Data-Collection Instruments and Procedures
One of the most effective ways of collecting culturally relevant family diagnostic data is by observation of the family's behavior in various natural settings and in the clinic. Such observations can yield rich information of any of the kinds fisted in chapters 3 through 6. What's more, this information cannot be obtained by other methods such as interviews, tasks or tests.
Families of different cultural backgrounds will vary considerably in their willingness to tolerate the intrusion of an external observer. Some will readily agree to be observed and videotaped in the clinic. Others will forbid any observation that is not incidental, by way of conversing or otherwise interacting, and certainly will not allow any kind of photographic or written documentation. Therefore, the observation and recording techniques proposed below should be put into practice flexibly, always taking into consideration the family's sensitivities.
The observed behavior can be transcribed in detail from a videotaped or written protocols. The transcription techniques proposed below are arduous and time consuming but very useful, if a detailed analysis of short sequences of verbal and nonverbal behavior are required.
For the reader of a transcription protocol to be able to get a more-or-less clear picture of what actually happened in the interaction, the transcription