The use of method triangulation in probation research

    by:
  • Aline Bauwens (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)

Qualitative research in probation is predominantly interview-based. This article explores the use of method triangulation in Belgian probation research. At first, a methodological question remains: is the use of a wider range of methods better? Or is it simply more?
Drawing from the author’s experience in researching Belgian probation officers’ daily work, the article concludes that using method triangulation (file analyses, interviews and observations) is a valuable approach that does not merely duplicate data, but also offers complementary insights and understandings, and can reveal some important discrepancies that might have remained uncovered through reliance on interviews alone.

Keywords: Probation work, Research methods, Qualitative research, Method triangulation, Observations

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