Applications of interpretive and constructionist research methods in adolescent research: Philosophy, principles and examples

Yan Yan Chen, Tan Lei Shek, Fei Fei Bu

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper attempts to give a brief introduction to interpretivism, constructionism and constructivism. Similarities and differences between interpretivism and constructionism in terms of their histories and branches, ontological and epistemological stances, as well as research applications are highlighted. This review shows that whereas interpretivism can be viewed as a relatively mature orientation that contains various traditions, constructionism is a looser trend in adolescent research, and in the narrow sense denotes the "pure" relativist position, which refers to a discursive approach of theory and research. Both positions call for the importance of clearly identifying what type of knowledge and knowledge process the researcher is going to create, and correctly choosing methodology matching with the epistemological stance. Examples of adolescent research adopting interpretivist and constructionist orientations are presented.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-139
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health
Volume23
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2011

Keywords

  • Adolescent research
  • Constructionism
  • Constructivism
  • Interpretivism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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