Child Development 133 
Research Methods in Human Development

Sections 02 & 06
Hembree            Fall, 2009


  Descriptive and Qualitative Methods

I. Types of Descriptive Research

A. Surveys




B. Demographic research




C. Epidemiological research




D. Qualitative designs



II. Sampling issues

A. Probability vs. nonprobability sampling




B. Sampling error

  • an example from the presidential election...





C. Sampling techniques

1. Simple random sampling




2. stratified sampling




3. cluster sampling





D. Nonprobability sampling

1.  convenience sample



2. quota/purposive  sample




III. Qualitative designs

A.     Qualitative vs. quantitative

1.      Description vs. Numerical


2.      “How” (process) vs. “what” (result)


3.      Qualitative typically more naturalistic


4.      theory-building vs. theory-testing


5.      depth vs. breadth


6.      combining these approaches


B.     When are qualitative methods appropriate?



C.     Special Considerations

1. role of participant/relations with participants




2. sampling and setting




3. Strengths and Weaknesses of Qualitative designs


D. Qualitative paradigms

  1. Naturalistic observation/Ethnography



2. Ethnomethodology



3. Grounded theory



  4.  Case studies



  5.   Action research




E. Qualitative methods

1. Observation/Field Notes






2. Interviews





3.  Focus Groups





4. Documents






Send problems, comments or suggestions to:

California State University, Sacramento
College of Education
Department of Child Development

Updated: August, 2009