Reflections on the Process of Conducting Secondary Analysis of Qualitative Data Concerning Informed Choice for Young People With a Disability in Transition

  • Fraser Mitchell Fife Council
Keywords: qualitative secondary analysis, qualitative interviews, qualitative longitudinal research, data archives, young people with a disability, informed choice, transitions


Secondary analysis of data is seen as a way of maximising the utility of existing research in a non-intrusive way and provides an efficient research strategy at a time of financial constraint. However, there are few examples from the published literature of social science researchers conducting secondary analysis of qualitative data sets. This article reflects on the process of re-using interview transcripts, carried out with young people with a learning disability and their parents on the subject of life choices, held in a United Kingdom qualitative data archive. Secondary analysis of qualitative data, while presenting certain challenges, has much to offer the research community, and is a particularly valuable resource for qualitative research postgraduate students.



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Author Biography

Fraser Mitchell, Fife Council

Fraser MITCHELL is currently a Social Work Team Manager with Fife Council, Scotland. He has completed Masters degrees with Aberdeen University, University of London, Edinburgh University and Strathclyde University. He has published articles on self-directed support, family carer issues, and intermediate care.

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