An Introduction 
to Deductive Qualitative Analysis 
Jane F. Gilgun, Ph.D., LICSW 
Professor, School of Social Work 
Univer...
Topics 
 DQA Defined 
 Advantages of DQA to Graduate Students 
 Crafting a Preliminary Focus 
 Components of the Conce...
Definition 
of Deductive Qualitative Analysis 
 A way of using theory from the beginning of 
research projects 
– As hypo...
Definition 
of Deductive Qualitative Analysis 
As Theory Testing 
Theory is developed and tested 
systematically so as to...
Definition 
of Deductive Qualitative Analysis 
As Theory-Guided Research 
Existing research and theory gives focus to a s...
Source of the Theory to be Tested 
 Previous research & theory 
 Professional experience 
 Personal experience 
 Knowl...
General Procedures 
of Deductive Qualitative Analysis 
 Begin with preliminary theories and/or 
concepts only 
 Test 
– ...
Advantages 
 Efficient way to do qualitative research 
– Great for disserations 
 Your professors want to know what you ...
Preliminary Focus 
 A topic that interests you 
 Write out your own ideas 
 Preliminary interviews 
 Read related rese...
Write a Reflexivity Statement 
Topic: your preliminary ideas about it 
Write whatever comes to mind 
Cover the followin...
Write a Reflexivity Statement Cont’d 
– Why the topic interests you 
– Who would you interview or observe 
– What issues a...
Principles of Data Collection 
and Analysis 
 Sources of Codes 
– From conceptual framework/sensitizing concepts 
– From ...
Negative Case Analysis 
 Recommended: First select similar cases 
 Then seek cases that differ from those 
already resea...
Basics of Interpretations 
 “Thick Description” is first 
 Your interpretations follow 
 Then, write about how your fin...
Dissemination 
 State how you will let others know about the 
research 
– Create programs 
– Write articles: journal & in...
Summary 
 Understanding is key 
 Find a focus 
 Engage your whole self (reflexivity) 
 Description is the foundation 
...
References 
Angell, Robert A. The family encounters the depression. New 
York: Scribner. 
Becker, Howard (l953). Becoming ...
References 
Gilgun, Jane F. (2012). Enduring themes in qualitative family 
research. Journal of Family Theory and Review, ...
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Introduction to Deductive Qualitative Analysis

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Deductive qualitative analysis (DQA) is a way of developing and testing theory using qualitative data. With roots in the Chicago School of Sociology, DQA is related to analytic induction, but has important differences as well. Differences include no claim that findings are universal and an acknowledgment that the method is primarily deductive. The method is important for PhD students who must do a lit review before they do their dissertation research as well as for other researchers who want to begin their studies with theory.

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Introduction to Deductive Qualitative Analysis

  1. 1. An Introduction to Deductive Qualitative Analysis Jane F. Gilgun, Ph.D., LICSW Professor, School of Social Work University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, USA Social Work Day International Congress on Qualitative Inquiry 24 May 2014
  2. 2. Topics  DQA Defined  Advantages of DQA to Graduate Students  Crafting a Preliminary Focus  Components of the Conceptual Framework  Methods for Testing Hypotheses  Data Collection & Analysis  Ethical Issues  Dissemination  References
  3. 3. Definition of Deductive Qualitative Analysis  A way of using theory from the beginning of research projects – As hypotheses to test and/or – Sensitizing concepts Theory-guided research  Increasing numbers of researcher use theory upfront in qualitative research but there is no name for this
  4. 4. Definition of Deductive Qualitative Analysis As Theory Testing Theory is developed and tested systematically so as to include a wide variety of cases that show patterns & not one dominant theme Product is a pattern theory that has been tested and revised multiple times
  5. 5. Definition of Deductive Qualitative Analysis As Theory-Guided Research Existing research and theory gives focus to a study – Researchers start with a focus that sensitizing concepts give Sensitizing concepts help researchers see what they might not otherwise have noticed Researchers seek to add dimensions to sensitizing concepts or, if evidence warrants, discard them in favor of new concepts that fit the emerging analysis
  6. 6. Source of the Theory to be Tested  Previous research & theory  Professional experience  Personal experience  Knowledge of persons and situations that are the focus of theory  Values and ethics  Sensitizing concepts from same sources
  7. 7. General Procedures of Deductive Qualitative Analysis  Begin with preliminary theories and/or concepts only  Test – the theories – The viability of concepts  Revise – the theories – Dimensions of the concepts; may discard in favor of others
  8. 8. Advantages  Efficient way to do qualitative research – Great for disserations  Your professors want to know what you intend to do  Funders do, too  Writes-up facilitated
  9. 9. Preliminary Focus  A topic that interests you  Write out your own ideas  Preliminary interviews  Read related research and theory
  10. 10. Write a Reflexivity Statement Topic: your preliminary ideas about it Write whatever comes to mind Cover the following areas – Your personal experience with the topic – Your professional experience with the topic
  11. 11. Write a Reflexivity Statement Cont’d – Why the topic interests you – Who would you interview or observe – What issues arise when you chose to do research on these particular persons and settings How do you see informants How do informants see you? – Your sense of cultural beliefs and practices – Whatever else fits – What you want to use the research for
  12. 12. Principles of Data Collection and Analysis  Sources of Codes – From conceptual framework/sensitizing concepts – From the act of coding transcripts/documents  Coding-- – Open – Axial – Selective – Or other  Importance of Multiple Coders/Points of View
  13. 13. Negative Case Analysis  Recommended: First select similar cases  Then seek cases that differ from those already research to maximize variations – Purpose is to describe patterns For some researchers, also to interpret and make theoretical statements about the patterns
  14. 14. Basics of Interpretations  “Thick Description” is first  Your interpretations follow  Then, write about how your findings fit with, add to, or undermine existing research and theory
  15. 15. Dissemination  State how you will let others know about the research – Create programs – Write articles: journal & internet publishing – Suggest policy – Create performances/songs/poetry – Do workshops – Have websites – Present conference papers
  16. 16. Summary  Understanding is key  Find a focus  Engage your whole self (reflexivity)  Description is the foundation  Then interpret, connect to existing knowledge, theorize  Awareness of ethical issues  Know what you want to do with findings
  17. 17. References Angell, Robert A. The family encounters the depression. New York: Scribner. Becker, Howard (l953). Becoming a marihuana user. American Journal of Sociology, 59, 235-242. Becker, Howard (1999). The Chicago School, so-called. Qualitative Sociology, 22(1), 3-12. Gilgun, Jane F. (2014). Chicago School traditions: Deductive qualitative analysis & grounded theory. Amazon. Gilgun, Jane F. (2013). Coding in deductive qualitative analysis. Amazon.
  18. 18. References Gilgun, Jane F. (2012). Enduring themes in qualitative family research. Journal of Family Theory and Review, 4, 80-95. Gilgun, Jane F. (2005). Qualitative research and family psychology. Journal of Family Psychology,19(1), 40-50. Gilgun, Jane F. (2014). Writing up qualitative research. In Patricia Leavy (Ed.). The Oxford handbook of qualitative research methods. New York: Oxford University Press. Gilgun, Jane F. (in press). Social work-specific research and theory building. In William Nichols (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences (2nd ed). New York: Elselvier.

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