Network Data Collection for Chinese Immigrants in the Raleigh-Durham Area, Tanzania and France

The Chinese in Africa Health Study (CAHS), the Chinese Immigrants in the Raleigh Durham Area Study (ChIRDU) and the Chinese Immigrants in the Paris Region Study (ChIPRE) all evaluate the feasibility, accuracy and cost-effectiveness of immigrant samples collected utilizing the Network Sampling with Memory (NSM) approach.

NSM is an innovative network sampling approach which uses information about respondents’ social ties collected during the survey to guide the sampling process and improve the accuracy and precision of the resulting estimates of population proportions. The three studies demonstrate the benefit of NSM-generated network data, which are generally not collected in traditional surveys of migration, to analyze network-related social processes associated with physical and mental health outcomes, and labor market and network-based measures of immigrant social incorporation.

The CAHS survey includes information on the demographic characteristics, migration histories, physical and mental health status and social network ties of 147 members of the Chinese community in Dar Es Salaam, recruited with the NSM approach. In addition to the study’s main goals of demonstrating the feasibility of the NSM network data requirements and obtaining referral information from the respondent about his/her network members, other objectives include: describing the demographic profile and social organization of a Chinese community in Africa; highlighting key differences between various categories of migrants; and mapping the structure of the social ties linking them. 

Conducted between April 2018 and January 2019, the ChIRDU study used the NSM approach to recruit three samples of Chinese-born residents in the Raleigh Durham area. A total of 500 respondents were recruited using one of three different survey modes: in person (200), by telephone (200) and through the web (100). The project demonstrates the practicality and accuracy of NSM by drawing comparisons across the three modes of data collection and highlights the differences between each sample and the more conventional sample drawn from the American Community Survey (ACS. 

ChIPRE uses NSM to recruit a sample of 800 Chinese-born residents in and around Paris, France. Utilizing the NSM approach, ChIPRE collects the respondents’ socio-demographic characteristics, family background, marriage/cohabitation history, educational history and social ties. It also aggregates residential, migration and employment histories—including migration status, material circumstances such as income, French language proficiency. It also measures social acculturation and perceptions of discrimination. This extensive data collection documents social and economic forms and processes.

COVID-19 Supplemental Data Collection (2020). This COVID-related data collection is a follow-up to the ChIRDU study described above which recruited a population representative sample of 510 Chinese immigrants in the Raleigh Durham area in 2018 using a novel link tracing sampling design (NSM Network Sampling with Memory) and multiple modes of data collection (in person, phone and web). Between July and September 2020, after the start of the COVID-19 outbreak in the US in March, we re-contacted the original ChIRDU respondents who were still living in the U.S. for participation in a follow-up survey of COVID experiences (testing, symptoms, health promoting behaviors, children schooling), stressors (experiences of discrimination and acculturative, COVID-related, and financial stressors), social and financial support sought and given and anxiety and depressive symptoms. In addition to experiences of discrimination, which were asked in both surveys, each survey wave includes network rosters mapping the social networks of respondents before and during the pandemic. These data allow to examine the role of social support given and received and of different types of social ties (co-ethnic, native and transnational) in moderating the impact of pandemic-related and pre-existing stressors, including the experience of COVID-related anti-Asian discrimination, on psychological wellbeing.

Data Collection Category
Network and Innovative Data Collection
Last Year of Data
2018, 2020
Age Range at Last Data Collection
Biomarkers/ Administrative or Other Data Elements
Duke Principal Investigator(s)
Primary Funding Agency
NICHD, The French National Research Agency (ANR)