Methodological Considerations for Conducting Qualitative Interviews with Youth Receiving Mental Health Services

Kathryn K. DeRoche, Maria K.E. Lahman


Use of qualitative interviews with individuals currently receiving mental health services has increased over the last decade in the United States due to the calls for system change that emphasizes individuals' perceptions of their own progress. However, interviews with youth receiving mental health services are rarely encountered. In this article, an overview of methodological considerations when conducting an interview inquiry with youth currently receiving mental health services will be discussed, incorporating suggestions from the published literature and our experiences with previous interview studies. Our theoretical definition of youth receiving mental health services along with six major areas of concern: appropriate interview questions, youth development of cognitive ability, ethical issues, power relationships, cultural competency, and methods of interview inquiry are discussed. Finally, other researchers are encouraged to investigate techniques for gathering rich data through interview research with youth experiencing mental health issues.
URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0803178


ethics; interviews; methodology; mental health; qualitative; youth

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