Example Of Research Paper On Evaluating The Research Process

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Education, Study, Experiment, Students, Teenagers, Teen, Pregnancy, Health

Pages: 6

Words: 1650

Published: 2021/02/06

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Introduction

Research is an important component in the healthcare profession because it facilitates the advancement of knowledge and skills. The goal of scientific research in healthcare is to assist policy makers in establishing the best clinical practices for improving service delivery. Research can be qualitative or quantitative in nature. Qualitative research appraises both past and current literature on a given health issue in a bid to identify its trends and potential impacts on clinical decisions within the contemporary society. Conversely, quantitative research involves the actual gathering of primary data from the field or respondents in order to make meaningful statistical inferences. Regardless of one’s choice between the two, the research procedure remains the same. Researchers begin the process by setting the scope and objective of the study. They enumerate the key research questions and hypotheses that the study seeks to address or validate. Secondly, a researcher provides an overview of the findings presented by existing literature that are relevant to the topic under investigation. Thirdly, the researcher describes the research design to be used. This section involves determining issues such as sample size, sampling method, methodology, instrumentation and the statistical techniques for presentation and analysis of findings. The fourth step entails conducting the actual research in the field to obtain the necessary data. Lastly, researchers analyze the data and make inferences about the relationship between the factors under investigation. This step also entails outlining the limitations of the study and recommending areas for further research. This paper seeks to evaluate the research process used in a scientific publication.

Summary of the publication

Herrman, Waterhouse and Chiquoine (2011) experimented on 79 high school teenagers aged between 14 and 18 years to determine the effectiveness of infant simulation intervention in the prevention of teen pregnancies. The investigation sought to establish the impact of infant simulation on various aspects of adolescent life such as personal attributes, relationships, schooling, money, and careers. In particular, the researchers predicted lower scores or more negative perceptions regarding the impact of teen pregnancies after participating in the program. The findings of the experiment revealed no significant statistical difference between the pre/posttest mean scores, except in two subscale scores involving personal characteristics and friends.

Study rationale

Sampling
The sample constituted students from a technical high school aged between 14 and 18 years. Random sampling was used to select participants who formed the total research pool. Only those students who showed an interest in the program and were willing to use their lunch periods for the program on a weekly basis were selected. In addition, the researchers enrolled participants on a first come, first serve basis. The school-based wellness center staff had the discretion of determining the criteria for including and excluding students during their enrollment for the courses. The researchers further divided the sample into eight subgroups based on the eight courses of the curriculum intervention. The use of random sampling in selecting subjects significantly reduced the probability of bias associated with favoritism or researcher stereotypes that may hinder the generalization of the outcome to the entire population. However, bias may enter the research process through the stratified sampling method used to fit the participants into the courses. The bias stems from the subjective elements in the staff’s decision-making conditioned by their upbringing and societal indoctrination. While stratified sampling appears less precise than random sampling, it was a practical approach for this experiment given that the students in the sample may have shown reluctance to undertake certain courses. Such reluctance may stem from the dictates of the parents or peer influence.

Literature review

The literature review clearly lacks a critique of the various sources mentioned by the researchers. This absence may be due to the lengthy nature and large number of cited articles whose critique would constitute an entire article or publication (Vance, Talley, Azuero, Pearce, & Christian, 2013, p. 73). Furthermore, a critique is more applicable when addressing an audience skilled in the particular discipline since it has the knowledge foundation on which to base its judgment regarding the quality of sources used in the publication (Vance et al., 2013, p. 73). The review has cited several journal articles dating back to 1997. The quality of the sources is high because they were retrieved from peer-reviewed journals. However, the cited articles were published more than five years ago with the exception of only one article. The primary use of past data may reduce the article’s relevance and applicability within certain educated. The review also fails to describe any theories to substantiate the importance of the study. Nevertheless, the literature review clearly introduced the research problem and provided a succinct rationale for the experiment. Moreover, the arguments followed a logical order with clear subheadings to direct the reader’s attention to key issues.

