Dyadic interviews are an approach to qualitative data collection designed to understand the meaning pairs of individuals make from experiences. The greatest benefit of dyadic interviews, and perhaps a reason for their gaining momentum in the literature, is that they encourage participants to interact, resulting in detailed and complex descriptions of phenomena. However, dyadic interviews pose challenges to qualitative researchers. Researchers must figure out how to account for the presence of two interviewees, any differences in perspective, and interactions. Unfortunately, no known study demonstrates how the interactions of dyadic interviews can be analyzed in accordance with a methodological approach. Rather, researchers tend to observe pre-existing methods without direct mention of modification for conducting and analyzing dyadic interviews. Thus, the degree to which participant interactions are being analyzed in current studies remains unknown. In the following paper, we use Giorgi’s (2009) descriptive psychological phenomenology as an exemplar for how dyadic interviews may be applied to qualitative investigations. The theoretical fit of dyadic interviews with Giorgi’s approach, proposed modifications, and their limitations, are discussed.


Dyadic Interviews, Qualitative Research Methods, Descriptive Phenomenology, Descriptive Psychological Phenomenology, Shared Experience

Author Bio(s)

Michelle Tkachuk is a provisional psychologist and PhD candidate in the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary. Her research interests include the development and treatment of eating disorders, teacher health and wellness education, and the process of couple’s therapy for couples where weight related concerns are present. She is also a provisional psychologist in Alberta, specializing in family and couple therapy, and the treatment of eating disorders and depression. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: tkachuk.michelle@gmail.com.

Dr. Russell Mayhew is a Professor and Registered Psychologist with a research program in the prevention and treatment of eating and weight-related issues. Dr. Russell-Mayhew’s research: (a) focuses on the prevention of eating-related issues particularly in school contexts; (b) considers the risk and protective factors that integrate the prevention of eating disorders and obesity with the promotion of mental wellness and resiliency; (c) uses various and mixed methodological designs to capture both process and outcome; and (d) capitalizes on interdisciplinary knowledge in creating research teams. Her research is informed by clinical and research experience in interdisciplinary team contexts, as well as linkages between her work in academia and committee work with policy-makers and community partners. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: mkrussel@ucalgary.ca.

Dr. Anusha Kassan is an assistant professor and Registered Psychologist in the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary. Her scholarly interests are informed by her own bi-cultural identity. As such, her program of study is informed by an overarching social justice lens. Her research presently includes two major foci. First, she is conducting research pertaining to migration experiences across different populations (i.e., newcomer youth, same-sex binational couples, and LGBTQ newcomers). Second, she is carrying out research in the area of teaching and learning, investigating cultural and social justice competencies among graduate students and field supervisors. Dr. Kassan is committed to the implications of this research for counselling training and practice. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: anusha.kassan@ucalgary.ca.

Dr. Gina Dimitropoulos is a registered social worker and associate professor in the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Calgary. She has three broad areas of research that all aim to promote inter-agency collaborations to support young people with mental health issues and their families. Dr. Dimitropoulos is involved as a principal investigator or co-investigator on leading national and international studies evaluating family-based treatments for children and adolescents with eating disorders. Secondly, Dr. Dimitropoulos works with researchers to develop and evaluate best practices for transitioning young people with complex health needs and mental health issues from adolescent to adult services in Alberta. Finally, Dr. Dimitropoulos is involved in research to identify the longitudinal impact of child maltreatment and child pornography on the psycho-social development of children and adolescents. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: gdimit@ucalgary.ca.

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