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Qualitative Methods In Social Work

Saint Leo University SWK 322

Rhondda Waddell

on 22 March 2018

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Transcript of Qualitative Methods In Social Work

Qualitative Methods In Social Work
Introduction to Qualitative Methods: chpt. 1
Study Design & Sampling: Chapt. 3
Ethical Issues in Qualitative Research: Chapt. 4
Data Analysis & Interpretation Chapt. 7
Mixed Methods Chapt. 10
Interviewing/Focus Groups & Use of Documents Chapt. 6
Telling The Story Chapt. 9
Field Research: Chapt. 5
Strategies for Rigor Chapt. 8
Choosing the Right Qualitative Approach: Chapt. 2
Six Primary Approaches
Please anytime the characters refer to political issues,
List any male stereotypes (that tell us how males should act).
Please list any animals or humans killed during the episode.
List any foul language you hear, and how many times.

Please list any crude behavior that is displayed or talked about (ex. Burping, vomiting, farting, urination, or defecation).

Social Behaviors to Watch for:

Watch the Poor and Stupid Episode

Instructions: Break up into assigned group.
Present your group’s findings to the
class and discuss your results.

After the discussion, your group will develop a common code sheet that could be used to help researchers in a future content analysis.

South Park Analysis: Content Analysis

Devoted to research on inequalities.

Critical approaches: Feminists, Marxist, Race,
LBGT, Gender, Social Class.

Associated with discursive critiques in law and cultural studies than with empirical research.

Critical Theorists

Argue for the superiority of constructivism, hermeneutics,
and , sometimes, post modernism.

Contend that multiple-constructed realities abound.
That research is value-bound.

That it is impossible to differentiate fully causes and effects.

That logic flows from specific to general (e.g. explanations are generated inductively from the data.

That knower and known can’t be separated because the subjective knower is the source of reality.

Constructivists and Interpretivists

Believe social observations should be treated as entities in much
the same way that physical scientists treat physical phenomena.

Contend that the observer is separate from the entities that are subject to observation.

Maintain that social inquiry should be objective.
That time and context free generalizations are desirable and possible (Nagel, 1986).

Real causes of social scientific outcomes can be determined reliably and validly.




Critical Theorists

In groups describe each of these paradigms and
how they might be applied in qualitative research.

Name Three Paradigmatic Camps

Author of The Structure of Scientific Revolution,
fathered the concept of “paradigm shift”.

Think of a Paradigm Shift as a change from one way of thinking to another.

It’s a revolution, a transformation, a sort of metamorphosis driven by change.

Thomas Kuhn 1962

What advantages does qualitative
methods bring to your study?

Name The Advantages?

What I wish had been discussed
during today's class:

Chapter 1: The Qualitative Family

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Review your finding from the content analysis in your group.

Construct a questionnaire to examine audience perceptions of South Park.

Your group will come up with 10 questions to provide researchers with more information about how audiences perceive the show, based on the observed behavior.

Then give the survey to another group to pretest, base the survey on the student critique worksheet.

After the survey has been pretested, return to your original group, and make any changes before turning in the survey to your professor.

Review one of the articles on the study site (www.sagepub.com/prsw) that uses qualitative methods. Describe the data that were collected, and identify the steps in the analysis. What type of qualitative analysis was this? How confident are you in the conclusions given the methods of analysis used?

Class Exercise 5

Consider the many options possible in mixing
among the six qualitative approaches.

Discuss in your group and share with the class which appear most (and least) suitable for mixing.

Class Exercise 4

Class Exercise 2

In your assigned group go to Google Scholar or the
SLU library site and locate examples of studies representing each of the six types of qualitative methods presented in chapter 2.

What types of journals carry these methods?

Class Exercise 3

Grounded theory is one of the most well known qualitative research approaches (Glaser & Strauss, 1967).

GT entails inductive coding from the data, memo writing, and weaving in theoretical concepts without permitting them to constrain the study’s emergent findings.

Grounded Theory

Case studies draw on the ability of the researcher to extract depth and meaning in context based on a case. Ex: psychiatric ward, religious cult, rural village.

Its goal may be description and analysis of the ethnographic present or the historic past.

Case Study Analysis

Action research is traceable to Kurt Lewin
(1946) has roots in liberation movements.

Linked to Community-based participatory
research it shares a commitment to
community empowerment and egalitarian partnerships (eg. Women’s issues regarding
breast cancer and cultural expectations).

Action Research: CBPR

Phenomenological research is inductive, a descriptive research approach that aims to describe an experience as it is actually lived by the person.

It originated by Edmund Husserl (1994). Participants share a particular life experience (eg., cancer survivors, crime victims, adoptive parents).

Phenomenological Methods

Narrative methods are a product of what was termed the narrative turn in social science research,
which has been described and analyzed as a response to the lack of human stories in traditional social science in the 1960’s.

The focus of these methods are life stories that describe personal experiences of poverty, inequality, sexism and more (Chase, 2005).

Narrative Approaches

Consider the various “camps” described
in this chapter.

How might your topic be framed
in terms of these paradigms:
Critical Theorist

What About The “Camps”?

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Chapter 2: Qualitative Research

Mixing of qualitative research approaches
occurs within two plausible scenarios:

A juxtaposition of the two approaches side-by-side
or in sequence.

A fusion or hybrid approaches.

Mixing and Matching Approaches

In your assigned group assess the strengths and limitation of each of the approaches presented in this chapter, then share with the class.

Narrative Approach
Phenomenloogical Analysis
Case Study Analysis
Grounded Theory
Action Research: CBPR
Constructivist/Critical Theory Influences

Class Exercise 1

Constructivists argue that human beings construct their own social realities in relation to one another.

Reality is subjective and experiential. The goal of constructivists research is understanding and structuring, as opposed to prediction.

Critical theory is about power and politics. The goal of critical theory is emancipation of the oppressed.

Constructivist & Critical Theory

What if any are the ways that social
responsibility is reflected in your chosen topic?

Social Responsibility?

o Be a qualitative explorer! Go to “Qualitative Page” website and see what you can find that enriches your understanding of qualitative research (www.qualitativeresearch.uga.edu/ QualPage). Be careful to avoid textual data overload.

One Minute Paper

On a piece of paper write your response to the following scenario:

Imagine that you are interviewing for an academic position and a member of the search committee says: “Your qualitative research looks interesting but I honestly don’t see how much can be learned from such a small sample.”

How would you respond to this comment?

Class Exercise 4

Using either the same topic you chose for #1 or for your final paper, plan and write out your research
design for one particular type of qualitative method. Include answers to the “how many” questions as well as which type of sampling strategy you will use.

Class Exercise 2



Review of Documents (considered the
least intrusive biased by the presence of the researcher).

Three Main Types of Data Collection

In qualitative research the focus is on flexibility
and depth rather than on mathematical probabilities and external validity.

The phrase that quantitative research is “a mile wide and an inch deep”, and qualitative research is an inch wide and a mile deep”. 6-10 participants are common.

Sample Size Consideration

Pg 54:
Extreme or deviant case sampling
Intensity sampling
Maximum variation sampling
Homogeneous sampling
Typical case sampling
Critical case sampling
Criterion sampling
Snowball sampling
Theoretical sampling
Confirming or disconfirming sampling

Patton (2002) Types of Samples

As a general rule, qualitative researchers use purposive sampling.

A deliberate process of selecting respondents based on their ability to provide the needed information.

Miles and Huberman (1994), qualitative sampling is done for conceptual and theoretical reasons, not to represent a larger universe.

Sampling Strategies

Pg. 50:

How many?

Should I?



Questions Posed (and Needing Answers)
by Qualitative Research

Qualitative designs opt for a straight forward description of what they plan and how they plan to do it, using as many descriptors as are applicable (Brymann, 2006).

Qualitative designs are flexible, weaving back and forth between the research questions, data collection, and data analysis.

Designing The Study

Building upon previous work sets the stage for deeper description, conceptual development, and theoretical refinement.

The length depends on the study’s purpose. Dissertations have no limitations, evaluation reports are limited.

They are extended arguments critical evaluation of previous studies.

