How is qualitative approach used to evaluate the levels of friendly relationships between people?
The study of relationships, particularly emotional, was the spark to what was an under-researched area of children’s friendship in the 1970’s. Increasingly over time, the studying of the complexity of childhood friendships and their development into adolescence has been explored by many. Leading to different approaches depending on the intricate topics that needed to be addressed. The use of both qualitative and quantitative approaches have over the years given a mutually enriching understanding of the stages and nature of friendships from early childhood. However, I will be evaluating the contributions of a qualitative approach to research in friendship.
The first approach towards studying children’s friendship was by Bigelow and La Gaipa in 1975. Their opening question of what to expect of a best friend versus other friends to children between the ages of six and fourteen was to be responded as an essay. This method produced a personal written account that was then later analyzed using an approach called content analyzis. So what started as a qualitative result as an essay, ended up forming into a quantitative data set that showed a frequency of preset characteristics of a best friend put together by Bigelow and La Gaipa. This use of measurement, although allowed for Bigelow and La Gaipa to compare and find patterns in the nature and development of children’s friendships, have failed to give the participants a voice of their individual experiences and under-estimates the breadth of their perception.