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Irish Child Health Database - Peer Reviewed Papers

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

    Published in:

    Irish Journal of Psychology, Vol: 27, Page: 58-68,Psychological Society of Ireland/Cumann Siceolaithe Eireann

    Publication Date:


    Aims & Objectives:

    This 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


    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. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2008 APA, all rights reserved) (from the journal abstract)


    Caroline Heary; Eilis Hennessy

    Study Type:

    Study Papers » Qualitative Study » Qualitative Studies


    0303-3910 Accession Number: 2006-22988-008. First Author & Affiliation: Heary, Caroline; National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland. Other Journal Title: Irish Journal of Psychology. Release Date: 20070108. Publication Type: Journal, (0100) Peer Reviewed Journal, (0110). Media Covered: Print. Media Available: Electronic; Print. Document Type: Journal Article. Language: English. Major Descriptor: Child Psychology; Data Collection; Group Discussion; Interviews; Qualitative Research. Minor Descriptor: Age Differences; Childhood Development; Empirical Methods; Experimentation. Classification: Research Methods & Experimental Design (2260) Developmental Psychology (2800) . Population: Human (10) Male (30) Female (40) . Location: Ireland. Age Group: Childhood (birth-12 yrs) (100) School Age (6-12 yrs) (180) Adolescence (13-17 yrs) (200) . Methodology: Empirical Study; Qualitative Study; Quantitative Study. References Available: Y.



    International Classification:

    Other - methodologies



    Republic of Ireland (Republic of Ireland)