Vakgroep Psychologie, Gezondheid & Technologie

Qualitative pretesting of self-reported measures relevant to future navigating in young adolescents attending pre-vocational secondary education (VMBO)


Type of assignment: BA

Internal or external: Internal                                                                                                       

How many students possible: 3-4 students

Own data collection: YES 

Type of research: qualitative empirical   

EC: 15       



Early adolescence is a critical developmental phase in which children are forming their identities, and are making decisions about their future life and career. Especially students attending pre-vocational secondary education (VMBO) may narrow their options for the future prematurely due to stereotypical images of who they can and want to become. FutureMe is an art education program that is currently being developed for use in pre-vocational secondary education (VMBO) schools. One of the aims of this program is to use a wide range of art modalities to motivate and support VMBO students to imagine and enact their future possibilities.


To capture the processes and effects of the FutureMe program, a basic set of assessment instruments that are tailored to this specific population is needed. In this assignment you will explore and pretest potentially relevant constructs and questionnaires for assessing such constructs, such as self-esteem, ability beliefs and self-continuity. Relevant instruments may need to be adapted first by the students (e.g., layout, item wording, response options) to the specific population of VMBO students if needed.


Next, the self-report scales will be pretested in a small sample of approximately 10 VMBO students per instrument using the Three-Step Test-Interview (TSTI) method (Hak, van der Veer, & Jansen, 2004). The TSTI is a method for identifying response problems in self-administered questionnaires by observing actual instances of interaction between the instrument and respondents. It consists of three steps: Observation of response while completing the scale, follow-up probing aimed at remedying gaps in observational data and debriefing aimed at eliciting experiences and opinions (Hak, van der Veer, & Jansen, 2008).


Who are we looking for?:

Dutch speaking students. Willingness to travel (2-3 times): We are currently in contact with a VMBO school in the west of the Netherlands to explore whether students from their school can be approached for participation in this study. If this is not possible, 12-16 year old Dutch respondents, preferably VMBO students, need to be recruited by the students themselves.



First supervisor: Peter ten Klooster

Second supervisor: Anneke Sools



Hak, T., van der Veer, K., & Jansen, H. (2008). The Three-Step Test-Interview (TSTI): An observation-based method for pretesting self-completion questionnaires. Survey Research Methods, 2(3), 143–150.