Authors of the example studies crafted Tods shoes their research as mixed methods projects based on their assumption that mixed methods could also best address their research problems. When preparing a research study employing mixed methods, the researcher needs to provide a justification for the use of this approach. Not all situations justify the use of mixed methods. There are times when qualitative Tods shoes research may Tods outlet be best, because the researcher aims to explore Tods online shop a problem, honor the voices of participants, map the complexity of the situation, and convey multiple perspectives of participants. Tods sale At other times, quantitative research may be best, because the researcher seeks to understand the relationship among variables or determine if one group performs better on an outcome than another group. Tods shoes In our discussion of mixed methods, we do not want to minimize the importance of choosing either a quantitative or qualitative approach when it is Tods shoes merited by the situation. Further, we would not limit mixed methods to certain fields of study or topics. Mixed methods research seems applicable to a wide variety of disciplines in the Tods outlet social and health sciences. Certainly some disciplinary content specialists may select not to use mixed methods because of a lack of interest in qualitative research, but most Tod's online shop content area problems can be addressed using mixed methods. Instead of thinking about fitting different methods to specific content topics, we suggest thinking about fitting methods to different types of research problems. For example, we find that a Tods online shop survey best fits a Tods shoes quantitative approach because of the need to understand Tods sale the views of participants in an entire population. Tods outlet An experiment best fits a quantitative approach because of the need to determine whether a treatment works better than a control condition. Likewise, ethnography best fits a qualitative approach because Tods shoes of the need to understand how culture-sharing groups work. What situations, then, warrant an approach that combines quantitative and qualitative research-a mixed methods inquiry? Research problems suited for mixed methods are those in which one data source may be insufficient, results need to be explained, exploratory findings need to be generalized, a second method is needed to enhance a primary method, a theoretical stance needs to be employed, and an overall research objective can be best addressed with multiple phases, or projects.
A Need Exists Because Tods shoes One Data Source May Be Insufficient
We know that qualitative data provide a detailed understanding of a problem while quantitative data provide a more general understanding of a problem. This qualitative understanding arises out of studying a few individuals Tods outlet and Tod's online shop exploring their perspectives in great depth whereas the quantitative understanding arises from examining a large number of people and assessing responses to a few Tods sale variables. Qualitative research Tods shoes and quantitative research provide different pictures, or perspectives, and each has its limitations. When researchers study a few individuals qualitatively, the ability to generalize the results to many is lost. When researchers quantitatively examine many individuals, the understanding of any one individual is diminished. Hence, the limitations of one method can Tods shoes be offset by the strengths of the other method, and the combination of quantitative and qualitative data provide a more complete understanding of the research problem than either approach by itself.
There are several ways in which one data source may be inadequate. Tods online shop One type of evidence may not tell the complete story, or the researcher may lack confidence in the ability of one type of evidence to address the problem. Tods shoes The results from the quantitative and qualitative data may be contradictory, which could not be known by collecting only one type of data. Further, the type of evidence gathered from one level in an organization might differ from evidence looked at from other levels. These are all situations in which using only one approach to address the research problem would be deficient. Tod's online shop A mixed methods design best fits this problem. For example,Tods outlet when Knodel and Tods shoes Saengtienchai (2005) studied the role that older-aged parents play in the care and support of adult sons and daughters with HIV and AIDS and AIDS orphans in Thailand, they collected both quantitative survey data and open-ended interviews. Reflecting on the use of both forms of data to understand the problem because quantitative data alone would be inadequate, they said,
The issues (in the interviews) covered were similar to the AIDS parents survey, but the conversational nature of the interview and the fact it allowed open-ended responses provided parents the opportunity to elaborate on the issues Tods shoes and the circumstances affecting them. (Knodel & Saengtienchai, 2005, p. 670) A Need Exists to Explain Initial Results
Sometimes the results of a study may provide an incomplete understanding of a research problem and there is a need for further explanation. In this case, a mixed methods study is used with the second database helping to explain the first database. A typical situation is when quantitative results require an explanation as to what they mean. Quantitative results can net general explanations for the relationships Tods outlet among Tod's online shop variables, Tods shoes but the more detailed understanding of Tods sale what the statistical tests or effect sizes actually mean is lacking. Qualitative data and results can help Tods sale build that understanding. For example, Weine et al. (2005) conducted a mixed methods study investigating family factors and processes involved in Bosnian refugees engaging in multiple-family support and education groups in Chicago.Tods shoes The first quantitative phase of the study addressed the factors that predicted engagement while the second qualitative phase consisted of interviews with family members to assess the family processes involved in engagement as Tods shoes multiple-family groups. The rationale for using mixed methods to study this situation was "quantitative Tod's online shop analysis addressed the factors that predicted engagement. In order to better understand the processes by which families experience engagement, we conducted a qualitative content analysis to gain additional insight" (Weine et al., 2005, p. 560).
A Need Exists to Generalize Exploratory Findings
In some research projects, Tods shoes the Tods outlet investigators may not know the questions that need to be asked, the variables that need to be measured, and the theories that may guide the study. These unknowns may be due to the specific, remote population being studied (e.g., Native American in Alaska) or the newness of the research topic. In these situations, it is best to explore qualitatively to learn what questions, variables, theories, Tods shoes and so forth need to be studied and then follow up with a quantitative study to generalize Tod's online shop and test what was learned from the exploration. A mixed methods project is ideal in these situations.Tods sale The researcher begins with a qualitative phase to explore and then follows up with a quantitative phase to test whether the qualitative results generalize.Tod's online shop For example, Kutner, Tods shoes Steiner, Corbett, Jahnigen, and Barton (1999) studied issues important to terminally ill patients. Their study began with qualitative interviews, and these were then used to develop an instrument that was administered to a second sample of terminally ill patients to test whether the identified issues varied by demographic characteristics. Kutner et al. (1999) said, "Tods outlet The use of initial open-ended interviews to explore the important issues allowed us to formulate relevant questions and discover what were truly concerns to this population" (p. 1350).