Research Methods in Family Therapy

Second Edition

Edited by Douglas H. Sprenkle and Fred P. Piercy

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In this widely adopted text and professional reference, leading contributors provide the knowledge needed to design strong qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-method studies; analyze the resulting data; and translate findings into improved practices and programs. Following a consistent format, user-friendly chapters thoroughly describe the various methodologies and illustrate their applications with helpful concrete examples.

“Sprenkle and Piercy do an excellent job of bringing together a group of learned authors on a multitude of family therapy research methods. The balance between qualitative and quantitative methods is well organized, and the Mixed Methods section is exceptional. Throughout the text, the use of computer technology in data collection and analysis is discussed as an essential research technique. This alone is enough to recommend it as a graduate text. This book would serve well as a 'stand-alone' text for the first graduate research class in marriage & family therapy and in other mental health and human services disciplines. It would also be a valuable resource for those clinicians already in practice, especially those responsible for administrative or program evaluation duties.”

The Family Journal


“This book is a good choice for the family therapy practitioner who wants to understand more about the research enterprise and is a very good choice for the researcher who seeks a reference point for emerging issues across the domain of family therapy research approaches. For graduate students and their mentors, this will be an excellent core text and a worthy heir to the foundation established by the first edition.”

PsycCRITIQUES


“Lays out an important bridge between research and practice in family therapy. This very readable volume answers immediate research questions and serves as a convenient reference guide for further in-depth reading and application....For the clinician, this book is a must have to consult when evaluating research studies for an evidence-based practice protocol. Professors will want to have this resource for preparing lecture notes or for assisting student researchers. Students will benefit from having this book so that they can see more vividly the research/practice connection. Researchers will want to refer back to specific chapters relating to the methodological protocols and themes in order to produce solid and applicable research projects.”

Journal of Marital and Family Therapy


“The second edition of Research Methods in Family Therapy breaks new ground in presenting an in-depth perspective on qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-method approaches to family therapy research. Providing great breadth and depth in each of these areas, the editors have pulled together a close-to-perfect handbook for young researchers entering the field, as well as for seasoned family therapy researchers. Sprenkle and Piercy have given us, once again, an ideal text in family therapy research methodology.”

—William M. Pinsof, PhD, The Family Institute at Northwestern University


“This excellent second edition offers a significant expansion and update of its predecessor and addresses a variety of essential research issues. New and revised chapters cover such topics as computer-aided qualitative data analysis, future directions for qualitative methods, and quantitative and mixed-method approaches at the cutting edge of family therapy research. This book belongs on the shelves of practitioners and students who want to build their research skills, as well as seasoned family therapy researchers.”

—Sandra M. Stith, PhD, Marriage and Family Therapy Program, Virginia Tech


“As a faculty member in an accredited master's-level MFT program, I've been waiting for the second edition of Sprenkle and Piercy's classic text on research methods. Our faculty want a textbook that will make research interesting and relevant to master's-level clinicians. At the same time, we want a book that reflects the growing sophistication of MFT methodology. Sprenkle and Piercy's new edition meets both goals admirably. I'm confident that we will adopt it as a basic text!”

—Jo Ellen Patterson, PhD, Marriage and Family Therapy Program, University of San Diego

Table of Contents

I. INTRODUCTION

1. Pluralism, Diversity, and Sophistication in Family Therapy Research, Douglas H. Sprenkle and Fred P. Piercy

2. A Graduate Student Guide to Conducting Research in Marriage and Family Therapy, Lenore M. McWey, Ebony Joy James, and Sara A. Smock

II. QUALITATIVE METHODS

3. Let's Get Grounded: Family Therapy Research and Grounded Theory, Silvia Echevarria-Doan and Carolyn Y. Tubbs

4. The Use of Phenomenology for Family Therapy Research: The Search for Meaning, Carla M. Dahl and Pauline Boss

5. Focus Groups in Family Therapy Research, Fred P. Piercy and Katherine M. Hertlein

6. Action Research Methods in Family Therapy, Tai J. Mendenhall and William J. Doherty

7. Computer-Aided Qualitative Data Analysis Software: General Issues for Family Therapy Researchers, Jennifer L. Matheson

8. Bridging Research: Using Ethnography to Inform Clinical Practice, Carolyn Y. Tubbs and Linda M. Burton

9. Feminist Autoethnography, Katherine R. Allen and Fred P. Piercy

10. Performance Methodology: Constructing Discourses and Discursive Practices in Family Therapy Research, Saliha Bava

11. Future Directions for Qualitative Methods, Ronald J. Chenail

III. MIXED METHODS

12. Survey Research, Thorana S. Nelson and David D. Allred

13. The Delphi Method, Linda Stone Fish and Dean M. Busby

14. Task Analysis of Couple and Family Change Events, Brent Bradley and Susan M. Johnson

15. Program Evaluation Science and Family Therapy, Jay A. Mancini, Angela J. Huebner, Eric E. McCollum, and Lydia I. Marek

IV. QUANTITATIVE METHODS

16. Clinical Trials in Marriage and Family Therapy Research, Kevin P. Lyness, Stephanie R. Walsh, and Douglas H. Sprenkle

17. Meta-Analysis in Family Therapy Research, Karen S. Wampler, Alan Reifman, and Julianne M. Serovich

18. Economic Evaluation Methodology for Family Therapy Outcome Research, David P. Mackinnon

19. Approaches to Prediction: Correlation, Regression, and Classification Techniques, Douglas K. Snyder and Laurel F. Mangrum

