Qualitative Content Analysis Paper

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To examine specific misconceptions about autism and/or any potential areas of misinterpretation about behaviours of individuals with autism that may have an influence on their attitudes or behaviour intentions toward peers with autism, qualitative content analysis served as the basis of data analysis method in this study. Qualitative content analysis was chosen because: (a) the research goals of this study were to describe meaning of materials and develop categories or themes; (b) content analysis method is widely used to understand the meaning of social reality or phenomena through verbal or written communication materials; and (c) in content analysis, coding categories can be derived from the data, relevant existing theory, or previous research (Cho & Lee, 2014).
The data analysis process in content analysis consists of the following core steps: (a) selecting the unit of analysis (i.e., open coding and reduction), (b) creating categories (i.e., categorising), and (c) finding themes from
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“What is autism?” coding manual was initially developed in Morton’s study (2008, as cited in Campbell et al., 2011), and was modified in Campbell et al.’s study (2011). The coding manual was utilised to examine thematic contents of participants’ definitions of autism. Since Campbell et al.’s study was published in 2011, which was before the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5, American Psychiatric Association, 2013) has been introduced and the criteria for a diagnosis of autism have been changed, the present study required changes to the criteria for assessing participants’ knowledge of autism. Thus, to determine the correctness and accuracy of responses, the DSM-5 was
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