Member checking continues to be an important quality control process in qualitative research as during the course of conducting a study, participants receive the opportunity to review their statements for accuracy and, in so doing; they may acquire a therapeutic benefit. The authors of this article suggest that this benefit is similar to some of the components of group therapy, especially in normalizing the phenomenon being experienced. Even if the participants never meet, they can feel a sense of relief that their feelings are validated and that they are not alone.


Member Checking, Debriefing, Group Therapy, Therapeutic Benefits, and Qualitative Research

Author Bio(s)

Melissa Harper is an adjunct professor at St. Thomas University within the School of Education and Counseling. She received her doctorate from Nova Southeastern University where she did the research on the experiences of stepfathers within stepfamilies. She has worked extensively with children, and by extension their families, in the area of behavior modification and improving social interactions with peers and adults. She can be contacted at Queenm914@aol.com

Pat Cole is associate professor of family therapy and family business at the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Nova Southeastern University. Her research experience began as a research consultant at the Center for Evaluation and Research, Rhode Island College, Providence, RI. Her funded dissertation research was gender issues and family relationships in family business. She chaired and is now a member the Family Firm Institute’s research awards committee as well as co chaired the Family Enterprise Research Conference and served on the Governance Board. Presently she serves on the editorial board of The Qualitative Report. She can be contacted at pcole@nova.edu.

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