Mixing Qualitative and Quantitative Research in Developmental Science: Uses and Methodological Choices

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Multiple methods are vital to understanding development as a dynamic, transactional process. This article focuses on the ways in which quantitative and qualitative methodologies can be combined to enrich developmental science and the study of human development, focusing on the practical questions of “when” and “how.” Research situations that may be especially suited to mixing qualitative and quantitative approaches are described. The authors also discuss potential choices for using mixed quantitative–qualitative approaches in study design, sampling, construction of measures or interview protocols, collaborations, and data analysis relevant to developmental science. Finally, they discuss some common pitfalls that occur in mixing these methods and include suggestions for surmounting them.

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