Ethical considerations

The research process apparently adhered to the ethical considerations of autonomy and consent. First, the researchers sought the approval of the academic institution board for conducting the experiment on students and within the school environment. Secondly, they sought the approval of the Institutional Review Board of the state to allow them perform the experiment on minors. Lastly, all willing participants had to seek parental permission before they were enrolled in the program. Even though some parents refused to grant permission to their teenage children, the researchers still enrolled them so long as they gave their personal assent.

Statistical analysis

The experiment recorded the participants’ opinions before and after the study on matters including life impacts, relationships and career (i.e. dependent variables). The findings of the study showed only a 2-point difference between the pretest mean score (115.2) and the post-test mean score (113.5). This difference was statistically irrelevant in drawing conclusive relationships between the BTIO intervention (i.e. the independent variable) and the dependent variables. However, the slight reduction in the mean score after the completion of the experiment suggests an inclination towards negative perceptions of teen pregnancy. The results further indicated significantly lower subscale scores regarding the attitudes of teenagers on friends and personal characteristics. This drop implies that the experiment was marginally successful in influencing the perceptions of adolescents on teen pregnancy. The analysis provided by the article reiterate the inconclusivity of the findings of previous studies done on the subject. The fact that the experiment yielded conflicting results is an indication that the BTIO intervention may not be an appropriate method for effecting perception changes.
The credibility of results is very vital in determining their applicability to the entire population. In research, credibility depends on the mitigation of the effects of contamination and confounding factors on the outcome. Contamination refers to the extent to which “behavior change by the participants” affects the results (Jack et al., 2010). On the other hand, confounding factors are those “closely related to the variables” highlighted in the experiment that may “mask or falsify” the actual correlation between the variables (Jack et al., 2010). This article does neither identifies the possible sources of contamination and confounding factors nor does it attempt to mitigate their effects. On the bright side, the article attempts to explain the reason for the statistical significance and insignificance apparent in the findings. Though, the discussion would be more credible if the researchers had used known theoretical frameworks to support their arguments.

Limitations of the study

No experiment or research process is ever perfect or error free. For this reason, it is good practice to pinpoint them when compiling a research publication. The article clearly highlights these limitations and attempts to explain their impacts on the validity and credibility of the findings.

Conclusion of the study

The objective of the study was to assess the effectiveness of infant simulation in preventing teen pregnancy by effecting perception changes. On the other hand, the study concluded that the BTIO simulators were inappropriate for use in short-term programs aimed at examining the attitudes on teen parenting. As such, the conclusions corroborate the objectives set out at the start of the experiment. In addition, the findings further substantiate the conclusion by indicating an insignificant difference between the pretest and posttest mean scores. The conclusion does not match the hypothesis formulated by the researchers. The investigators predicted a negative impact of infant stimulation on the perceptions of adolescents regarding teen pregnancy and parenting. The conclusion, however, disproves this hypothesis based on the insignificant findings of the experiment. This section of the document is appropriate because it summarizes the findings of the study and ties them to the previous results of past studies. Similar to the sources cited in the literature review section, the article arrives at the inconclusivity of findings related to infant simulation. Furthermore, it recommends procedures that could improve the credibility of similar experiments carried out in the future.

References

Herrman, J. W., Waterhouse, J. K., & Chiquoine, J. (2011). Evaluation of an Infant Simulator Intervention for Teen Pregnancy Prevention. JOGNN: Journal Of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing, 40(3), 322-328, 40(3), 322-328. doi: 10.1111/j.1552-6909.2011.01248.x
Jack, L., Hayes, S. C., Scharalda, J. G., Stetson, B., Jones-Jack, N. H., Valliere, M., . . . LeBlanc, C. (2010). Appraising Quantitative Research in Health Education: Guidelines for Public Health Educators. Health Promotion Practice, 11(2), 161-165. doi: 10.1177/1524839909353023
Vance, D. E., Talley, M., Azuero, A., Pearce, P. F., & Christian, B. J. (2013). Conducting an article critique for a qualitative research study: Perspectives for doctoral students and other novice readers. Nursing: Research and Reviews, 3, 67-75. Retrieved from http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=6&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CEQQFjAF&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dovepress.com%2Fgetfile.php%253FfileID%253D15874&ei=Ua0lVZjKN9HvaOm0gPgP&usg=AFQjCNFl9Ceh_yaV3KUnxGUN_fOaHyDGCw

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