Dse141 Tma2

Compare and contrast the approach to studying children's friendships taken in the Bigelow and La Gaipa (1974) study with that taken by William Corsaro

When studying children's friendships psychologists must first determine the best method and approach to use, this is a complex subject, studying feelings is very individual and detailed.     This essay will look at the similarities and differences between the content analysis approach used by Brian Bigelow and John La Gaipa and the ethnographic approach used by William Cosaro.   It will also analyse the use of qualitative and quantitative methods and the positives and negatives raised in both studies.

In the seventies Brian Bigelow and John La Gaipa sought to examine an area that had attracted minimal research, children’s friendships.   Their focus was on what extent of knowledge children of different developmental ages have of friendship. In contrast William Corsaro's work on this subject was concentrated on a child's personal views on the word 'friend'.   These two aims meant that the research methods used were different to allow the results to reflect the personal detail in Corsaro's case or the amount of people involved in Bigelow and La Gaipa's work. (Brownlow, 2010, p. 250)

Although both Bigelow and La Gaipa and Corsaro's research was based around children, their methods and in fact the ages and range of children they used were different.   Bigelow and La Gaipa used a content analysis approach to study 480 children (equal amount of boys and girls) from eight different schools and varied backgrounds.   (Brownlow, 2010, p.242)   The age range was between six and fourteen years old.   Corsaro however appears to have focused on pre-school aged children and a substantially lower amount of children, who appear to have been from the same backgrounds, and indeed friendship groups.

The two studies started by using the same method, qualitative.   Bigelow and La Gaipa used written essays to compile data about each...