The discipline of human communication sciences and disorders (HCSD) has a long history of research into the nature, development, and use of normal communicative processes, as well as the investigation of communicative impairments. Although a majority of this work has been conducted using experimental or quantitative research, there has always been some percentage of research conducted through qualitative research methods. Across the history of HCSD, much of this qualitative research involved longitudinal investigations and case studies; however, this has been changing since the 1990s as a greater diversity of qualitative approaches and methodologies has been employed in the discipline. This increased application of qualitative research is understandable, when the strengths and advantages of this research paradigm are explored. This entry will discuss a definition ...

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