Combining Digital Video Technology and Narrative Methods for Understanding Infant Development


  • Cory Secrist University of Utah
  • Ilse De Koeyer University of Utah
  • Holly Bell University of Utah
  • Alan Fogel University of Utah



Adobe Premiere, computer video editing, infant development, narrative


As technology improves, the possibilities for new ways of conducting research emerge. This article focuses on the use of Adobe Premiere video editing software in qualitative research. Examples from our studies of mother-infant relationships will be used to highlight some of the advantages and disadvantages of this new tool in observational, qualitative research. The major benefits of using computer film editing software are that it makes it possible to rearrange, present, and navigate through video in ways never possible before. By capturing segments of video with the types of behavior most relevant for the study, then chronologically ordering the segments into a computer file or a new video, it is possible to create a condense and digestible film to study. This provides a new way to visualize and analyze developmental change. The article also briefly discusses the potential benefits and ethical issues for using digital video in online journals. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0202245


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Author Biographies

Cory Secrist, University of Utah

Cory SECRIST received his Bachelor of Science degree in 2000 at the University of Utah and will soon be applying for graduate programs to continue his training in the psychological field. He is currently employed as a full-time research associate under Dr. Alan FOGEL in the Infant Psychology lab at the University of Utah. His current projects examine such topics as infant bodily expressions of emotion, tactile games in mother-infant communication development, and the application of Feldenkrais movement education with autistic adults.

Ilse De Koeyer, University of Utah

Ilse de KOEYER received her master's degree in 1991 at the Free University of Amsterdam and her PhD in 2001 at the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands. Presently, she is the assistant director of the Infant Psychology lab at the University of Utah. Her research interests include parent-child relationships, family-peer linkages and the role of the body in psychological functioning. She specifically focuses on the early development of the self, which she studies with both quantitative and qualitative methods.

Holly Bell, University of Utah

Holly BELL is entering her third year of graduate school in Developmental Psychology at the University of Utah. Her advisor and mentor is Dr. Alan FOGEL. She is currently working on her master's thesis investigating the relational process underlying the development of the self in infants ages 0-6 months.

Alan Fogel, University of Utah

Alan FOGEL, PhD, is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Utah. Among his publications are Developing through Relationships (University of Chicago Press, 1993), Infancy: Infant, Family, and Society (4th ed., Wadsworth, 2001), Handbook of Infancy Development (Blackwell, 2001) and many scholarly papers published in a wide range of books and journals. FOGEL's current work includes studies of the development of embodied and emotional self-awareness in infants and the formation of lasting individual differences based on early childhood experience.



How to Cite

Secrist, C., De Koeyer, I., Bell, H., & Fogel, A. (2002). Combining Digital Video Technology and Narrative Methods for Understanding Infant Development. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 3(2).