Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Leadership, Research and Technology

First Advisor

Dr. Brooks Appelgate


The purpose of this study was to explore the results of literature review methods operating out of interpretivist and positivist paradigms. Using existingstudies on racial and ethnic matching of African American and Caucasian American clients and clinicians as data, my investigation included an examination of the research processes and results of an extended meta-ethnography (EME) and a published meta-analysis (PMA). The premise of my investigation was that both review methods include and, furthermore, require some level of interpretation, as answers are sought by researchers for their questions or areas ofinterest. Furthermore, my exploration included comparing the EME and PMA results using a newly developed analytical framework of the four primary micro-purposes of a literature review.

I considered the same 139 studies used in the PMA for the conduct of the EME. I reviewed each study based on specific EME inclusion criteria and, eventually, excluded from or included in the resultant EME sample of 27 studies, which included 17 more studies than were used in the PMA. After coding and analyzing the data from the EME, I critically analyzed and compared both the EME and PMA research processes and interpretive results, guided by aqualitative perspective which elucidated the similarities and differences manifested in the results.

Findings of this study indicate that EME and PMA share some common ground with use of both methods involving systematically identifying, organizing, transforming, limiting, integrating, and interpreting data. Use of the EME led me to some of the same knowledge generated by the PMA. However, in the end,the conduct of the EME yielded a wider breadth of understanding that was available because with the EME, I could benefit from accessible data that is considered unusable for the purposes of the PMA and, therefore, overlooked by the PMA. Regardless of which method is used, the purpose of the studyguides the research process, affects what the researcher discovers and the meaning the researcher applies to this discovery, and informs how the researcher integrates this new understanding into the broader domain of interest.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access