Session: Working Title: The Utility of Qualitative Interpretive Meta-Synthesis to Develop Contextualized Understandings of Adolescent Dating Abuse (Society for Social Work and Research 24th Annual Conference - Reducing Racial and Economic Inequality)

60 Working Title: The Utility of Qualitative Interpretive Meta-Synthesis to Develop Contextualized Understandings of Adolescent Dating Abuse

Friday, January 17, 2020: 8:00 AM-9:30 AM
Congress, ML 4 (Marriott Marquis Washington DC)
Cluster: Research Design and Measurement (RD&M)
Katie Schultz, PhD, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Heather Storer, Ph.D., University of Louisville and Mary Ann Franks, MSW, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
Given that adolescent dating abuse is contextually situated, increased attention has been called to the utility of more interpretive research methodologies to develop a more nuanced understanding of this multidimensional social phenomena (Testa, Livingston, & VanZile-Tamsen, 2011). Scholars have argued that an overreliance on quantitative tools such as self-report checklists have resulted in decontextualizing dating abuse and contributed to the inflation of reported rates of female-perpetrated physical abuse (Hamby, 2014). Despite acknowledgement of the contribution of qualitative studies to our understanding and responses to adolescent dating abuse, there remains a need to look across qualitative studies and systematically review and organize those findings. However, the volume of qualitative studies from different epistemological tradition can be challenging to sift through and translate to effective prevention and intervention programs.

The purpose of this workshop is to describe how qualitative interpretive meta-synthesis (QIMS) can be used to develop more context-rich and generalizable understandings of dating abuse and intimate partner violence broadly. The primary aims of this workshop are to: 1. Define and explain the process of conducting QIMS; 2.) Present strategies to promote rigor; and 3.) Provide participants with hands-on examples of how they can apply QIMS approaches to their own work. To illustrate the contributions QIMS can make to research related to dating and domestic abuse, we will provide an example of our own meta-synthesis efforts in a research study investigating the relevance of gender-identity in the lived experience and perceptions of adolescent dating abuse

Qualitative interpretive meta-synthesis is a tool that provides a rigorous process of synthesizing qualitative findings across multiple studies This methodology was developed to advance social work research agendas, because it is sensitive to the situatedness of social phenomena (Aguirre & Bolton, 2013) and promotes an “enhanced understanding of the topic of study wherein the position of each individual study is changed from an individual pocket of knowledge of a phenomenon into part of a web of knowledge about the topic” (p. 329) This synthesis provides a thick description by which to generate a deeper understanding of the focus of the research inquiry.

Specific steps in conducting QIMS will be presented from formulating a clear research question to systematically extracting pertinent thematic findings in each study to meticulously organizing and presenting the synthesized findings. During the workshop, we will invite participants will have the opportunity to practice an abbreviated interpretive meta-synthesis exercise. We will conclude by engaging participants in a discussion of how QIMS might be useful for their research questions, the challenges and strengths of QIMS, and how this analysis could be incorporated in conjunction with other meta-synthesis and quantitative methodologies.

References Hamby, S. (2014). Self-report measures that do not produce gender parity in intimate partner violence: A multi-study investigation. Psychology of Violence, 6, 323–339. Testa, M., Livingston, J. A., & VanZile-Tamsen, C. (2011). Advancing the study of violence against women using mixed methods: Integrating qualitative methods into a quantitative research program. Violence Against Women, 17(2), 236-250.

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