Experiences with Counselling for Individuals Within the South Asian Community II: Methodology, Stories and Analysis
by Alisha Mann, MPsy
This series was originally completed as a Major Research Project in partial fulfillment of Adler Graduate Professional School’s Master of Psychology degree.
Data Collection and Analysis
Conversations with participants were recorded using RealQuick recording software on the researcher’s computer, and a secure Google Document was utilized for one participant. Timing variations were dependent on participant’s individual stories. All conversations were personally transcribed and transferred to an Excel spreadsheet for analysis.
As previously mentioned, grounded theory was used for analysis. Each transcript was analyzed independently, and line-by-line (open) coding was used to create general codes (Glaser & Strauss, 1973). An exhaustive list of general codes was created for each transcript. The resultant lists of codes were then compared using axial coding to group and analyze the codes and data further. Memos were written throughout the process to remind the researcher of the importance and usefulness of certain codes.
When utilizing grounded theory, one builds towards an actual question by using the data available. Grounded theory claims that no theory is ever complete and that the data may be answering a question that has not yet been asked (Glaser & Strauss, 1973). The “Aha” moment occurred several days following the development of codes, scrutinizing analyses and axial coding. Although this research started off asking what barriers individuals experienced when seeking counselling, the data led the researcher to ask the following, very crucial question: What change(s) allowed these South Asian individuals to seek and participate in counselling?
As with all research, this study was not without its limitations. Being a qualitative study, the results are dependent on the stories told and the analysis techniques of the researcher. Also, due to criterion-specific sampling, the results are generalizable only to those who share similar characteristics with the sample and may not be suitable for the general SA community outside the GTA. For example, all participants were South Asian, between the ages of 20 and 30, were brought up in a middle class Western society, and attended university. Although the results of this study are suggestive, further research with a greater sample size is required to understand the generalizability and build upon the theory indicated by this research.
As with any qualitative paper, further limitations to generalization arise within the coding and analyses. A separate researcher may look at the data and find that it answers a different question. Thus, any such theory may generate another.