Tracing selection effects in three non-probability samples

C Barendregt*, A van der Poel, D van de Mheen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Snowball sampling and targeted sampling are widely applied techniques to recruit samples from hidden populations, such as problematic drug users. The disadvantage is that they yield non-probability samples which cannot be generalised to the population. Despite thorough preparatory mapping procedures, selection effects continue to occur. This paper proposes an interpretation frame that allows estimating the direction of selection bias after data collection. Critical examination of the recruitment procedure and comparison with statistical and non-statistical external data sources are the core features of the interpretation frame. Applying the interpretation frame increases insight into the reliability of the results and allows to estimate where selection bias may have occurred.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124-131
JournalEuropean Addiction Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • illegal drug use
  • hidden populations
  • snowball sampling
  • DRUG


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