Sampling Richness and Qualitative Integrity: Challenges for Research With Families

Kevin Roy, Anisa Zvonkovic, Abbie Goldberg, Elizabeth Sharp, Ralph Larossa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Sampling is one of the most difficult and contentious aspects of qualitative research design. There are few guidelines for sampling decisions or for understanding saturation in qualitative family research. The authors frame the problematic of data quality in the selection of units of analysis and observation and consider how to enhance sample richness. They outline considerations for data quantity and sample size as well as case- and variable-based approaches. With multiple examples from recent and classic studies to illustrate the consequences of sampling decisions, they explore links between saturation and validity. Finally, they encourage researchers to craft a coherent statement on qualitative integrity to demonstrate how their sampling decisions are rooted in epistemology, theory, and richness and quality of data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-260
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015


  • Ethnography
  • Grounded theory
  • Qualitative research


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