Using Data Triangulation of Mother and Daughter Interviews to Enhance Research about Families

Roberta G. Sands, Dorit Roer-Strier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Qualitative researchers use the term triangulation to describe the use of multiple strategies to study the same phenomenon. Although it is endorsed in social work research textbooks and contested in the literature, qualitative social work researchers are left on their own to determine how to ‘do’ triangulation. This article discusses triangulation, including recent debates around the concept. It describes two methods of data triangulation and illustrates them with examples from the study of mothers and daughters coping with a daughter's religious intensification. From the first method, a comparative analysis of mother-daughter dyads, the authors identify and provide examples of five types of triangulated data: (1) same story, same meaning; (2) same story, different interpretations; (3) missing pieces; (4) unique information; and (5) illuminating. The second method, triangulation within groups and between groups, makes visible perspectives that are common and distinct to mothers and daughters as members of different cultural groups. The article discusses the advantages of systematic data triangulation for qualitative research and draws implications for social work research and practice.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)237-260
Number of pages24
JournalQualitative Social Work
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2006


  • dyad
  • families
  • group
  • qualitative research
  • triangulation


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