Qualitative Research Critique

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RUNNING HEAD: QUALITATIVE RESEARCH CRTIQUE

Qualitative Research Article Critique
November 16, 2011

Overall critique:
This paper is an article critique written by Alexander & Clare (2004) titled: You still feel different: The experience and meaning of women’s self-injury in the context of a lesbian or bisexual identity. This study’s purpose was to explore the meaning behind females’ self-injurious behavior within the context of being a lesbian or bisexual. It aimed to better understand this behavior and the many roles that self-injury can serve for individuals. The article can be considered a high-quality qualitative research article for various reasons. In sum, it addresses a topic that has been researched very little, it aims to explore meaning and subjective experience of participants, is exploratory nature, uses a phenomenological research design and makes interpretations using a subjective and reflexive approach. Statement of the Problem:

This article does a good job of clearly outlining the statement of the problem. In the introduction, it succinctly identifies the problem concerning the rise of self-injurious behavior and how it affects people of all ages and backgrounds and can eventually lead to suicide. Of particular importance to the study is self-injurious behavior among females with a lesbian and/or bisexual identity. The authors note that little research has been done concerning self-injury and this specific population. One weakness of this study’s statement of the problem is that the authors only mention mental health professionals as the primary audience who could benefit from the study and fail to mention any other specific audiences. In terms of the need for a qualitative approach, the article clearly points out that there is a need to “explore” the meaning behind lesbian and bisexuals’ self-injurious behavior, in order to gain a better understanding behind self-injury behavior in a wider social context. Additionally, the introduction and statement of the problem is easy to follow and well written encouraging the reader to continue reading. Study’s Purpose:

The authors of this study also did an effective job of clearly stating and utilized the proper key words to signal the reader about the study’s purpose stating: “The aim of the study was to explore the meaning of women’s self-injury within the context of having lesbian/bisexual identity”. It clearly points the intent of the study, which is to find a link between self-injury and sexuality and specifies the central phenomenon that is being explored. In regards to a specific theory guiding the study, it references how social constructionist and feminist perspectives can help enhance the understanding behind this phenomenon.

The study lacks in proposing specific research questions using “what” and “how”. However, it does use exploratory language when specifying the central phenomena and purpose. The research question or goals of this study remained open and allowed to emerge in order to direct the qualitative study. Literature Review:

The literature within the study is used very well. The authors do an good job of presenting previous researching findings on self- injury and used terms defined by other authors, in order to frame the study’s problem. They referenced recent literature from the past 10-15 years with the exception of a few references from 1978. However, the in-text citations are all recent from 1996-2000 and the study was completed in 2004. Additionally, it used a variety of references/publications such as books, articles, and journals. The most journals used in the study included: Journal of Homosexuality and Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology. This study lacks the use of conference papers but nevertheless there are plenty of studies referenced, including an unpublished dissertation, which are helpful to understanding the study’s topic, problem and purpose. Overall, the study does a...
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