Mixed methods approaches in family science research

Vicki L.Plano Clark, Catherine A. Huddleston-Casas, Susan L. Churchill, Denise O.Neil Green, Amanda L. Garrett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


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 understand 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 reported in family research journals. The authors review the application of mixed methods designs in 19 studies and discuss design features and issues that arose during implementation. They conclude with recommendations for family scientists considering using this approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1543-1566
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Family research
  • Mixed methods research
  • Qualitative research
  • Quantitative research
  • Research methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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