Re: Grandparenting & ethnicity research

Chris Evans (
Tue, 14 Apr 1998 15:12:55 +0100

On 29 Mar 98 at 10:58, Michael C. Healy wrote:

> Hi there,
... lot snipped ...
> Any suggestions anyone might have regarding the measurement
> issues described above (or regarding the feasibility of the study in
> general) would be graetly appreciated.
> Thanks in advance,
> Mike

Hi Mike,

Fascinating question. I've been off for two weeks (conference and
some long overdue leave) and so apologies for the delayed response.
I'm sorry there don't seem to have been any open responses to you on
the list (as Beverly said about something else, nomothetic things
aren't PCP people's strong points!)

I think this would lend itself to research using a well designed grid,
either a person grid or perhaps better still, a dyad grid or a
resources/situations grid as you say. The nomotheticist in me
(_PLEASE_ no comments about selves!) would probably go for fixed
elements, whether people, relationships or situations then some fixed
constructs carefully chosen and probably then the option to volunteer
some more (I'd do that free, not with dyadic or triadic elicitation
unless I wanted that tuned tightly to the elements). I might also
allow the addition of some "missing" idiographic elements.

It should be possible to design this so that you can pick up
nomothetic commonalities (remember commonality & sociality) and so
that you can pick up some inter-ethnic group differences in those
commonalities. You should also still have scope to pick up some
fascinating idiographic differences.

The difficult parts are getting the choices right before you go ahead
(pilot it, analyse, digest it with some of your respondents and your
(theoretical) supervisor etc., then pilot again!) and in knowing what
analyses you will do a priori so you don' t just drown in the wealth
of information you will get.

Since the methodological issues are dear to me anyway and the topic
area is dear to a someone trying to become a competent family/systemic
therapist and drawing on his parents and parents in law to help us
with our family, I'd be happy to offer any further help I can!


P.S. to list: I wasn't sure whether to share this or not but I'd love
to see any other thoughts. I'd be particularly interested to try
something like this but integrating the collection of the grid data
and some feedback on it into a two interview qualitative "ground" to
the "figure" of the grid data itself. Anyone ever tried anything like

Chris Evans, Senior Lecturer in Psychotherapy,
Locum Consultant to the
Prudence Skynner Family Therapy Clinic,
St. George's Hospital Medical School, London University