What seemed to be an easy and fast project, evolved to a much more complex project. I am creating a codebook of the qualitative responses of undocumented students describing their psychological well-being and/or experience. To avoid bias, I have two coders helping me read the 19 interview sessions. We meet on a weekly basis in order to create the codebook. We are currently on level one of the Ground Theory coding. In level one, we read all the interview sessions and find common themes that seem to come up among all the interview sessions. They are very specific phrases and/or themes(e.g., Feeling less in touch with their American identity because it emphasizes a more individualist approach) . We currently have several themes that we think have emerged, and we all agreed on them. We mostly have found codes for the first 3 sections of the interview sessions, which include questions regarding acculturation (i.e., how they are adapting to a new culture), the challenges of being undocumented, and their approach to school (i.e., who influenced their approach to school).
I initially thought it would be easier to create a codebook, where I would have defined themes within the first week, but it is more complex than I thought. It takes time for all three of us to read and re-read the interview sessions and then come up with themes. However, we are half way done creating the codebook. It has been especially hard for me because not only do I have to read the interview sessions very closely to try to interpret their responses in a non-bias way, but also I have to read the other coders themes and make a list of all our themes. I am still having a lot of fun, because it is something I am so passionate about. Their responses are interesting and I know this data will contribute to the literature on the mental health of undocumented students.