The specificity of observational studies in physical activity and sports sciences: moving forward in mixed methods research and proposals for achieving quantitative and qualitative symmetry

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Anguera, M. Teresa
Camerino Foguet, OleguerCamerino Foguet, Oleguer - ORCID ID
Castañer Balcells, MartaCastañer Balcells, Marta - ORCID ID
Sánchez-Algarra, Pedro
Onwuegbuzie, Anthony J.
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cc-by (c) Anguera et al., 2017
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Mixed methods studies are been increasingly applied to a diversity of fields. In this paper, we discuss the growing use—and enormous potential—of mixed methods research in the field of sport and physical activity. A second aim is to contribute to strengthening the characteristics ofmixedmethods research by showing how systematic observation offers rigor within a flexible framework that can be applied to a wide range of situations. Observational methodology is characterized by high scientific rigor and flexibility throughout its different stages and allows the objective study of spontaneous behavior in natural settings, with no external influence. Mixed methods researchers need to take bold yet thoughtful decisions regarding both substantive and procedural issues. We present three fundamental and complementary ideas to guide researchers in this respect: we show why studies of sport and physical activity that use a mixed methods research approach should be included in the field of mixed methods research, we highlight the numerous possibilities offered by observational methodology in this field through the transformation of descriptive data into quantifiable code matrices, and we discuss possible solutions for achieving true integration of qualitative and quantitative findings.
Journal or Serie
Frontiers in Psychology, 2017, vol. 8, núm. 2196, p.1-13