Participant Observation Procedures in Marital and Family Assessment

  • Gayla Margolin
Part of the Applied Clinical Psychology book series (NSSB)

Abstract

The term participant observation, in its general usage, refers to assessment procedures in which the observer is clearly visible to the person being observed (Wiggins, 1973). The observer may maintain a passive, noninteractive role or may directly interact with the person being observed. In the marital and family literature, that definition covers three types of observation procedures. First, there have been direct observations by noninteractive and uninvolved trained coders, that is, objective observations by a “blend-into-the-woodwork” type of observer (e.g., Patterson, 1982). Second, there are observations that family members make of one another during the natural course of daily interactions. Techniques that record these observations also have been referred to as quasi-observational or quasi-behavioral (Weiss & Margolin, 1986), because the observer’s objectivity is affected by the extensive and intensive interaction that has occurred and continues to occur between himself or herself and the person being observed. Third are observations in which the person doing the reporting is also the target of the observation (or is one of several targets). This type of observation is an example of self-monitoring.

Keywords

Family Therapy Participant Observation Marital Satisfaction Impact Rating Marital Conflict 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gayla Margolin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychology, University ParkUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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