Grounded theory methods

Jennifer L. Hardesty, Kimberly A. Crossman, Megan L. Haselschwerdt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Grounded theory (GT) is a method for developing substantive theory grounded in data that are systematically collected and analyzed (Strauss & Corbin, 1998a, 1998b). Although theory construction is highly valued in family science (LaRossa, 2005), this edition of the Sourcebook is the first to feature a chapter focused solely on GT methods. As one of the most widely used (Belgrave & Seide, 2019) and often misunderstood qualitative methods, this chapter offers an opportunity to evaluate and enhance its use in family science research. We focus on GT as a family of methods (Bryant & Charmaz, 2007) with a long and rich history, persistent debates and challenges, diverse approaches, and immense potential to contribute to our understanding of families. In this chapter, we discuss the origins, assumptions, and core procedures and concepts of GT methods generally and then demonstrate and evaluate their use in family science. We close with recommendations related to the future of GT methods in family science. Theory is highly valued in family science, and GT methods offer family scholars rigorous and diverse procedures for theorizing family processes in the context of our rapidly changing world.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSourcebook of Family Theories and Methodologies
Subtitle of host publicationA Dynamic Approach
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9783030920029
ISBN (Print)9783030920012
StatePublished - Nov 7 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology
  • General Social Sciences
  • General Medicine


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