Although conducting interviews is the most popular research strategy in qualitative research, we question whether it is the best strategy to use with young fathers and other populations who may be less willing to share personal experiences and thoughts with an unknown researcher. The reluctance of young fathers to engage in research leads to the omission of important perspectives and inadvertently results in young fathers' being understudied and unwittingly excluded from support programming and services. In this paper, we describe our experiences of using two different research strategies with young fathers: conventional in-depth interviews (i.e., interviews that rely on words only) and photo-interviewing (i.e., using photographs as props during an interview). We found that photo-interviewing contributed to young fathers' comfort during the research process, provided them a sense of agency, and possibly enriched the quality of the data. While we do not argue that one data collection strategy is necessarily better than the other, we would like to caution researchers against using conventional interviews as a default data collection strategy with marginalized, vulnerable, or less verbal populations for whom interviewing may not be the most suitable data collection strategy and to encourage researchers to explore alternative options.
Photo-Interviewing; Qualitative Methods; Research Strategies; Vulnerable Populations; Young Fathers
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Recommended APA Citation
Sopcak, N., Mayan, M., & Skrypnek, B. J. (2015). Engaging Young Fathers in Research through Photo-Interviewing. The Qualitative Report, 20(11), 1871-1880. Retrieved from http://nsuworks.nova.edu/tqr/vol20/iss11/12