A quanltative model for ethnopsychiatric- epidemiologic research
In comparative research several aspects of human behavior are often neglected. Both cultural variables and the context in which the behavior occurs have to be studied on the population level and on the individual level in order to understand normal and deviant behavior. Another often neglected aspect is the fluctuation of psychopathology in time. A last common shortcoming, especially in cross-cultural research, is the use of western quantitative research instruments not based on culture-specific qualitative data. Especially with the development of new instruments qualitative and ethnographic data have to be collected as a basis for the design of quantitative instruments.
This paper presents a pragmatic step-wise model to collect data descending from the population level to the personal level. The multimethod hierarchical model uses a combination of qualitative and quantitative techniques - i.e., a quanltative approach - such as focus groups, key informant interviews, snow ball sampling, cluster sam- pling, experience sampling and population surveys. These techniques provide in- formation on the context, the culture, and the time perspective. Simultaneously, ethnographic material is collected to conceptualize, construct or adapt a research in- strument, which can then be transformed into a valid psychological or psychiatric instrument. Some examples are provided which clarify the use of our model in a number of studies in different cultures.