V. ADVANCED QUANTITATIVE METHODS

20. Multilevel Growth Modeling in the Context of Family Research, Margaret K. Keiley, Nina C. Martin, Ting Liu, and Megan Dolbin-MacNab

21. Covariance Structure Analysis: From Path Analysis to Structural Equation Modeling, Margaret K. Keiley, Mary Dankoski, Megan Dolbin-MacNab, and Ting Liu


About the Editors

Douglas H. Sprenkle, PhD, until his death in 2018, was Professor Emeritus at Purdue University, where he was developer and former Director of the Doctoral Program in Marriage and Family Therapy Dr. Sprenkle was past Editor of the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy and the author or editor of over 130 scholarly articles and books. He received the Osborne Award from the National Council on Family Relations, which is given biannually for outstanding teaching, and the Outstanding Contribution to Marriage and Family Therapy Award, the Cumulative Career Contribution to Marriage and Family Therapy Research Award, and the Training Award from the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. Dr. Sprenkle also won the Award for Significant Contribution to Family Therapy Theory and Practice from the American Family Therapy Academy.

Fred P. Piercy, PhD, is professor and head of the Department of Human Development at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He has served two times on the Board of Directors of AAMFT, and as the chair of the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education. Dr. Piercy is also a member and fellow of both AAMFT and the American Psychological Association. He has written over 160 published articles, 5 books, and 35 funded grants. Most recently, he is the coeditor of the Handbook of the Clinical Treatment of Infidelity (with Katherine Hertlein and Joseph Wetchler). Dr. Piercy has won both national and university teaching awards. He has also collaborated extensively with colleagues from the University of Indonesia and Atma Jaya University (in Jakarta, Indonesia) and was the principal investigator of a World AIDS Foundation-funded project in Indonesia.

Contributors

Katherine R. Allen, PhD, Department of Human Development, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

David D. Allred, BS, Marriage and Family Therapy, Seattle Pacific University, Seattle, WA

Saliha Bava, PhD, Houston Galveston Institute, Houston, TX

Pauline Boss, PhD, Department of Family Social Science, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Brent Bradley, PhD, Marriage and Family Therapy Track, Graduate Counseling Department, Indiana Wesleyan University, Bloomington, IN

Linda M. Burton, PhD, Department of Human Development and Family Studies, Penn State University, University Park, PA

Dean M. Busby, PhD, Department of Human Development and Family Studies, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX

Ronald J. Chenail, PhD, Department of Family Therapy, Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Carla M. Dahl, PhD, Bethel Seminary, St. Paul, MN

Mary Dankoski, PhD, Department of Family Medicine, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN

Silvia Echevarria-Doan, PhD, Department of Counselor Education, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

William J. Doherty, PhD, Department of Family Social Science, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Megan Dolbin-MacNab, PhD, Department of Human Development, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

Linda Stone Fish, PhD, Department of Marriage and Family Therapy, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY

Katherine M. Hertlein, PhD, Family Service of Roanoke Valley, Roanoke, VA

Angela J. Huebner, PhD, Department of Human Development, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

Ebony Joy James, BA, Marriage and Family Therapy Doctoral Program, School of Human Development, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

Susan M. Johnson, EdD, Department of Psychology and Psychiatry, Ottawa University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Margaret K. Keiley, EdD, Marriage and Family Therapy Program, Department of Human Development and Family Studies, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama

Ting Liu, PhD, Department of Human Development, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

Kevin P. Lyness, PhD, Marriage and Family Therapy Program, Department of Applied Psychology, Antioch New England Graduate School, Keene, NH

David P. Mackinnon, PhD, private practice, Hinsdale, IL

Jay A. Mancini, PhD, Department of Human Development, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

Laurel F. Mangrum, PhD, Addiction Research Institute, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas

Lydia I. Marek, PhD, Department of Human Development, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

Nina C. Martin, EdD, Institute of Juvenile Research, Department of Psychiatry, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

Jennifer L. Matheson, MA, MS, Department of Human Development, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

Eric E. McCollum, PhD, Department of Human Development, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

Lenore M. McWey, PhD, Department of Family and Child Sciences, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL

Tai J. Mendenhall, PhD, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Thorana S. Nelson, PhD, Marriage and Family Therapy Program, Department of Family, Consumer, and Human Development, Utah State University, Logan, UT

Fred P. Piercy, PhD, Department of Human Development, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

Alan Reifman, PhD, Department of Human Development and Family Studies, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX

Julianne M. Serovich, PhD, Department of Human Development and Family Science, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

Sara A. Smock, MS, Marriage and Family Therapy Doctoral Program, Department of Human Development, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

Douglas K. Snyder, PhD, Department of Psychology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX

Douglas H. Sprenkle, PhD, Doctoral Program in Marriage and Family Therapy, Department of Child Development and Family Studies, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

Carolyn Y. Tubbs, PhD, Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Stephanie R. Walsh, PhD, Department of Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC

Karen S. Wampler PhD, Department of Applied and Professional Studies, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX

Audience

Family therapy graduate students, researchers, and practitioners. Also of interest to students and researchers in social work, family studies, human development, and clinical psychology.

Course Use

Serves as a core text for research courses in family therapy graduate programs. Also suitable as a text for research courses taught in social work and family studies programs.
Previous editions published by Guilford:

First Edition, © 1996
ISBN: 9781572301115
New to this edition: