Adolescent Interview/Summary

Interview an adolescent (age 12-18; grade 7-12) using the questions below. In interviewing the adolescent, be sure to tell him/her that the interview is for a project for your course in development. Assure him/her that he/she has the right not to answer any of the questions and may stop the interview at any time. Let him/her know that no one will see the answers to the interview questions and that their names will not be used. In giving the interview, write down as much of his/her responses as you can. You might consider tape recording the interview to avoid taking time to write the answers during the interview. Be sure to ask permission to use a tape recorder and assure him/her that the tape will be erased.

Feel free to add questions to the interview as appropriate while talking to the adolescent, but be sure to cover all of the issues included. Many of the questions are meant to have more than one or two sentence answers. You will need to practice using follow-up probes to get longer answers:
–Can you tell me more about that?
–I don’t understand. Can you give me an example?
–How does that make you feel?
–How important is that to you?
–using “uh-huh” and head nodding may also lead to more responding

Incorporate questions about culture as appropriate.  Culture includes religion, socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, age, gender, etc.

Interview Questions

  1. How old are you?
  2. What grade are you in?
  3. How old are your parents?
  4. What type of work do your parents do?
  5. How many brothers and sisters do you have? How do you get along with them? (Only Child, Do you wish you had siblings? Why or why not?)
  6. Can you recall anything that happened in your childhood that may not have happened to your
    friends? What? How do you feel about it?
  7. Do you think that this still affects you? How?
  8. Is there anything else from your childhood that has had an influence on you?
  9. What changes have you noticed in your height and weight over the past few years? How did
    you feel when these changes occurred?
  10. Is there any one thing that you would like to change most about your body right now? What?
    Why?
  11. Compared to your friends, would you say that you have grown about as fast as they have?
    faster? not as fast?
  12. What are the advantages/disadvantages to growing up faster or slower than your friends?
  13. How would you describe yourself to someone who did not know you?
  14. What kind of person would you like to be?
  15. What athletics, clubs, or other activities do you participate in? Tell me a little about them.
  16. Do you like the activities that you are in? Do you wish you were involved more? less?
  17. What TV shows do you watch? Video Games?
  18. How much time each day do you spend watching television and videos, or playing video games?
  19. How much time do you spend on the internet? What do you do on the internet?
  20. Is there a group of other girls/guys that you hang around with? How often do you see them?
    How long have you known them? What do you do together?
  21. What do you think is important in a friendship?
  22. Do you have any best friends? How would you describe them?
  23. Do you have a steady boy/girlfriend? How often do you date?
  24. How important do you think it is for parents to be strict with their teenager? Why?
  25. How are your parents are strict with you?
  26. How much say do you have in making rules and decisions in your home? Are you satisfied
    with this?
  27. How do your parents pressure you about your schoolwork? How do you feel about this?
  28. How much have your parents influenced your decisions about your future (college, career)?
    How do you feel about this?
  29. How is school going for you right now?
  30. What makes a good teacher? Can you describe one of your best teachers?
  31. If you could change your school, what would you do to change it?
  32. What would you like to do with your life? What do you reasonably see yourself doing in five
    years?
  33. Is there anything else that you would like to tell me about yourself?

Student question. Based on what you’ve learned, ask at least one more question; what else

would you like to know about this person’s life?

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After you describe the interview, discuss your reaction (three paragraphs).

  1. What did you learn? Did anything surprise you?
  2. How did you feel during the interview?
  3. What changes (if any) have occurred in your perception of the prenatal/first year? (What did you think before? What do you think now?)