AIMS: According to 'the continuum of resistance model' late respondents can be used as a proxy for non-respondents in estimating non-response bias. In the present study, the validity of this model was explored and tested in three surveys on alcohol consumption. METHODS: The three studies collected their data by means of mailed questionnaires on alcohol consumption whereby two studies also performed a non-response follow-up. RESULTS: Comparisons of early respondents, late respondents and non-respondents in one study showed some support for 'the continuum of resistance model', although another study could not confirm this result. Comparison of alcohol consumption between three time response groups showed no significant linear pattern of differences between response waves. CONCLUSIONS: The hypothesis that late respondents are more similar to non-respondents than early respondents, could not be confirmed or rejected. Repeated mailings are effective in obtaining a greater sample size, but seem ineffective in improving the representativeness of alcohol consumption surveys.

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Alcohol and Alcoholism
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Lahaut, V.M, Jansen, H.A.M, van de Mheen, H, Garretsen, H.F.L, Verdurmen, J.E, & van Dijk, A. (2003). Estimating non-response bias in a survey on alcohol consumption: comparison of response waves. Alcohol and Alcoholism. Retrieved from