Qualitative Inquiry with Adolescents: Strategies for Fostering Rich Meaning Making in Group Interviews

Kate Guthrie 1 *

AM J QUALITATIVE RES, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp. 92-110

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Qualitative inquiry with adolescents is challenging, especially in the field of educational research in which adults are often the gatekeepers of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ answers. To help diminish power dynamics, group interviews are a common method for inquiry. However, the intense desire to fit in with a group of peers and the risks associated with confidentiality can influence how adolescents respond. In this article, I summarize common obstacles to group interviews with adolescents followed by strategies qualitative researchers can employ to foster richer meaning making among adolescent participants to help create a space suitable for discussion of personal or sensitive topics and capture the rich, shared meaning making that can happen as a result of the group’s social interaction in the group interview. I conclude with implications for researchers and teachers of qualitative research methods

Keywords: Educational Research, Group Cohesion, Interview Activities, Interviewing Adolescents, Teaching Qualitative Research.