The Elderly Respondent

Experiences from a Large-Scale Survey of the Aged

Diane M. Gibson, Wendy Aitkenhead

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)


This article examines the particular advantages and disadvantages associated with interviewing older people. Expected problems included those relating to the physical and mental health status of the elderly, repondent fatigue, the acceptability of particular questions, and the suitability of certain formats. Overall, physical and mental frailty and respondent fatique led to few interviewing difficulties. Elderly respondents were found to be somewhat reticent on traditionally “difficult” questions such as income, but no particular problems were encountered with potentially emotional or threatening topics. The main advantages were those associated with high levels of cooperation and interest and few limitations on the time available to respondents to complete the interview.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-296
Number of pages14
JournalResearch on Aging
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1983
Externally publishedYes


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