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

Volume 15 Number 4 July 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


What Are the Issues Confronting Infertile Women? A Qualitative and Quantitative Approach (pp. 766-782)
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Katja Hämmerli, Hansjörg Znoj, and Thomas Berger

Abstract: Infertility is a stressful experience, yet little is known about the specific issues confronting infertile women. In the present study, researchers sought to identify themes important to infertile women and examine possible associations with mental health levels. Using qualitative content analysis, researchers analyzed the email messages of 57 infertile women participating in a German-language Internet-based treatment for infertility. The themes most important to infertile women were emotions surrounding their wish for a child, coping with this unfulfilled wish, and medical aspects. Clinically anxious women reported substantially and significantly more negative and positive emotions than non-anxious women did (Mann-Whitney U(1)=178; p=0.034). Participants who were both clinically anxious and depressed reported more negative emotions and substantially fewer positive emotions when compared to participants who were solely anxious. The themes identified, considered important by infertile women, could be helpful to health professionals working in fertility treatment. Key Words: Counselling, Distress, Emotions, Infertility, Internet, Pregnancy, Psychosocial Issues, Reproductive Medice, and Women's Health

A Composite Counterstorytelling: Memoirs of African American Military Students in Hawaii Public Schools (pp. 783-801)
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Kimetta R. Hairston

Abstract: There are social, educational and behavioral problems for African American students in Hawaii public schools. Utilizing Critical Race Theory as a lens for analysis, the perceptions and experiences of these students regarding race, ethnic identity, military lineage, and self-definition are addressed. A composite counterstory of the researcher's and 115 African American students' experiences and reflections is portrayed through two siblings' memoirs. The impact of the counterstory challenges readers to see similar themes, perceptions, and experiences of being Black, military- affiliated, and a student in Hawaii in a story format as all events are integrated into two experiences, one male and one female. Key Words: African American, Critical Race Theory, Counterstory, Military, Hawaii, and Narrative Inquiry

PhD Students' Experiences of Thesis Supervision in Malaysia: Managing Relationships in the Midst of Institutional Change (pp. 802-822)
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Steven Eric Krauss and Ismi Arif Ismail

Abstract: Despite the plethora of studies that have been conducted on PhD supervision, little qualitative investigation has been conducted with a diverse, non-Western sample of doctoral students in an attempt to understand how the supervisory relationship is experienced. In response, eighteen students from diverse, non-Western backgrounds studying at one Malaysian research university were interviewed. Results illuminated the theme of "management" of the supervisory experience and included two streams:(a) acceptance of the situation, and (b) response to the situation so as to optimize their experience. The two major themes further included four sub-themes that included managing personal relations, time and accessibility constraints, academic compatibility, and expectations. Implications for the development of international research universities where PhD supervision of a diverse student body is a critical factor for university success and development are discussed. Key Words: Supervision, Doctoral Students, In-Depth Interviews, Supervisory Relationships, and Management

A Sex-Based Examination of Violence and Aggression Perceptions Among Adolescents: An Interactive Qualitative Analysis (pp. 823-851)
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Tammy Jordan Wyatt

Abstract: In this study I examine the critical factors and themes that are identified as salient influencers of overt and relational aggression among youth. Sex differences and similarities associated with such adolescent perceptions are assessed. Forty-eight ethnically diverse youth between the ages of 14 and 16 years participated in sex-specific focus groups and individual interviews. Sex-Specific Systems Influence Diagrams (SID), models of influences and outcomes, were created using the Interactive Qualitative Analysis methods (Northcutt & McCoy, 2004). Study findings suggest that the critical influences on violent and aggressive behavior, peer relationships, popularity, and emotions, are sex-specific. By examining and understanding such influences, school health professionals may be better able to create a safe and healthy school environment and improve the effectiveness of violence prevention programs. Key Words: Youth Violence, Violence Prevention, Adolescent Development, Interactive Qualitative Analysis, and Adolescent Sex Differences

A Pilot Study of Nurses' Experience of Giving Spiritual Care (pp. 852-863)
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Belinda Deal

