Analysis of the Qualitative Data

The analysis of interview transcriptions followed the guidelines described by Miles and Huberman (1994) and Bogdan and Taylor (1975). The researcher reviewed the material systematically while remaining open to emerging themes. For instance, some categories such as “majors” and “support from church” emerged as the researchers grew more familiar with the local context, while some preset categories such as “education” and “personality” were discarded when tested against the extant data. The specific procedures used were described as below:

  • 1. Data reduction and the creation of categories for analysis. Taking data to be coded by preset categories, and going through all data and sorting it into categories. Miles and Huberman (1994) suggested that categories should be defined before collecting data; the instrument should be developed in advance and have a structure or design set before being used in the field. Following Miles and Huberman’s (1994) approach, the researcher had Berry’s stress-coping framework in mind and defined the categories before starting the study. When coding, the researcher tried to find the links between the codes and merged them into preset categories.
  • 2. Rereading the data set and sorting the categories into broader themes, while remaining open to new analytic categories. Provisional themes were drawn from all of the data. Just as Bogdan and Taylor (1975) suggested, the themes and patterns that emerge were analyzed to discover the shared meanings and to see if certain themes ran through the experiences of all interviewees.
  • 3. Representation and presentation of the data. This is the development of some sort of display for organizing the data. Data display refers to the systematic visualization or presentation of the data.
  • 4. Verification. For the verification, various methods were applied such as participant check, peer check, and audit trail (see the result and trace back to the original data to see if it makes sense).
  • 5. The analysis of interview transcriptions followed the guidelines described by Miles and Huberman (1994). Miles and Huberman (1994) suggested that categories should be defined before collecting data; the instrument should be developed in advance and have a structure or design set before being used in the field. When coding, the researchers tried to find the links between the codes and merged them into preset categories. In addition, the researchers reviewed the data systematically while remaining open to the following emerging themes and categories: (1) data reduction and the creation of categories for analysis; (2) rereading the data set and sorting the categories into broader themes, while remaining open to new analytic categories; (3) representation and presentation of the data; and (4) verification through methods such as a participant check, peer check, and use of an audit trail.

Ethical Considerations

For ethical consideration, no subjects were forced into participation. Participation in this study was voluntary and strictly confidential. Subjects were given enough information about the nature of this research to decide whether they want to participate. Subjects were told that their participation was voluntary and that they were free to choose not participate or to withdraw from the study at any time.

In order to protect the privacy of each subject, the content of each individual interview was withheld from the other participants. The researcher transcribed the interview data verbatim, and all interview transcriptions were prepared only by the researcher. All data (taped interviews) were kept in a locked filing cabinet in my office. I retained the data only for the length of time it takes to transcribe, code, and analyze, but no later than May 31, 2009. After that date, the tapes were erased.

 
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