Qualitative Research Methods and Designs-Peer Response
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Reply to the posts of two peers in this discussion. You may share insights you have related to your peer’s application of research concepts or ask a clarifying question. You may choose to comment on how the article presented both peer’s posting with at least two references.
1sr Peer Posting
The qualitative research study that was used for this discussion post, is a narrative research study in that it looks at the way that children process grief after the death of a loved one, using pictures and storytelling. Sheperis, Young, & Daniels describe narrative inquiry as, at it’s base level, “a good story”, and see it as a useful tool to help the counselor to understand the lived experience of a person using storytelling, autobiographies, oral histories, memories, personal documents, etc. (2009, pg. 151). The Stutey, Helm, LoSasso, & Kreider study sought to determine the lived experience of a child who had recently suffered the loss of a close family member, in order to further understand the differences in the way children experience grief and loss versus adults, and also as a way to further inform the effectiveness of photo-elicitation in the field of grief counseling for children.
The study selected participants who had replied to a flyer posted in several mental health agencies in a “western state in the United States”, which was asking for children to participate in a grief study and who fulfilled the following criteria: they were already involved in counseling so as not to re-traumatize the children and ask them to re-experience that loss; were between the ages of 6-10; and who had lost a loved one in the last 3 months to 2 years (Stutey, Helm, LoSasso, & Kreider, 2016). The authors only ended up using 4 children for this study, despite wanting to include more children, because of the overlap that they saw in the patterns displayed by the children and the ability to generalize to the broader age group. The participants were all Caucasian and had suffered the loss of a sibling, parent, or grandparent.
The study began by having the researchers get informed consent from the parents/guardians to participate in the study and a verbal agreement from the child that they wanted to participate. During this initial session, the researchers played games with the children individually to build rapport and put the child at ease, while their partners were explained the purpose of the study and the instructions that would be given before the data would be collected. The child was then given a disposable camera and the direction to, “please take pictures of anything that reminds you of your loved one who died or that will help me understand how things have been for you since they died” (2016). The parents were then given an stamped and addressed envelope and asked to send the camera back in one week. Once the pictures were developed the researchers scheduled a semi-structured interview with the children and their parents/guardians, where the child was asked about their pictures, why they took them, and they were able to debrief at the end of the interview by putting their pictures into a memory book to keep. The interviews were voice recorded and transcribed and coded by each member of the researcher team to prevent researcher coding bias.
The study found that, consistent to current research into the developmental differences in the communication skills of children versus adults, children were unable to verbalize the emotions that they felt about the loss of the loved one, but that they were very willing to talk about the loved one who had died and the pictures they took held very clear emotional connections between them and the loved one. The ability to use photo-elicitation alongside narrative therapy techniques allowed the child to show their lived experience of losing a loved one in a way that talk therapy by itself never could. The researchers showed that photo-elicitation is an effective technique to be used in grief therapy with children.
The narrative approach used in this study is different than the other types of qualitative research that was discussed in the textbook, such as grounded theory, in that it does not look to develop or “prove” a new theory by collecting and analyzing data from a variety of sources (Sheperis, Young, & Daniels, 2009). It uses storytelling, and verbal reports and interviews in order to get a better feel for a clients actual experience towards a phenomenon in their life. Grounded theory does not rely on self-reports or storytelling as much due to the focus on systematic analysis of data and the goal of developing a new theory.
Sheperis, C. J., Young, J. S., Daniels, M. H. (07/2009). Current View: US Counseling Research: Quantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed Methods, 1st Edition. [Bookshelf Online].
Stutey, D. M., Helm, H. M., LoSasso, H., & Kreider, H. D. (2016). Play therapy and photo-elicitation: A narrative examination of children’s grief. International Journal Of Play Therapy, 25(3), 154-165. doi:10.1037/a0039956
2nd Peer Posting
The article chosen uses a phenomenological design, which examines perceptions of experiences and circumstances people or groups have. Grounded theory in contrast but similarity, uses other sources to gather data, such as observers and letters, in order to establish a theory that is grounded through data and comparative analysis; while narrative research follows narrative therapy in using the person’s own words and gathers data similarly through writings and biographies (Sheperis, Young, & Daniels, 2010). These qualitative designs use various data collection methods but they all look at the participant’s perspective to obtain a better understanding of the experience which in-turn allows for better treatment and interventions and further research.
This study focused on participant’s experiences surrounding being accepted after being institutionalized for their mental illness. The study followed a philosophical and theoretical guide that allowed for a more in-depth look at treatment from a client’s perspective. The main questions regarded what clients experienced after institutionalization and how they experienced being excepted and how it made them feel. Over 61 million people in America experience a mental illness in a year and institutionalization brings with it a stigma from society and these stigmas can add to or create new illnesses such as depression, self-depreciation, low esteem and low satisfaction (Winn, 2016).
The study used an existential-phenomenological method to capture these experiences and also proved the co-participants with a validating experience. It did not specify how they were selected, but nine participants were asked to describe in written detail when they have felt they were accepted or being accepted (Winn, 2016). These written accounts were then analyzed, sorted into meaning units, and then formed into seven constituents which represented the experience of being accepted: feeling joy, valued, understood, loved, belongingness, respect and unacceptable, which this last one seems negative but the experiences of being unacceptable allowed for a fuller experience of the other 6 constituents (Winn, 2016).
The results really provide a deeper insight for counselors as to what a client might be experiencing after institutionalization from many different perspectives, such as their family and friends and even their counselor. Knowing this information offers the counselor to really adapt and tune-in to their awareness and receptiveness of the client’s experiences and enhance their sensitivity and empathy for their experiences and provide an even safer environment for the client to open up and share their experiences. This article was great in that it provided a background to phenomenology, humanistic and existential therapies and focused on the importance of the client’s experience concerning acceptance, however there was not much on literature review or limitations and the author had a bias towards individuals who have more severe illnesses but she does suggest for further research on this subject and to expand even to individuals who also may struggle with physical and learning disabilities too. Overall this article will help add to my proposal as it helps offer insight into client experiences while in an institution and after which helps support my theory and concerns that the clients experience is essential to successful discharge.
Sheperis, C. J., Young, J. S., & Daniels, M. H. (2010). Counseling research: Quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.
Winn, J. (2016). An existential-phenomenological investigation of the experience of being accepted in individuals who have undergone psychiatric institutionalization. Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology, 16(Special Edition: Contemporary Phenomenological Review on Key Psychotherapeutic Issues), 1-14. doi:10.1080/20797222.2016.1164992
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