Abstract: Using spiritual and religious resources gives patients and families strength to cope during a crisis, but nurses often do not offer spiritual care (Kloosterhouse & Ames, 2002). The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore nurses" lived experience of giving spiritual care. A descriptive phenomenological approach was used to interview 4 nurses. Data were analyzed using Colaizzi's (1978) phenomenological method. Five themes were identified: spiritual care is patient-centered, spiritual care is an important part of nursing, spiritual care can be simple to give, spiritual care is not expected but is welcomed by patients, and spiritual care is given by diverse caregivers. Spiritual care is an integral part of nursing and nurses can support patients with spiritual interventions. Key Words: Spiritual Care, Nurse-Client Relationship, and Prayer Phenomenology

From Qualitative Dissertation to Quality Articles: Seven Lessons Learned (pp. 864-879)
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Glenn A. Bowen

Abstract: New scholars frequently face an immense challenge in writing papers for publication. Qualitative research novices, in particular, experience frustration in getting peer-reviewed papers published in top-tier journals. This article is a primer on converting a dissertation based on qualitative research into a journal article. It summarizes seven lessons, learned over a five-year period, about getting published. The lessons focus attention on manuscript content and style, the publication process, and working relationships. Key Words: Collaboration, Dissertation, Publication, Quality, and Thick Description

Experienced Secondary Teachers' Perceptions of Engagement and Effectiveness: A Guide to Professional Development (pp. 880-898)
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Denise Meister

Abstract: The purpose of this research is to describe a qualitative research study of experienced high school educators who have remained motivated and highly engaged in their teaching. Ten high school teachers who have been called "the best" by their administrators and fellow teachers were interviewed to ascertain common traits that can serve as a framework for providing professional development to assist teachers in the work force, as well as bring their voice to the National Reform Movement. The following themes emerged: teachers are ambivalent to administrative leadership as an important influence in their work; colleagues are their support network; and their commitment to the students transcends academic achievements. Key Words: Educational Reform, Secondary Education, Experienced Teachers, and Professional Development

Using Qualitative Data to Refine a Logic Model for the Cornell Family Development Credential Program (pp. 899-931)
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Betsy Crane

Abstract: Human service practitioners face challenges in communicating how their programs lead to desired outcomes. One framework for representation that is now widely used in the field of program evaluation is the program logic model. This article presents an example of how qualitative data were used to refine a logic model for the Cornell Family Development Training and Credentialing (FDC) Program. This interagency training program teaches a strengths-based, family support, empowerment-oriented approach to the helping relationship. Analysis of the qualitative data gathered from interviews and focus groups with stakeholders led to revisions and further development of the program's initial logic model. The logic model format was then used to organize the representation of findings relative to program activities and outcomes. Key Words: Qualitative Inquiry, Program Logic Model, Empowerment, Outcomes Evaluation, Human Service Training, Strengths-Based Practice, Family Development, and Family Support

Making Meaning Together: An Exploratory Study of Therapeutic Conversation between Helping Professionals and Homeless Shelter Residents (pp. 932-947)
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Christine A. Walsh, Gayle E. Rutherford, Kristina N. (Ahosaari), and Sabine E. R. Sellmer

Abstract: This exploratory study examined the nature of therapeutic conversation between helping professionals and homeless persons as an intervention to optimize health. Meaningful conversation occurred in relationships where there was a sense of connection and the presence of rapport. Emergent facilitators of therapeutic conversation included respectful engagement, casual nature of conversation, alternative settings for therapeutic conversation, effective listening, and establishing trust. Barriers included prejudging homeless persons, fear of punishment and authority, and academic and professional intimidation. Central to the study findings was the acknowledgement of the client's personhood. Acknowledgement of personhood is a critical element in engagement between homeless persons and helping professionals. Key Words: Therapeutic Conversation, Meaningful Conversation, Homeless, Helping Professionals, and Personhood

The Wiki as a Virtual Space for Qualitative Data Collection (pp. 948-955)
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Carolina Castaños and Fred P. Piercy

Abstract: The authors make a case for using wiki technology in qualitative research. A wiki is an online database that allows users to create, edit, and/or reflect on the content of a web page. Thus, wiki technology can support qualitative research that attempts to understand the shared thinking of participants. To illustrate the use of the wiki for this purpose, we describe how we used wiki technology in one phase of a recent Delphi study. Key Words: Qualitative Data Collection, Virtual Collaborative Space, and Wiki

An Evaluation of a Development Program for New Principals (pp. 956-965)
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John F. Eller

