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ERIC Number: ED127013
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1976-May-7
Pages: 23
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Observational Child Study: An Empirical Analysis of Recent Trends and Directions.
Susman, Elizabeth J.; And Others
The analysis reported here examined the progress of observational child study from 1960 through 1975. Naturalistic observational studies were described as heuristic, highly realistic, relevant to important social problems and oriented toward significant theoretical issues. Fifteen journals encompassing child development, clinical and educational areas of research were reviewed to determine trends in naturalistic observation of children without observer manipulation. Each of the 126 studies analyzed was coded on a variety of dimensions. Among the conclusions reached were that (1) the children observed were primarily 3- to 5-year-old, middle class children in nursery school settings interacting with the environment, other children or teachers; (2) the reciprocal nature of human interaction was infrequently considered; (3) peer interaction was the most popular behavior observed; and (4) reporting reliability or more stringent assessments of reliability did not improve over the 16-year period. It was observed that naturalistic observational child study has been underutilized for examining developmental processes, and that diversity in the ages, populations and settings in which children are observed is needed to expand the generalizability of naturalistic findings. (Author/MS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A