Research Output
Using focus groups in naturally occurring settings
  Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to reflect on the experiences of conducting focus groups amongst acquaintances in naturally occurring settings, where participants were known to each other and participation was less about being recruited, and more about being there when the focus group took place.
Design/methodology/approach – This was a qualitative study of multi-generational experiences of teenage parenting, and used interviews and focus groups. The study took an ethnographic approach, using case studies with a small number (4) of families, plus supplementary interviews, and focus groups with teenage parents and parents-to-be.
Findings – Using focus groups in naturally occurring settings alongside other qualitative data
collection affords insights into the research topic that would not otherwise be available.
Originality/value – The paper discusses the challenges and benefits of using naturally occurring
groups, and reflects on the way the findings from these groups illuminated aspects of the study
concerning relationships. It argues that naturally occurring groups have advantages over conventionally
organised focus groups that contribute to a deeper understanding of relationships between members.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    18 November 2013

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  • Library of Congress:

    HQ The family. Marriage. Woman

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    306 Culture & institutions


Brown, S. (2013). Using focus groups in naturally occurring settings. Qualitative Research Journal, 15, 86-97.



Relationships; focus groups; qualitative; families; teenage parenting;

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