Based on in-depth interviews we conducted with more than 30 student-veterans enrolled in higher education institutions, in this paper we examine the methodological challenges of collecting qualitative interview data from this population. Situated within the larger interdisciplinary literature of doing qualitative research with vulnerable groups, we explore the implications of student-veterans being labeled as vulnerable by ethics review boards and institutional agents such as veteran’s organizations. Based on our research experience, we argue that framing student-veterans as vulnerable can lead to further stereotyping of this group and to difficulties in accessing an already under-researched population. In addition, our inability to hear the voices and experiences of student veterans can impact the kind of services and support that higher educational institutions can provide them.
Student-Veterans, Vulnerable Groups, Qualitative Interviews, Research Ethics
The authors wish to thank the Cal Poly Pomona Kellogg Legacy Endowment for their support of this research. They would also like to thank Dr. Anthony Ocampo for his helpful feedback on this manuscript.
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Recommended APA Citation
Morales, E., Narayan, A., & Atienza, W. (2019). Vulnerable Vets? How Gatekeeping and Stereotypes Shape Access to Student-Veterans in the Qualitative Interview Process. The Qualitative Report, 24(4), 717-730. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2019.3659