Peter Matthews, Emily Bell, Alexander Wenz
Surveying young people in the smartphone age

Social Research Practice, 2017: 5, S. 2-11

Smartphones are now the most commonly used device for young people to access the internet. However, there are concerns about the quality of responses received from those completing online surveys on smartphones as opposed to other devices. So far, the evidence has been mixed although little research has focused on young people in particular.

This paper presents evidence of the effect of smartphone completion on response quality amongst a cohort of young people aged 16-17, who have grown up in the time of widespread smartphone use. Using data from the fourth wave of the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England 2 (LSYPE2), we investigated five areas of data quality: missingness, satisficing, survey length, response accuracy and social desirability bias. Our principal conclusion is that there is little evidence that the quality of data is any lower for young people who take part on smartphones compared with other devices.