A problem with the popular desire to legitimate one’s research through the inclusion of reflexivity is its increasingly uncritical adoption and practice, with most researchers failing to define their understandings, specific positions, and approaches. Considering the relative recentness with which reflexivity has been explicitly described in the context of grounded theory, guidance for incorporating it within this research approach is currently in the early stages. In this article, we illustrate a three-stage approach used in a grounded theory study of how parents of children with autism navigate intervention. Within this approach, different understandings of reflexivity are first explored and mapped, a methodologically consistent position that includes the aspects of reflexivity one will address is specified, and reflexivity-related observations are generated and ultimately reported. According to the position specified, we reflexively account for multiple researcher influences, including on methodological decisions, participant interactions and data collection, analysis, writing, and influence of the research on the researcher. We hope this illustrated approach may serve both as a potential model for how researchers can critically design and implement their own context-specific approach to reflexivity, and as a stimulus for further methodological discussion of how to incorporate reflexivity into grounded theory research.


Reflexivity, Grounded Theory, Methodological Congruence, Theoretical Sensitivity, Participant Disclosure, Autism, Service Navigation, Parenting


Stephen J. Gentles gratefully acknowledges support from the Autism Research Training Program and a Knowledge Translation Canada Fellowship, both Strategic Training Initiatives in Health Research funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research; and a stimulus grant from Autism Ontario.

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.