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Methodology: Methodology Justification

This study adopts one design of the mixed methods—the sequential explanatory design. This design is characterized by the collection and analysis of quantitative data followed by the collection and analysis of qualitative data. The underlying epistemology for this methodology is based on Behren and Smith’s arguments. Behren and Smith (Behrens and Smith 1996) argued that there is compatibility between a statistical analysis and qualitative analysis.

Using a single method of inquiry leaves one open to “method error.” Using more than one method allows one to juxtapose one set of data against another, sequentially posing and discarding alternative hypothesis, and leaving a clear trail for readers to audit, and one hopes, a plausible account of evidence and reasoning about it (p. 947).

Besides epistemology, research purpose also determines the choices of the mixed methods. For the present study, quantitative method, through survey techniques, is helpful to eliminate those factors which were not significant stressors or coping strategies of Chinese students. Also, after comparing the result of the present study with those of previous studies, I found unexpected results arose from the quantitative study but the quantitative study alone could not explain. In this case, qualitative data is employed to assist in interpreting the findings of the quantitative study. Just as Tashakkori and Teddlie (2003) maintained, qualitative methods are an essential complement to quantitative methods.

Such methodology is also justified by Tashakkori and Teddlie’s (2003) argument. They pointed out that if the purpose of the mixed methods research is initiation (i.e., discovering paradoxes and contradictions), then a sequential mixed analysis is most likely appropriate.

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017 33

K. Yan, Chinese International Students’ Stressors and Coping Strategies in the United States, Education in the Asia-Pacific Region: Issues, Concerns and Prospects 37,

DOI 10.1007/978-981-10-3347-6_4

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