TPC-Journal-Vol 11-Issue-4

The Professional Counselor | Volume 11, Issue 4 443 How did the parents of TGD youth who have undergone GCEI decide to give informed consent? Secondarily, are there specific themes that emerge for Christian, heterosexual, cisgender parents who go through this process? Finally, what part, if any, did a professional counselor play in the process? Method A qualitative grounded theory method was employed because this method is used to understand how participants go about resolving a particular concern or dilemma (Charmaz, 2014; Glaser & Strauss, 1967). Unlike other forms of qualitative research, grounded theory guides the researcher with a set of general principles, guidelines, strategies, and heuristic devices rather than formulaic prescriptions to help the researcher direct, manage, and streamline data collection so that analyses and emerging theory are well grounded in the collected data (Charmaz, 2014). For the purposes of this study, we followed prescribed grounded theory protocols for data collection, analysis, and trustworthiness (Charmaz, 2014; Corbin & Strauss, 2015; Creswell, 2013; Merriam & Tisdell, 2016). Participants Following IRB approval, a snowball sampling method (Creswell, 2013; Merriam & Tisdell, 2016) was employed to recruit a purposive sample of adult participants who (a) self-identified as a parent and/or legal guardian of a person who self-identifies as TGD and (b) have given informed consent for their TGD child to receive GCEI. Study information and a request for assistance with identifying participants was disseminated to national organizations that advocate for TGD rights such as the Society for Affectional, Intersex, and Gender Expansive Identities (SAIGE), Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), and Transparent USA. Prospective participants were asked to contact the researcher and forward the information to others that they believed met the study criteria. Participant screening consisted of an online Qualtrics survey that included confidentiality and informed consent information, inclusion criteria, and demographic items. Once identified, participants were asked to participate in initial intensive interviews. Theoretical sampling (Charmaz, 2014) is the preferred strategy for grounded theory because it allows emerging themes to direct simple decisions until saturation is met (i.e., no new information is being detected). In this study, saturation was met at the 16th interview and confirmed in the 17th. Table 1 details the sociodemographic characteristics of the participants, the majority of which identified as cisgender women (n = 13), White (n = 16), married (n = 14), college educated (n = 17), and employed full-time (n = 12). Participants’ ages ranged between 32 and 61 years with a mean age of 49 (see Table 2). The participants made up a national sample (see Table 3), both in regard to region of birth and region of residence. As Table 4 shows, a near majority identified as mainline Protestant Christian (n = 8). The majority had one TGD child (n = 13), and the children’s ages at which the participants gave consent for GCEI ranged from 10 to 18 years (M = 13.93; see Table 2). Instrumentation and Data Collection Because the main emphasis of this study was to understand parents’ decision-making processes, intensive interviews were the main instrument of data collection. Environmental observation and document reviews were conducted when they were accessible. To protect the participants’ confidentiality, each was randomly assigned a pseudonym. Additionally, interviews—which lasted between 30 and 75 minutes—were facilitated through telehealth video conferencing software that complied with the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). Electronic recordings of interviews were stored on a HIPAA-compliant version of an internet-based file hosting service, and transcription was provided by a company that provides confidential transcription services.