Free Essay About Fostering Resiliency In Underserved Youth Through Physical Activity: A Critical Review
The essay critically analyzes a qualitative research study which suggests that resiliency depends on physical activity in school and community programs. The study is applicable due to its qualitative research strategies. The analysis aims to analyze the study with a special focus on the hypothesis set forward, the objective of the study, research methods and design.
The chosen article by Martinek and Hellison (1997), describes social and psychological factors, which enhance resiliency in schools and within the community. It appears in the National Association for Physical Education in Higher Education, a reputable peer reviewed source, thus warranting credibility.
The study article has a clear and concise title: ‘Fostering resiliency in underserved youth through physical activity’. It clearly informs the reader of the subject matter, focus, and nature of the study.
The article begins with an introduction, which contextualizes the researchers in the immediate area of study. Using first person plural tense, the researchers take the reader into the cultural, social and global context of Jackson School, located in Englewood, Chicago. Englewood is famous for having some of the highest crime rates in South Side Chicago. The researchers carefully identify social and psychological factors, which affect disadvantaged children’s response to adversity. It is obvious that the researchers spent a considerable amount of time in identifying the reader into the context for purposes of better understanding. The researchers consciously explain key concepts, words, and phrases within the introduction. The aspect of the study allows the reader to understand important features of the study. The literature review further cements the rationale of the study by referring to existing empirical literature on ‘resiliency’. The empirical evidence suggests that resilience, vulnerability, and perspective depend heavily on social and psychological factors. The introduction gives a critical review of the area of study and credible backup from existing empirical literature. It includes a wider range of research identifying the underlying theoretical frameworks that support and oppose the objective of the study that would have enhanced the study’s credibility. By the virtue of being a qualitative study, the study article contains no hypothesis, as this is a characteristic of quantitative research papers.
The study uses qualitative description as a research methodology. However, qualitative research methodology involves a wide range of theoretical frameworks and theoretical models, and the researchers have made little attempt to describe the research paradigm and ideological underpinnings of the study. It is, therefore, conclusive that the study article lacks methodological transparency, thus making it impossible for other scholars to replicate the study. Furthermore, the lack of methodological explanation limits efforts for transferability of the study. Although the use of qualitative methods is justifiable, the study fails to introduce frameworks to justify the researchers’ approach.
The researchers clearly identify the students at Jackson school as the subjects of the study. However, there is little reference to the sample as the study progresses, a weakness that limits the effectiveness of the study (Martinek & Hellison, 1997). The sample consists of 15 hardcore African American youth at Jackson School, who went to learn basketball and social responsibility. The goal of the study was to increase the resiliency of these youths against the surrounding conditions of their neighborhood. The mention of the sample size and description of the participants is a strength, which allows future evaluation of the study.
Data Collection and Analysis
Again, the data collection procedures in the study lack adequate description. Martinek and Hellison (1997), have used interaction, observation, and semi-structured individual interviews, approaches deemed applicable in most qualitative research methodologies. Not much information is available on the duration of the study or the description of the various approaches. The lack of transparency limits future reproduction of the study. Just like in data collection, there is an inadequate description on the methods of data analysis, a move that further limits review of the study. More detailed explanation and justification of the methods of data analysis would promote rigor and enhance the usefulness of the study. Detailed description on the data collection process would have increased the credibility of the study.
The researchers make no mention of ethical considerations during the course of the study. Any mention of ethical considerations such as participant right to withdraw, confidentiality, and informed consent are appropriate, especially given that the sample participants may be under legal age. As mentioned before, the inadequate description on the sample participants allows room for speculation.
Results and Discussion
The results of the study, as explained under the thematic sub-headings, are clear and concise. The researchers break down the main theme of physical and psychological factors affecting resilience in disadvantaged children. There is a detailed description under each sub-heading and a number of direct quotes from empirical data, (Martinek & Hellison, 1997). These factors aid the review of the study. However, there is a lack of graphic representation of major themes and findings, thus affecting accessibility of the study. The discussion of this study article is in the form of recommended programs aimed at improving resiliency in underserved youth. Each program blends in clearly with the empirical analysis presented in the study and the discussions easily provide links between the study and other universal concepts. The vast amount of related research is reverberated throughout the study, giving concise back up to the link between physical and psychological factors, which enhance resiliency.
The study article presents a brief but separate conclusion from the program recommendations. The researchers conclude by providing a summary of the findings of the study, the recommendations suggested by the researchers and the efforts needed to implement communal and scholarly programs aimed at enhancing resiliency. The researchers conclude that in order to improve resiliency of youth living in high-risk neighborhoods and impoverished conditions, there needs to be an advancement in hope and self-worth. These children need to learn that they can change the cycle, and their lives. There needs to be equal opportunities to target these children and give them a chance at a better life. Although there was a lack of adequate description on matters of data collection and analysis, the results, discussions and recommendations provide sufficient empirical backing to the suggestion that resiliency in underserved youth is dependent on physical activity.
The critical analysis highlights the relevance of the study article to wider theories of physical education. The relevance of any study article lies in the credibility of its findings. In this study, the credibility of the results in subject to debate as there was a lack of transparency during data collection and analysis. By virtue of being experienced professionals of physical education, the researchers may have exuded bias while conducting the study. Issues of inadequate description and reporting mar the study article. While conducting the methodology, data collection, and analysis, a lack of transparency was prevalent. However, the study remains adequately relevant to physical education by virtue of proper empirical sources. However, judging from the inadequate reference to the study sample, the study qualifies more like a book review as opposed to a research study. Although the type of reporting may limit further replication, the research itself is relevant.
Martinek, T., & Hellison, D. (1997). Fostering Resiliency in Underserved Youths through Physical Activity. National Association for Physical Education in Higher Education. Pp. 34-49. QUEST.
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