Also an arena for conceptual thinking for applying theoretical lenses organized around key concepts.

Review the Literature

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Chapter 3: Qualitative Research
Study Design & Sampling

Think of a “hard to reach population” and identify one or more sampling strategies and recruitment techniques that would be most effective at reaching this group.

Class Exercise 3

Choose a topic of interest and formulate one research question suitable for each of the types of qualitative methods: ethnographic, grounded theory study, case study, etc. See page 47 for examples.

Share your list of questions with the class

Class Exercise 1

Flick (2004) notes:

If concerned with temporal (present) change, qualitative studies may be retrospective (e.g. life histories).

Or prospective, using longitudinal designs.

When change is not the focus, qualitative studies may be “ snapshots” or cross-sectional in designs.

Element of Time

Qualitative research questions must be intellectually
interesting and point the reader to where the research will go.

Must have a strong emphasis on research questions as opposed to hypotheses in keeping with the inductive approach.

Formulating Research Questions

Qualitative researchers go where respondents are, not the other way around.

Advertises for volunteers
Send out flyers or mailing introductory letters, or emails.

Researchers may make guest appearances at group meetings with a ready script.

Ask for contact info, offer incentives, offer email/telephone info to participants.

Recruiting and Retaining Study Participants

Journal Review
Go to the NIH Web site explaining the federal Certificate of Confidentiality

Discuss in your assigned group what type of study populations are most likely to need this extra protection and share with the class.

Class Exercise 5

Choose a topic from below and draft a sample consent form that includes the essential protections of human subjects for studying each of the following groups:

Hospice patients dying of cancer
Parents of children with autism
Adolescents age 12-16 who smoke cigarettes
Homeless persons with substance abuse issues
Class Exercise 3

Emic perspective (inside)
Etic perspective (outside)

Socially responsible research means being sensitive to diversity-gender, social class, age, ethnicity, and sexual orientation & more.

NASW Code Ethics reminds us to be mindful in terms of the potential in research to cause harm, & promotes social justice in research and practice and policy.

Socially Responsible Research

Bracketing refers to a conscientious effort to suspend assumptions, beliefs, and feelings in order to better understand the experience of respondents.

Debriefing is also important scheduling routine meetings to talk about interviews and their emotional impact is important.


A committee designated to approve, monitor, and review research.

Federal policy for protection of human subjects: The federally mandated regulatory system prompting adherence to standards of ethical conduct in the U.S, under the ruling 45 CFR the “ Common Rule” 1974.

Belmont Report 1979: Respect for persons; beneficence; justice

Who can remember from your quantitative class an infamous research project that brought attention to covert research and the need for regulations?

Institutional Review Boards

Small monetary payments or either
incentives encourage participation
and compensate partially respondents
for their time.

At the final stage of the research one source of payback occurs by sharing the findings with the participants.

Incentives & Payback

The potential to cause emotional distress
due to sensitive topics is a concern.

The researcher should make advanced
arrangements for referrals to
professional counseling if emotional
responses are likely to occur.

Distress & Emotional Harm

Deception is prohibited in all research these days. 3 aspects of research deception are at issue when deciding whether it is defensible:

Its necessity to carrying out the study.
Its potential for harm.
Its intentionality.

Ethical Issues in Qualitative Research

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Chapter 4: Qualitative Research
Ethical Issues
In assigned small groups consider the possibility of conducting ethnographic research in a busy pediatric
asthma clinic serving a poor inner-city population.

How would you approach informed consent since you will be visiting for prolonged periods and at all different times but cannot possibly request informed consent from everyone who will be visiting the clinic?

Class Exercise 4

Moral ambiguity can happen in any study.

Ex: Gang member describes an upcoming ritual
involving gang rape.

An immigrant mother insists on finding a doctor to do female circumcision on her daughter.

Options: Do nothing, end the study relationship, intervene with the respondent, or blow the whistle to authorities.

Moral Ambiguity & Risks

Basics of Informed Consent

A brief description of the study and procedures as
they involve participants.

Full ID of the researcher’s identity and sponsoring organization.

An assurance that participation is voluntary & respondent can withdraw.

Assurance of confidentiality.

ID of any risks or benefits to study participants.

As a group design and ready for print a flyer that you would like to post at this agency (from Class Exercise
1) seeking clients for interviews.

Class Exercise 2

In the classroom, get into groups of three have a role-play exercise in which one student acts as an agency administrator, and another poses as a researcher seeking permission, and another acts as an observer to document the process (later rotate positions), the researcher asks the administrator if he/she will allow qualitative research study questions about the agency's policies for providing social services to their clients (this agency may be food stamps, counseling services, help with utilities, clinic to help to get free medications, housing authority, help get transportation for the homeless, etc.). The observer will use Kvales handout as a guide.

Class Exercise 1

In your assigned group choose a setting familiar to you such as an agency, clinic, day care center, or similar setting like a dorm room. Think of how you might study it from an ethnographic perspective. Start by drawing a map or floor plan and ponder how this might reflect a “social order” and affect behavior. Who are the actors in this setting? Who is the likely gatekeeper? Is there an individual who might become a key informant? Is there a social hierarchy among the actors?

Share you findings with the class.

Class Exercise 3

Is a way to investigate complicated situations in which issues are not yet well defined and where there is not sufficient time or other resources for traditional qualitative research. Includes brief interview with key informant and short surveys with check lists.

REA often used in international health organizations allied with anthropologists as a means to research in nutrition, sanitation, family planning, and HIV/AIDS (Beebe, 2002)

Rapid Ethnographic Assessment (REA)

Record a description of the physical space.
Affect (expressions of feelings or emotions
(Lofland & Lofland, 1995)

What to include in Notes?

Field notes are the necessary representation of what is
experienced during observation (Emerson, Fretz, & Shaw, 1995).

Quality improved by:
Taking notes either in real time or soon after.
Avoid filters or distorting by personal predilections or theoretical allegiances.

Field Notes

Despite volumes of “field wisdom” passed on by ethnographers (Sanjek, 1990), the demands of qualitative observation can only be appreciated with hands-on experience.

Ethnographers usually seek out one or more
key informants
(knowledgeable individuals who can supply valuable information).

“Doing” Observation: The Best Way to Learn

Advantages of informal interviewing it allows the researcher to be responsive to individual
differences and to capture emerging information.

Disadvantage is it may generate less systematic
data, which are difficult to classify and analyze.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Qualitative interviews are a type of field research method that elicits information and data by
directly asking questions of members. 3 types:

informal conversational, semi-structured, standardized and open-ended.

Frequently occurs during participant
observation, is appropriate when the
researcher wants maximum flexibility to pursue topics and ideas.

Qualitative Interviews

Advantage the ethnographer develops a rich, thick understanding of a setting and the members within a society.

Disadvantage the researcher most devote a large amount of time and money, and their objectivity may decline as he or she spends more time among the members.

Data: Field notes, diary, informal interviews included in notes.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantage it offers contextual data on settings,
interactions, or individuals

Disadvantage behaviors observed during direct observation may be unusual or atypical.

Includes forms of data:
notes, other recordings by the researcher.

Checklists or rating scales
Photographs or video images

Advantage & Disadvantage

Field research is concerned with understanding and interpreting another person’s social world through accessing their lived experiences.

Direct observation-data is gathered through close visual inspection of a natural setting.

The direct observer strives to be unobtrusive and detached from the setting.

Seen as an initial approach to understanding a setting or group of individuals, or behavior before interacting with members.

Field Observation

Aim for the concrete and specific describing behaviors and events.

Distinguish between the different levels of observational data based on their proximity to the event being observed.

First order accounts occur during the observation, second order involves paraphrasing conversations.

Record your impressions, feelings, and concerns.
Strive for balance..6 hours of recording for every 1 hour of observation.


Helpful Hints for Note Taking

Gaining entry requires differing degrees of outreach and engagement ranging from placing an Internet notice or posting flyers to protracted negotiations including reviews by the IRB at various study sites.

It is up to the researcher to demonstrate that the study is valuable and feasible.

Getting Permission and Announcing the Study

A field researcher develops an understanding of the particular setting or society by taking part in the everyday routines and rituals alongside members.

