Methods Used in the Native CARS Study

The Native CARS Study conducted a total of 12-18 interviews among Native CARS communities in each of the participating Tribes in 2009 and 2011. A subset of interviews at each tribe were done with tribal members in professional positions, such as health care or social service workers, who have contact with a large portion of the target population.  The remaining interviews were with parents, grandparents, or other child caregivers. Some interviews were with females, some were with males. We attempted to interview people spanning the age spectrum. The Site Coordinator from each of the respective tribes facilitated the selection and scheduling of the interviews.

Elicitation interviews were conducted by either the Principal Investigator or the Project Director, with the other person taking notes. Frequently, the Site Coordinator from the tribe sat in on the interviews and functioned as a second notetaker.  Additionally, interviews were recorded and transcribed.  The interview included open-ended questions about general child safety, current and past child safety seat use, perceived barriers and facilitators to car seat use, family disagreements about use, access to child safety seats, and cultural traditions. The Native CARS elicitation interview questions can be can be found here (Word document) or under “Module 5 Resources.”


Native CARS Study Elicitation Interviews:

  • Were semi-structured and one-on-one
  • Numbered approximately 15 interviews per tribe (talking with parents, caregivers, and some professionals)
  • Asked about current and past norms, barriers and facilitators, intervention ideas, etc.


Simple Analysis

The project director led the Tribal Site Coordinator in a simple review of the transcripts.  Transcripts were first read in their entirety before simple coding was performed.

After careful review of the text for the underlying meaning, the Site Coordinator highlighted:

  • Re-occurring themes.
  • Issues that were surprising, or ideas that contradicted what they had assumed.
  • Text that was not reoccurring, but that was a noteworthy quote or profound statement.

As a result of this simple review, text codes were generated and grouped, and tribal site coordinators got essential information that was helpful in developing intervention plans for their community.


Formal Analysis for Researchers

For most community purposes, a formal analysis may not be needed.   In the Native CAR Study, following the simple review of transcribed text, the study team formally began the analytic process of carefully cleaning and formatting the transcripts for use in the Native CARS Atlas.  A hermeneutic unit (everything that is relevant to a particular topic) was created, and each transcript was added.  The transcripts were then coded using an inductive approach, consisting of open coding, using a priori and in vivo codes.  A drafted open coding guide, created by members of the study team, checked for inter-coder agreement (general consensus, agreebility between team members) in intervals of three transcripts until codes were fully refined into a final list of codes. They then continued coding remaining transcripts a priori in intervals of five-to-eight, checking for continued agreement.  Once all of the transcripts were coded (including axial and selective coding), the study team grouped codes and quotations into six-to-ten main themes. Then, these findings were summarized.  These summaries, theme categories, and supporting quotations were then shared in tribal reports.

To learn about the focus groups done for the Native CARS study, go to the next section.