Study design

Magnus Larsson (
Tue, 3 Oct 95 21:33:59 +0100

Concerning the planning of an evaluation using Repertory Grids:

I am planning to use Repertory Grid technique in the evaluation of a project
for impaired children (including DAMP and other "non-physical" impairments),
where the aim is to provide leisure-time activities for these children,
primarily integrated with ordinary leisure-time activities for anybody. I am
interested in comments on my plans and connections with anybody doing
something that could give useful connections. I am also very interested in
any suggestions about references that could be useful.

Briefly, the project is led by a group consists of staff from the local
habilitation centre (where these children are provided service and support),
from an organisation for leisure-time activities and sports for handicapped,
and people from the community administration (in charge of local support to
any sports or organised leisure-time activities). These people have enrolled
a number of oganisations (for athletics, basket, football, hiking etc) as
well as local so called "leisure-houses", where less organised activities
are provided for anybody (mostly children go there). The project group has
identified a group of children in school ages, who does not have, but would
like, various activities. The leaders of these activities are given a short
educational program concerning handicapped children, and the children are
given oppurtunity to join the activities. The project group then provides
some support for the activities where childen become involved.

The theory behind this project is that:
1. Most impaired children do not have any satisfactory leisure time
(supported by rigorous research)
2. Leisure time is crucial for the development of satisfactory quality of
life (supported by research as above)
3. Attitudes held by leaders in various activities (like considering
impaired children not suited for sports, considering them difficult in the
group etc) are a major obstacle to these children's involvement in these
4. The involvement of the children in the project in various leisure time
activities will affect their self perceptions, their self esteem and
consequently their quality of life. (my object of investigation).
5. The attitudes of the leaders will change when they experience the actual
involvement of these children (also an object of investigation)

My plan is to investigate this question with Repertory Grids with the
children and the staff. With the staff I plan to do grids at two times:
before any children have been involved, and 6-12 months later. For elements
in the grid I plan to use persons (self, ideal self, idol or hero, various
"normal" children, villain), and elicit constructs through triads. I plan to
elicit new constructs the second time. This will be done with a small number
of the leaders, as the budget is small.

With the children I plan to do very muc the same: grids before involvement
and 6-12 months after. For elements I plan to use either activities, or
persons. In any case "ideal self" and "actual self" should in some way be
included, I think. The construct are planned to be elicited both times.

One of my main problems is how to do the eliciting and rating procedure with
children, 7-15 years old, and perhaps with attention deficits. A second
problem is wich elements are better to use with the children, to assess
changes in self persceptions and self esteem.

Anybody having any comments, advice or experience is warmly welcome!

Magnus Larsson
research psychologist
Department of applied psychology
Lund University
Paradisgatan 5
223 50 Lund