Skip to main content

Beeping children and adolescents: A method for studying time use and daily experience

Abstract

This paper evaluates the effectiveness of the Experience Sampling Method (ESM) among preadolescents and young adolescents by examining its implementation in a study of 483 5th–9th graders. Four specific methodological questions are addressed: (1) How adequate is the sampling of adolescents? (2) How adequate is the sampling of adolescents' experiences? (3) Does the method alter the phenomenon it attempts to measure? (4) How valid are the data obtained? Methodological information collected as part of the study suggests that the data obtained by the ESM accurately represents most of the experience of most of the individuals in the sample population.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. Achenbach, T. M., and Edelbrock, C. S. (1979). The Child Behavior Profile: II. Boys aged 12–16 and girls aged 6–11 and 12–16.J. Consult. Clin. Psychol. 47: 223–233.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Amato, P. R., and Ochiltree, G. (1987). Interviewing children about their families: A note on data quality.J. Marriage Family 49: 669–675.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Barker, R. G., and Wright, H. F. (1951).One Boy's Day. Harper & Brothers, New York.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979).The Ecology of Human Development: Experiments by Nature and Design. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Carpenter, C. J., Huston, A. C., and Spera, L. (1989). Children's use of time in their everyday activities during middle childhood. In Bloch, M., and Pellegrini, A. (eds.),The Ecological Context of Children's Play. Ablex Publishing, New Jersey.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Crockett, L., Schulenberg, J., and Petersen, A. C. (1987). Congruence between objective and selfreport data in a sample of young adolescents.Journal of Adolescent Research 2: 383–393.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Csikszentmihalyi, M., and Graef, R. (1980). The experience of freedom in everyday life.Am. J. Commun. Psychol.18: 401–414.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Csikszentmihalyi, M., and Larson, R. (1987). Validity and reliability of the experience-sampling method.J. Nervous Mental Dis. 175: 526–533.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Hollingshead, A. B., and Redlich, F. C. (1958).Social Class and Mental Illness: A Community Study. Wiley, New York.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Hormuth, S. E. (1985). The sampling of experiencesin situ.J. Personal. 54: 262–293.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Kovacs, M. (1983).The Children's Depression Inventory: A self-rated depression scale for schoolaged youngsters. Unpublished manuscript. University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine.

  12. Larson, R., and Csikszentmihalyi M. (1983). The experience sampling method. In Reis, H. T. (ed.),Naturalistic Approaches to Studying Social Interaction: New Directions for Methodology of Social and Behavioral Science (Vol. 15). Jossey-Bass, San Francisco.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Larson, R., and Delespaul, P. (1990). Analyzing experience sampling data: A guidebook for the perplexed. In deVries, M. (ed.),The Experience of Psychopathology. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

    Google Scholar 

  14. Larson, R., Raffaelli, M., Richards, M., Ham, M., and Jewell, L. (1990). The ecology of depression in early adolescence: A profile of daily states and activities.Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 99, in press.

  15. Medrich, E. A., Roizen, J. A., Rubin, V., and Buckley, S. (1982).The Serious Business of Growing Up: A Study of Children's Lives Outside School. University of California Press, Berkeley.

    Google Scholar 

  16. Munroe, R. H., Munroe, R. L., Michelson, C., Koel, A., Bolton, R., and Bolton, C. (1983). Time allocation in four societies.Ethnology 22: 355–370.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Richards, M., Casper, R., and Larson, R. (1990). Weight and eating concerns among pre- and young adolescent boys and girls.Journal of Adolescent Health Care, 11, in press.

  18. Robinson, J. P. (1985). The validity and reliability of diaries versus alternative time use measures. In Juster, F. T., and Stafford, F. P. (eds.),Time, Goods, and Well-Being. Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

    Google Scholar 

  19. Rogoff, B. (1978). Spot observation: An introduction and examination.Quart. News. Inst. Comp. Human Develop. 2: 21–26.

    Google Scholar 

  20. Rosenberg, M. (1965).Society and the Adolescent Self-Image. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ.

    Google Scholar 

  21. Rosenthal, R., and Rosnow, R. (1969). The volunteer subject. In Rosenthal, R., and Rosnow, R. (eds.),Artifact in Behavioral Research. Academic Press, New York.

    Google Scholar 

  22. Saarni, C. (1984). An observational study of children's attempts to monitor their expressive behavior.Child Develop. 55: 1504–1513.

    Google Scholar 

  23. Savin-Williams, R. C. (1987).Adolescence: An Ethological Perspective. Springer-Verlag, New York.

    Google Scholar 

  24. Timmer, S. G., Eccles, J., and O'Brien, K. (1985). How children use time. In Juster, F. T., and Stafford, F. P. (eds.),Time, Goods, and Well-Being. Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Reed Larson.

Additional information

This research was carried out at Michael Reese Hospital with support from a grant to Reed Larson from the National Institute of Mental Health (MH38324).

Received Ph.D. from Committee on Human Development, University of Chicago. Research focuses on daily experience associated with health and psychopathology in adolescence and across the life span.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Larson, R. Beeping children and adolescents: A method for studying time use and daily experience. J Youth Adolescence 18, 511–530 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02139071

Download citation

Keywords

  • Health Psychology
  • Sample Population
  • School Psychology
  • Experience Sampling
  • Young Adolescent