Quantitative, qualitative and mixed research in sport science: a methodological report

  • Adam Petrovic
  • Vladimir Koprivica
  • Bozo Bokan
Keywords: Research methods, Mixed methods research, Sport science, Elite sport


The aim of this research was to examine: (1) the nature of scientific thought in sport science (elite sport); (2) methodological aspects of sport science; (3) the relationship between philosophical-theoretical postulates and elite sport practice. The comparative method, as well as descriptive and theoretical analysis method was applied, and content analysis was used as a research technique. Research methods analysis demonstrated that sport scientists give greater importance to quantitative research tradition, whose knowledge can be seen as positivistic. Chi-square test (x2) confirmed a statistically significant difference between the three types of research in sport science. There was a difference between quantitative, qualitative and mixed research, x2=131.95 (df=2; n=221; p=0.001). Relationships between different types of research in percentage were: quantitative (63.3%), qualitative (36.2%), mixed research (0.5%). Sport science is positivistic oriented as quantitative research tradition and is more dominant than qualitative and mixed research. However, there is reasonable doubt in the pragmatic basis of sport science because of the small number of mixed research. Mixed method research is a new contemporary wave in the methodology of science and this wave represents the integration of both qualitative and quantitative research, which could provide a more comprehensive knowledge of sport science.

Keywords: Research methods; Mixed methods research; Sport science; Elite sport


Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 0379-9069