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

Document Type



Community and Global Health (CGU)

Publication Date



Medical Nutrition | Medicine and Health Sciences


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.

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Copyright © 1997 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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