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A Comparison of Three Online Recruitment Strategies for Engaging Parents

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Family Relations / Family Relations Interdisciplinary Journal of Applied Family Studies

Published online on


Family scientists can face the challenge of effectively and efficiently recruiting normative samples of parents and families. Utilizing the Internet to recruit parents is a strategic way to find participants where they already are, enabling researchers to overcome many of the barriers to in‐person recruitment. The present study was designed to compare three online recruitment strategies for recruiting parents: e‐mail Listservs, Facebook, and Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk). Analyses revealed differences in the effectiveness and efficiency of data collection. In particular, MTurk resulted in the most demographically diverse sample, in a short period of time, with little cost. Listservs reached a large number of participants and resulted in a comparatively homogeneous sample. Facebook was not successful in recruiting a general sample of parents. Findings provide information that can help family researchers and practitioners be intentional about recruitment strategies and study design.