Why Do Latino Survey Respondents Acquiesce? Respondent and Interviewer Characteristics as Determinants of Cultural Patterns of Acquiescence Among Latino Survey Respondents

Research indicates that Latino survey respondents are more likely to acquiesce than non-Latino European Americans (EAs), thereby decreasing the potential for measurement invariance across cultural groups. To better understand what drives this culturally patterned response style, we examined the influence of respondent and interviewer characteristics on acquiescence. Data were obtained from a telephone survey of 400 Mexican American, Puerto Rican, Cuban American, and non-Latino EA respondents, and a self-administered survey of 21 interviewers. Higher acquiescence was associated with several respondent characteristics: older age, lower education, stronger Latino cultural orientation, Spanish use, Latino ethnicity, and, among Latinos, Cuban American ethnicity. In contrast, acquiescence was not influenced by respondent-interviewer social distance, social deference, or interviewer characteristics (e.g., education, gender, acculturation, interviewer experience). These findings indicate that acquiescence differs across Latino ethnic subgroups and that respondent and language factors are more influential determinants of acquiescence than survey interviewers.