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

Volume 15 Number 2 March 2010
    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

A Qualitative Study of Providers' Perception of Adherence of Women Living with HIV/AIDS in Puerto Rico (pp. 232-251)
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Marta Rivero-Méndez and Carol S. Dawson-Rose

Abstract: This study examines healthcare providers' perceptions regarding experiences and factors that contribute to adherent and non-adherent behaviors to HIV treatment among women living with HIV infection in Puerto Rico and describes strategies implemented to improve adherence. Providers' accounts revealed that women with HIV infection are living "beyond their strengths" attempting to reconcile the burden of the illness and keep adherent. Factors putting women beyond their strengths and influencing non-adherence behavior were: gender-related demands, fear of disclosure, and treatment complexity. Strategies to improve adherence included: ongoing assessment, education, collaborative work, support groups, networking, disguising pills, readiness, and seeking medications outside their towns. Provider-patient interactions are critical for women's success and must assess all these factors in developing and providing health services. Key Words: HIV/AIDS, Adherence, Providers, Women, and Puerto Rico

Computer Aided Phenomenography: The Role of Leximancer Computer Software in Phenomenographic Investigation (pp. 252-267)
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Sorrek Penn-Edwards

Abstract: The qualitative research methodology of phenomenography has traditionally required a manual sorting and analysis of interview data. In this paper I explore a potential means of streamlining this procedure by considering a computer aided process not previously reported upon. Two methods of lexicological analysis, manual and automatic, were examined from a phenomenographical perspective and compared. It was found that the computer aided process - Leximancer - was a valid investigative tool for use in phenomenography. Using Leximancer was more efficacious than manual operation; the researcher was able to deal with large amounts of data without bias, identify a broader span of syntactic properties, increase reliability, and facilitate reproducibility. The introduction of a computer aided methodology might also encourage other qualitative researchers to engage with phenomenography. Key Words: Qualitative Research Methodology, Phenomenography, Computer Data Analysis, and Leximancer

Flirtation Rejection Strategies: Toward an Understanding of Communicative Disinterest in Flirting (pp. 268-279)
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Alan K. Goodboy and Maria Brann

Abstract: Single adults often seek successful flirtatious encounters; yet these encounters can sometimes be considered failures. However, little research has identified flirtation rejection strategies enacted by those not interested in reciprocal flirting. The purpose of this study was to examine behavioral and verbal flirtation rejection strategies among college students. Stemming from a grounded theory methodology and a focus group method, 21 college students shared their experiences in focus group discussions. Thematic analysis yielded five behavioral rejection strategies (i.e., departure, friendship networks, cell-phone usage, ignoring, facial expressions) and four verbal rejection strategies (i.e., significant others, brief responses, politeness, insults) and sex differences in their usage. Results suggest that both men and women possess a predictable arsenal of available rejection strategies. Key Words: Flirting, Courtship, Rejection, Focus Groups, and Grounded Theory

Don't Tease Me, I'm Working: Examining Humor in a Midwestern Organization Using Ethnography of Communication (pp. 280-302)
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Ajay K. Ojha and Tammy L. Holmes

Abstract: Within organizations, the communicative phenomenon of humor is commonplace. Humorous talk is just as important and frequent to regular discourse that takes place between organizational members. In this inquiry we examine humor as a particular way of communicating between members of a small Midwestern United States organization. Specifically, we examine how three functions of humor (i.e., joking, sarcasm, and teasing) are used amongst members during normal business hours (8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.). Using ethnography of communication, we conduct both fieldwork and interviews discovering that this organization exemplifies humor as a socially constructed phenomenon to complete the typical workday. Key Words: Humor, Ethnography, and Communication

Patient and Physician Perceptions of Dimensions of Necessity of Medical Utilization (pp. 301-317)
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Peggy J. Wagner, Peter R. Warren, and Ginger Mosely

Abstract: The goal of this research was to understand better the perspectives held by physicians and patients regarding what factors determine the appropriateness of medical visits. We also wished to create a convenient measure of those perspectives. In our first study, we conducted focus groups separately composed of 22 physicians and 16 patients to determine their respective views. In our second study, a 40-item measure derived from Study 1 themes was administered to a sample of 202 patients. Study 1 identified 20 themes, collapsing into 6 dimensions. Physicians held views that some patients were manipulative when seeking medical care. Study 2 revealed factors of "Symptom Experience" and "Doctor Expertise." The two studies revealed that the perception of medical utilization varies between patients and physicians, but both groups share many similar beliefs. Key Words: Medical Utilization, Appropriate Medical Visits, Focus Groups, and Mixed-Methods

Master's Students' Challenges, Achievements, and Professional Development (pp. 318-339)
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Janet C. Richards

Abstract: Few inquiries have investigated master's students in education as they mentor preservice teachers. In this embedded case study I explored the professional development of 15 master's students as they mentored 35 preservice teachers for eight weeks in a summer literacy camp. Data sources were e-mail exchanges, written reports, and transcriptions from focus groups and in-class conversations. I analyzed the data through constant comparison methods and discovered that the mentors were initially frustrated with their mentoring responsibilities and had little empathy for the preservice teachers. By the end of the camp, they recognized the benefits of mentoring and gained confidence as mentors. Learning occurred for both the mentors and the preservice teachers. Implications include the power of social participation in authentic contexts. Key Words: Community of Practice, Embedded Case Study, Master's Student Mentors, and Summer Literacy Camp

