Educational Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Published in Journal of Family Issues 29:11 (November 2008), pp. 1543-1566; doi 10.1177/0192513X08318251 Copyright © 2008 Sage Publications. Used by permission.


The complex phenomena of interest to family scientists require the use of quantitative and qualitative approaches. Researchers across the social sciences are now turning to mixed methods designs that combine these two approaches. Mixed methods research has great promise for addressing family science topics, but only if researchers under¬stand the design options and procedures that accompany this methodological choice. Discussions of mixed methods in the family science literature are difficult to locate, and little has been written about how family scientists apply this approach in practice. This article presents an overview of mixed methods research, including its definition, terminology, and design types, and examines how it is being successfully used and re¬ported in family research journals. The authors review the application of mixed meth¬ods designs in 19 studies and discuss design features and issues that arose during im¬plementation. They conclude with recommendations for family scientists considering using this approach.