Psychologie a její kontexty, Vol.7, No.2

Úskalí tvorby dotazníků pro děti a dospívající: zkušenosti z ohniskových skupin

Difficulties of children and adolescent questionnaires creation: experience from focus groups

Lucie Křeménková, Jan Sebastian Novotný

Diagnostika a psychologické posuzování lidí je nedílnou součástí psychologické praxe i výzkumu. Jednou ze specifických oblastí tvorby diagnostických nástrojů je otázka posuzování dětí a dospívajících. Příspěvek na příkladu analýzy procesu vytváření nového dotazníku pro žáky 7. tříd ZŠ ilustruje některá úskalí tvorby posuzovacích nástrojů u dětské populace. Analýza výpovědí žáků v rámci ohniskových skupin při ověřování nového dotazníku poukázala na význam některých zásad pro tvorbu položek určených pro mládež. Patří mezi ně jednoduché, konkrétní a jednoznačné otázky/položky, které minimalizují riziko více možných výkladů, položky s malými nároky na abstrakci a zobecňování, menší počet významově stejných či podobných položek a minimální využívání cizích termínů. Jako nezbytné se ukazuje také ověření srozumitelnosti a způsobu chápání významu položek respondenty. To je možné uskutečnit např. pomocí ohniskových skupin.

Klíčová slova:
dotazník, dětství, dospívání, kvalitativní analýza, ohnisková skupina

Diagnosis and assessment is an integral part of psychological practice and research. One of the specific areas is creating of diagnostic tools for assessment of children and adolescents. The aim of this paper is to illustrate some of the difficulties in creating of self-assessment questionnaires for child population, based on the experiences with the process of creating a new questionnaire for pupils of 7th grade of elementary school. We created new “Potential of entrepreneurial competencies questionnaire” (PPK-7T), tool that detects the presence of key prerequisites, abilities and skills of 7th and 8th grades pupils, which can be seen as a starting point (potential) of future entrepreneurial competencies. During the verification of the questionnaire, we implemented two focus groups with 63 primary school pupils (7th grade). The results pointed to several problematic issues of diagnosis in children and adolescents. A large number of items with same content and different formulations made most pupils apparent problems. Pupils reported this repeating items during the questionnaire filling already, and in subsequent debate this issue was one of the most mentioned. Some statements were angry with signs of frustration because of the apparently recurring items. In other situations were pupils so surprised by these items that it has slowed significantly the completing of the questionnaire. Regarding the cognitive abilities, the results showed that pupils are not able to work with the generalizing questions. The vast majority of pupils were not able to determine the general (dominant) trend. In this case, the cognitive abilities of pupils are sensitively set into a detailed analysis of situations (up to literal accuracy), and it is very difficult and problematic to get rid of them. Semantically similar problem appeared for the items that were vague or too general, where pupils were unable to clearly answer. This also applies to items that cover a wide range of possible activities at different times, and/ or are linked to the social environment. Another problem is the tendency of pupils to seek complexity where it isn’t, i.e. look for “trick questions”. Likewise problematic appears the occurrence of foreign words (e.g. “chaotically” or “impulsively”). This problem is multiplied by the fact that most pupils have not the courage to ask for the meaning of unknown words. The construction of scales is also related to the evaluation of questionnaire. In our case the 4-point scale without the mean value was used. A wider scale (e.g. 6-point) is unnecessarily difficult (from developmental perspective), and mean value often leads to its overuse in the moments when the pupils are not sure how to answer. This potential tendency was also confirmed within the focus groups (pupils would have selected mean value if it had been available). In conclusion, it is appropriate to apply some principles for questionnaire items when creating assessment tools for children and adolescents. These principles include use of 1) simple, specific and unambiguous questions/items that minimize the risk of multiple possible interpretations, 2) items with low demands on abstraction and generalization, 3) fewer semantically identical or similar items, and 4) minimal use of foreign terms. The verification of clarity of and understanding the items by respondents shows also as necessary. This can be done e.g. by applying the focus groups.

questionnaire, childhood, adolescence, qualitative analysis, focus group