Recruiting the ABCD sample: Design considerations and procedures

The ABCD study is a new and ongoing project of very substantial size and scale involving 21 data acquisition sites. It aims to recruit 11,500 children and follow them for ten years with extensive assessments at multiple timepoints. To deliver on its potential to adequately describe adolescent development, it is essential that it adopt recruitment procedures that are efficient and effective and will yield a sample that reflects the nationĂ­s diversity in an epidemiologically informed manner. Here, we describe the sampling plans and recruitment procedures of this study. Participants are largely recruited through the school systems with school selection informed by gender, race and ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and urbanicity. Procedures for school selection designed to mitigate selection biases, dynamic monitoring of the accumulating sample to correct deviations from recruitment targets, and a description of the recruitment procedures designed to foster a collaborative attitude between the researchers, the schools and the local communities, are provided.