Often, research strategies are guided by principles developed based on mainstream U.S. cultural norms. Immigrants, however, may differ in their cultural backgrounds and previous exposure to research. Commonly adopted research procedures, such as the informed consent process, may be culturally inappropriate for research with culturally diverse populations, and hence require cultural adaptations. Based on two qualitative studies, this paper describes the methodological issues encountered in the field when working with Chinese and Kenyan immigrants, and explains how these issues were resolved. Comparing and synthesizing experiences from the two studies, recommendations for methodological adaptations when working with immigrant populations are provided. Specifically, suggestions on how to prepare the research protocol, recruit participants, obtain informed consent, deal with unanticipated incidents during the research process, and choose the interview language(s) are discussed in depth.


Qualitative Research, Methodological Issues, Cultural Adaptation, Immigrant Populations, Chinese Kenyan

Publication Date


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.




Submission Location


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.