PhD Programs that support qualitative research

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by qualpsych, 09.23.14.

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  1. qualpsych

    qualpsych

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    I have an MA in psychology and am planning to apply to PhD programs in clinical psych. My research thesis was a qualitative, exploratory study on depression. I have no experience in quantitative research, aside from my required course in stats (I got an A if that counts for anything). I have been struggling to find doctoral programs with faculty that support qualitative research. I am not opposed to doing quantitative - but I really do enjoy qualitative, have an aptitude for it, and would like to continue doing it. Also, since it is the only research experience I have, I'm under the assumption that faculty who do quantitative work would not think my background makes me a good fit for them. Is this true? Does type of research or topic of research matter more - i.e. is it more important the faculty I find are researching depression, or more important they are conducting qualitative research?

    I also come from a psychodynamically oriented program - hard to find doctoral programs with this emphasis. I understand it's more common in PsyD programs, but I really want to produce research (and not be in debt). Is it wise not to keep psychoanalysis in mind as my theoretical interest if I want to get a PhD?

    Thanks!
     
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  3. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    I would really recommend getting experience in quantitative as well. Qualitative research is great, but it only goes so far. Getting a solid quant background in addition to the qual stuff will make you much more rounded and much more attractive on the job market. More and more you need empirical data driven approaches to secure grant funding and such.
     
  4. PlasticBag

    PlasticBag 2+ Year Member

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    I believe that many faculty members at CUNY are psychodynamically oriented
     
  5. qualpsych

    qualpsych

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    Thank you both. I will check CUNY. There are several faculty I've found researching the depression my study looked at (postpartum) but their methods are all quantitative except for 1 mixed methods. Maybe next I should post in the WAMC thread...I'm just not sure how badly not having direct quant. experience will hurt me when applying to work with mentors who do quant/mixed methods. My only other thought was Duquesne since they seem to value phenomenological research.
     
  6. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    I don't think it will hurt that badly, but you will have to tell a story about how you may want to continue with the qual stuff while also expanding the findings to more quant projects. I would definitely be looking down the road to how marketable you will be on the job market. Look for those skills now.
     
  7. qualpsych

    qualpsych

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    That is good advice - thank you. My thesis does include in its discussion an idea for future research that could involve a larger scale quantitative study, so I will be sure to expand on that to discuss in my statement of purpose.
     
  8. smalltownpsych

    smalltownpsych 2+ Year Member

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    Exactly. Qualitative research can be great for generating testable hypotheses. I see the strengths of both types and some of the qualitative research I have read is quite frankly, long-winded and poorly constructed. So if yours was a well-designed study that can lead to more clarity on specific aspects of depression that are predictive of outcome or treatment or ______, then start working on that next step.
     
  9. Ollie123

    Ollie123 7+ Year Member

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    I wouldn't by any stretch of the imagination rule out the possibility of working with quantitative folks. Qualitative methodology has come a long way over the past couple decades and is gaining widespread acceptance in many circles. Even large federal grants quite frequently include qualitative components these days. As noted above - the two approaches really do complement one another and allow you to ask and answer different questions. There is certainly plenty of bad qualitative research out there where people try to use it as a substitute for quantitative approaches (i.e. "We asked people if they thought the treatment and they said yes so it works and we can skip the clinical trial!") but as smalltownpsych said - it is ideal for exploratory questions, generating hypotheses, etc. As long as your experience with it is solid, I think it would be viewed as an asset vs. a weakness. I regret not doing any in my graduate program and am trying to figure out how to get that experience on post-doc (along with neuroimaging...haven't yet sorted out how I'm going to combine those two!).
     
    futureapppsy2 likes this.
  10. qualpsych

    qualpsych

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    Thanks everyone - I appreciate the advice and will keep all of your input in mind when preparing my applications.
     

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