MAXQDA Data Analysis: Collapsing Sub-codes to Groups

MAXQDA Data Analysis: A Rationale for the Process Used to Collapse the Sub-codes into Groups

For this assignment, assume the role of a researcher in the qualitative analysis phase of the study. The data are gathered imported into MAXQDA for analysis. At this point, there are parent codes and sub-codes. However, the software requires human intervention to move past codes to categories and subsequently themes. Clearly, a category of “interview guide topics” cannot be used in the presentation of research results. In this assignment, you will access MAXQDA and practice creating categories and themes.

MAXQDA Data Analysis in Action: Sample

The Four Categories

The data analyzed in this report is life satisfaction data provided on MAXQDA software as a form of example data. It was coded into different codes, among them being People and Interview Main Topics. There were four categories developed from the sub-codes under “People” and “Interview Main Topics” codes. They are as follows


  • Category 1- Close Family
  • Category 2- Friends and Partners

The People code has five sub-codes, namely Parents, Siblings, Grandparents, Friends, and Partner. The categories created under the People code using MAXQDA Data Analysis software include Close Family and Friends and Partners. The close family included parents, Siblings, and Grandparents. The rationale behind categorizing the three sub-codes emanated from a commonality or a connection in the way most interviewees from these sub-codes responded to the interview questions.

For instance, when Jack was asked about his home life, he said that his parents were ok and his sister was not happy. Similarly, when George was asked about his home life, he said he was on good terms with his mom and dad. Also, he suggested that his brother is a cool kid. Furthermore, there is evidence that the majority of the interviewees know their siblings, parents, and grandparents. Joanna, George, and Vincent mentioned their grandmothers when asked about sadness in their lives. Kelly said her happiest moment was when they were listening to Jewish comedy tape. Such utterances show that the interviewees knew their close relatives. As such, this category was achieved by combining the three sub-codes under the code “People.”

The other category under “People” code was Friends and Partners. The category was created because there was a commonality between the two sub-codes; this is because there was no blood relationship, but they were close to the interviewees, and they interact with them frequently. For example, when Jack was asked about relationships, he said he is still in touch with his friends from high school and that he was his best friend from childhood. Kim also suggests that she was sitting in a café talking to friends when she was asked about recreation.


Interview Main Topics

  • Category 1- Relations
  • Category 2- Life Development

There are six sub-codes under Interview Main Topics, which include career, relationship, overall satisfaction, health, recreation, and home life. Two categories were created, namely relations and life development. Relations category is comprised of home life and relationships sub-codes, these two sub-codes were grouped together due to a common relationship regarding how interviewees interacted with their peers be it at home or out of the home. The other category is life development, which includes career and overall satisfaction. The two sub-codes are related because most satisfied interviewees were in good careers. For example, Grace says that she is happy with her overall life and that she is happy with her career path. Thus, the two sub-codes were fit to be grouped together.

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