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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Young People, Biographical Narratives and the Life Grid: Young People's Accounts of Parental Substance Use
Author(s): Wilson, Sarah
Cunningham-Burley, Sarah
Bancroft, Angus
Backett-Milburn, Kathryn
Masters, Hugh
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Keywords: narrative
life grid
young people
sensitive issues
parental substance misuse
qualitative methods
task-based methods
visual tools
life history research
Child welfare
Parents Substance use
Research Statistics
Child psychology Research
Experience in children
Issue Date: Feb-2007
Date Deposited: 30-Jun-2009
Citation: Wilson S, Cunningham-Burley S, Bancroft A, Backett-Milburn K & Masters H (2007) Young People, Biographical Narratives and the Life Grid: Young People's Accounts of Parental Substance Use. Qualitative Research, 7 (1), pp. 135-151.
Abstract: Research into potentially sensitive issues with young people presents numerous methodological and ethical challenges. While recent studies have highlighted the advantages of task-based activities in research with young people, the literature on life history research provides few suggestions as to effective and appropriate research tools for encouraging young people to tell their stories. This paper explores the contribution that may be made to such research by the life grid, a visual tool for mapping important life events against the passage of time and prompting wide-ranging discussion. Critical advantages of the life grid in qualitative research include: its visual element which can help to engage interviewer and interviewee in a process of constructing and reflecting on a concrete life history record; its role in creating a more relaxed research encounter supportive of the respondent’s ‘voice’; and facilitating the discussion of sensitive issues. In addition, the way in which use of the grid anchors such narratives in accounts of everyday life, often revealing interesting tensions, is explored. These points are discussed with reference to an exploratory study of young people’s experience of parental substance use.
DOI Link: 10.1177/1468794107071427
Rights: Published in Qualitative Research. Copyright: SAGE Publications.; The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Qualitative Research, Volume 7, Issue 1, 2007, © SAGE Publications, Inc., 2007 by SAGE Publications, Inc. at the Qualitative Research page: on SAGE Journals Online:

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