Quality & Quantity

, Volume 52, Issue 4, pp 1731–1760 | Cite as

A comparison of qualitatively and quantitatively driven analytic procedures of psychotherapeutic group sessions with deviant adolescents

  • Eugenio De GregorioEmail author
  • Ivana Tagliafico
  • Alfredo Verde


The present paper deals with the therapy-related change in a group of deviant adolescents attending a therapeutic facility. The main issue of two studies reported here is to identify pattern of changes through different methods. The paper describes how the mixing of two different types of analysis may yield a more complex and complete view of the data. The analyses were performed at the same time: the first part (study 1), which was of a clinical–quantitative nature, involved picking out changerelated features through the analysis of the frequency of lemmas in the content of the sessions; the second part (study 2) had a qualitative orientation and traced the pattern of narrative themes in the sessions during the course of time. In both studies, the same data were analyzed at the same times, though each study adopted a different approach. While both approaches focused on change, the results brought out different aspects: the study that adopted the quantitative/clinical approach highlighted changerelated problems and proposed an explanation in terms of the “deviant peer effect”; by contrast, the qualitative study underlined the possibilities offered by change and viewed therapeutic change in terms of the shift in narrative themes from the detachment and lack of responsibility initially shown by the youths towards progressive maturation that may have been due to the efficacy of the therapy. The discussion of results brings us to consider the fuzzy set approach for future research into the field of criminology and group therapy. In conclusion, the paper shows that looking at the same data through two different methodological “lenses” yields different, and only apparently contradictory, conclusions.


Group psychotherapy Change Narrative MAXQDA Mixed analysis T-LAB 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Health Sciences, Section of CriminologyUniversity of GenoaGenoaItaly

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