The Utility of Using Archival Records to Understand the Lives of Adolescent Patients
This chapter highlights the methodological challenges and potential benefits of examining archival psychiatric records to collect valuable information about the individual and family context of hospitalization, and to illuminate the processes that shape short- and long-term adaptation following psychiatric hospitalization. It presents the system used to evaluate the feasibility of employing archival psychiatric records to capture important differences among patients, describes the “life chart” technique used to distill the voluminous information, and demonstrates that a measure created for use with contemporaneous data can be reliably and validly used with archival materials to address important and substantive questions about the precursors and sequelae of adolescent psychiatric hospitalization.
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