First developed by 20th century anthropologists researching native societies.

The principal research method used by

Participant Observation

Chapter 5: Qualitative Field Research

Think about your workplace or another work setting as the object of an ethnographic study.
Such as a clinic, or social service agency. Now using only documents, archival materials, and so on—no observation or interviewing allowed.
Address the following:

Develop a list of the types of documents available.
How would you evaluate the relative quantity and quality of these materials?

Do you have any concerns about their accuracy and completeness?

Class Exercise 3

Focus Group Topic
Focus group of nonprofit & government workers on their decision to enter public service.
Characters in the role play (7-10)
Facilitator (1)
Scribe & assistant facilitator (1)
Public service employees (5-8) : Executive dir., 25 yr. law enforcement, new school teacher, administrator department of motor vehicles, mid manager federal agency, postal worker, organizer environmental non-profit, immigrant worker
Observers rest of the class.

As a focus group character consider your job, family life, income level, and experience:

There are two focus groups in this exercise. For one, you will participate in the focus group role play; while the other you will carefully and analytically observe your classmates’ role play. The two focus groups and their available roles are summarized in the next slide.

You will be assigned as a character in the focus group role play, or as an observer of the focus group.

Class Exercise 1

In groups of three one member will be the interviewer, another the interviewee,
and the third member will be responsible for recording the interview for interruptions in the flow, whether or not the interviewer asked leading questions, or if the interviewer became to conversational.

As a team choose a topic of interest and seek out a knowledgeable respondent to play the role of the interviewee to participate in an open-ended interview. Develop an interview guide of four or five questions.

Turn in your list of questions to your instructor, and discuss your group experience with the class after 30 minutes of interaction.

Class Exercise 2

Closure usually comes with SATURATION.
(when additional analysis of the data bring redundancy and no new information.

Deadlines by the study sponsors .

Or resource constraints.

Recommendation is to keep the door open in the final interview with the understanding that follow-up contacts may be needed.

Ending Data Collection

Printed matter such as court records, case reports, meeting minutes, brochures, diaries, photographs, letters, etc.

Archived videos, films, photographs.

Documents and existing data have advantages mainly in their lack of reactivity, less time consuming and less emotionally taxing .

Disadvantages they may be inaccurate, incomplete, and uneven due to not being produced for research purposes.

Using Documents, Archives, Existing Data

Social Media Sites
These modes of communication can save
time and money,
but should be used as a fallback measure for when interviewees live far away or for second interviews.

Interviewing At A Distance

The interviewer interrupts the narrative flow.

The interviewer dominates the conversation.

The interviewee is uncooperative.

Inadequately trained interviewers in team projects.

Emotional issues may cause intense responses laughing or crying.
Language barriers.

Common Problems

The interviewer is an enabler not center stage.

The script is not written in stone, should be free flowing and comfortable.

Probes are most important interviewer must be aware of subtle cues and they are critical for getting beyond rehearsed communications.

Face Sheet document for recording date, time, & Location and demographic characteristics.

Interviewer reaction sheet is a log of observations and the setting, and your concerns.

Conducting the Interview

Elite or experts may target highly regarded practitioners, policymakers, or other public figures.

These individuals add a top down perspective that might otherwise be missed without their participation.

These individuals require special planning and foresight due to busy schedules and their need to be assured of confidentiality.

Elite and Expert Interviews

Children and persons with mental disabilities may lack verbal skills and may better be observed rather than interviewed.

However, the research must avoid stereotypical assumptions that can interfere with the right to be heard by vulnerable persons, and the researchers need to learn from them.

Interviewing Children & Vulnerables

Unlike field interviews in-depth interviews are:


Takes place in private setting

Conducive to trust and candor

Requires careful preparation

Types of:
Life Histories

Narrative Interviews (probes are minimized to avoid interruptions)

In-Depth Interviews

Synergism-wider range of information
Snowballing-One person’s comments triggers a
response from another person.

Stimulated- excitement increases in a group.

Security- participants feel more comfortable to answer in a group with similar interests.


Serendipity-ideas may arise out of the blue.

Specialization- use of highly trained interviewer.

Flexibility in the topics covered.

Speed- many participants at one time.

Focus Group Advantages

Detached but kind.

Alert to signs that the group is disintegrating.

Stimulate interaction.

Encourage respondents to be more specific about generalized comments.

Encourage unresponsive respondents to participate.

Flexible- able to alter the planned outline according to the situation.

Guide the discussion at an intelligent as well as emotional level.

Qualifications of a Moderator

Purpose is to gain insights from the appropriate study target.

7-10 participants are optimal

Homogeneous in terms of demographic and socio-economic characteristics.

Experienced with the issue.

Have not participated in many focus groups on the subject being studied.

Relaxed environment.

1.5-2 hours in length.

Record all information including body language.
Have a trained moderator lead the discussion.

Focus Group Interviews

Informal Field Interviews : The researcher talks with people in the field informally, without use of a structured interview guide of any kind.

Informal interviewing is typically done as part of the process of observing a social setting of interest.
Best used in the early stages of the development of inquiry.

Also, use to uncover new topics of interest overlooked in previous research.

Interviewing and Use of Documents

Try to answer the following questions as a researcher, do not
be judging or grading as you are analyzing the behaviors exhibited and the dynamics of the discussion.

What is going well in the focus group?

What successful tactics do you see in the facilitation of the focus group?

What problems, if any, do you see in the focus group?

What suggestions do you have on improving the facilitation of the focus group?

If you are an observer use an observer worksheet to Critique the Focus Group:

Interview transcripts
Field notes
Other documents

Readily available although may be
less personally satisfying.

Secondary Analysis

Two are preferred or more.

Some researchers advocate matching interviewers with respondents for age, sex, race, and so on…siting greater acceptability and understanding.

Others say this may hinder under certain circumstances.

Some suggest using community members other say no as
it may create a fear of loss of privacy.

Who & How Many Interviews?

Clarify your stance as much as possible.

Develop an interview guide (both standard and person-specific questions).

Anticipate some probes and be open to others ad-hoc.
Sequence questions so that sensitive questions are saved for later.

If a team effort, build in plenty of time for training interviewers.

Plan for the location.

Start and end the interview with small talk.

Guidelines for Starting Out

Misuse-Some people consider the results
as conclusive when it should be just exploratory.

Misjudge-client and researcher bias.

Difficult to moderate.

Difficult to code, analyze and interpret.

Not representative of the general population and not projectable.

Focus Group Disadvantages

Specify objectives.

State questions to be answered.

Screening questions- on familiarity and knowledge of the subject
matter, usage behavior, attitude and participation in focus groups and demographic characteristics.

Develop the moderator’s outline-moderator must understand the clients business, focus group objectives and how the findings will be used.
Conduct the focus group.

Review tapes and analyze data.

Summarize findings and plan follow-up research or action.

Focus Group Steps

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Chapter 6 Qualitative Research
Interviewing and Use of Documents

In your assigned group read the excerpt in Box 7.4 (pg. 163) and choose one of the following options to analyze it:

Option A: Open code the text (using line numbers to show what segments go with what code). Discuss your codes with a fellow student who has independently open-coded the same excerpt.

Class Exercise 2

In the classroom, students focus on why they are going to college and break up into small groups to discuss the topic and expand on it as much as possible.

Next refer to Bohn’s nine organizing frames (pg. 159) and choose one or two as a way to think about these experiences. Each group will discuss their findings stating whether they took the form of a typology , a sequencing, and so on.

Class Exercise 1

Memories from Cuban-American immigrant’s journey to America during the Mariel Boatlift in the 1980’s transcript. Students will be asked to code the text independently.

Then in groups of 3-4 student will meet to discuss their codes and the reasons behind them.

Class Exercise 4: Memories

Interpretation deals with the act of “reading into” and “extracting meaning from the data”.

Saturation is invoked at various stages of qualitative analysis to refer to the point at which no additional data collection is needed, no new codes are developed, and themes and subthemes have been fully fleshed out (Bowen, 2008, Morse, 1995).

Saturation and Interpretation

Thorne (1998) 3 types:
Analytic expansion-the researcher ventures into new topics using her own data.

