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Qualitative Research Methods
Trying to understand how people or groups make meaning out of their experiences is not something that can be easily quantified. Therefore, many social workers must rely on qualitative research methods. The focus of this week is to understand how research questions that lead to a qualitative research approach are formed and implemented. The various methods used to extract the data as well as the relationship between qualitative analysis and evidence-based practice will also be highlighted.
Learning Objectives
Students will:
Analyze research questions that lead to a qualitative research approach
Analyze ways to reframe a research question
Analyze the relationship between qualitative analysis and evidence-based practice
Learning Resources
Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.
Required Readings
Yegidis, B. L., Weinbach, R. W., & Myers, L. L.  (2018). Research methods for social workers (8th ed.). New York, NY:  Pearson.
Chapter 6, “Qualitative Research” (pp. 126-145)
Lietz, C. A., & Zayas, L. E. (2010). Evaluating qualitative research for social work practitioners. Advances in Social Work, 11(2), 188-202. Retrieved from https://journals.iupui.edu/index.php/advancesinsocialwork/article/viewFile/589/1790
Choose Two of the Following Articles:
Browne, D., & Moloney, A. (2002). Contact irregular: A qualitative analysis of the impact of visiting patterns of natural parents on foster placement. Child and Family Social Work, 7, 35–45.
Retrieved from Walden Library databases.
Crandall, M., Senturia, K., Sullivan, M., & Shiu-Thornton, S. (2005). Latina survivors of domestic violence: Understanding through qualitative analysis. Hispanic Health Care International, 3(3), 179–187.
Retrieved from Walden Library databases.
Jackson, L. A., Marentette, H., & McCleave, H. (2001). Teenage moms living in Nova Scotia, Canada: An exploration of influences on their decision to become a mother. International Quarterly of Community Health Education, 20(1), 117–138.
Retrieved from Walden Library databases.
Larios, S. E., Wright, S., Jernstrom, A, Lebron, D., & Sorensen, J. L. (2011). Evidence-based practices, attitudes, and beliefs in substance abuse treatment programs serving American Indians and Alaska Natives: A qualitative study. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 43(4), 355–359.
Retrieved from Walden Library databases.
Luke, N., & Banerjee, R. (2012). Maltreated children’s social understanding and empathy: A preliminary exploration of foster carers’ perspectives. Journal of Child & Family Studies, 21(2), 237–246.
Retrieved from Walden Library databases.
Shek, D. T. L., Tang, V. M. Y., & Han, X. Y. (2005). Evaluation of evaluation studies using qualitative methods in the social work literature (1990–2003): Evidence that constitutes a wake-up call. Research on Social Work Practice, 15(3), 180–194.
Retrieved from Walden Library databases.
Venkatesh, S. A. (1997). The three-tier model: How helping occurs in urban, poor communities. The Social Service Review, 71(4), 574–606.
Retrieved from Walden Library databases.
Zeira, A., & Rosen, A. (1999). Intermediate outcomes pursued by practitioners: A qualitative analysis. Social Work Research, 23(2), 79–87.
Retrieved from Walden Library databases.
Optional Resources
Plummer, S.-B., Makris, S., & Brocksen S. M. (Eds.). (2014). Social work case studies: Foundation year. Baltimore, MD: Laureate International Universities drafting. [Vital Source e-reader].
Social Work Research: Program Evaluation
Discussion: Qualitative Research Questions
Research questions that lend themselves to a qualitative approach often address questions about how people construct meaning. In this way, qualitative research questions set the stage for open-ended, inductive inquiry.
For this Discussion, review the case study entitled, “Social Work Research: Program Evaluation.” Consider the kinds of questions that inform a qualitative approach. Think about the quantitative method described in the case study and consider methods you might use to investigate the effectiveness of a program from a qualitative perspective.
By Day 3
Post your explanations of the following:
What kinds of research questions lead to a qualitative approach?
If you chose to conduct quantitative research in your Week 4 proposal, how might you reframe the research question in a way that lends itself to a qualitative approach?
If you focused on a qualitative proposal in Week 4, describe the qualitative research question and explain the rationale for choosing a qualitative approach.
Be sure to explain how you might collect the data.
Consider which qualitative method (case study, grounded theory, ethnographic research, cross-sectional research, feminist research, or participatory action research) would be most suitable for answering the research question.
Please use the resources to support your answer.
By Day 5
Respond to a colleague’s post by suggesting how their qualitative research may benefit evidence-based practice. Please use the resources to support your answer.
 
Assignment: Relationship Between Qualitative Analysis and Evidence-Based Practice
Evidence-based practice is integral to social work, as it often informs best practices. Competent social workers understand this connection in general and the ways it benefits clients in particular. For this Assignment, consider your informed opinion on the relationship between qualitative analysis and evidence-based practice.
By Day 7
Submit a 2-page paper that addresses the following:
Choose two qualitative research studies from this week’s resources and analyze the relationship between qualitative analysis and evidence-based practice.
Consider how the qualitative study contributes to social work practice and how this type of knowledge would fit into building evidence-based practice.

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