Graduation Year


Document Type

Ed. Specalist



Degree Granting Department

Psychological and Social Foundations

Major Professor

Ellen Kimmel, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Linda Raffaele-Mendez, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Robert Dedrick, Ph.D.


phenomenology, authentic voice, silencing, silenced, depression, school


The purpose of this study was to examine the meaning of the Loss of Voice experience in adolescent girls using an existential-phenomenological interview approach. An open-ended interview was conducted and participants were asked to "Please think of a specific time when you had something important to say, but did not say it. In as much detail as possible, describe that experience." Each interview was tape-recorded, transcribed by the investigator, and then independently thematized (Jones, 1984) by the author and a doctoral colleague trained in Jones' (1984) analysis method. Interrater reliability of the themes reached 96% agreement for the overall sample. Individual transcription reliabilities ranged between 85-98%. Thematic analysis revealed six superordinate themes and four subthemes. The superordinate themes were Difficult Position, Feeling, Might Explode, Not Worth It, Who Am I?, and Nevermind. The subthemes So Much To Lose and Strong were part of superordinate theme Difficult Position. The subthemes Emotion and Physical were part of the superordinate theme Feeling. Analysis of these themes in their totality suggested a complex meaning structure of co-researchers Loss of Voice experiences. This research supports and expands the current literature on Loss of Voice by providing a more in-depth study of the meaning contained in a Loss of Voice experience. Directions for future research efforts, intervention, and prevention education are discussed.