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DEBATE/PERSPECTIVE/VIEWPOINT
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 36  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 172-179

Use of the life grid in qualitative data collection with adolescents in India: Researcher reflections


1 Department of Psychiatric Social Work, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Janardhana Navaneetham
Department of Psychiatric Social Work, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijsp.ijsp_130_19

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Literature describing methodologies for qualitative research with children and young people suggests that traditional data collection methods can be strengthened through the use of creative and task-based methods. This article discusses the use of a task-based method called the life grid, in the Indian context, in a study exploring the experiences of adolescent children of parents with mental illness. A life grid was formulated for use in a study with 28 adolescents, aged 15–19 years, to explore their experiences of living with a parent with mental illness. The process of the interviews and researcher reflections were noted down as field notes. The life grid was useful in the majority of the interviews and facilitated the collection of rich qualitative data. It provided a holistic perspective of the participants' lives, helped establish rapport and set the pace, provided structure, and served as a visual and temporal guide for the interviews. However, the use of the life grid was also time-consuming. It was less engaging for participants who were not comfortable with writing or reading, and posed particular challenges in the diverse linguistic context of India. Despite its limitations, the life grid can be said to be appropriate and useful in qualitative research with adolescents in India. The article contributes to ongoing discussions over culturally relevant methodologies and issues among child and adolescent researchers in India.


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