Survey / Census

Survey of folks at the OE site, with help from William McConochie,
  1. The questionnaire includes an item about whether a person has spent a night in the camp, which will help me explore possible diffences between “street” Occupy members and other members.
  2. Thanks much for your support. Yesterday we gathered 52 completed questionnaires, for which I was very grateful, especially because the camp is in imminent threat of being disbanded by the city.
  3. In particular I plan to seek questionnaire data also on community groups such as the City Club, Rotarians and maybe church members. I want to compare these groups to Occupy members to see if there’s any difference. I suspect there may not be, except conservatives may differ somewhat from liberals. If there isn’t much difference between groups, this will add credence to the Occupy claim that they represent the 99%, the majority of citizens.
  4. Regarding a census instrument, may I suggest developing a separate single page instrument, as some persons yesterday at the camp appeared to be OE members but were not interested in doing the survey. To do a good census, you’d want data from as many persons as possible.
  5. I’d suggest, off-hand, for your census you ask:
    Age, gender, current living/dwelling status (homeless, living with friends, living with parents, renting an apartment alone, or with friends, buying a house, own a house free and clear, employment status (student, employed, unemployed and looking, etc.), marital status, history of childhood abuse or neglect, history of mental health treatment (meds, counseling, hospitalization), psychosis, depression, anxiety, drug abuse (past/present), alcohol abuse (past/present), history of arrests/incarceration, etc. Religious beliefs/membership, ethnic status, and income might also be of interest. I could help you and your colleagues develop this intrument, and perhaps help with suggestions re: data processing, e.g. with SPSS software. Tony Biglan might also be interested. He’s a researcher at ORI and a friend of mine.
  6. From my research I know that persons who recall their childhoods as abusive/neglectful tend to perceive their adult worlds as oppressive, unfair, etc. Thus, some of the Occupy complaints may be exacerbated by childhood mistreatment. I would be nice to separate out this factor if possible, therefore.