Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Interdisciplinary Education

Major Professor

Linda Raffaele Mendez, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Harold Keller, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Robert Dedrick, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Marilyn Myerson, Ph.D.


Existential, Phenomenology, School, Interview, Female, Feminist


The purpose of this study was to examine the meaning of the Expression of Voice experience in adolescent girls using an existential-phenomenological interview approach and also to explore the impact of participation in an interview session talking about Voice. Two open-ended interviews were conducted. During the first interview, participants are asked to "Please think of a specific time when you had something important to say, and although it was difficult, you did speak up and say what you thought. In as much detail as possible, describe that experience." During the second interview, each girl was asked if she "... feel[s] that being involved in this research - my coming to see you - has affected your thoughts, beliefs, or experiences with speaking up and expressing your voice," thereby considering her thoughts, emotions, cognitions and behaviors since the initial interview, talking about them, and noting any changes she may have noticed. Each interview was tape-recorded and transcribed by the investigator. The first interview was independently thematized (Jones, 1984) by the author and a doctoral colleague trained in Jones' (1984) analysis method. The second interview was marked and tallied for shared themes, also by the author and the same doctoral colleague. Interrater reliability of the themes reached 97% agreement for the overall sample. Individual transcription reliabilities ranged between 91-98%. Thematic analysis revealed six superordinate themes and four subthemes. The superordinate themes were Felt Strongly, I Hesitated, A Lot of Feelings, What's Going to Happen, I Have to Do This, and I Felt Better. The subthemes Emotional and Physical were part of superordinate theme A Lot of Feelings. The subthemes Their Reactions and Making a Difference were part of the superordinate theme What’s Going to Happen? Analysis of these protocols in their totality suggested a complex meaning structure of the co-researchers’ Expression of Voice experiences as well as an impact from talking about Voice. This research supports and expands the current literature on Voice, Expression of Voice, and interview participation by providing a more in-depth study of the meaning contained in Expression of Voice and interview experiences. Directions for future research efforts, intervention, and education are discussed.