Adolescent Recruitment Strategies: Lessons Learned from a University-Based Study of Social Anxiety

Danielle Elizabeth Parrish, Jacquelynn F. Duron, Holly K. Oxhandler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This article describes the challenges of and lessons learned from recruiting adolescents to participate in a university-based research study on social anxiety. A combination of printed flyers, social media, online classified ads, word of mouth, and respondent-driven sampling was used for recruitment. Landline and cellular phones, e-mail, and text messaging were used for contact with teenagers and their parents, which helped increase engagement in the study after eligibility screening. Efforts to obtain parental consent and adolescent assent included sending the assent and permission forms in advance to assist teenagers who preferred to travel independently. This mixture of strategies to recruit and retain adolescents resulted in nine participants from respondent-driven sampling procedures, eight referred by word of mouth, 10 by flyers, 13 by various electronic methods, and one by a method that is unknown. This study establishes that future university-based studies of adolescents would likely benefit from diverse recruitment and retention strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-220
Number of pages8
JournalSocial Work Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science


  • adolescents
  • incentives
  • recruitment
  • retention
  • social anxiety disorder


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