Laura Gambrel MA, is a Doctoral candidate, and John L. Butler VI, MS, is a Doctoral student, Department of Human Development, Marriage and Family Therapy Program, Virginia Tech.
Mixed Methods Research in Marriage and Family Therapy: A Content Analysis
Article first published online: 4 OCT 2011
© 2011 American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
Journal of Marital and Family Therapy
Volume 39, Issue 2, pages 163–181, April 2013
How to Cite
Gambrel, L. E. and Butler VI, J. L. (2013), Mixed Methods Research in Marriage and Family Therapy: A Content Analysis. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 39: 163–181. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-0606.2011.00260.x
This research began in a graduate class and we are grateful for the contributions and feedback from our professor, Dr. Elizabeth Creamer, and our classmates. We also thank Dr. Megan Dolbin-MacNab for her feedback on an earlier draft of this manuscript.
Aspects of this research were displayed in a poster presentation at the 26th Annual Graduate Student Assembly Research Symposium, at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia in March 2010.
- Issue published online: 8 APR 2013
- Article first published online: 4 OCT 2011
Considering mixed methods research is gaining reputability in the marriage and family therapy field (Research methods in family therapy, Guilford, 2005), we conducted a mixed methods content analysis to examine the prevalence and quality of published mixed and multimethod research during the past 10 years in eight prominent MFT journals (N = 32). Our purpose was to determine the characteristics of studies that utilized both qualitative and quantitative methods, the themes of the rationales for combining methods, and their respective topics of study. We found 16 mixed methods articles, many of which used surveys and interviews, focused on the process of therapy, and did not discuss their methodology as mixed. We encourage authors of mixed methods studies to explicitly define design types, to establish a clear rationale for the combination of methods, to state how qualitative and quantitative methods and data were mixed, and to use theory effectively.