Survey Design for TANF Caseload Project: Summary Report and Recommendations. Common Measures Used, Pros and Cons

08/28/2002

None of the surveys that we examined included direct measures of whether the respondent has a family or household member that is involved in criminal activity. This is probably because of concerns that the respondent will be reluctant to reveal such information. The WES does, however, ask a series of questions about the respondents experience of stressful life events that may have occurred in the past 12 months  including items that may indirectly suggest the presence of a household member with criminal involvement. For example, the respondent is asked whether she has had a relative or close friend in jail; whether someone she was close to died or was killed; whether she lived in a household with someone who had a problem with alcohol or drugs; and whether she had people living with her who she wished were not there.

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