A method attributed to Robert Merton, focus groups first disseminated in applied, commercial inquiry. In recent decades, focus groups have also infiltrated academic circles, including for child-centered research across disciplines. Drawing from both applied and academic experience, the chapter provides know-how for conducting a focus group study, including: 1) Inviting the children, 2) Choosing the setting, 3) A moderator’s craft, and 4) Special applications (such as for brainstorming). Featured tools include a questionnaire for recruiting participants, a spoken introduction used at the session’s outset, and tried and true approaches for stimulating discussion. Using a facilitator who is open, empathic, tenacious, good at play, accepting, and responsibly humble, and who can improvise non-verbal, concrete, age-appropriate activities, is advisable.
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