A Model for Presenting Threats to Legitimation at the Planning and Interpretation Phases in the Quantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed Research Components of a Dissertation

Cindy L. Benge, Anthony J. Onwuegbuzie, Mary E. Robbins


The assessment of validity—or more appropriately known as legitimation—is the most
important step in all research studies, whether the research study represents a quantitative
research study, a qualitative research study, or a mixed research study. Despite its importance,
a significant proportion of authors do not discuss to any degree the legitimation issues that
emerged in their studies. It is likely that the prevalence rate among authors of dissertations is
even higher, not only because they represent beginning researchers but also because many of
their advisors/supervisors themselves do not discuss (adequately) the limitations of
findings/interpretations. Thus, in this article we provide a model for presenting threats to
legitimation both at the planning and interpretation phases in the quantitative, qualitative, and
mixed research components of a dissertation. In so doing, we provide an exemplar of the
legitimation process, which we believe provides evidence of a comprehensive technique for
identifying and addressing threats to legitimation for researchers in general and dissertation
researchers in particular.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5296/ije.v4i4.2360

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