The aim of this study is to investigate differences in responses related to (mental) health and behavior between two methods of data collection: web‐based (web) and paper‐and‐pencil (p&p).
Within each participating school all third‐grade classes (mainly 14–15‐year‐old pupils) were randomly assigned to either the Internet condition (=271) or the paper‐and‐pencil condition (=261).
Significant but small differences were found for the strengths and difficulties subscales “emotional symptoms” (p&p>web) and “prosocial behavior” (p&p>web), and carrying a weapon (web>p&p). Perceived level of privacy and confidentiality did not differ between the two modes.
The findings suggest that in a controlled school setting, web‐based administration of health indicators yields almost the same results as paper‐and‐pencil administration. To generalize these findings, we recommend repeated studies in other populations and settings.