NSU Home  The Qualitative Report
An online journal dedicated to qualitative research since 1990

Volume 14 Number 4 December 2009
    Ronald J. Chenail, Ph.D., Sally St. George, Ph.D., Dan Wulff, Ph.D., Maureen Duffy, Ph.D., Laurie L. Charles, Ph.D., and Karen Wilson Scott, Ph.D., Editors
ISSN 1052-0147

Table of Contents

Gaining Balance: Toward a Grounded Theory of the Decision-Making Processes of Applicants for Adoption of Children with and without Disabilities (pp. 566-603)
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Philip Burge and Margaret Jamieson

Abstract: A grounded theory is presented of the decision-making processes among applicants when considering available children with and without disabilities for domestic public adoption. Using grounded theory methodology (Strauss & Corbin, 1998), data from 15 adoption applicants were analyzed followed the traditional three coding phases. The central category of Adoption Decision Making is labeled Gaining Balance and was the underpinning concept to all categories and sub-categories (i.e., in parentheses) of the theory: Commitment (e.g., motivation, financial considerations), Persistence (e.g., coping with emotions, counteracting pessimism), and Evaluation (e.g., assessments of personal abilities and resources, assessments of knowledge of potential adoptees' needs). The results are compared to existing literature and implications for child welfare practices and further research are discussed. Key Words:Child Adoption, Decision Making, Child Welfare, Children, Motivation, Grounded Theory, Qualitative Research, and Disability

Weekend Warriors: Autonomy-Connection, Openness-Closedness, and Coping Strategies of Marital Partners in Nonresidential Stepfamilies (pp. 604-628)
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Becky L. DeGreeff and Ann Burnett

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the classic and unique relationship tensions marital partners of non-residential stepfamilies experience. Grounded in relational dialectical theory, transcripts from interviews of five non-residential stepfamily couples were analyzed using qualitative content analysis to search for and identify autonomy-connection and openness-closedness dialectical tensions and coping strategies utilized by the participants. These relational dialectical tensions were illustrated in every interview. Tensions were present not only between the relationship partners, but also in regard to the non-residential children. Participants utilized a variety of coping strategies to deal with the relationship tensions experienced in their marriage within a non-residential stepfamily setting. Key Words: Relational Dialectics Theory, Content Analysis, Dialectical Tensions, Stepfamily, Nonresidential, and Marital Partners

Discovering Emerging Research in a Qualitative Study of ESL Academic Writing (pp. 629-664)
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Jim Hu

Abstract: This article focuses on the complexities of the qualitative methodology employed in my doctoral study of the academic writing experiences and perceptions of Chinese graduate students in sciences and engineering at the University of British Columbia. In particular, I explain the emerging nature of the study by relating how and why I repeatedly revised the research questions, modified the research locations, re-selected the participants, adjusted the data collection methods, and amended the data analysis coding system. The study concludes that research designs should be elastic to accommodate the dynamic and emerging nature of qualitative studies. Key Words: Multi-Case Study, ESL Academic Writing, and International Graduate Students

Psychosocial Factors Influencing Promotion of Male circumcision for HIV Prevention in a Non-circumcising Community in Rural Western Kenya (pp. 665-687)
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Alfredo F. X. O. Obure, Erick O. Nyambedha, Boniface O. Oindo, and Hezborn M. N. Kodero

Abstract: Male circumcision (MC) is now recommended as an additional HIV preventive measure, yet little is known about factors that may influence its adoption, especially in non-circumcising communities with generalized HIV pandemic. This qualitative study explored factors influencing MC adoption in rural western Kenya. Twenty-four sex specific focus group discussions were conducted with a purposive sample of Luo men and women (15-34 years). Perceived barriers to circumcision were pain and healing complications, actual and opportunity costs, behavioral disinhibition, discrimination, cultural identity, and reduced sexual satisfaction; perceived facilitators were hygiene, HIV/STI risk reduction, ease in condom use, cultural integration, and sexual satisfaction. To enhance MC adoption, community education, and dialogue is needed to address the perceived fears. Key Words: Male Circumcision, Barriers, Facilitators, Health Promotion, HIV/AIDS, Luo, Kenya, Sub-Saharan Africa, Grounded Theory, and Theoretical Sampling

A Phenomenological Study of the Art of Occupational Therapy (pp. 688-717)
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Shelley Williams and Margo Paterson

