Experiencing the First Year of a Baby’s Life Using Naturalistic Observation Within a Case Study

Kanira, Eleni (2018) Experiencing the First Year of a Baby’s Life Using Naturalistic Observation Within a Case Study. Research Methods Cases. pp. 1-13.

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Abstract

This case study explores my journey as a researcher undertaking Naturalistic Observation for
the first time. Naturalistic Observation as a research method is non-participant and was first
introduced in 1948 by Esther Bick to the training of child psychotherapists at the Tavistock
Clinic. It is a challenging method in that it requires the researcher to enter the field without any
hypothesis, preconceived ideas, or expectations. The research subject in this study was a baby
(Liam) whose name has been changed and whose development I observed from birth to 2
years. In this case, I present moments of the first year of observations which has formed part of
my exploration of the study of human development. Even at the initial stage, there were
difficulties in identifying a research subject, for there must be no relational link between the
observer and the family. It is a very lonely and emotional road, along which the researcher is
expected to travel without any of the natural human interactions one might expect in such a
situation. There is always a wall required between the family and the observer and yet an
intimate relationship does develop simply through the shared observation of the baby and the
home environment within which this takes place. In this short article, I examine the challenges
and benefits of using Naturalistic Observation through a case study, with perhaps the greatest
benefit being the opportunity to understanding in some depth what it is to be human.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: C800 Psychology
X200 Research and Study Skills in Education
Divisions: Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences > Centre for Study of Practice and Culture in Education (C-SPACE) > Re-thinking Childhood
Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences > School of Education and Social Work
UoA Collections > REF2021 UoA23: Education
Depositing User: Eleni Kanira
Date Deposited: 13 Apr 2018 07:50
Last Modified: 13 Apr 2018 07:50
URI: http://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/5703

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