Focus groups versus individual interviews with children : A comparison of data

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Title: Focus groups versus individual interviews with children : A comparison of data
Authors: Heary, Caroline
Hennessy, Eilis
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/4252
Date: 2006
Abstract: In recent years there has been an increase in the use of qualitative data collection techniques in research with children. Among the most common of these methods are focus groups and individual interviews. While many authors claim that focus groups have advantages over individual interviews, these claims have not been tested empirically with children. The present study reports on the use of focus groups and interviews to collect qualitative data from 116 children in three age groups, with mean ages of 8.4, 11.5 and 14.3 years. The children were randomly allocated to participate in either focus groups or individual interviews where they were presented with identical material and questions relating to their beliefs about peers with psychological disorders. In line with previous research, the interviews produced significantly more relevant and unique ideas about the causes of these disorders than the focus groups, but the latter gave rise to greater elaboration of ideas. The participating children showed no significant difference in their preference for one method over the other. Thus, whether to choose individual interviews or focus groups is likely to depend on the nature of the research question in any given study.
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Routledge (Taylor & Francis)
Copyright (published version): 2006, Routledge
Keywords: Children;Focus groups;Interviews;Research methods
DOI: 10.1080/03033910.2006.10446228
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Psychology Research Collection

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