Retrospect interpretation-involves going back to further developed themes.

Armchair induction- involves comparing several databases for analysis.

Amplified sampling-compares several distinct databases for analysis.

Cross-validation takes the researcher beyond her own findings to seek confirmation or disconfirming evidence from other databases.

Secondary Analysis

Disconfirming evidence are cases that refute
an emerging theory.

Discrepant evidence are cases that refine an emerging theory.

(Goets & LeCompte, 1984)

Disconfirming and Discrepant Evidence

The search for negative cases is tested by searching for falsify ing evidence (we become our own devil’s advocate).

Like a Null Hypothesis-The null hypothesis is the opposite of the alternative hypothesis. If the alternative hypothesis is the belief that the independent variable has an effect on the dependent variable, then the nulll hypothesis is the belief that the independent variable in an experiment has no effect on the dependent variable.

Negative Case Analysis and Causation

Text is cut and pasted into coded segments into a separate file (manually or electronically).

Focused coding (Charmaz, 2006) takes place when open codes are winnowed down.

Category occurs when the identifying moment happens.

Axial coding (Strauss & Corbin, 1990) specifies the properties of the category and its subcategories.
Selective coding a process of selecting and refining “core categories” alone and in relationship to one another (Strauss & Corbin, 1990).

Categories and Themes

Memo-writing is an offshoot of this process in which one documents thoughts and ideas that emerge through interacting with the data.

Stauss & Corbin (1990) 3 types:
Code notes (definitional statement & reason for being).

Theory notes (Record of ideas and hunches about what is going on in the data).

Operational notes (placeholders for logistical and other concerns).

Memos are safety zones for discovery and creativity.


1) They have too few excerpts (or their content is too thin).

2) They become merged with or absorbed by another code.

Code labels should be brief but descriptive .
Codes may be in vivo emerging directly from the participants words.
Use interesting labels to grab attention.

Dropping & Adding Codes

Open coding (sensitizing concepts by Glaser, 1978). The researcher approaches the text with as few preconceptions as possible.

Exception would be where codes are imported directly from the interview questions (template approach, Crabtree & Miller, 1999).

Coding may take place in the margins of the text of the transcript and bracket relevant segments with assigned code labels.

Identifying and Labeling Codes

Coding starts by transferring chunks of text into conceptual “bins” to the more elaborate interpretive procedures associated with theory development.

Ideally, coding breaks the “data apart in analytically relevant ways in order to lead toward further questions about the data” (Coffey & Atkinson, 1996, p.31).
Coding sets the stage for interpretation .

Coding and Thematic Development

Offers a synopses of each study participant’s experiences (textural description).
Examines context and setting of these experiences (structural description).

Provides a summary of major themes with associated excerpt from the interviews Moustakas, 1994).

Phenomenological Analysis

Discourse Analysis is more broadly defined to include texts as well as conversation.

Analytic procedures center on spotlighting how larger social influences (power and dominance) shape modern discourse (Gee, 2005).

Discourse Analysis

Conversation analysis does this by examining turn-taking; silences and nonverbal utterances that signal gender, age, and race, and other role-playing that is enacted when individuals speak together (tenHave, 1999).

Conversation Analysis

Abstract (Summary of the event).

Orientation ( time, place, participants, context).

Complicating Action (what actually transpired).

Evaluation (meaning and significance of the event).

Resolution (conclusion of the event).

Code (giving closure by returning the listener to the
present time).

6 Narrative Analysis Elements

1. Instrumental case studies are illustrative devices used to high-light discussion of a larger issue or concern.

2. Intrinsic case studies focus on the entity itself as worthy of intensive scrutiny.

3. Multiple case study analysis follows the same principles of a single case study but, for reasons of replication or expansion, depends on more than one case.

3 Types of Case Studies

Case study refers to the process as well as the outcome (Patton, 2002). Case study
analysis maintain the holistic integrity of the case. A case study as product is a comprehensive description built up from immersion in multiple sources of data.

3 types of case studies (Stake (1995):
Instrumental, intrinsic, and multiple (pg. 143)

Case Study Analysis

Content analysis is a method for summarizing any form of content by counting various aspects of the content.

Qualitative researchers use content analysis when examining documents and textual materials. The results are numbers and percentages.

Content Analysis can actually offer plenty of scope for human judgement in assigning relevance to content.

Content Analysis

Theories role is that of informing without determining, lending concepts and ideas without imposing them.

Crabtree & Miller (1999) calls a template approach when a prepackaged toward concepts and theories conforms together.

Researchers rely on codebooks.

Theories and Concepts in QDA

Matrices consist of rows and columns .

Networks consist of a series of nodes and links in between.

Both use narrative or text rather than numbers.

Case summaries involve assembling and
summarizing all data per case so they can be
viewed holistically.

Data Displays Case Summaries

Transcriptionists must protect confidentiality.
Disguise all names (but this may later be a problem and must be done carefully).

Human error is a constant when transcribing
unfamiliar terminology, or poor sound quality, or in editing foul language or mispronunciations.

Protecting Confidentiality

Transcriber should be treated as part of the research team.

90 minutes of interview can take 8 to 10 hours.

Remuneration can be paid per page, tape, or hour.

Transcriber should have periodic debriefings to express
their concerns.


Transcription either enriches or deprive a study
depending on how carefully it is done.

Basic Rules: Transcribing verbal sighs, sobs, and laughter.

Pauses lasting more than a few seconds.

Addition of clarifying phrases.

Bracketing to provide foreign-language words or idioms.

Additional Suggestions listed on pg. 135-136 of your text.

Transcribing Interviews

First fully disguise participants (ID numbers) in all transcripts, audio files, field notes, all documents.

Each file should have its own ID number that contains essential info such as demographic, admission, and discharge facts.

Also, additional info such as medications, employment, and personal histories, and current status.

Data Management

Particularistic (narrative and discourse analyses)

Holistic (case study and ethnography)

Or in between approaches (phenomenological
analysis and grounded theory)

Forms of Analysis

Qualitative data analyses are steeped in choices and decisions.

Using epistemological frameworks, or imaginative artistry they all must contend with masses of raw data that need to be reduced and transformed through the iterative process of reading, describing, and interpreting.

Data Analysis & Interpretation

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Chapter 7: Qualitative Research

Meta-syntheses involves aggregating the findings from several qualitative studies of the same topic to draw conclusions for comparative purposes.

Problems of meta-syntheses representation can become exaggerated by conveying a message that the component studies had not intended (Thorne, 1998).


Miles and Huberman (1994), suggest counting themes via frequencies and percentages can help in identifying patterns or in verifying a hypothesis.

Using Numbers

An important aspect of coding, examining
what participants do not talk about, whether intentionally or unintentionally.


Coding is discretionary and intellectually demanding.

Areas of disagreement during coding center on:
1) what segments are deemed code-worthy
2) the size of a particular segment selected for coding
3)the choice of words or phrasing of for a code label
4) the definition of a code what it is and is not

Coding is a process of consensual validation, open to flexibility and change.

Independent Co-Coding

Emphasizes portability and facility in data collection and analysis to accommodate community partnering and advocacy.

Data analysis may be both quantitative and qualitative data may use time sensitive adaptations such as Rapid Assessment Procedures.

Action and Community Based Participatory Research Analyzing Data

2 types:
1) analyses of stories that naturally occur during interviews;

2) analyses of conversational exchanges between two or more individuals in which the study participants may be unrelated (e.g., focus groups, or members of a family or group of friends).

Involves indexing six elements (Labov & Waletzky, 1967).

Narrative Approaches in Data Analysis

Qualitative analysis depend on close and careful readings of texts,
multitasking to attend to what and how
something is said or done, and using filters and analytic awes to organize the process as it unfolds.

Qualitative data analysis rarely follows a
predictable course, so keeping track of its progress via memo-writing is critical.

Analyzing Qualitative Data: The Search for Meaning

Computerized versions of manual filing systems
are a staple of qualitative data analysis.

Types of QDA software:

Atlas/ti, Nvivo, Nud*ist, HyperResearch, and the Ethnograph.

Center for disease Control offers a downloadable free version called CDCEZText.

