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Four functional roles for case studies in emerging adulthood research

Four functional roles for case studies in emerging adulthood research

Robinson, Oliver and McAdams, Dan P. (2015) Four functional roles for case studies in emerging adulthood research. Emerging Adulthood, 3 (6). pp. 413-420. ISSN 2167-6968 (Print), 2167-6984 (Online) (doi:

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Case studies have four functional roles which, if more widely embraced, can help to advance theory and methodology in the study of emerging adults. These functions are: case-based theory development, individual-level prediction testing, theory exemplification, and idiographic psychobiography. We describe these functions and provide examples of how each one can add depth, richness and rigour to the burgeoning theory and research on emerging adulthood. We also discuss specifiability (the capacity of a theory to make predictions about, explain and interpret individuals) as a criterion of validity, to be considered as equivalent in status to the external validity criterion of generalizability. Finally we consider the protocols for case study sampling, including intensity sampling, deviant case sampling and significant case sampling.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Case study, theory, psychobiography, within-case analysis, idiographic, specifiability, emerging adulthood
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Education & Health
Faculty of Education & Health > Department of Psychology, Social Work & Counselling
Last Modified: 15 May 2019 15:33
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None

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