Assessing the validity of key informant reports about congregations' social composition
Key informant interviewing is an important methodological tool for gathering information about congregations, but little research has examined the accuracy of the information key informants provide. We assess the validity of key informant reports about congregations' social composition from the 1998 and 2006-2007 National Congregations Study using data from the 1998 and 2006 General Social Survey. We find that, in the aggregate, key informants are reasonably accurate on most measures, but they are less accurate when reporting congregants' education, age, and household composition. Our findings regarding congregations' social composition are consistent with other research showing that key informants provide the most valid assessments when they are asked about directly observable organizational characteristics. © 2010 The Author. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Association for the Sociology of Religion. All rights reserved.
Frenk, SM; Anderson, SL; Chaves, M; Martin, N
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