; and tailoring recruitment strategies for specific subpopulations.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Harrington KF; Binkley D; Reynolds KD; Duvall RC; Copeland JR; Franklin F; Raczynski J
  • Start Page

  • 415
  • End Page

  • 421
  • Volume

  • 67
  • Issue

  • 10