Faculty Articles

The Process and Challenges in Observational Coding: Predicting Child Behavior With Each Parent in a Longitudinal Study

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SAGE Research Methods Cases - Psychology


From the beginning to the end of a longitudinal study that colleagues and I conducted on predicting child behavior with each parent, there have been a lot of challenges that we needed to overcome, most of which have to do with time. In any study that involves a longitudinal design and behavioral coding (which are more common in developmental psychology and family science than in other disciplines of psychology), we as researchers need to be patient and persistent in completing the study. Observational coding requires careful time planning because training coders and establishing interrater reliability take time. Also, the longer the coding project takes, the higher the risk of losing not only participants but also coders to graduation or changed interest.



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