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New Dir Child Adolesc Dev. 2013 Winter;2013(142):1-12. doi: 10.1002/cad.20045.

An introduction to exemplar research: a definition, rationale, and conceptual issues.


The exemplar methodology represents a useful yet underutilized approach to studying developmental constructs. It features an approach to research whereby individuals, entities, or programs that exemplify the construct of interest in a particularly intense or highly developed manner compose the study sample. Accordingly, it reveals what the upper ends of development look like in practice. Utilizing the exemplar methodology allows researchers to glimpse not only what is but also what is possible with regard to the development of a particular characteristic. The present chapter includes a definition of the exemplar methodology, a discussion of some of key conceptual issues to consider when employing it in empirical studies, and a brief overview of the other chapters featured in this volume.

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