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Using focus groups to explore children’s perceptions of smoking: reflections on practice

Using focus groups to explore children’s perceptions of smoking: reflections on practice This paper reflects on the appropriateness of using focus groups with young children, based on a real life study carried out in Liverpool, UK which used 12, single-sex focus groups (n=50, mean age=7) to explore children's perceptions of smoking. The technique proved both useful and appropriate for young children, although in practice the groups needed more direction by the moderator than is thought to be ideal with adults. The findings produced by the study were comparable to those attained by other research methods. There was no evidence of over conformity as a range of responses were given, and the children appeared to enjoy the exercise, which encouraged spontaneity. We conclude, with certain preconditions, that focus groups with young children are a viable method for exploring young children's perspectives but need to be small in number, homogenous and interactive, to maintain a high level of interest. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Health Education Emerald Publishing

Using focus groups to explore children’s perceptions of smoking: reflections on practice

Health Education , Volume 102 (6): 11 – Dec 1, 2002

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References (48)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2002 MCB UP Ltd. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0965-4283
DOI
10.1108/09654280210446856
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper reflects on the appropriateness of using focus groups with young children, based on a real life study carried out in Liverpool, UK which used 12, single-sex focus groups (n=50, mean age=7) to explore children's perceptions of smoking. The technique proved both useful and appropriate for young children, although in practice the groups needed more direction by the moderator than is thought to be ideal with adults. The findings produced by the study were comparable to those attained by other research methods. There was no evidence of over conformity as a range of responses were given, and the children appeared to enjoy the exercise, which encouraged spontaneity. We conclude, with certain preconditions, that focus groups with young children are a viable method for exploring young children's perspectives but need to be small in number, homogenous and interactive, to maintain a high level of interest.

Journal

Health EducationEmerald Publishing

Published: Dec 1, 2002

Keywords: Focus groups; Children; Methodology; Smoking

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