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Researching the lifecourseCritical reflections from the social sciences$
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Nancy Worth and Irene Hardill

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781447317524

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447317524.001.0001

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A method for collecting lifecourse data

A method for collecting lifecourse data

assessing the utility of the lifegrid

(p.81) Five A method for collecting lifecourse data
Researching the lifecourse

Ann Del Bianco

Policy Press

This chapter draws on research which utilized the lifegrid to explore the living and working environments of esophageal cancer patients in order to assess the utility of the lifegrid as a data collection tool. The lifegrid is a structured method for collecting retrospective data which is useful for both quantitative and qualitative studies. This chapter provides a critique of the lifegrid and suggests strategies which could be incorporated to overcome some of the challenges associated with its use. Discussions surrounding recall strategies, data quantity, and data quality are elucidated; these are especially important as they speak to a number of different issues surrounding the temporal aspect of lifecourse research such as the sequencing of events and pinpointing transitions and trajectories. In adopting this tool, researchers must be mindful of whether narrative or historical truths have been captured and the implications this may have on the objectives of the study.

Keywords:   lifegrid, temporality, recall strategies, data quantity, data quality, narrative truths, historical truths

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