SAGE Journal Articles

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Maxwell, J. A. (2010). Using numbers in qualitative research. Qualitative Inquiry, 16(6), 475–482.

Abstract: The use of numerical/quantitative data in qualitative research studies and reports has been controversial. Prominent qualitative researchers such as Howard Becker and Martyn Hammersley have supported the inclusion of what Becker called “quasi-statistics”: simple counts of things to make statements such as “some,” “usually,” and “most” more precise. However, others have resisted such uses, particularly when they are requested by reviewers for journals. This paper presents both the advantages of integrating quantitative information in qualitative data collection, analysis, and reporting, and the potential problems created by such uses and how these can be dealt with. It also addresses the definition of mixed methods research, arguing that the use of numbers by itself doesn't make a study “mixed methods.”

Mazzola, J. J., Walker, E. J., Schockley, K. M., & Spector, P. E. (2011). Examining stress in graduate assistants: Combining qualitative and quantitative survey methods. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 5(3), 198–211

Abstract: The aim of this study was to employ qualitative and quantitative survey methods in a concurrent mixed model design to assess stressors and strains in graduate assistants. The stressors most frequently reported qualitatively were work overload, interpersonal conflict, and organizational constraints; the most frequently reported psychological strains were frustration, anger, and anxiety. The groups formed by the qualitative incident reported (e.g., work overload) partially discriminated between those scoring high versus low on the corresponding stressor scale. Finally, participants who qualitatively reported a stressor indicated more physical symptoms on a quantitative scale. The results show support for the combination of qualitative and quantitative methods in stress research, as the two types of measures provided different information about stressors and strains.