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Aggregate Subcodes into Parent Code Frequency

05.10.2017, 19:32

I have a question about how to aggregate counts of subcodes to parent codes. For example, I have a parent code called "Direct Experiences" and subcodes: Academic, Extracurricular, and Work. When coding for these 3 subcodes, the count of codes is not automatically incorporated into the parent code. Is there a way that I can do this?

I realize when activating the parent code, subcodes can be automatically activated as well. During any analyses, I wonder if these will still be combined. For instance, when running frequencies for "Direct Experiences," does MAXQDA include the subcode frequencies into this sum? If not, is there a way that I can do this?



Version: MAXQDA 12
System: Windows 7
Posts: 2
Joined: 05.10.2017, 19:00

Re: Aggregate Subcodes into Parent Code Frequency

06.10.2017, 10:09

Dear Yin,

the easiest way to aggregate the number of coded segments for a parent code is to simply retract the parent code in the "Code System"-window. To get detailed frequencies with sums, means etc. for any parentcode, just right-click on the parent code in the "Code System", and select "Statistics for Subcodes". Then you can select the parent code(s) that you are interested in, and the following table will show you the frequencies for both all the subcodes and the total sum of all of them (= frequency of parent code).

I hope this is what you are looking for?
Andreas V.

Re: Aggregate Subcodes into Parent Code Frequency

04.11.2021, 02:10


I am experiencing the same thing. My parent code count is lower than the sum of its subcodes. When I look to analyse under compare cases and groups, I do not get an aggregate view of all segments coded to the parent code (via its sub-codes) for each document, meaning I need to laboriously open up each sub-code to view each relevant segment and compare across documents.

Is there a way to aggregate all segments coded to sub-codes to their parent code to enable a summary comparison?

Thanks for your help!
Posts: 1
Joined: 18.10.2021, 08:34

Re: Aggregate Subcodes into Parent Code Frequency

05.11.2021, 08:51


Any code regardless its position in the code hierarchy is a separate unit of analysis, i.e. coded segments of a sub-code are (physically) assigned to a sub-code alone, not to the parent code. To include coded segments of the sub-codes in the analysis of the parent codes, you have to copy (NOT move) the coded segments of sub-codes and paste them to parent codes (right-click on the sub-code > Copy coded segments > right click on the parent code > Paste Coded Segments from X).

Attention: in this case, coded segments are duplicated and can be found in both levels (parent and sub-codes). This will of course affect the total number of coded segments in your project. If you adopt this workaround, I advise you to leave a respective note in Code Memos.

If this workaround does not work for you, I suggest performing analysis on the sub-code level (i.e. Compare Cases&Groups > Include sub-codes instead of parent codes)


Posts: 90
Joined: 19.07.2019, 09:48

Re: Aggregate Subcodes into Parent Code Frequency

15.04.2024, 20:47

I'm writing to see if anything has changed about this functionality in more recent versions. Creating new parent codes to organize subcodes is one of the most basic steps of building grounded theory. If parent codes don't include the counts for their subcodes then the software simply doesn't support grounded analysis. For example, if I want to use the code relations browser, the total aggregate count of subcode segments should be included in the count of sements for the parent code so I can visualize and probe co-incidence among two different high level conceptual constructs or categorizations. Right now I need to export the code relations browser to excel, do the math manually, and then use a separate tool for further analysis. It seems like this could be a relatively easy thing to make an option for the user--whether or not nested codes "count" as codes higher in the hierarchy.
Thanks for any updates.
Posts: 1
Joined: 20.02.2024, 20:17

Re: Aggregate Subcodes into Parent Code Frequency

23.04.2024, 12:00

Hello and thank you for your question,

Regarding the code relations browser specifically, have you tried using the "Display codes with hierarchy" option? You can then display and collapse codes in any way you like. This also helps to sum up the subcodes into one top code. You can find more about this here:

Best regards on behalf of the MAXQDA support team,

Wolfgang Meyer
Posts: 28
Joined: 21.08.2023, 08:33

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