Qualitative Case Study – Relationship Breakdown



The Study

In addition to conducting research on consumer goods and shopper behaviour we also frequently work on a range of projects which seek to understand complex social issues or sensitive subjects. As a fieldwork supplier we often relish the opportunity to work on these projects as they require a slightly different approach to the work we do.

We were recently asked by a research agency to assist them with one such project. The research was exploring the issues of relationship breakdown, the various factors involved when families separate and what, if any, support services had been accessed either during or after such a life-changing incident. The client wanted to speak to wide range of people, including low social grades and ethnic minorities, whose relationships had broken down for a variety of reasons. Some of these included relationships ending due to infidelity, a lack of intimacy, or for financial reasons.

Our Approach

When working on this project our team were acutely aware of how important it was to consider how best to approach such a sensitive topic with potential participants. We worked closely with our client and liaised with our team to ensure that all parties were fully briefed on the finer details of the project before commencing recruitment.

We’re also fortunate in that we are able to work with our in-house recruitment team, who have an active database of over 100,000 participants that have all opted in for research and are engaged and enthusiastic. They were able to tailor their approach to the project, emphasising the importance of the research in shaping the way future support services could be delivered or accessed. This meant that the participants who applied to take part were enthusiastic about sharing their experiences, knowing that it would help others in their situation.

The Outcome

We were overwhelmed by the response to this project with many people throughout the UK coming forward to share their experiences of personal trauma and relationship breakdown. We were able to recruit participants from a variety of backgrounds ensuring that the client was able to get detailed picture on the varying experiences of a variety of people. It was gratifying, for all those involved, that we were able to contribute to something as important as this.