Ronkainen, N., Wiltshire, G., & Willis, M. (2022). Meta-Study. International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 15(1), 226-241. https://doi.org/10.1080/1750984x.2021.1931941
© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
Meta-study is a method for analysing the content and the process of knowledge production in a body of qualitative research. Conducting a meta-study involves four steps: (1) meta-data-analysis which involves the study of empirical findings; (2) meta-method which examines the epistemological soundness and rigour of methods; (3) meta-theory which examines the structures, assumptions, and principles underpinning the primary research studies; and (4) meta-synthesis which brings the three steps together and considers the plausibility of existing accounts, what has been neglected, and what new avenues have been opened for advancing knowledge. Qualitative researchers in sport and exercise psychology (SEP) have recently started using meta-study to examine bodies of qualitative research in various areas including positive youth development, junior-to-senior transition, athletic identity and mental toughness development. Our review shows that meta-study has been a useful method for demonstrating how methodological developments have influenced how qualitative researchers apply methods and conceptualise the phenomena of interest. However, there have been diverse applications of meta-study and, in the absence of recent updates on the method, meta-study is in danger of remaining underdeveloped or becoming outdated. Based on the review, we outline guidelines for SEP scholars to employ meta-study rigorously. ...
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