Designing a Q Sample for a Study with Adolescent Foster Children

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Ingunn T. Ellingsen


Over recent years, we have witnessed an increasing focus on including
children in research. In this article I share some experiences about
including adolescent foster children in a Q study exploring what
'family' means for children in foster care. The main focus is on
challenges in designing a Q sample to represent different aspects
related to the research topic, in which making use of a Fisherian
balanced-block design is central. The participants were invited to make
comments about their Q sorts, and articulate to what extent they felt
that the Q sort provided an accurate picture of their perception of
family. The participating adolescents felt that the Q sort captured the
different aspects of what family meant to them. Q methodology is shown
to provide the flexibility that is necessary when including children in
research. It offers a reasonably valid and concise way for children to
express their perspectives.

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How to Cite
Ellingsen, I. T. . (2011). Designing a Q Sample for a Study with Adolescent Foster Children. Operant Subjectivity, 34(3). Retrieved from

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