From a Trickle to Torrents: The Lived Experience of Grounded Theory in Research on Undergraduate Student Mothers
The purpose of this paper is to highlight the success and usefulness of using grounded theory methodology in qualitative research. It is intended for scholars and researchers using qualitative methods, especially supervisors who are apprehensive over issues of validity in grounded theory approaches in researching lived experience. The study sought to fulfil the objectives: To explore the emergence of Grounded Theory in research on lived experience; To identify the challenges of using grounded theory researching lied experience, and; To highlight successful use of grounded theory in the lived experience of undergraduate student mother research. Through descriptive phenomenology, this paper illustrates such dynamics of research in Grounded Theory as a method in data collection in lived experience of undergraduate student mothers. The blueprint of Grounded Theory is traced through the research process in a mixture of content analysis of the research outcome and the lived experience narrative approach adopted by the researcher. Findings, brought out as lived experience of the research reveal that Grounded Theory procedures are thorough while its results are apt and resourceful in bringing out the often elusive data about which assumptions dominate. It delves into the unknown, giving voice to the voiceless. Though various researchers qualify its tedious procedures, Grounded Theory as a method was found appropriate, effective and highly resourceful in accessing data in the study on lived experience; that of the undergraduate student mothers. The paper recommends Grounded Theory be demystified by adopting it in relevant research as commitment in the management of data and the research process. The nature of research and the social cultural context should be a guiding factor in successful Grounded Theory methodology.
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