In qualitative research, there is a growing interest in understanding the use of timelines in combination with other qualitative methods. In this paper, we will address how the creation of timelines facilitated and informed the process of semi-structured interviews. We used an interpretive descriptive qualitative study to understand the perceptions and experiences of developing sexuality among female adolescents of Pakistani descent, and timelines were used as a part of the semi-structured interview process. Timelines were created in a participatory way in which girls were asked to recount significant events related to their sexuality. We found that the methodological combinations within qualitative research such as semi-structured interviews and timelines have the potential to advance knowledge regarding the experience of immigrant female adolescents’ sexuality. Using the timeline strategy to collect data helped in building rapport with the participants, allowed the participants to become active partners and navigate the process, and helped them to think about future resolutions through reflection.


timelines, qualitative methods, immigrant, female adolescents, interviews, sexuality

Author Bio(s)

Neelam Punjani is a post-doctoral fellow with the ECHO team in collaboration with the AHS Department of Healthy Children and Families. She also works as an Assistant Lecturer at the Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta. Neelam has a deep passion for promoting positive sexual health outcomes among children and young people using innovative approaches. Please direct correspondence to npunjani@ualberta.ca.

Elisavet Papathanassoglou is a Professor at the Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta and a Scientific Director, Neurosciences, Rehabilitation & Vision Strategic Clinical Network, Alberta Health Services. Her research interests combine basic science with the nursing management of acutely ill patients. She explores the effects of non-pharmacological, integrative interventions and stress responses in critical care. Please direct correspondence to papathan@ualberta.ca.

Kathleen Hegadoren is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Alberta, Faculty of Nursing. Her area of research expertise is examining factors that increase women’s vulnerability for stress-related disorders and psychopharmacology. Please direct correspondence to kathy.hegadoren@ualberta.ca.

Zubia Mumtaz is a Professor at the School of Public Health, University of Alberta. Her research focuses on social determinants of maternal health in the global context, looking at how factors like gender, class, and caste influence health. Please direct correspondence to zmumtaz@ualberta.ca.

Saima Hirani is an Assistant Professor at the UBC, School of Nursing. Her research interests relate to mental health and mental health promotion, particularly for vulnerable and high-risk populations. Please direct correspondence to saima.hirani@ubc.ca.

Margot Jackson is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Nursing at MacEwan University. Her research and professional interests focus on the area of Child and Youth Mental Health as well as vulnerable populations and community health. Please direct correspondence to jacksonm5@macewan.ca.


This study was generously supported by funding from Aga Khan Foundation Scholarship (AKF), Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Scholarship, Women & Children’s Health Research Institute (WCHRI), Alberta Registered Nursing Educational Trust (ARNET), and Delta Kappa Gamma World Fellowship (DKG).

Publication Date


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




https://orcid.org/ 0000-0001-9615-0430



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