A case study is essentially a detailed investigation which goes on for a certain extended period of time which focuses on one subject. It is however not exclusive to one person – it may be an organization, a family, etc. They involve a ‘longitudinal research’ which often used in therapies, includes a non-constricted time-limit meaning it can go on for months and in some cases even years, which then develops the study based on that particular subject which is being used to study a particular behaviour. It is however not solely used for therapeutic purposes.
The data gathered is detailed and in-depth which may be via different techniques such as questionnares, observations and interviews. Case studies are particularly useful for looking into rarities and anomalies where a detailed description is necessary which can thus track for eg. The disorder of a child, improvement and decline and his/her progress.
In a case study by Saavedra and Silverman which was the case study of a child with button phobia (koumpounophobia) who associated disgust and fear with buttons. Thus was a clinical study where a Hispanic boy aged 9 was being treated for a period of 12 months with a 6 month checked up (informed consent). During this period of time the child was asked to construct a hierarchy of fear based on 8 point scale of fear (quantitative data but subjective). His results however were not representative and thus not generalizable.
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