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Interviews and Questionnaires as Mixed Methods in Population Geography: TheCase of Lone Fathers in Newcastle, Australia

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Abstract:

A mixed method approach was adopted to study the experiences of lonefathers, using a classic triangulation approach of interview and questionnaire data. This study utilised an empirical realist framework of scientific enquiry, with the ‘soft’ individual interview data seen as an adjunct to the ‘hard’ aggregate quantitative methods. A review of this study found that the interviews worked well as a pilot study in a classic mixed methods framework. The questionnaires provided a range of information about thecharacteristics of this group of lone fathers, but it was the interviews which provided astonishing depth on the causes of marital breakdown and post-marital conflict, and on the discourses and other structures which sustain social processes. In this study, the interview techniques could have been used differently, in a different framework of analysis (that of critical rather than empirical realism) without the support of other mixed methods.

Keywords: Australia; interviews; lone parents; mixed methods; qualitative research; quantitative research; questionnaires

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/0033-0124.00145

Affiliations: University of Newcastle

Publication date: 1999-02-01

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