Measurement equivalence in mixed mode surveys

Joop J. Hox, Edith D. De Leeuw, Eva A. O. Zijlmans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)
133 Downloads (Pure)


Surveys increasingly use mixed mode data collection (e.g., combining face-to-face and web) because this controls costs and helps to maintain good response rates. However, a combination of different survey modes in one study, be it cross-sectional or longitudinal, can lead to different kinds of measurement errors. For example, respondents in a face-to-face survey or a web survey may interpret the same question differently, and might give a different answer, just because of the way the question is presented. This effect of survey mode on the question-answer process is called measurement mode effect. This study develops methodological and statistical tools to identify the existence and size of mode effects in a mixed mode survey. In addition, it assesses the size and importance of mode effects in measurement instruments using a specific mixed mode panel survey (Netherlands Kinship Panel Study). Most measurement instruments in the NKPS are multi-item scales, therefore confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) will be used as the main analysis tool, using propensity score methods to correct for selection effects. The results show that the NKPS scales by and large have measurement equivalence, but in most cases only partial measurement equivalence. Controlling for respondent differences on demographic variables, and on scale scores from the previous uni-mode measurement occasion, tends to improve measurement equivalence, but not for all scales. The discussion ends with a review of the implications of our results for analyses employing these scales.
Original languageEnglish
Article number87
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • mixed mode survey
  • measurement equivalence
  • measurement invariance
  • mode effect
  • selection bias
  • propensity score adjustment


Dive into the research topics of 'Measurement equivalence in mixed mode surveys'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this