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ERIC Number: ED141726
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976
Reference Count: 0
Methods for Studying Sensitive Family Topics.
Gelles, Richard J.
This paper examines the major problems which confront researchers who wish to study sensitive topics in family relations. The major obstacles typically encountered are (1) locating subjects; (2) getting cooperation; and (3) obtaining valid and reliable data. A second section of the paper discusses methods of overcoming these obstacles. One subsection lists and discusses sampling techniques which have been proposed and/or implemented to study such "taboo" topics as sexual behavior, homosexuality, family violence and child abuse. The next subsection discusses methods of data collection. Standard methods such as observations and interviews tend to require considerable work if researchers are to get the cooperation of the subjects. Techniques such as the funneling technique, the random response technique, projective techniques, and experimental designs are reviewed in this section. The last subsection examines problems of validity and reliability. The third section examines additional problems in sensitive issue research such as contingencies posed in federally-funded research by the guidelines for the protection of human subjects. (Author)
Publication Type: Reference Materials - Bibliographies
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Child Development (DHEW), Washington, DC.; National Inst. of Mental Health (DHEW), Rockville, MD.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Conference on Family Relations (October 19-23, 1976, New York, N.Y.)