Stigma In Global Context: Mental Health Study
Indiana University . Bloomington . Indiana



Research Plan 


Fielding Schedule and Sample Design





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Hungary Sample Design

Sampling Plan

1. Operating method of data collection department


TÁRKI has got the English version of the actual questionnaire.  An expert will prepare the translation of the questionnaire from English to Hungarian.  Another translator will make the back-translation into English.  An individual who has not seen the original version of the questionnaire will prepare the back-translation.

An expert in the coordination center will compare the original English questionnaire to the back-translation. If there is any difference, the process of correction starts with the network members, till the actual Hungarian back-translation fits the original English version.

Pre-test of questionnaires:

All our questionnaires are carefully designed.  Experts of all kind participate in the process: experienced interviewers, instructors, and researchers.  The draft questionnaires are always piloted in order to reduce mistakes and ambivalence.  Great emphasis is laid on trying to prevent mistakes that cannot be corrected later.


We use probability samples that had been selected in multiple stages with proportional stratification.  In the first stage, localities are chosen, in the second stage, the respondents are chosen from the localities with simple random sampling.

Creating the sample of localities:

The counties formed the first strata, type of settlements the second. The localities are chosen from these strata with the help of random sampling.  During this we usually follow the general principle that Budapest and all the county seats (19) are involved into the sample. For each county 1 additional town, and 1-2 villages are selected.  The 23 districts of Budapest formed a separate sampling unit.  Thus, the number of sampling points about 90.

Creating the sample of individuals:

After the selection of the localities, the demanded number of respondents is chosen in every towns and villages.  We use “preselected addresses” sampling methods for selection of respondents.

The number of respondents in the previously chosen localities is defined in accordance with the proportion of the population in the given strata – counties and in the different types of localities (county seats, towns and villages) within the counties.

The concrete names and addresses are obtained from the Central Registry and Electoral Office with the help of simple random sampling.

First contact:

Knowing the names and addresses of respondents prior to the actual data collection procedure request letters are sent to participants in order to inspire confidence and reduce the proportion of the refusal rate.

Instruction of interviewers:

Written instructions are prepared for each research for the field workers.  Instructions include the brief description of the research's aim to arouse the interest of the interviewers, explaining the purpose and structure of questionnaires; it also gives guidelines rarely occurring interview situations.

Fieldwork and control:

TÁRKI developed a national network of field workers; it is headed by a full-time job leader-instructor to whom regional instructors report.  The chief instructor is responsible for all the fieldwork, including the control of regional instructors.  The regional instructors are responsible for the fieldwork in their region – one or two counties.  Careful selection is needed to find the best interviewers and they have to be provided systematic in-service training.

Fieldworkers are controlled in many different ways.  The regional instructors manage the interviewers' work; they are responsible for solving problems interviews encounter.  Apart from this their task is to carry out 100 percent fill-in control, which includes handling the possible suspicious cases individually.  Besides these they control all interviewers at random by visiting the participants (10%).

The regional instructors hand over the questionnaires to our post-fieldworkers working at the Budapest headquarters of TÁRKI. Post-fieldworkers responsibilities are: further, standardized fill-in control; coding open questions and recording data.  The number of the post-fieldworkers ranges from 5 to 25 depending on the given research.  Regions divide post-workers, thus the handling religions reparably makes it possible to control field workers and feedback regional instructors.  Feedback on their work is constantly available.

Besides of this regional control, a central controller is employed in TARKI, who has not daily personal connection with the interviewers.  After the results of logical control of data based on computer, and the reports of post-fieldworkers, she conducts an additional control of interviewers or regions where the mistakes or problems seem to be frequent.  She controls personally or with the help of phone, or with letter of checking.  She is responsible for inspect the controlling work of regional instructors as well.

Data processing and cleaning:

Data is entered in SPSS Data Entry program.  Logical control and exclusion of extreme values are always built in the program. This procedure reduces typing errors and other possible mistakes.

Cleaning of data occurs at different stages.  Before compiling the system file a program pre-checks for various types of coding error.  Only after correcting these errors are the files joined.

On the joined data file a more rigorous cleaning procedure begins: all demographical data are cleaned and logical uncertainties are checked and re-checked.  The handed down files are joined and we start the cleaning of the basic data and the logical controlling.  Employees experienced in searching for mistakes do this part of the operation and they also understand programming.


The goodness of fit of the sample is controlled with the common consideration of the main social-demographic features of the respondents.  The expected social-demographic frequencies are determined by the latest relevant database of the Central Statistical Office.  The sample is weighed by considering the common frequencies of four demographic factors:

  • gender

  • age group

  • type of settlement and

  • educational level


Codebooks about every fieldwork are complied on each research. It contains the frequencies and descriptive statistics on each variable as well as information on the exact sampling method and on the comparison of data to current census. All materials related to fieldwork are also included.


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Last updated: 6 September 2005
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