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Interviews and Focus Groups With Children: Methods That Match Children's Developing Competencies

Authors

  • Jennifer E. Gibson

    Corresponding author
    1. Xavier University
      Department of Psychology, Xavier University, 3800 Victory Boulevard, Cincinnati, OH 45207
      (gibsonj6@xavier.edu).
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Department of Psychology, Xavier University, 3800 Victory Boulevard, Cincinnati, OH 45207
(gibsonj6@xavier.edu).

Abstract

Although researchers have not always recognized the value of engaging children in qualitative studies, it is now widely accepted that interviews and focus groups with children can provide a rich understanding of family life. As qualitative research with children continues to mount, the literature explicating good practice for conducting interviews and focus groups with children has not kept pace. Differences between children and adults need to be considered throughout the interview process. Researchers need guidance in flexibly adapting their methods to match children's developing cognitive, linguistic, social, and psychological competencies. This article draws on extant literature and lessons learned by a novice qualitative researcher to provide concrete recommendations for conducting interviews and focus groups with school-age children.

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