Abstract: If research evidence is to guide practice, the literature must reflect the art as well as the science of Occupational Therapy practice. The purpose of this research was to provide insight into the phenomenon of professional artistry and its meaning to Occupational Therapists. A phenomenological approach was used to collect data from three Occupational Therapists using in-depth interviews. Moustakas's method was employed to analyze the data. Interview data described practitioners' views of professional artistry of Occupational Therapy practice, how it developed, and how it was manifested in different roles. Analysis demonstrated that professional artistry formed the very heart of Occupational Therapy through a key role in the establishment of therapeutic relationships, which in turn imparted deep satisfaction to the Occupational Therapists' practice. Key Words: Phenomenology, Professional Artistry, Therapeutic Relationships and Occupational Therapy

The Process of Conducting Qualitative Grounded Theory Research for a Doctoral Thesis: Experiences and Reflections (pp. 718-733)
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Sophie Soklaridis

Abstract: In this article, the author offers her experiences as an example of the application of a grounded theory approach in qualitative research. She describes, in detail, her experiences of the process of collecting, analyzing, and storing data for her doctoral thesis. She focuses on the special challenges of employing a qualitative methodology to developing a conceptual framework. The substantive area in which the study took place was at a hospital-based occupational health clinic for professional artists. Various stakeholders involved in the clinic participated in in-depth individual interviews and focus groups to explore how the concept of integrative health care (IHC) is understood both in theory and in practice at the clinic. Key Words: Qualitative Research, Grounded Theory, Interviews, Focus Groups, and Research Process

Older People with complex Health Needs Desire for Change: A Qualitative Study (pp. 734-745)
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Diane Jorgensen, David R. Thoman, and Matthew Parsons

Abstract: As a sub study of another study we examined older people with complex health and disability support needs' desire for change. The aim was to compare this across different ages, residence, and gender. Semi-structured interviews were held with 129 participants and the data were analyzed using a General Inductive Approach. Six themes emerged, Health, No Change, Personal Changes, Family, Housing, and Services. The two most popular themes were a desire for health changes and to have no change. Health professionals might note that older people in their 80s with significant health and disability impairments have a decrease in both the desire for health changes and any other changes. Key Words: Older People, Elderly, Change, Lifestyle, Complex Support Needs, and General Inductive Theory

Safety Rituals: How Women Cope with the Fear of Sexual Violence (pp. 746-772)
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Luciana C. Silva and David W. Wright

Abstract: In this study we focus on how women's fear of sexual violence shapes their views on sexual assault and influences their use of safety strategies as well as how those safety strategies may restrict their use of time and space. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 5 participants who also journaled for one week on the topic of sexual violence. Data were analyzed through an inductive analysis approach. These women think about sexual violence as a widespread problem that affects them disproportionately more than it affects men; they engage in precautionary behaviors in a ritualistic manner; and their fear of sexual assault is restrictive. Safety rituals seem to help these women feel powerful, in control, and less anxious. Key Words:Sexual Violence, Sexual Assault, Ritual, Fear, Survivors, Safety, Rape, and Rape Myths

Elements of Engagement for Successful Learning (pp. 773-805)
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Amy Schweinle, Marcy F. Reisetter, and Valerie Stokes

Abstract: In this research we sought to understand student practices, beliefs, and behaviors that led to positive engagement on campus. More specifically, we studied student engagement as a function of the individual within the contexts of classroom and university environment using a basic interpretive approach. First year students from a medium-sized, public, Midwestern university participated in interviews on engagement, the classroom, university, and community contexts. Results suggest that both personality and a sense of self influence students' levels of engagement. Students who had identified life goals and who sought related activities and relationships made greater use of university resources and felt more engaged. We propose ways in which instructors and universities can make simple changes that may help enhance the experience of all students. Key Words:Engagement, Basic Interpretive Approach, College Students, Campus Environment, and Instruction

Using Literary Ethnography as a Form of Qualitative Document Synthesis to Explore the Maltreatment of Vulnerable Populations: An Examination of Verbal Neglect and Abuse in Nursing Homes (pp. 806-823)
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Jason S. Ulsperger

Abstract: Studying vulnerable populations can be highly problematic. This is especially true when they are located in institutional settings. When gatekeepers block access and a researcher wants to examine a delicate topic, one ethical, feasible way to paint an interpretive picture of everyday life involves the use of a literary ethnography. With data on the verbal neglect and abuse of elders in United States nursing homes, this paper details the six-stages of a literary ethnography. It includes a discussion of identifying sources, reading and interpreting the documents, identifying textual themes, classifying themes, developing a set of analytic constructs, and re-reading documents for contextual confirmation. It concludes with a discussion of literary ethnography weaknesses and directions for future applications. Key Words:Vulnerable Populations, Literary Ethnography, and Nursing Home Abuse

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