Mixed methods research in school psychology: A mixed methods investigation of trends in the literature

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Abstract

This article illustrates the utility of mixed methods research (i.e., combining quantitative and qualitative techniques) to the field of school psychology. First, the use of mixed methods approaches in school psychology practice is discussed. Second, the mixed methods research process is described in terms of school psychology research. Third, the current state of affairs with respect to mixed methods designs in school psychology research is illustrated through a mixed methods analysis of the types of empirical studies published in the four leading school psychology journals between 2001 and 2005. Only 13.7% of these studies were classified as representing mixed methods research. We conclude that this relatively small proportion likely reflects the fact that only 3.5% of graduate-level school psychology programs appear to require that students enroll in one or more qualitative and/or mixed methods research courses, and only 19.3% appear to offer one or more qualitative courses as an elective. Finally, the utility of mixed methods research is illustrated by critiquing select monomethod (i.e., qualitative or quantitative) and mixed methods studies conducted on the increasingly important topic of bullying. We demonstrate how using mixed methods techniques results in richer data being collected, leading to a greater understanding of underlying phenomena. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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