DNA COLLECTION IN A RANDOMIZED SOCIAL SCIENCE STUDY OF COLLEGE PEER EFFECTS

Authors


  • This data collection effort was funded by a seed grant to Guang Guo from the Odum Institute at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill and a major grant to Guang Guo from the William T. Grant Foundation. Special acknowledgment is due to the BioSpecimen Processing Facility at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill for extracting the DNA from the saliva samples and for preparing the DNA plates for genotyping and to UNC Mammalian Genotyping Center for genotyping. We would also like to thank the Chapel Hill Sociology Department—Tianji Cai, Yi Li, Alice Weng, Allison Matthews, Bethany Remington, Brandon Wagner, Cindy Karol, Crista Cuccaro, Eric Amidon, Jacob Rosch, Jennie Smith, Kayo Suzuki, Marybelle Guo, Reine Duffy, Richard Silc, Rick Bradley, Shawn Bauldry, Stefanie Knauer, Teresa Edwards, Tim Cupery, and Tim Wander—for their contribution to the project. Direct correspondence to Guang Guo, CB#3210, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3210; e-mail: guang_guo@unc.edu.

Abstract

We describe the DNA collection processes of an initial pilot and full study, which is designed to investigate joint peer and genetic effects on health behaviors and attitudes in a college campus setting. In the main study, 2664 (79.5%) students completed a Web survey and 2080 (78.7% of the survey completers after adjusting for the ineligible) provided a saliva DNA sample. The response rate for completing both the survey and the DNA portion of the study is 62.5%. Our DNA yields are of high quality. Overall, our experiences and results demonstrate that genetic data can be successfully collected as a part of traditional social science survey research projects. To aid others in doing so, we provide extensive details of our data collection experiences and offer recommendations to future researchers seeking to do or evaluate similar work.

Ancillary