Abstract: The evaluation of a program designed to assist principals recently appointed to their positions is the focus of this article. Researchers conducted a variety of qualitative assessments including focus group interviews, a review of training session feedback forms, participant reflective writing, and an assessment of training materials and program agendas. Researchers analyzed this data to look for aspects of participant knowledge, skills, and applications of program information. Participant feedback provided insights into program benefits and needed refinements. Article provides insights into assessment tools that people responsible for delivering principal support programs could consider to provide them with a more comprehensive examination of their program than traditional session feedback forms provide. Article also provides program recommendations that other program designers could consider to improve their existing principal support programs. Key Words: New Principals, Support Programs, Skill Development, Principal Professional Development, and Principal Leadership Development

Practicing Reflexivity in the Study of Italian Migrants in London (pp. 966-987)
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Francesca Romana Seganti

Abstract: This article discusses the centrality of reflexivity in qualitative research through examples from my study on the role new media play in the lives of Italians in London. My hypothesis was that Italians were "in transit" in London and they were using new media to build "temporary" communities. I conducted in-depth interviews with members of the Italianialondra.com online community. I found they settled in London and the online community, instead of supporting "nomadic" identities, was used for re-territorialization. Through reflexivity I was able to determine the reasons for a partially wrong hypothesis. I also identified biases that clouded my interpretations of the object of study; thus promoting rich insight and enabling public scrutiny of the integrity of the research. Key Words: Reflexivity, New Media, and Italian Immigrants


Picture This: A Review of Doing Visual Ethnography: Images, Media, and Representation in Research by Sarah Pink (pp. 988-991)
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Diana Riviera

Abstract: In Doing Visual Ethnography: Images, Media, and Representation in Research, Pink (2001) provides the reader with an explanation of an innovative and interesting ethnographic method. She presents two of her research studies as examples. One, of women and bullfighting in Spain, and the other, related to economic inequalities in Guinea Bissau, show the reader the different ways that visual tools can be utilized and manipulated when paired with ethnographic research. She mentions the appropriateness of using photography, video, and hypermedia and why these serve as convenient tools; she also emphasizes the factors that produce the justifiable use for visual ethnography. Key Words: Visual Ethnography, Photography, Video, Hypermedia, and Qualitative Research

Using Qualitative Research to Identify and Address the Unique Needs of Caregivers of Persons with Alzheimer's Disease (pp. 992-997)
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Breanda K. Wheeler

Abstract: This paper reviews articles describing qualitative research that explores the unique needs of caregivers of patients with Alzheimer's disease. Qualitative research methodologies used in these studies include hermeneutic phenomenology, descriptive studies with focus groups, and individual interviews. Researchers identified needs and concerns unique to caregivers of persons with Alzheimer's disease including the need for knowledge about the disease, care recipient and caregiver issues, resource needs, and coping post-nursing home placement. Suggestions for addressing the needs were given by study participants. Implications for nurses and other professionals working with caregivers of persons with Alzheimer's disease were addressed. The importance of qualitative research in bringing understanding of the essence of caregiving of persons with Alzheimer's disease is well-documented in this review. Key Words: Alzheimer's Disease, Caregiving, Coping, Skill Development, and Qualitative Research

Creative Combinations in Qualitative Inquiry (pp. 998-1001)
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Robin Cooper

Abstract: In Qualitative Inquiry: Thematic, Narrative and Arts-Informed Perspectives, Lynn Butler-Kisber offers students of qualitative research a valuable resource that provides useful foundational information about both traditional and arts-based qualitative methods. At the same time, by bringing a discussion of these various methodological approaches together into one text, the book inspires possibilities for creative combinations in qualitative research design. Key Words: Qualitative Inquiry, Methodology, Thematic, Narrative, and Arts-Based Research

Theoretical Considerations in Qualitative Interviewing (pp. 1002-1005)
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Robin Cooper

Abstract: You might expect a book on interviewing in qualitative research to focus solely on the procedures of conducting interviews; however, in Reflective Interviewing: A Guide to Theory & Practice, Kathryn Roulston (2010) offers this perspective and much more. In particular, her new book addresses ways in which the researcher's theoretical perspective can inform not only the interview but also each stage of the research process. This thoughtful, well-written text also includes at the end of each chapter helpful suggestions of further reading and activities that relate to the chapter's topic. Key Words: Qualitative Research, Interviewing, Reflexivity, and Theoretical Assumptions

