Child Development 133 
Research Methods in Human Development

Sections 04, 68, & 69
Hembree           Spring, 2011


Descriptive Research

I. Types of Descriptive Research

A. Survey research




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.      naturalistic vs. controlled


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: January, 2011