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Accounts of Single-fatherhood: A case study
Unformatted Document Text:  SINGLE FATHERS 6 Similar to methods enacted by Trost (1990), both quantitative and qualitative approaches were enacted to examine the experiences of single-fatherhood. Specifically, participants were asked to provide accounts to open-ended questions regarding their experiences with single- fatherhood. “An account might be as short as a single phrase or as long as a life story” (Burnett, 1991, p. 122). Individuals’ accounts enable others to understand a variety of aspects in a person’s life, including their subjective experience, their private worlds, and individual as well as alternative perspectives (Burnett). Braithwaite and Wood (2000) argued that using accounts and narratives in a case study approach were valuable because individuals’ reporting of their experiences is rich and contributes to our understanding of the experience. Participants were also asked to complete several measures regarding their attitudes on nontraditional families, perceptions of family, and the quality of communication between the participants and their child. Beyond the accounts, the quality items are of interest to gain some insight into the quality of communication between fathers and their children. Similarly, it is of interest to examine the single-fathers’ attitudes toward traditionalism. Instrumentation Communication Quality Indicators of communication quality used for analysis were derived from Duck, Rutt, Hurst, and Strejc’s (1991) Iowa Communication Record (ICR). The ICR is an extension of Wheeler and Nezlek’s (1977) Rochester Interaction Record (RIR). Whereas the RIR focuses on factual information regarding communication, the ICR addresses both factual and quality issues regarding the communication that takes place between parties. Because the quality of communication between single-fathers and their children is of interest, the quality aspect of the ICR was used in the current study. Quality of communication was operationalized by including

Authors: Emmers-Sommer, Tara., Rhea, David., Triplett, Laura. and O'Neill, Bell.
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SINGLE FATHERS
6
Similar to methods enacted by Trost (1990), both quantitative and qualitative approaches
were enacted to examine the experiences of single-fatherhood. Specifically, participants were
asked to provide accounts to open-ended questions regarding their experiences with single-
fatherhood. “An account might be as short as a single phrase or as long as a life story” (Burnett,
1991, p. 122). Individuals’ accounts enable others to understand a variety of aspects in a person’s
life, including their subjective experience, their private worlds, and individual as well as
alternative perspectives (Burnett). Braithwaite and Wood (2000) argued that using accounts and
narratives in a case study approach were valuable because individuals’ reporting of their
experiences is rich and contributes to our understanding of the experience. Participants were also
asked to complete several measures regarding their attitudes on nontraditional families,
perceptions of family, and the quality of communication between the participants and their child.
Beyond the accounts, the quality items are of interest to gain some insight into the quality of
communication between fathers and their children. Similarly, it is of interest to examine the
single-fathers’ attitudes toward traditionalism.
Instrumentation
Communication Quality
Indicators of communication quality used for analysis were derived from Duck, Rutt,
Hurst, and Strejc’s (1991) Iowa Communication Record (ICR). The ICR is an extension of
Wheeler and Nezlek’s (1977) Rochester Interaction Record (RIR). Whereas the RIR focuses on
factual information regarding communication, the ICR addresses both factual and quality issues
regarding the communication that takes place between parties. Because the quality of
communication between single-fathers and their children is of interest, the quality aspect of the
ICR was used in the current study. Quality of communication was operationalized by including


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