Journal Articles

Bustamante-Gavino, Maria Irma, Salma Rattani, and Kausar Khan. 2011. Women’s Empowerment in Pakistan—Definitions and Enabling and Disenabling Factors: A Secondary Data AnalysisJournal of Transcultural Nursing 22 (2): 174-181.

Abstract: Purpose: The purpose of the study was to explore Pakistani women’s definition of women’s empowerment, including its enabling and disenabling factors. Through understanding empowerment, interventions may be developed for women to be empowered. Design: Transcriptions of 35 interviews from a previous study were reanalyzed through secondary data analysis. Findings/Results: The themes of economic stability, social acceptability, educational achievement, and family harmony emerged for the concept of definition of empowerment. Themes for enabling factors were strength of personality and openness of mind. Disenabling factors had sociocultural influences, religious misinterpretations, and dominant ideology as themes. Discussion/Conclusions: Pakistani women hold on to their customs, traditions, and religion tenaciously. The views of empowerment leading to the themes were expressed as true for their lives.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Please discuss how the researchers utilize secondary data in their study, specifically to help in developing and conceptualizing the idea of women’s empowerment.
  2. What secondary sources do the authors tap as the basis of their research?  How are data collected by these sources?
  3. What implications for future research and clinical practice does this research afford?
  4. How may future research build upon the secondary data analysis method utilized in this study to further explore topics like the one presented in this article?


Irwin, Sarah. 2013. Qualitative Secondary Data Analysis: Ethics, epistemology, and context. Progress in Development Studies 13 (4): 295-306.

Abstract: There has been a significant growth in the infrastructure for archiving and sharing qualitative data, facilitating reuse and secondary analysis. The article explores some issues relating to ethics and epistemology in the conduct of qualitative secondary analysis. It also offers a critical discussion of the importance of engaging with the situatedness and contextually embedded nature of data, and ways in which contexts (including research designs and disciplinary and methodological assumptions) are themselves embedded in primary data. I illustrate some strategies for addressing these matters with reference to analyses of two different areas, drawing on research conducted as part of ESRC Timescapes, and highlight some issues for development research.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Please discuss the trend and value toward creating infrastructures in order to share data across fields.  How in particular has this helped to promote the dissemination of secondary data?
  2. What ethical and epistemological considerations are inherent to secondary data analysis?
  3. Discuss the feasibility of using secondary data.  Specifically, are some types of data better suited to analysis than others?


Larson, James S., and Mylon Winn. (2010). Health Policy and Exercise: A Brief BRFSS Study and Recommendations. Health Promotion Practice 11(2): 268 -274.  An interesting study using data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey.

Abstract: The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey is used to compare three predictors of self-rated health, specifically exercise, tobacco smoking, and a diagnosis of diabetes (a proxy for obesity). Exercise is found to be the best predictor, and the remainder of the article discusses the role of exercise in disease prevention and the all-important concept of exercise adherence. Government policy in the future needs to promote exercise adherence in a more rigorous way, because it is a key to both individual and societal health. Exercise habits need to be instilled from youth, and physical education requirements in school need to be re-established at all levels through high school. Adults also need encouragement with better neighborhood planning of exercise trails for walking and biking, as well as planned community activities to encourage fitness through one’s lifetime. The article concludes with six recommendations for formal government action to encourage exercise adherence.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Please discuss how the researchers designed their study around the data collection method used, and how this method most effectively addresses the questions they are seeking to answer.
  2. Discuss how the data are presented so as to inform the various audiences of the research of trends in the field.
  3. How are the data used to suggest specific courses of action in governmental policy?


Lubienski, Sarah Theule, and Christopher Lubienski. (2006).   School Sector and Academic Achievement: A Multilevel Analysis of NAEP Mathematics DataAmerican Educational Research Journal 43(4): 651 -698.  An interesting study using data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

Abstract: Using data from the 2003 National Assessment of Educational Progress, this analysis compared mathematics achievement in public, charter, and major types of private schools to examine whether disparities in achievement are due to differences in school performance or student demographics in various sectors. Hierarchical linear models were used to control for student- and school-level demographic characteristics. The analysis indicated that the relatively high raw scores of private schools were more than accounted for by student demographics. In fact, after demographic differences had been controlled, the private school advantage disappeared and even reversed in most cases. These findings raise questions about the basis of reform models that seek remedies in parental choice, autonomy, competition, and other attributes associated with the private school sector.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Which agency collects the data that the researchers use for their study, and how is it collected?
  2. How do the researchers link their use of secondary data to a review of the literature and what has previously been done in this field of study?
  3. How are the data used to inform public officials and assist them in the decision making process?


Rennison, Callie Marie, and Chris Melde. (2009). Exploring the Use of Victim Surveys to Study Gang CrimeCriminal Justice Review 34(4): 489 -514.  An interesting study using data from the Crime Victimization Survey.

Abstract: There has long been debate on the appropriate method to collect valid and reliable data on gang member involvement in crime and delinquency. In general, research in this area is based on data from self-report surveys, qualitative field work, and official reports which have well-documented limitations. Given these limitations, triangulation of methods is important to fully understand the unique contribution of gang members to the problem of crime and delinquency. This article proposes an additional data source to study gang violence and enhance triangulation: The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), which added a measure of the victim’s perception of the offender’s gang status in 1992. We highlight the advantages and disadvantages of using the NCVS for gang violence research and present a comparison of victimizations reportedly committed by gang and nongang perpetrators across situational, offender, and victim characteristics. Findings demonstrate promise for the use of victimization data in future gang research. Like Egley, Maxson, Miller, and Klein, we encourage the use of a ‘‘pluralistic approach’’ for the study of gangs and suggest that victimization data such as the NCVS be used to provide greater insight into gang crime.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Please discuss how researchers make use of multiple data sources in their studies (triangulation).  How are the different sources of data collected in this study?
  2. What limitations do the authors identify in using secondary data for this study?
  3. How may the findings of this study be utilized by government agencies?