Engaging adolescents in contemporary longitudinal health research: Strategies for promoting participation and retention

Aja Louise Murray*, Tong Xie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Purpose: High (and nonselective) recruitment and retention rates in longitudinal studies of adolescence are essential for illuminating health trajectories and determinants during this critical period. Knowledge of optimal recruitment and retention strategies must keep pace with emerging challenges and opportunities, such as the shifts towards digitally-based data collection.
Methods: We used a narrative review approach to synthesize research on promising recruitment and retention strategies for optimizing engagement in the next generation of longitudinal adolescent health studies.
Results: We identified a small number of well-evidenced strategies, emerging challenges and opportunities for recruitment and retention in contemporary studies, and key evidence gaps. Core recommendations include the use of well-evidenced strategies (e.g., incentivizing participation, reducing barriers and burden, and investing in building positive relationships with participants) and coproducing recruitment and retention strategies with adolescents and parents of adolescents.
Discussion: More research is needed into successful recruitment/retention strategies for digital/remote data collection methods, but initial evidence suggests that adopting principles and adapting well-evidenced strategies from traditional longitudinal studies is promising.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-17
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number1
Early online date9 Sept 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • longitudinal
  • adolescence
  • recruitment
  • health
  • retention
  • mental health


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