Content Analysis of Words in Brief Descriptions

How Fathers and Mothers Describe Their Children

Published In: In De Munck VC, Sobo EJ, Using Methods In the Field (Walnut Creek, CA: Sage Publications, 1998), Chapter 3, p. 57-68

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 1998

by Gery W. Ryan, Thomas Weisner

In this chapter, the authors describe their application of word-counting techniques to understand the perceptions and attitudes of American parents toward their adolescent children as revealed in written responses to a follow-up survey in the Family Lifestyles Project. They report that the simple word-counting techniques, which are relatively bias free, can help researchers concentrate often-confusing data into a more manageable form and. The techniques can be used for exploring central themes and for systematically comparing within and across groups.

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