Qualitative Data Analysis (QDA)

Ethnographic analysis relies on sorting, visual examination, and intense contemplation about what is being observed and interpreted.

Includes field notes, ethnographic data include interviews supplemented with documents and records.

They may include quantitative measures and analyses.

Ethnography Data Analysis

Independently develop an idea for your study you are
\working on, describe which strategies for rigor would be most appropriate?

Class Exercise 4

In a group, discuss the three threats to trustworthiness (reactivity, researcher bias, and respondent bias) and how they differ in quantitative versus qualitative studies.

Are quantitative studies more vulnerable to some threats than others? What about qualitative studies?

Class Exercise 1

In your small group read the article titled “Reading Qualitative Studies” by Sandelowski and Barros provided by your instructor.

Following their guidelines , choose a published study or a dissertation found on-line in a peer reviewed journal and critique it.

What are some of the topics most often neglected by authors?

Class Exercise 3

In your assigned group select and read a qualitative study found on-line from a peer reviewed journal. Note what (if any) strategies for rigor the authors mention in discussing their methods and findings.

Class Exercise 2

How can this study be generalizable with that sample size?
What are your research questions?
Why isn’t this more objective?
Will sample attrition be a problem with so few in the study?
Why can’t you be more forthcoming about what your
findings will look like in advance?
How is this different from journalism?

Guidelines for Addressing Skeptical Reviewers

CBPR can apply all six of strategies we discussed for rigor:
member checks,
how closely to its values.

Community member have a right to know and question the study’s methods.

Use an experimental trial to test the community’s involvement and collaboration.

Allow for time to connect to the community.

Questions of Rigor in CBPR

This involves searching for and discussing elements of
the data that do not support or appear to contradict patterns or explanations that are emerging from data analysis.

Deviant case analysis is a process for refining an analysis until it can explain or account for a majority of cases.
Analysis of deviant cases may revise, broaden and confirm the patterns from data analysis (Patton, 2001).

Negative Case Analysis

Qualitative researchers also value the opinions of their study participants, referred to as member checking when conducted while the study is still in progress (Lincoln & Guba, 1989).

Also, professional peer review is useful as well.

Member Checking

It is the process of exposing oneself to a disinterested peer in a manner paralleling an analytical sessions and for the purpose of exploring aspects of the inquiry that might otherwise remain only implicit within the inquirer’s mind (Lincoln & Guba, 1985, p. 308).

Peer Briefing

Prolonged Engagement-Spending Sufficient time
in the field to learn or understand the culture, social setting, or phenomenon of interest.

The observer should be there long enough to:
Become oriented to the situation .
Be able to detect and account for distortions that might affect the data.
Allow them to rise above their own preconceptions.
The research builds trust.

Strategies for Rigor: Prolonged Engagement

Reactivity-the distorting effects of the researcher’s presence on participants’ beliefs and behaviors.

Researcher biases-emerge when observations and interpretations are clouded by preconceptions and personal opinions.

Respondent biases-respondents can be questioned for withholding information and lying to protect their privacy or to avoid revealing unpleasant truths.

Threats to Trustworthiness

For instance, in a study on customer patronage of a retail store, the researcher can cross-check data generated on the number of visitors to the store and their buying preference to the sales billing maintained by the store. The researcher can also refer to earlier studies or market research that may cover a similar sample, even if the purpose of such study was different, and more. (Golafasani, 2011).

Example of Conformity

Conformability is the degree to which others agree or corroborate with the research findings.

Each qualitative research is unique in itself, but the researcher can still adopt means such as documenting the procedures for rechecking data, unearth negative instances that contradict previous observations, play devil’s advocate and more to ensure conformity.


For instance, in a qualitative study on customer patronage to a retail store in a residential area, summer vacations may witness an unexpected decline in patronage as people go on vacations. A valid research factor in this trend.

Example of Dependability

Quantitative research requires repeatability to become reliable.

Qualitative requires dependability, which is the description of changes that occur during the course of research, and an understanding of how such changes affect the research or the study.


The application of transferability remain subjective, and depends on the specific case.

For instance, generalizing the findings of a research regarding the culture of religious schools to other religious schools of the same denomination in the same state tests the validity of the study, but generalizing the same research to a community college in another state is foolhardy.

Comparison External Validity and Transferability

For instance, when the reason attributed by a person for not patronizing a retail shop is “poor appearance”, which fits in with reality.

However, another reply, that a person does not patronize a retail shop because “aliens prevent him from going near the shop” is a strange and not credible according to scientifically held convictions.

Example of Credibility

Credibility: refers to believability or reasonableness.

Credibility as an element of validity of qualitative research denotes the extent to which the research approach and findings remain in sync with generally accepted natural laws and phenomenon, standards, and observations.

Ex: next page


The issue of whether you can generalize in qualitative research is a matter of reliability. Reliability is the extent to which a study measures a population accurately and whether results can be replicated with a different population sample or at a different time (Golafshan, 2003).

If a survey, set of interview questions or observations can produce the same resuts, the the results are considered to be reliable and can be generalized to the entire population or situation.


Guba & Lincoln (1985) posit that trustworthiness of a
research study is important to evaluating its worth.

Trustworthiness involves establishing:
Credibility-confidence in the “truth” of the findings.
Transferability-showing the findings have applicability in other contexts.

Dependability-showing that the findings are consistent and could be repeated.

Confirmability- a degree of neutrality or the extent to which the findings of a study are shaped by the respondents and not researcher bias, motivation, or interest.


Confirmability: is achieved by demonstrating
that the study’s findings were not imagined or concocted but, rather, firmly linked to the data

Truthfulness: (instead of validity).

Consistency: (instead of reliability).

More Evaluative Criteria

Credibility: is the degree of fit between respondents’
views and the researcher’s description and interpretations.

Transferability: refers to generalizability, not of the sample (as in quantitative terms) but of the study’s findings.

Auditability: (or dependability) means the study’s procedures are documented and traceable.

Evaluative Criteria
(Lincoln & Guba, 1985)

Leaving an audit trail means adopting a spirit of openness and documenting each step taken in data collection and analysis (Lincoln & Guba, 1985).

Audit trail includes raw data, memo noting, decisions made during data collection, coding, and analysis.
It enhances reproducibility.


Triangulation involves using multiple data sources in an investigation to produce understanding. 4 types (Denzin (1978) & Patton (1999):

Methods triangulation-checking with different collection methods.

Triangulation of sources-examining different sources for time settings, different viewpoints.

Analyst Triangulation-using multiple analysts to review findings.

Theory/perspective triangulation- using multiple theoretical perspectives to examine and interpret the data.


External validity in quantitative research refers to the extent to which the same methodology applied to another set of sample works in a similar way and produce similar results.

In qualitative research, transferability is the ability to generalize, or the extent to which the results of the results of the research apply to other contexts or settings.


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Strategies for Rigor

Choose a qualitative research study from the library database and answer the following questions. (You will want to choose an article found in an peer reviewed journal here).

Does the author talk about his or her role in the study?

If so, how much detail is offered?
Are figures, tables, and/or photographs used? If so, how do these visual displays help tell the story?

Class Exercise 3

In your assigned group go to one or more of the qualitative journals mentioned in this chapter on-line, select an article of interest that represents one of the qualitative approaches to be discussed in class.

Then highlight the style of writing used in the article. Does it follow standard conventions? Do the authors use metaphors or other narrative techniques to get their point across? Do they use table or figures? If so, how?

Class Exercise 1

Writing Style (See Handout)

Methods introduce the reader to the specific method (grounded theory, ethnography,
narrative analysis, etc.) with liberal citations.

Second part gives a detailed description of how the study’s goals were accomplished (hows, whens, and whys of the study), its site, sample, rapport building, management of data, data analysis, human subjects and ethical considerations, strategies for rigor.


The researcher is the key actor and in qualitative research the first person can be accepted but not preferred in most journals.

The presence of the researcher should not be hidden or edited out of the final report.

However, some audiences might find full reflexivity, practitioners and policymakers are likely to find it self-indulgent and distracting.

Journal articles find self-reflectivity less used due to lack of space giving the methods and findings their full due.