Sailing Stormy Seas: The Illness Experience of Persons with Parkinson's Disease (pp. 340-369)
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Melinda Stanley-Hermanns and Joan Engebretson

Abstract: Parkinson's disease is a chronic, progressive disorder with no known cause or promising cure. While substantial information is known about the pathophysiology, little is known about the illness experience of living with the disease. A qualitative study using an ethnographic approach was conducted to provide a rich understanding of the illness experience. The illness experience was apprehended through field work in two support groups and the personal accounts of 14 participants with Parkinson's disease. The metaphor, "Sailing the Sea in The Eye of the Storm," is the overarching theme and was chosen to conceptualize the voyage of persons living with Parkinson's disease. Two prevailing sub-themes were Daily Negotiations in the Midst of Uncertainty and Reconstruction of the Self. Key Words: Parkinson's Disease, Self-Management, Chronic Illness, Metaphor, and Ethnography

Recommendations for Using the Case Study Method in International Business Research (pp. 370-388)
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Tiia Vissak

Abstract: The case study method has not been as frequently used in international business (IB) research as quantitative methods. Moreover, it has been sometimes misused and quite often criticized. Still, it can be very useful for understanding such complex phenomena as the internationalization process or the management of multinational enterprises. Based on case study methodology literature and the author's personal experience from conducting case studies and reviewing case study articles, this paper proposes some ways for overcoming some of the critiques of the case study method and increasing its contribution to IB research.Key Words: Case Studies, International Business, and Qualitative Research

Criminal Careers and Cognitive Scripts: An Investigation into Criminal Versatility (pp. 389-410)
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Helen Gavin and David Hockey

Abstract:"Criminal careers" denotes ways in which offenders develop specialisms and versatility, but studies linking delinquency to social skills deficits have not attempted to explore cognitive, internalised processes by which such "careers" might be chosen. This study investigated criminal minds via script theory: "internal" scripts are used to guide behaviour, "situational" scripts are knowledge of everyday events, and "personal" scripts are a sequence of actions towards a desired goal. This research investigated whether criminal career offenders develop situational scripts for offending and whether such situational scripts express an internalised identity, which manifests as a personal script. Thematic analysis of data derived from "criminal career offenders" supports the notion of criminal situational scripts, with emergent themes considered evidence of personal scripts. Key Words: Criminal Careers, Criminal Versatility, Cognitive Scripts, and Vignette Analysis

Accommodation Strategies of College Students with Disabilities (pp. 411-429)
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Lucy Barnar-Brak, DeAnn Lechtenberger, and William Y. Lan

Abstract: College students with disabilities develop and utilize strategies to facilitate their learning experiences due to their unique academic needs. Using a semi-structured interview technique to collect data and a technique based in grounded theory to analyze this data, the purpose of this study was to discern the meaning of disclosure for college students with disabilities in relation to the strategies they invoke while seeking accommodations. The study revealed three underlying themes common to the accommodation-seeking strategies of the participants who were academically successful college students with disabilities. These themes include: scripting disclosure of one's disability; negotiating accommodations with faculty; and downplaying one's disability status. Key Words: Disability, College Students, and Stigma

Voices of Native Resiliency: Educational Experiences from the 1950s and 1960s (pp. 430-454)
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Jennifer Penland

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the lived educational experiences of American Indians who grew up during the 1950s and 1960s, known as the termination period in American history. The research for this phenomenological study consisted of interviews with eight participants who were willing to share their personal experiences from this selected time. Ten reoccurring themes were uncovered: chaos brings balance, challenge to become bi-cultural, the importance of teachers, external support systems, spirituality, tribal influences, influences of economic resources, cultural awareness and value, relevant curriculum, and recruitment of Native teachers. By uncovering these stories, it is hopeful that educators would benefit by being able to further illuminate and contextualize an understanding for more culturally responsive pedagogy. Key Words: American Indian Education, Termination Period, Culturally Responsive Pedagogy, Institutional Racism, Phenomenology, and Lived Experiences

On Doctoral Student Development: Exploring Faculty Mentoring in the Shaping of African American Doctoral Student Success (pp. 455-474)
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Pamela Felder

Abstract: This study examines the influence of faculty mentorship in the shaping of African American doctoral student success. A case analysis framework is used to investigate the belief systems that doctoral students held about their doctoral experience. Data collection involved a one-phase semi-structured interview protocol used to gather information about these experiences from a post-degree perspective. African American doctoral degree completion is addressed as a critical function of student success within an elite educational context. Results of the study demonstrate that the African American doctoral degree completion is complicated by students' perceptions of faculty advising, faculty behavior and the lack of diverse faculty leadership. Key Words: Doctoral Education, Student Success, African Americans, Doctoral Persistence, and Doctoral Degree

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