Methods of Family Research: Biographies of Research Projects - Vol. 2

Methods of Family Research: Biographies of Research Projects - Vol. 2

Methods of Family Research: Biographies of Research Projects - Vol. 2

Methods of Family Research: Biographies of Research Projects - Vol. 2

Synopsis

These companion volumes provide a "behind the scenes" look into the personal experiences of researchers in an effort to eliminate the lack of communication surrounding family research methodology. They show how the researchers achieved their results and why they chose particular methodologies over others. These volumes present more than just findings -- they present the real experiences of the authors in their own styles and personalities, exposing the problems, mistakes, and concerns they experienced during their research projects. Volume I presents the experiences of researchers into typical normative populations. Volume II describes work with clinical, atypical populations.

Excerpt

During recent years we have witnessed a rapid growth of scientific and professional interest in family processes among atypical families. The research resulting from this interest is grounded in a variety of theoretical perspectives and approaches to the study of family interactions, prompted by the challenge of relating these relationships to developmental outcomes. In part, the study of atypical families also reflects increasing public concern about family life in general, and with the recognition that a shrinking percentage of families can be termed "normal." This volume is intended (a) to synthesize the ways in which researchers go about studying atypical families; (b) to share with other researchers the decisions that influenced their selection of methods; and (c) to indicate what these researchers would do differently if they had the opportunity to start their projects over. Thus, this volume deals with the research journeys of a group of scientists who have dedicated themselves to the study of atypical families with the hope that other researchers may benefit from their methodological successes and failures.

In many respects, this volume was designed to be different from the typical edited volume. Rather than presenting readers with a review of the literature or a review of research results, the contributors were asked to share the ways in which they have studied families and why they went about it the way they did. The need for such a volume became apparent to us when we spoke with one another about the results of our respective research programs, and found that discussions of these results often became secondary to our sharing of data collection techniques. Many of these conversations centered around the familiar phrase, "If I only knew then what I know now." We realized that few opportunities are available for researchers to share with one another their methodological triumphs and . . .

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