Objective: The aim of this study is to investigate differences in responses related to (mental) health and behavior between two methods of data collection: web-based (web) and paper-and-pencil (p&p).
Study design: Within each participating school all third-grade classes (mainly 14-15-year-old pupils) were randomly assigned to either the Internet condition (n=271) or the paper-and-pencil condition (n=261).
Principal findings: Significant but small differences were found for the strengths and difficulties subscales "emotional symptoms" (p&p>web) and "prosocial behavior" (p&p>web), and carrying a weapon (web>p&p). Perceived level of privacy and confidentiality did not differ between the two modes.
Conclusions: The findings suggest that in a controlled school setting, web-based administration of health indicators yields almost the same results as paper-and-pencil administration. To generalize these findings, we recommend repeated studies in other populations and settings.
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