Transcendental Phenomenology and Classic Grounded Theory as Mixed Data Collection Methods in a Study Exploring Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder in New Zealand
J Popul Ther Clin Pharmacol Vol 20(2):e82-e90; April 22, 2013
Despite the risk of ‘method slurring’, researchers have triangulated within a single qualitative study methods that are philosophically incongruent or in a limited context, are congruent, as with hermeneutic phenomenology and constructivist grounded theory.
We aimed to make the case that what works best can be to mix two qualitative methods that are philosophically congruent. Thus, we used transcendental phenomenology (TP) and classic grounded theory (CGT) in synergetic sequence to answer our research question. These methods have not previously been used together and one method would not have sufficed. Using the same participant sample, we sought to explore and understand the daily challenges of living with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) since no study to date had addressed these issues within New Zealand. Our retrospective exploratory two-phase sequential design was framed by the meta-theory of pragmatism. It mixed qualitative strategies that are ontologically and epistemologically compatible (i.e. TP and CGT are ontologically realist, but epistemologically idealist). They are useful together for the aim of meaningfully studying the lived experiences of purposively selected participants. Empirical data, as secondary results, provide supportive evidence.
The first paper from this study was published in J Popul Ther Clin Pharmacol Vol 19(1):e41-e50 when the main findings were reported. This second paper gives greater focus to the methodologies employed and data analysis from the second phase.
Key Words: Classic grounded theory, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, mixed methods, pragmatism, qualitative approaches, transcendental phenomenology, triangulation
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