06 Appendix B – Methodology

Appendix B - Methodology



The data contained in this report originated through a research study conducted by the Barna Group of Ventura, California. The study was commissioned by Christ in Youth in Joplin, Missouri.

To understand the state of faith among Irish youth, Barna conducted a study that approached the question from several angles. In the first phase, Barna and Christ in Youth gathered youth workers from a variety of denominations for focus groups. In the second phase, four Irish interviewers spoke to young people and their youth leaders. Youth leaders who weren’t interviewed in person also had the opportunity to respond to the same survey online.

The online youth study was distributed to young people in the Republic of Ireland, ages 14–25. A total of 790 youth participated in this research study. Based on this sample size, the sampling error for this study is 3.5 percentage points at the 95-percent confidence level.

Two different methods of data collection were used for this survey: panelbased sampling and church-based sampling.


Participants in this study were provided through the Harris Panel, including members of its third-party panel providers. The survey was made available through this panel from January 24 to February 21, 2017. In all, 750 youth completed this survey. The sample error on this survey is plus or minus 3.6 percentage points at the 95-percent confidence level.

The responses were weighted by age and denomination, according to the 2011 Republic of Ireland Census. Note that between 2011 and 2016, the percentage of all Irish adults who identify as Catholic fell from 84.2 percent to 78.3 percent. However, because this religious affiliation data is not available by age, data from this study is weighted based on 2011 census information.


To supplement the panel data, churches throughout the Republic of Ireland were asked to share a link to the online survey with their youth. Data was collected this way from February 25 through March 13, 2017. A total of 40 youth were recruited through their churches to complete this survey.


Four interviewers experienced in youth work in Ireland conducted 96 indepth interviews with young people ages 14–25 between October 2016 to January 2017. These interviews lasted 5–25 minutes, with a majority under 10 minutes.


The youth worker study was conducted online February 21 through March 30, 2017. A total of 51 youth workers completed the survey during this time. The sample error on this survey is plus or minus 13.7 percentage points at the 95-percent confidence level.


In addition, Irish interviewers conducted in-person interviews including the same questions, as well as some additional questions, with 12 youth workers. Because of this small sample, the youth worker survey conclusions should not be generalised to all youth workers in the Republic of Ireland.

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