Our new 13-15s panel reaches headlines at Research Live

Press and Announcements | 07 Feb 2020

We've extended our coverage to include younger teens with the launch of the UK's only direct access panel that reaches 13-15-year olds.

We have extended our access panel to include 13-15s for the first time, further extending our 150,000-strong UK research panel of 16-30-year olds. The age extension makes us the only panel supplier in the UK to provide the MR industry with direct access to younger teens and it's unique, innovative approach with the panel has been featured in Research Live and MR Web. 

Under 15s are classified by the MRS as kids or children and, therefore, before taking part, they must obtain parental consent. The surveys they are offered must be regulated in terms of content, too (to be complaint with MRS Codes).

“The 13-15 audience has always been one of the most difficult to reach for researchers.  And with good reason. It’s a young audience that needs protection.  But on the other hand, researchers need access to this audience: their views are too often ignored in consultations, product design, etc.”  Musesengwa continued, “In extending our panel down to 13-year olds we wanted to square the circle and provide faster and higher quality access for researchers, while also offering all the protections that survey participants in this age bracket need.  And frankly all the protections that responsible companies want and need, too.”

- Tatenda Musesengwa, Managing Director of YouthSight’s Panel and Data Services business 

The current situation

Currently, when researchers need to reach under-16s for survey research, the access panel operator sends an invitation to their parent members requesting they provide consent for their child to continue the survey.  The parent is then asked to request their child completes the survey. We believe this process is flawed, namely:

  • There is no way for the panel company to reach the child directly, therefore, there are questions marks over the child’s identity: the child may not even exist
  • There is no way to check the child did the survey (rather than the parent)
  • There is no way for the panel company to provide an incentive to the child so there’s little motivation for the child to take part.

We have been long concerned that the current situation is vulnerable to easy and widespread cheating, with the primary problem being parents taking the survey on behalf of their children. We put our concerns to the test.

YouthSight’s research on research

To test their theory, we conducted an experiment. We went to a leading panel company with a test survey aimed at 13-15s and found that of the 1000 interviews that were completed, 28% failed an age-check  question at the end of the survey (potentially due to parents forgetting they were doing the survey on behalf of their kids and declaring their true age) while a further 25% of completes took place during school hours (during term time).  In other words, a massive portion of the results were based on surveys with the wrong people.

“Our research on research returned a worrying picture, where around half the surveys completed were with parents not kids”.  She continued, “Our clients obviously need accurate data.  So, fixing this problem was a key motivation for YouthSight when considering how to extend our youth panel to include younger members.”

- Emma Quinn, Panel and Data Services Client Manager

YouthSight’s recruitment process for 13-15s

The process we use to recruit is set out in our downloadable guide, 13-15s Panel Research: Assuring Quality & Compliance Guide.  In summary, panellists are recruited via targeted social media advertising and on joining, new young members are asked to provide their parents’ email addresses - the parents are then emailed with a request for their consent.

Once consent is given, we follow up with a phone call to the parent and only then is the child able to join the panel.  Once on-board, all surveys for 13-15s are checked by our researchers to ensure they are complaint with MRS rules (e.g. don’t include questions on prohibited topic areas such as alcohol, junk food and other potentially sensitive or inappropriate subjects).

“By front-loading the consent process we reduce the overhead on the parent (we only need to ask for consent once) and we hugely increase the accuracy of the ensuring data.  Because the panellists are young and have less income, they appreciate our generous survey incentives more. Our response rates are great.

"The 13-15 portion of our panel is currently small (with just under 600 members) but it will start to grow fairly rapidly now that we have nailed down an efficient recruitment process.

“We’re incredibly excited about this development. We launched at the MRS Kids and Youth Conference on 23rd Jan and we’ve been delighted with the levels of interest.  We can’t wait to take this panel on to the next level.”

- Tatenda Musesengwa 



Read more

Our panel & data services team support research, marketing and in-house agencies with their research and analysis needs. We provide instant access the UK's largest youth research panel of over 150,000 highly profiled 13-30s, who are ready for your quant, qual or passive research projects.

With over 75% of our members unique to our panel, you won't find as many real 13-30-year old research participants in any one place anywhere else in the UK. And with the addition of our new 13-15s research panel we can guarantee that you'll see an improvement to your data quality with our innovative direct access approach to accessing under-16s. 

Read more about our direct access to 13-15s > 

Back to Index


Keep up with the youth

Sign up to our newsletter for the latest insights in your sector

Sign me up

close button

Sign me up for up for exclusive insights

We'll only use your personal information to provide you our insight articles. We'll only contact you via email and you may unsubscribe at any time.