Focusing on participants: Feminist Process Model for Survey Modification

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This article presents a model developed and assessed by a women's health research team to enhance sensitivity and increase readability of a survey to be used with community-based women. The survey consisted of quantitative measures of AIDS-related attitudes and behaviors, developed and used with traditional-aged college populations, and included questions of a highly personal nature. In Study 1, 30 women with English reading levels of third grade and above from two targeted community populations completed a survey in two waves of focus groups and gave feedback about readability, length, format, content, emotional responses, truthfulness in responding, and opinions about the research. Problem areas and changes that made the survey more readable, understandable, emotionally sensitive, and effective are reviewed. In Study 2, pre- and postmodification versions of nine scales are compared in 430 traditionalaged college women (pre) and 793 community-based women (post), the latter broken into subsamples for more refined comparisons. Results of five psychometric analyses demonstrate that psychometric integrity does not have to be hurt by such changes. In addition, this process illustrates how researchers can gain a better understanding of participants and their reactions to the research process through qualitative research methods. © 1999, Society for the Psychology of Women. All rights reserved.

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Psychology of Women Quarterly