Researcher’s Role in the Report

A diachronic report tells a story through time. (such as a life history, or pivoted around a single event. Ex. Birth of a child, a cancer diagnosis, natural disaster event.

Synchronic reports collapse months or years of study into a static (but rich) description and interpretation.

Diachronic VS Synchronic Reports

1) Audience
2) Whether the study is diachronic or synchronic
3) The researcher’s role in the report
4) Whether and how to use numbers
5) Co-authorship

Five Key Decisions for Write-up

Writing Vs Authoring

In your group together locate a qualitative research journal’s guidelines for authors submitting manuscripts.

Do they include adequate description regarding what the journal expects? Is information provided on the journal’s rejection rate or other aspects of its impact?

Class Exercise 2

Thick description- (Lincoln & Guba, 1985) a way of achieving a type of external validity.

By describing a phenomenon in sufficient detail one can begin to evaluate the extent to which the conclusions drawn are transferable to other times, settings, situations, and people.

Balancing Description and Interpretation

Grounded theory-follows the architect of theory and conceptual framework.

Phenomenological reports tend to be pre-structured based on their analytic structure.

Ethnographic studies- traditionally are book-length reports that capture story-telling inquiry.

Narrative approaches-use the zoom in/zoom out technique of spotlighting portions of text.

Case studies-vary in format depending on design focused on the description of the study’s purpose.

Qualitative Reports Across Diverse Approaches

Highlights of the study reminding the reader of the goals, summarization of these goals and how they were achieved, candid discussion of the study’s limitations.

The implications of the findings and how they advance knowledge, their application to practice and policy, and suggestions for future research.

Conclusions & Recommendations

Report findings in graphic displays such as charts, matrices, and maps to lists or schemas of codes and themes (usually illustrated by quotes from the transcripts).

Or they present case vignettes or typologies to illustrate categories or themes.


Qualitative Research has a long history of solo work.
Research collaborations in social work and nursing are
a bi-product of multidisciplinary settings and growing.

Complications in co-coding can be challenging.
First author has done the most work, and afterwards is in proportion to contribution.

Co-authorship in Qualitative Studies

Few qualitative studies give much credence to numbers, but frequencies and percentages may be used effectively.

Using Numbers in the Report

Academic audiences: pitched in high level to ensure new knowledge.

Evaluative reports: written in pragmatic language (less academic) to provide concrete suggestions for improving policy and practices.

Commissioned/funded: researcher assesses the targeted problems of the sponsor.

General public: benefit of reaching a wider audience (and get royalties).

Target Audience

Writing is not merely reporting, it requires systematic thought and creativity.

Unlike quantitative reporting based on statistical analysis embedded within a standardized reporting format, this produces primarily a writing style that informs but rarely captivates (Padgett, 2008).

The self-selection process leading individuals toward
qualitative research tends to favor creative, abstract thinkers.

The challenge is to keep those ideas and abstractions firmly grounded in the data.

Qualitative Thinkers

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Chapter 9: Telling The Story

Background and Theoretical Context-here the author describes the phenomenon of interest and the rationale for the study, followed by the literature review, and the argument about gaps in knowledge.

Organizing the Report

What I wish to study in research in the future?

One Minute Paper

In assigned groups go to the internet and look at The Journal of Mixed Method Research (or
another of your choice) and locate a mixed methods study of interest to you.

Using the notational system from table 12.3 (pg. 334), how would you characterize the study’s design?

Share in class discussion your finding.

Class Exercise 4

While still remaining in your assigned group think of a topic for which mixed methods would not be a good fit.

Why is this so?

Share your thoughts in the class in discussion.

Class Exercise 2

Choose a program or practice of interest to your assigned group and talk through how it could be evaluated using mixed methods.

Choose a design from pg. 333 and then specify how you would carry out the proposed evaluation.

What types of quantitative and qualitative methods, techniques, or analyzes would you use?

Class Exercise 1

Professor Jennifer Green of Cornell University advocates using mix methods to evaluate human service programs.

This approach provides richer data—and thus better answers for evaluators and program managers than does a single framework used alone.

Mix methods invites the uncertainty & openness needed for evaluators to use their findings for action and change.

Mixed Method Approaches to Program and Practice Evaluation

Despite it strengthening value, mix methods research is not easy.

It takes time and resources to collect and analyze both research methods data.

It complicates the procedures of research and requires clear presentation to sort out procedures.

Researchers may be trained in only one form of inquiry (quantitative /qualitative)

Challenges for Mix Methods Studies

The essential steps follow the scientific method:
Define the challenge .

Collect the appropriate data from relevant sources to develop & test hypotheses.

Rigorously examine those data for obvious & hidden patterns.

Analyze your findings.

Present your results for peer review & audience education.

How to Do Mixed Methods?

In concurrent designs, one method may be dominant over the other (Quan + qual or Qual + quan) or they may be given equal weight (Quan + Qual).

Quan+qual designs: researchers collect qualitative data to enliven quantitative findings.

Qual + quan: researchers collect quantitative data via standardized measures or supplementary qualitative data from documents.

Concurrent Designs

Sequential designs- that which is carried out in a staged approach. One stage will be done,
followed by another and so on with the aim that each stage will build upon the previous one.

Ex. In a dissertation a literature review will be conducted first to identify topics/issues and then case studies or interviews ill be carried out to build upon the information generated from the literature review (McClain, 2014).

Types of Mixed Methods: Sequential Designs

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Chapter 10: Mixed Methods

In your assigned group, take a look at Table 12.3 page 334 - 339. Which designs are most common and which are least likely to be used?


Share your thoughts in class discussion.

Class Exercise 3

The goal of mixed methods research is to tackle a given research question from any relevant angle, making use where appropriate of previous research and/or more than one type of investigative perspective (Dedoose, 2014)

Three reason to use it: triangulation, complementarity, and expansion (Green, Caracelli, & Graham, 1989). Pg. 222

Mixed Methods

One Minute Paper

Different Qualitative Approaches
Telling The Story
Qualitative Sampling
Ethics In Research
Next in small groups define the six primary research approaches?
Flashback Reflection
Fill in the blanks:

1. Name the paradigmatic camp that believes that the observer is separate from the entities that are subject to observation ______________________________.
2. Name the paradigmatic camp that contends that multiple-constructed realities abound __________________________________.
3. ______________________________ are devoted to research on inequalities.
4. __________________________________ is a term in research that implies that the research must do no harm or be misleading in any way.
5. _________________________________ is the research approach focuses on life stories that describe personal experiences.
6. ----------------------------------------------------- is the research approach that aims to describe an experience as it is actually lived by the person.
7. ____________________________________ ___ this research approach shares a commitment to community empowerment and egalitarian partnerships.
8. __________________________________draw on the ability of the researcher to extract depth and meaning in context based on one unit of analysis.
9. _______________________________________ this is the most well know qualitative approach and it uses inductive coding from the data, memo writing, and theoretical concepts without permitting them to constrain the study.
10. The literature review can be categorized in at least three different ways such as ____________________________, _____________________________, _______________________________.
11. Qualitative research sampling strategies as a general rule use this type of sampling ___________________________________________.
12. Name a qualitative sampling approach __________________________________________.

Qualitative Answer Prompts Quiz 1
1. Positivists
2. Constructivists
3. Critical theorists
4. Social Responsibility
5. Narrative approach
6. Phenomenological Methods
8. Case Study
9. Grounded theory
10. Chronological, Questions, Advancement
11. Purposive
12. Snowball, Maximum variation, theoretical deviant case sampling, typical case sampling

Class Exercise 1: The Case of Hannah: In 4 Small Groups Read & Answer Each Question (See Handout)
The Case of Hannah: Hannah is committed to designing research procedures to evaluate the process and outcome of her social work programs. She is convinced that to obtain valid data she must keep the research participants ignorant in many respects. Thus, she thinks it is important that the clients she sees be unaware that they are being studied and be unaware of the research question(s) under investigation. Although she agrees that some ethical issues may be raised by her failure to inform her clients, she believes that good research designs call for such procedures. She does not want to influence her clients and thus bias the results of her study, so she chose to keep information from them. She contends that her practices are justified because there are no negative consequences or risks involved with her research. She further contends that if she is able to refine her social work practice through her research efforts with her clients, both they and future clients will be the beneficiaries.

