Qualitative methods can include:

  • Observations
  • Interviews (Elicitation, Key Informant, Focus Groups)
  • Case Studies
  • Visual Data (Photo Voice)
  • Audio Data (Voice Recordings)
  • Ethnography or Personal Narratives (Oral Histories)
  • Document Reviews (Text)

The Native CARS Study focused on interviews, exclusively. For that reason, the remainder of this module will focus on interview methods, and how such research can help you direct your campaign to improve child passenger safety in your tribe and/or community.  For more information on qualitative research methods, check out the following resources:

Research Design, Quantitative, Qualitative & Mixed Method Approaches, John W. Creswell, 2014.

Doing Qualitative Research, David Silverman, 2010.

The Qualitative Research Companion, A. Michael Huberman & Mathew B. Miles, 2002.

Social Research Methods: http://www.socialresearchmethods.com/kb/qualmeth.php

Both focus groups and elicitation interviews may help you provide a description of child passenger restraint use behaviors, needs, systems, or cultures. Likewise, both may provide an opportunity to examine what factors underlie particular attitudes, why decisions are made or not made, what needs arise, and why current services or programs are not used. The findings can be used to inform policies (see Module 11) or intervention activities (see Module 6).  They can also help you determine what types of services may be required to meet local needs, what actions are needed to make current services more effective, and what systems or laws may need to be developed or improved.

Elicitation Interviews

The elicitation interviews differ from standardized (or highly structured) interviews in that their approach is designed to convince the interviewee to reveal factors that are relevant to the particular behavior, in this case, child safety seat use. Elicitation interviews are discussions in which the individual participant relays experiences about child safety seat use in the community, but no undue pressure is placed on the individual participant to respond in any kind of socially desirable way.

Focus Groups

Focus groups, though similar to elicitation interviews are guided group discussions meant to generate a rich dialog among the group of participants. The aim is to gain an understanding of the focus group participants’ experiences or beliefs about child safety seat use in the community, while allowing multiple perspectives (if there are any) to be revealed. Focus groups also can be used to:

  • Review and respond to data collected and provide reflections or confirmation on what was found.
  • Review drafted intervention activity plans and provide feedback on community acceptability of the plan or reveal natural collaborators.
  • Test the intended images and messages found in media campaigns.

To learn about the elicitation or key informant interviews done for the Native CARS study, go to the next section.