Simulation in Nursing Education: A Review of the Research (pp. 1006-1011)
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Pamela G. Sanford

Abstract: Simulation in education has been used at least since the time of World War II. Simulation in nursing education in the form of static manikins, role playing, CPR manikins, and other techniques has also been utilized as a teaching modality for quite some time. High-fidelity simulation is a relatively new area in nursing education and utilizes high technology simulation monitors and computers. This technology offers new avenues for teaching student nurses scenarios as well as critical thinking and reflection on lived experience and practice. However, the outcome research in the area of high-fidelity simulation in nursing education is limited at this time. This article focuses on the qualitative and quantitative research currently available in this area. Key Words: Qualitative Research, Simulation, Simulation in Learning, Nursing Education, Reflection in Nursing Practice, and Nursing Teaching Modalities

A Winning Combination for Business Researchers: A Review of Qualitative Methods in Business Research (pp. 1012-1015)
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Jane Whitney Gibson

Abstract: Qualitative Methods in Business Research by Paivi Eriksson and Anne Kovalainen is a comprehensive, current, and compelling text discussing both qualitative research in general and nine specific approaches in particular. These include: case studies, ethnography, grounded theory, focus group research, action research, narrative research, discursive research, critical research and feminist research. The reviewer identifies the considerable strengths of this book, which include its attention to the writing process that differentiates qualitative from quantitative research, and recommends the book as a solid resource for both students and practitioners. Key Words: Qualitative Methods, Qualitative Research, Qualitative Approaches, Business Research, and Management Research

Situating Narrative Construction within Social Dynamics and Context to Create Complex Meaning: A Review of the Book Analyzing Narrative Reality (pp. 1016-1022)
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Becky De Oliveira

Abstract: Analyzing Narrative Reality (Gubrium & Holstein, 2009) examines how stories are constructed for different purposes in a variety of social situations and aims to provide a framework for analysis "oriented both to the internal and especially to the external organization of stories" (p. 2). The authors are keen to create an understanding of how stories emerge and why they are constructed, confident that these factors are vital to creating good stories-"continuously unfolding accounts, whose extensions move in many directions" (p. 228) and that go beyond the boundaries of text. The book covers narrative reality, narrative work, narrative environments and narrative adequacy partly by using Stanley from Shaw's (1930) study, The Jack-Roller, to examine how narratives are socially constructed. Empirical examples and an emphasis on interdisciplinary endeavors are intentionally utilized to create an accessible book for readers from a variety of disciplines. Key Words: Narrative Ethnography, Narrative Environments, Narrative Work, Narrative Reality, Narrative Adequacy, and Qualitative Research

How To Collect Data Essays

Conducting A Focus Group (pp. 1023-1026)
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Barbara Packer-Muti

Abstract: Conducting focus groups seems to be a process that is practically intuitive. However, this key practice in qualitative research requires that a novice facilitator must do his or her homework. This article describes the process by which I became more cognizant of the tools necessary to be successful in planning and running focus groups. The article provides information about books and articles that were useful in providing practical information. It also details the use of the "learning-by-doing" journey embarked upon at my institution, whereby we conducted 56 town hall meetings over a four month time period using a focus group approach to gain understanding about key constituents' beliefs about engagement at the institution. Key Words: Qualitative Research, Focus Group, Traditional Face-To-Face Focus Groups, and Group Interviews

Using Message Boards to Conduct Online Focus Groups (pp. 1027-1036)
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David Deggs, Kenda Grover, and Kit Kacirek

Abstract: Geographic dispersion of research subjects can make traditional face-to-face focus groups difficult if not impractical to conduct. Online focus groups have many advantages such as enabling researchers to save costs, allowing for more efficient collection of data, and allowing researchers to accommodate research subjects' schedules. However, online focus groups require greater skill on the part of the researcher and research subjects alike. This manuscript chronicles the process that we recently used to conduct an online focus group using a message board system with graduate students enrolled in an online degree program. We explain the processes that were followed in conducting our study and the rationale behind the decisions that we made as qualitative researchers. Finally, we offer guidance and insight for other qualitative researchers who wish to utilize message boards to conduct online focus groups. Key Words: Online Focus Groups, Message Boards, Graduate Students, Online Degree Programs, and Qualitative Research

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