Successfully recruiting, surveying, and retaining college students: A description of methods for the risk, religiosity, and Emerging Adulthood Study

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The selection of methods that purposefully reflect the norms of the target population increases the likelihood of effective recruitment, data collection, and retention. In the case of research among college students, researchers' appreciation of college student norms might be skewed by unappreciated generational and developmental differences. Our purpose in this article is to illustrate how attention to the generational and developmental characteristics of college students enhanced the methods of the Risk, Religiosity, and Emerging Adulthood study. We address the following challenges related to research with college students: recruitment, communication, data collection, and retention. Solutions incorporating Internet-based applications (e.g., Facebook) and sensitivity to the generational norms of participants (e.g., multiple means of communication) are described in detail. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 35:659–670, 2012

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