Sociology, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Field Methods 30:2 (2018), pp 91-104.

DOI: 10.1177/1525822X18762111


Copyright © 2018 Kimberly A. Tyler and Kristen Olson. Published by SAGE Publications. Used by permission.


We assessed the feasibility of ecological momentary assessment using short message service (SMS) surveying with 150 homeless youth. We found that on average, participants completed 18.8 days of texts, but 30% of youth (N = 44) had texting data on 28 or more days. The average number of texts answered per day was 8.49 (of a possible 11). Forty-three percent of days had answers to all 11 texts sent that day, and 69.4% of days had answers to eight or more texts. We found significant differences in response rates by phone type. Seventy-three percent of youth reported that responding to our texts was very easy or somewhat easy and 69% endorsed the response option “just enough,” regarding the number of texts sent per day. The 30-day texting period was deemed “about right” by 74% of youth. Details of using SMS with homeless youth are provided, and results indicate that this data collection technique is feasible with this population.

(Includes supplementary materials.)