Examining the Feasibility of Ecological Momentary Assessment Using Short Message Service Surveying with Homeless Youth: Lessons Learned

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We assessed the feasibility of ecological momentary assessment using short message service (SMS) surveying with 150 homeless youth. We found that on average, participants completed 18.8 days of texts, but 30% of youth (N = 44) had texting data on 28 or more days. The average number of texts answered per day was 8.49 (of a possible 11). Forty-three percent of days had answers to all 11 texts sent that day, and 69.4% of days had answers to eight or more texts. We found significant differences in response rates by phone type. Seventy-three percent of youth reported that responding to our texts was very easy or somewhat easy and 69% endorsed the response option “just enough,” regarding the number of texts sent per day. The 30-day texting period was deemed “about right” by 74% of youth. Details of using SMS with homeless youth are provided, and results indicate that this data collection technique is feasible with this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-104
Number of pages14
JournalField Methods
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2018


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology

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