This assignment is to give you a chance to investigate for yourself how relationships and family’s
work by interviewing someone, whom you are not related to, in a situation of your choosing
(*please refer to options listed below). This is an informal research project where you will be
gathering the data by using the interview questionnaire provided and then writing up a quick
analysis of your findings by integrating and applying what we have learned/or will learn in class.
The analysis is to be about 4-5 pages in length AND should include the questionnaire (which does
not count towards the page length) with the interviewee’s answers as typed in the space provided
in the questionnaire.
*Please choose from the following: The individual CANNOT be related to you OR
someone that you are romantically involved in (e.g., partner, spouse or boy/girlfriend) to
avoid bias or potential for someone to not be completely open since you are related to
• A married individual
• A divorced individual and/or parent
• A married parent
• A single parent
• A remarried stepparent
• A cohabiting partner
Selecting a participant:
Select an individual (not related to you) who you feel would be willing to participate and who
would feel comfortable doing this assignment with you. Please be sure to inform the individual
that the information will not be used for any other purpose but this assignment and that their
name will never be documented or mentioned in your paper. You may use what we call a pseudo
name to protect their identity and to ensure confidentiality. Be sure to explain that this
assignment is designed to get an insider’s perspective on marriage and family dynamics, which
will be based on which type of individual you have chosen (e.g., if you chose a divorced person
then you would tell them that you are particularly interested in people who have been through a
divorce and how it has impacted them and how it compares to what research has found). Also,
explain to them that this interview is not designed to have any potential risks or discomforts.
However, some of the interview questions may cause slight discomfort to a participant because of
reflecting on the past and disclosing information about their personal lives and that your
participant is not obligated to answer any question if they feel uncomfortable. Please have them
answer the demographic information before the interview.
FSW 261 Interview Paper
• Make sure to make them feel relaxed and try to stay relaxed too
• Choose a location that is free from distraction and comfortable
• Try to get a few exact quotes to help your analysis—the more direct quotes the better!
• Take good notes of your interview because this is what you will use when you write up the
results and the analysis
• Bring a notepad, the interview guide/questionnaire, and/or your laptop for note taking
Using the Interview Guide & Writing up the results of your interview:
• Ask the questions as they are presented.
• Take as many notes as you want and can—even include your own thoughts about what
they are sharing with you and their feelings as they respond.
• Feel free to add your own follow-up questions.
As you conduct the interview, you may write on the questionnaire itself or type them as you go.
Nonetheless, you must write or type the responses of your participant and attach them to your
analysis paper along with the demographic information that is at the end of the interview guide.
Make sure to give a complete answer to the questions. You may summarize their answers but I
will still look for a few exact words, descriptions, and/or quotes to be included in every interview
response to all questions. You must also include the interview guide to your paper when you
turn it in for grading.
1) You will identify what type of individual you chose and explain your reason for choosing
that person and situation (e.g., why did you choose to interview a single parent?).
2) You will do research in our text book based on your topic. ALL information presented
within the text and course can be used and cited that is pertinent to the interviewee’s
experience. While you may cite the supplemental information from the PowerPoint slides
occasionally if needed; please remember the MAJORITY of your research and citations
MUST be from the course textbook (cite page number). Some chapters that will be helpful
are: marriage, chap. 7; divorce and step parenting, chap. 14 and 15; and parenthood (single
or married), chap. 8, 9, 10, cohabitation chapters 5, 6, and 7 ect. A lot of the interview
questions are based on what is discussed and addressed in our text about what research
has found about each family dynamic (e.g., if you choose a married parent, what has
research found about the challenges of parenting compared to what your participant
identified as challenging for them—was it similar or different?). Compare their responses
to our text book and note any differences or similarities. Therefore, your paper should be
FSW 261 Interview Paper
presenting your interviewee’s responses to EVERY question presented in the interview
**Our textbook is Lamanna, M. A., Riedmann, A., & Stewart, S. (2018). Marriages,
families, and relationships: Making choices in a diverse society. 13th edition.
Cengage Learning. **
Please read the following excerpt (note this was when we were using the previous
textbook edition), which was an interview of a single parent. This is how your analysis
paper should look:
When asked how she would describe being a single parent, Jane replied
“Stressful, rewarding, painful, and expensive. He was a blessing; I don’t know
where I would be without him”. Jane reports the most difficult aspect of being a
single parent is being able to support her son financially and still be “a good
parent” as she reports that she often is unable to attend school functions or sports
games due to her need to provide financially. Olson reports that common issues
for single-parent mothers are high level of stress and the low level of economic
and emotional resources that are present for these mothers (2012, pg. 227). Jane
reports that without her family, especially her parents, she does not know where
her and her son would be. Jane explains that her mother is often the one taking
Jack to sporting events and attending his school functions while she is at work.
This also supports recent research of how these mothers seek and create support
networks to assist them in caring for their families (Lamanna, 2012, pg. 227).
Note how the student directly addressed which question they were analyzing,
summarized the interviewee’s response based on their interview notes, used direct
quotes, and then immediately compared it to research from the text. Your analysis should
follow this same format.
FSW 261 Interview Paper
***PLEASE REFER TO THE TEMPLATES PROVIDED FOR THIS PAPER IN ORDER TO
UNDERSTAND WHAT I AM EXPECTING FROM THESE PAPERS (please note the textbook
cited in some of the examples is no longer the adopted text for this class also DO NOT
plagiarize from these examples—guilty parties will be assigned an automatic zero) ****
The most important thing about this assignment is that you properly and effectively explain your
participant’s perspective of their situation as explored in the interview guide AND to integrate
research found from the text by citing it with the page number from which it was taken. PLEASE be
aware that not every question or answer may be able to apply to the research in our text—and
that is ok; just state that it was not applicable to the research we have addressed on this subject
matter or in your interviewee’s case.
Finally, write a short reflection on what you learned from the interview and some of the main
points you took away from the person you interviewed—from your perspective, what were some
of the main things they were trying to convey to you through the interview?
*The goal of this assignment is for you to demonstrate your ability to
summarize and quote some of your participant’s answers to the entire
interview guide and demonstrate your understanding of the course
information by appropriately integrating and comparing research
when applicable to your participant’s experiences. *
Please see checklist on the following page.
FSW 261 Interview Paper
*Checklist for Interview Paper:
• Did I identify what type of individual I chose and explained my reasons for
choosing that person and situation?
• Did I follow the prescribed format for the analysis as outlined in the above paragraphs by
directly addressing every question in the interview guide, summarizing my participant’s
response, present some direct quotes for each answer, and then follow-up with how my
interviewee’s experience and perspective compared to research from our text and what we
have learned in class?
• Did I provide a reflection at the end of what I learned from the interview and what I
believed my interviewee was trying to communicate to me?
• Did I provide ample integration of the text and research and properly cite with the page
• Did I follow page length and formatting criteria?
• Does this paper represent my original work and is free of any and all plagiarism?
• Is my work well-written, representing my best work, and did I proofread to identify and
eliminate grammatical and spelling errors?