Studying Transitions: Does Methodological Sophistication Produce Substance?

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1979, Vol 24(7), 572–573. Reviews the book, Youth in Transition, Vol. 6: Adolescence to Adulthood-Change and Stability in the Lives of Young Men by Jerald G. Bachman, Patrick M. O'Malley, and Jerome Johnston (1978). This book seems to be a summary of earlier volumes, integrating the longitudinal findings. The scope and design of this investigation are impressive; the researchers have tackled significant questions in a technically rigorous manner, a number of them first addressed in earlier monographs. This investiation is broad but lacks depth. One has no sense, at the end of the volume, what these youth were like psychologically. Unfortunately, this may be the price of a broad, representative study. With so many subjects, it is virtually impossible to retain rich data on individuals. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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