What are your thoughts about Hannah's ethics and the rationale she gives for not obtaining informed consent?
Assume that she was interested in studying the effects of her social work communication techniques that focus on reinforcement statements by clients during sessions. If the clients knew she was using certain procedures and studying certain behaviors, would it bias the results?
If the value of the research seems to be greater than the risks involved to participants, do you think researchers are justified in not obtaining the informed consent of participants?
1.03 Informed Consent NASW Code of Ethics:

(a) Social workers
should provide services to clients only in the context of a professional relationship based, when appropriate, on valid informed consent. Social workers should use clear and understandable language
to inform clients of the purpose of the services, risks related to the services, limits to services because of the requirements of a third-party payer, relevant costs, reasonable alternatives, clients’ right to
refuse or withdraw consent
, and the time frame covered by the consent.
Social workers should provide clients with an opportunity to ask questions.

(b) In instances when clients are not literate or have difficulty understanding the primary language used in the practice setting, social workers should take steps to ensure clients’ comprehension. This may include providing clients with a detailed verbal explanation or arranging for a qualified
interpreter or translator
whenever possible.

(c) In instances when clients lack the capacity to provide informed consent,
social workers should protect clients’ interests by seeking permission from an appropriate third party, informing clients consistent with the clients’ level of understanding.
In such instances social workers should seek to ensure that the third party acts in a manner consistent with clients’ wishes and interests. Social workers should take reasonable steps to enhance such clients’ ability to give informed consent.

(d) In instances when clients are receiving services involuntarily,
social workers should provide information about the nature and extent of services and about the extent of clients’ right to refuse service.

(e) Social workers who provide services via electronic media (such as computer, telephone, radio, and television)
should inform recipients of the limitations and risks associated with such services.

Social workers should obtain clients’ informed consent before audiotaping or videotaping clients or permitting observation
of services to clients by a third party.

Journal Article 9.2: Spicker, P. (2011). Ethical covert research. Sociology, 45(1), 118-133.
Questions that apply to this article:
1. Discuss the practical and methodological reasons for limiting disclosure. (Group 1)
2. What is Covert research and Deceptive Research? (Group 2)
3. Discuss privacy and its role in research. (Group 3)
4. Describe a few of the objections to covert research. (Group 4)

In small groups define the following types of samples and decide which ones would work for your study?
Roll Call/Introduce Observers
Reflect on Sampling Social Responsibility
Chapter 4: Ethics In Research
SLU Core Values: Integrity & Respect
Class Activities
The Case of Vincent Ethical Case 2:

Vincent, a family therapist, routinely videotapes his initial sessions with families without their knowledge. He does so because he wants to have a basis for comparing the family’s behavior at the outset with their behavior at the final session and he may use them for future research with the consent of the family members if deemed appropriate. He assumes that if the family members knew they were being videotaped at the initial session they would behave in self-conscious and fearful ways. At the beginning of therapy he does not think they could handle the fact of being taped. Yet he likes to have families look at themselves on videotape at their final session, at which time he tells them that he taped their initial session and explains why he did not inform them of his procedure.

Each group answers the following questions:

• Because Vincent eventually does tell families that they were taped at the initial session, do you think he is guilty of deception? Explain.

• To what degree do you think the practice of taping clients without their knowledge affects the trust level in the therapeutic relationship? Are the possible benefits of this practice worth the potential risks to the social worker’s reputation?

The Case of Wesley:
Wesley makes it a practice to conduct research on the process and outcomes of the personal-growth groups he leads for counselor trainees. To begin with all the students in his graduate counseling program are required to attend the sessions of a personal-growth group for a full academic year. In addition to leading these growth groups for trainees, he also teaches theory courses and supervises students writing master’s these and doctoral dissertations. His primary theoretical orientation is Gestalt therapy, with an emphasis on other experimental and role-playing techniques. He expects the students to come to the sessions and be willing to work on personal concerns. These personal concerns often pertain to issues that arise as a result of problems they encounter with difficult client situations in their internship. At the beginning of the group Wesley asks students to take psychological tests that assess traits such as openness, dogmatism, degree of self-acceptance, level of self-esteem, and other dimensions of personality that he deems to be related to one’s ability to counsel others. He again administers these same devices at the end of the year so that he has a comparison. During the year he asks a group of experts to observe his trainees in the group sessions at various points. This is done so that outsides can assess the level of growth of individuals at different points as well as get a sense of the progress of the group as a whole.
As part of informed consent, Wesley tells the trainees what he is attempting to evaluate during the year, and he discusses fully with them the rationale for using outsiders to observe the group. He also promises the students that he will meet with them individually at any time during the semester if they want to discuss any personal issues. He also meets with them individually at the end of the group to discuss changes in scores on the psychological tests. As a way to correct for his bias in the investigation, he submits his research design to a university committee. The function of this committee is to review his design for any ethical considerations and to give him suggestions for improving his study.
• Do you think it is ethical for a program to require student attendance at personal-growth groups? Is it ethical for the leader of such a group to also have these same students in academic classes and to evaluate and supervise them?
• What research practices, if any, would you say are ethically questionable?
• Do you think it is ethically sound to have observers as a part of the design? The students know about these outsiders, but the observers will be part of the process even if some students do not like the idea. Do you see pressure being extended? If so, is it justified in this case?
• What recommendations can you make for improving Wesley’s research design as well as improving the quality of the learning experience for the students?

The Case of Hope:
Hope works with people diagnosed as depressive psychotics in a state mental hospital. In the interest of refining therapeutic interventions that will help depressed clients, she combines therapy and research procedures. Specifically, she employs cognitive-behavioral approaches in a given ward. Her research design specifies treatment techniques for a particular group of patients, and she carefully monitors their rate of improvement as part of the treatment program. Hope says that she believes in the value of cognitive-behavioral approaches for depressive patients, yet she feels a professional and ethical obligation to empirically validate her treatment strategies. For her to know whether the treatment procedures alone are responsible for changes in the patient’s behavior, she deems it essential to have a comparable group of patients who do not receive the treatment. When she is challenged on the ethics of withholding treatment from a particular group of patients on the ward, she justifies her practice on the ground that she is working within the dictates of sound research procedures.
• Some researchers contend that they are necessarily caught in the ethical dilemma if they want to use a control group. Do you see an apparent contradiction between the demands of sound research methodology and sound ethical practice?
• Do you think Hope was acting ethically in withholding treatment so that she could test her therapeutic procedures? Would it be better for her to simply forget any attempts at empirical validation of her procedures and devote her efforts to treating as many patients as she can?
• Would it be ethical for her to use procedures that are untested?

Steinar Kvales 10 Criteria for a good interview:
1. Knowledge- Comes with practice/experience
2. Structure-Provide and explanation of the purpose of the questions/answer any questions for the interviewee
3. Clear- Ask simple easy short questions
4. Sensitive- Listen patiently/wait for pauses by the interviewee
5. Open- Be responsive/flexible
6. Steering- Know what you want/guide the interviewee with probes and prompts
7. Critical- Look for inconsistencies and ask the interviewee to explain
8. Remember- Relate back to previous comments/do not forget what has been said
9. Interprets- Clarify and summarize
10. Balance- Don't talk too much or too little be ethically sensitive/appreciate answers assure confidentiality
Roll Call

Learning Objectives: Student will be able to define and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of three research methodological approaches in qualitative research to include:
1. Qualitative Interviews in Research
2.Field Observation in Research
3.Participant Observation in Research

Review Chapter 5: Field Research
Class Exercises
SLU Core Values: Respect & Integrity

Check out this website: The Institute for Field Research

Bracketing refers to a conscientious effort to suspend assumptions, beliefs, and feelings in order to better understand the experience of respondents.

Debriefing is also important scheduling routine meetings to talk about interviews and their emotional impact is important.


Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.
Margaret Mead
Action indeed is the sole medium of expression for ethics.
Jane Addams

Usually involves participant observation by a single investigator
Read the journal article Paradise Lost : Older Cuban American Exiles. Read the text and highlight all the terms you have learned in your qualitative course so far.
Exercise 3

Typologies: A study of systematic classifications of types that have characteristics or traits in common.
Internal validity in quantitative research refers to the validity of the study itself, the outcomes can be said to be directly related to the study's manipulation.

External validity refers to how a study's results can be generalized to a larger population.

Critical Appraisal of Qualitative Research

Critical appraisal of qualitative research

Critical Appraisal Skills Programme
making sense of evidence

Questions to apply to qualitative studies:

Is there a clear statement of the aims of the study ?

Is a qualitative research design appropriate ?

How and why have participants been selected ? Is the
process described and justified?

How were the data collected? Are the setting and
methods described adequately and any modifications

“…it was too constricting, I felt pressurized into
taking the medication for a longer time than I thought

“… I felt I ought to see it through because it might help me,
but I’m not sure I really believed it would”

“…it seemed like a good idea at the time, to stop feeling off colour all the time, but I also felt guilty if I ever missed a dose and then I thought what the hell”

4. Data Analysis

Aim is to give understanding to participants’ experiences

interpretations are made by the researcher/s from
participants’ descriptions or from observations
e.g. thematic analysis - researcher/s reads the transcribed data,
re-reads it and codes it into themes/categories

Is the method of analysis clear?
Does it use all of the data?
Would another researcher make a similar interpretation?
Are alternative interpretations explored?
Respondent validation?


meaning given to data


types of interview
questions asked


Methods are determined by the nature of the research question posed
observation - looking at non verbal/verbal behaviour by notes, audio/video interviews - unstructured
or semi-structured text - diaries, case notes, letters focus groups - semi-structured or unstructured

Are the methods used suitable for the question?
Is it clear how the data were collected?
Is it clear where the data were collected?
Has the researcher considered ethical issues?

3. Data Collection

2. Sampling Process

The sample consists of individuals who have experiences relevant to the area being researched.
Knowing how they were selected is important in establishing transferability.

methods of sampling:

the sample size can be determined by:
data analysis
size of ‘expert’ group

1. Research Question

are the aims of the research clear?

is a qualitative methodology appropriate?
qualitative research addresses the ‘what’
‘how’ ‘why’ questions
- what is happening?
- how does it happen?
- why does it happen?

Components of qualitative research:

research question
sampling process
data collection
data analysis

How many parents would consult their general practitioner when their child has a mild temperature?
Why do parents worry so much about their children’s temperature?
What proportion of smokers have tried to give up?
What stops people giving up smoking?
Trisha Greenhalgh
‘How to read a paper’

Qualitative or quantitative?

views of individuals/groups :

increase knowledge in a poorly understood area

challenge assumptions and practices

act as a precursor to quantitative research

generate new ideas

Why use qualitative research ?

Critical appraisal helps the reader of qualitative research…

1. decide how trustworthy a piece of research is (validity)
2. determine what it is telling us (results)
3. weigh up how useful the research will be

The value of research

Consider your appraisal of the paper: how useful is the paper to you?

Sample group

care providers


open-ended questionnaire


Need to consider:

professional responsibility



grounded theory



Qualitative research methodologies

What is qualitative research?

“Understanding the complex world of lived experience from the point of view of those who live it.”
Jones R. Why do qualitative research? BMJ 1995; 311:2

It is concerned with seeing the world through the eyes of the person being studied

By the end of this class you will begin to:
Understand why critical appraisal is useful
Understand the principles of critically appraising a qualitative study
Have used some tools available to aid critical appraisal
Be confident in recognising qualitative research methods

Learning Objectives

area being studied
* Next Video & Check List
Appraisal of Qualitative Research
Qualitative Research is empirical research in which the researcher explores relationships using textual, rather than quantitative data. Case study, observation, and ethnography are considered forms of qualitative research. Results are not usually considered generalizable, but are often transferable.
Privacy, Confidentiality, & Anonymity
Be a qualitative explorer! Go to "Qualitative Page" website and see what you can find that enriches your understanding of qualitative research (wwwe.qualitativeresearch.uga.edu/QualPage). Be careful to avoid textual data overload.
Emic- research viewed from within the social group (from the subjects perspective), investigates how people think
Etic- Research view from the perspective of the observer, tries to be culturally neutral.
Why Study Research?
Three Test Questions:
1. With respect to potential harm, the Common Rule states:
a. There should be no risk of harm to research n particpantparticipants.
b. The risk of harm should be no greater than the risks encountered in everyday life.
c. Risks should be reasonable in relation to benefits.
d. Those who take the risks should also receive the benefits.

2. To obtain informed consent, a researcher must do all but which one of the following?
a. Inform participants that their participation is voluntary.
b. Forewarn participants about potentially harmful effects of participating.
c. Fully disclose his or her research objectives or hypotheses.
d. Forewarn participants about how their rights might be threatened.

3. In studies in which research participants' identities are known to the researcher, the principal way to protect their privacy is to
a. ensure anonymity.
b. ensure confidentiality
c. ensure both anonymity and confidentiality.
d. back up the data.

1, c, 2. c, 3. b
Flashback #2: Qualitative Research
1. __________________________ entails coding from the data, memo writing, and weaving in theoretical concepts without permitting them to constrain the study’s emergent findings.

2. The mixing of qualitative research methods occurs within two plausible approaches to include:

__________________________ or _______________________ approaches.

3. _______________________________ happens when one or both mixed method approaches loses its integrity or capacity to make a contribution.

4. ________________________ approaches are generally associated with qualitative research, and ________________________ approaches are generally associated with quantitative research.

5. You should never use _______________ in formulating a qualitative research question because it can be perceived to be coercive and cause defensiveness.

6. When formulating qualitative research questions remember to not use __________________ questions.

7. As a general rule the main type of sampling used by qualitative researchers is called ________________________ sampling techniques.

8. Qualitative research commonly involves ________________ number of participants.

9. There are three main types of data collected in qualitative research to include _______________________, ___________________, and _________________________.

10. In an ethnographic research there are two types of research perspectives taken into consideration: ________________________ perspective represents the viewpoint of the subject being studied from a cultural view, and _________________________ represents the perspective of the beliefs of the researcher.

Answer to Falshback:
1. Grounded Theory
2. Side by side or infusion approaches
3. Methods slurring
4. Inductive and deductive
5. Why
6. Closed-ended
7. Purposive
8. 6-10
9. Observation
10. Emic & Etic
Flashback Reflection
Fill in the blanks:

1. Name the paradigmatic camp that believes that the observer is separate from the entities that are subject to observation ______________________________.
2. Name the paradigmatic camp that contends that multiple-constructed realities abound __________________________________.
3. ______________________________ are devoted to research on inequalities.
4. __________________________________ is a term in research that implies that the research must do no harm or be misleading in any way.
5. _________________________________ is the research approach focuses on life stories that describe personal experiences.
6. ----------------------------------------------------- is the research approach that aims to describe an experience as it is actually lived by the person.
7. ____________________________________ ___ this research approach shares a commitment to community empowerment and egalitarian partnerships.
8. __________________________________draw on the ability of the researcher to extract depth and meaning in context based on one unit of analysis.
9. _______________________________________ this is the most well know qualitative approach and it uses inductive coding from the data, memo writing, and theoretical concepts without permitting them to constrain the study.
10. The literature review can be categorized in at least three different ways such as ____________________________, _____________________________, _______________________________.
11. Qualitative research sampling strategies as a general rule use this type of sampling ___________________________________________.
12. Name a qualitative sampling approach __________________________________________.

1. Positivists 2. Constructivists 3. Critical theorists 4. Social Responsibility 5. Narrative approaches 6. Phenonmenological Methods 7. CBPR 8. Case Study 9. Grounded Theory 10. Chronological, Questions, Advancements 11. Purposive 12. Snowball, Maximum variation, theoretical deviant case sampling, typical case sampling……

Wade Davis
Coding with Word
Discuss Story Corps App

As a class together we will explore practice coding with this website listed above.
Writing Tip Qualitative Paragraphs

Example of Mixed Method Research Project by Dr. Debra Wilson 10 minutes
Full transcript