Finding respondents from minority groups Academic Article uri icon


  • The recruitment of respondents belonging to ethnic minorities poses important challenges in social and health research. This paper reflects on the enablers and barriers to recruitment that we encountered in our research work with persons belonging to ethnic minorities. Additionally, we applied the Matching Model of Recruitment, a theoretical framework concerning minority recruitment, to guide our reflection. We also explored its applicability as a research design tool. In assessing our research experience, we learned that minority recruitment in social and health research is influenced by the social context of all key players involved in the research. Also, there are enablers and barriers within that social context facilitating or delaying the recruitment process. The main enablers to recruit respondents belonging to ethnic minorities include working with community agencies and gatekeepers who share a common vision with researchers and the latter's ability to gain the trust of potential respondents. The main barriers include demanding too much from these same community agencies and gatekeepers and ignoring factors that could delay the completion of the research. Although we found the Matching Model of Recruitment to be an effective tool in assessing the processes of recruiting respondents belonging to ethnic minorities, further empirical research is needed to explore its usefulness during the research planning phase. © 2006 Journal of Research Practice and the authors.

author list (cited authors)

  • Mier, N., Medina, A. A., Bocanegra-Alonso, A., Castillo-Ruiz, O., Acosta-Gonzalez, R. I., & Ramirez, J. A.

publication date

  • January 2006