The Experience Of Doing Phenomenology With Children: Successes and Challenges

Sunday, 17 November 2013: 3:25 PM

Mary Jo Bugel, PhD, RN
School of Nursing, University of Medicine & Dentistry of NJ, Newark, NJ

Learning Objective 1: 1. Describe the challenges with doing phenomenology with young children.

Learning Objective 2: 2. Describe strategies and techniques that are helpful when doing phenomenology with young children.



Mary Jo Bugel, PhD, RN

Phenomenology, which focuses on the lived experience, has not been frequently and regularly chosen as the research methodology for research done with young children as the informants. There has been little research undertaken regarding the perspective of children, with few researchers attempting this methodology with children less than 12 years of age. Yet for some research questions, learning and understanding the experience of children regarding certain health-related problems, from the perspective of children, is critical.

The author will share her experiences regarding phenomenology regarding a study (Bugel, 2011) done with well, school-age siblings (8 to 12 years of age) of hospitalized and injured children. Topics presented will be: recruitment of participants, consent/assent, ethical issues, data collection, and insuring the trustworthiness of the data. Additionally, using Van Manen’s (1990) method of phenomenology, the author will show examples of how examples of the phenomenon existing in popular culture were sought in the lifeworlds of children. Examples will be shown from such as literary and artistic sources as art, songs, books, children’s television programming, and from internet sites frequented by siblings. These sources were ultimately used to triangulate the findings.

Challenges and successes, along with helpful tips for doing phenomenology with children, will be presented.

Key words: children, phenomenology, methods