Encyclopedia of Gerontology and Population Aging

Living Edition
| Editors: Danan Gu, Matthew E. Dupre

Qualitative Research/Quantitative Research

  • Michelle Pannor SilverEmail author
  • Laura Upenieks
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-69892-2_580-1



In gerontology, qualitative research refers to a variety of approaches to studying the everyday lives and social settings of mature adults. In studying the aging process or phenomena that help us to gain a deeper understanding of aging, qualitative research examines words, narratives, and experiences. It is exploratory by design and focused on gaining a richer understanding of motivations, opinions, perspectives, and underlying reasons. Qualitative gerontologists employ a range of different methods including in-depth interviews, document analysis, participant observation, case studies, and focus groups.

Quantitative research analyzes the relationships between and among variables using numerical measurement (e.g., quantity, frequency). Quantitative data in social gerontology often come from surveys or questionnaires. Responses are then summarized into numerical values that are...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of SociologyUniversity of Texas at San AntonioSan AntonioUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Kenneth C. Land
    • 1
  • Anthony R. Bardo
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of SociologyDuke UniversityDurhamUSA
  2. 2.Department of SociologyUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA