Using Thematic Analysis in Psychology Essay Paper

Thematic Analysis:

This thematic analysis is an examination of interview data that was conducted as part of talking to various people from a range of different backgrounds regarding their experiences. The interviewer was basically trying to analyze how idleness contributes to lack of physical exercise and drug abuse among the youth. In this interview, the interviewer explores whether individuals who engage in minimal physical exercise understand the importance of exercising and how it eventually contributes to drug abuse. Based on the resultant drug abuse behavior, the interviewer also analyzes whether these people understand the dangers of using such drugs and how it leads them to improper sexual behaviors. As part of the examination, the contribution of improper sexual behaviors to sexually transmitted diseases through involvement with multiple partners is also discussed. Generally, lack of employment and idleness contributes to a higher rate of lack of physical exercise which in turn results in improper sexual behaviors that lead to the spread of sexually transmitted diseases like HIV / AIDS.

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Part One – Analysis:

The lack of employment opportunities and minimal physical exercise influences the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases through improper sexual behaviors. The two major analytic approaches on the interview data that are used to show this relationship are the realist or essentialist approach and the constructionist perspective. Through the realist approach, this essay will basically theorize the motivations and experiences of the interviewee. This helps in identifying what the interviewee feels, thinks and how he acts based on these feelings, thoughts, experiences, and motivations. The realist approach is critical in this thematic analysis because it helps in shedding more light on how idleness or lack of employment can contribute to spread of sexually transmitted diseases through several issues or matters raised by the interviewee.

The second analytic method used in this evaluation is the constructionist approach is used to derive meaning and experience that are socially produced and reproduced instead of inhering within individuals. Since this approach does not necessarily focus on the motivation or psychologies of individuals, it promotes theorizing of social contexts and structural conditions based on the provided individual account (Braun & Clarke, n.d.). This approach will basically be vital in showing the link between joblessness and spread of sexually transmitted behaviors across the society depending on the accounts of the interviewee.

As previously mentioned, the focus of the interview is to show the link between joblessness and spread of diseases transmitted through sexual interactions among young people. As a result, the interview covers various topics beginning lack of enough physical exercise, drug abuse, lack of responsibility, sexual behaviors, and contacting sexually transmitted diseases. While conducting the interview, the interviewer seeks to understand whether the interviewee understands the connection between each of these aspects in contributing to the diseases. In tackling physical exercise, the interviewer seeks to understand whether the interviewee knows the importance of physical exercise and why he doesn’t exercise adequately or regularly. Moreover, he also seeks to understand whether the interviewee knows that drug abuse contribute to improper sexual behaviors, which pose serious health concerns. The need to avoid and the processes for overcoming these risky behaviors are also discussed in the interview. In order to show the link, the main aspects covered in the interview include & #8230;.

Joblessness and Physical Activity:

While the interviewer begins by asking the interviewee’s age, the first aspect of interview is joblessness as the interview asks about the kind of activities the interviewee is involved in. While alluding to joblessness, he reports of minimal physical activity with friends like playing football and taking a walk. Joblessness mainly contributes to idleness which in turn results in drug abuse though the interviewee understands the importance of physical exercise to healthy living. The lack of regular or adequate physical activity by the individual is also attributed to the person’s lack of motivation to go out and do something physical. The interviewee is primarily involved in physical activity and exercise primarily for leisure purposes rather than a necessity for healthy living.

Drug Abuse:

As the individual remains idle and involved in irregular and inadequate physical activity, he is heavily involved in drug abuse. Heavy drug use is evident in the interviewee words and throughout the interview as he cites various factors and reasons for the drug use. He states, “Um I smoke about twenty, fifteen or twenty cigarettes a day. So & #8230; And drinking & #8230; normally I’d do about twelve, twelve cans a day.” The main reason for smoking is basically for the nicotine buzz and drinking is as a result of influence from the interviewee’s peers.

Despite of the heavy use of drugs, the interview understands the negative effects of these actions though he is less worried about them. Actually, the individual is only concerned about the negative effects of his heavy use of drugs when he gets sick. However, he is quick to brush off those concerns by arguing that everyone gets sick. He says, “No. Just apart from being sick, that’s just when I’ve had too many, but I still drink & #8230; because it’s just natural & #8230; being sick.”

This individual is also involved in the use of marijuana and other drugs because of heavy drinking and smoking though he doesn’t consider himself an alcoholic. While he doesn’t use hard or class A drugs, he uses pills and approximately 10 joints of cannabis on a daily basis. As compared, to the use of alcohol and cigarettes, the individual has been using cannabis regularly for almost a decade.

Sexual Behaviors:

Drug use has a major impact on the involvement of the individual in improper sexual behaviors. While he understands the dangers of such actions and recognizes the importance of having one sexual partners or girlfriend to settle down with, he is involved in sexual intercourse because of drugs. For instance, he argues that, “But sometimes if I’m, if I have a drink, sometimes if I have that much to drink & #8230; you just & #8230; forget all about that, and you just go straight on with it.”

Contacting Sexually Transmitted Diseases:

The involvement in sexual improper sexual behaviors with multiple partners because of drug use contributes to the possibility of contacting sexually transmitted diseases. The individual in this interview shows his concern of contacting these diseases by the tests he has undergone after being involved in sexual intercourse because of taking too much alcohol. Actually, he is usually cautious to avoid sexual intercourse because of the possibility to contact these diseases and the likelihood of the lady to become pregnant.


The final aspect covered in the interview is the role of irresponsibility in contributing to improper sexual behaviors and spread of associated diseases. The individual state that he could lessen his level of drinking, smoking, and using drugs like cannabis if he had a family to take care of. He argues that if he had a wife and child to take care of, it would force him to reduce the amount of cigarettes, alcohol, and pills that he uses. He believes that such an initiative could help him to stop everything, begin a new life, and sort things out as he seeks to be fit and healthy. Therefore, he considers that a job or a place to make money is critical in contributing to responsibility and avoiding improper behaviors.

Themes from the Interview:

There are various themes that can be derived from this interview regarding the link between drug abuse and transmission of STDs and HIV / AIDS. According to the interviewee, the lack of employment opportunities contribute to increased drug abuse among young people. While there are various types of STD’s, there are some common ones like Chlamydial Infection that affects both men and women and it’s caused during oral or vaginal sex. The impact of drug abuse and spread of sexually transmitted diseases has been a subject of increased analysis in the recent past. Alcohol and drug abuse aggravates the spread of these diseases through contributing to improper sexual behaviors and resulting in lessened immunity to them. In addition to lowering an individual’s resistance to disease, alcohol and drug abuse lowers the ability of the body to fight diseases effectively (“Unit 1 — Link Between,” n.d.).

As evident in the individual’s account, involvement in alcohol, smoking, and drug abuse contributes to the likelihood of being involved in sexual practices. This is largely because it causes negative behavioral changes on the individual and drives them to regrettable experiences and actions. After taking drugs and alcohol, a person is likely to be involved in sexual practices with unknown partners and have unprotected sex that can result in the transmission of these diseases. Therefore, alcohol and drug abuse is largely interconnected to the spread of sexually transmitted diseases as many young people become victims to the huge problem in the modern society.

The spread of these diseases through alcohol and drug abuse among young people is also attributed to the fact that these individuals have become more financial independence as compared with the previous generations. Due to the increased financial independence, young people have more mobility and occasions or events that enable them to experiment new kinds of behaviors. The cumulative effect of these changes is that adolescents and young people are exposed to increasingly risky environments. In most cases, these people have become victims of risky sexual behaviors and casual sex that are likely to contribute to the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

The second major theme from the interview is the impact of lack of employment and increased drug abuse among the youth. Actually, there are various studies on whether joblessness promotes drug use or whether drug use contributes to employment problems. As evident in the interview, casual drug use not only contributes to huge personal problems but it also results in social consequences. However, lack of employment has a significant influence of the probability of young people to be involved in drug use. Generally, lack of employment contributes to the probability of an individual to become idle and irresponsible, which in turn drives them into use of drugs.

In most cases, there is a tendency for people to lessen their use of alcohol, cigarettes, and other drugs if they are employed. These individuals would actually prefer to take drugs during other hours except during their normal working hours such as weekends. Therefore, the involvement of men and women in drug use that can sometimes become chronic is linked to their employment status (French, Roebuck & Alexandre, 2001). As a result of the increased use of drugs, the individuals become incapable of working in the labor market and end up being irresponsible men and women. The main reason for jobless people to engage in increased drug use is idleness, which is major factor that results in the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. As individuals are idle, they engage in increased use of alcohol, cigarettes and other drugs that result in improper sexual behaviors. Consequently, joblessness can also be considered as a factor that results in the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

Part Two – Reflective Discussion:

Qualitative data analysis is the process with which data is analyzed in the entire research beginning with the conceptualization to data collection stages and the interpretation and writing stages. The data used in this analysis can be regarded as rough materials collected by researchers from the area of study to form the basis of analysis. While there are several forms of qualitative data, words are usually seen as raw materials that are analyzed by qualitative researchers and discussed in the analysis processes.

In the qualitative analysis process, researchers tend to select the analysis methods depending on the research questions and collected data types as well as the philosophical approach within the study. Some of the most common approaches used in qualitative analysis include interpretive, collaborative social research, and social anthropology. Interpretive approach is primarily based on social interactionism while collaborative approach is normally used in partnerships with many or opposing organizations. On the other hand, social anthropology is an approach that basically depends on ethnography as researchers seek to provide significant descriptions across several data sources.

In most cases, qualitative analysis incorporates three simultaneous flows of activity i.e. data reduction, display of data, and drawing or verifying conclusion (“Analyzing Qualitative Data,” 2001). Data reduction involves theorizing the study, developing it, and examining the theories depending on the patterns seen in the data continually. During the process of data reduction to identify, develop, and testing theories, qualitative researchers usually compare, contrast, sort, cumulate, and order data. The main goal of seeking for patterns, relationships, and links in the data is for the researcher to determine the meaning of the data.

The second stage in the process of qualitative analysis is to code data which involves evaluating recorded data and developing categories of phenomena. Generally, coding data or data display is the process with which the researcher manages data through labeling, storing, and retrieving it based on the codes. In some cases, data is displayed visually through the use of diagrams, charts, graphs, tables, drawings, matrices, and other devices identified by the researcher. This process is geared towards interpreting results and writing up, which is basically linked to the final stage of drawing and verifying conclusions. Actually, drawing and verifying conclusions involves writing the report of the qualitative analysis.

Unlike other analyses, qualitative analysis is usually conducted on words and observations rather than numbers. Similar to other data types, analyzing and interpreting qualitative data is necessary for bringing order and understanding of the evaluation process or topic of study. It’s important for the researcher to corroborate and validate throughout the entire process of collecting, analyzing, and writing-up qualitative data. This is vital in order for the researcher to present reliable results of the analysis to the readers. When collaboration and validation of qualitative data is not conducted, there is a likelihood of the results to be ineffective, which affects the importance of conducting the study. As a result, there are various strategies for conducting qualitative analysis depending on the convenience of the researcher in order to improve the efficiency of the results.


As qualitative approaches are unbelievably diverse, multifaceted, and shaded, thematic analysis should be regarded as the foundational method of qualitative analysis. Therefore, it’s the first method for qualitative analysis that researchers should learn because it provides foundational skills for the other forms of qualitative analysis. Moreover, this method consists of various strategies because of its flexibility that is advantageous to researchers.


Braun, V & Clarke, V (n.d.), Using Thematic Analysis in Psychology, University of the West of England – Bristol, viewed 4 June 2012,

French, M.T., Roebuck, M.C. & Alexandre, P.K (2001), Illicit Drug Use, Employment, and Labor Force Participation, Southern Economic Journal, vol. 68, no. 2, pp. 349-368,


Indira Gandhi National Open University (n.d.), Unit 1 — Link between Alcohol, Drugs, STDS and HIV — Its Relevance in the Present Day Context, eGyanKosh, viewed 4 June 2012,


The Handbook of Research for Educational Communications and Technology (2001), Analyzing

Qualitative Data, The Association for Educational Communications and Technology, viewed 4 June 2012,

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