Assignment 2: LASA 1: Final Project: Early Methods Section Due Wednesday, April 12, 2017.

Assignment 2: LASA 1: Final Project: Early Methods Section Due Wednesday, April 12, 2017.

#1 ASSIGNMENT

Assignment 2: LASA 1: Final Project: Early Methods Section

Due Wednesday, April 12, 2017.

In your final paper for this course, you will need to write a Methods section that is about 4 pages long where you will assess and evaluate the methods of research.

In preparation for this particular section, answer the following questions thoroughly and provide justification/support. The more complete and detailed your answers for these questions, the better prepared you are to successfully write your final paper.

Please submit your answers as a single 4- to 6-page document as a numbered list; this will ensure you do not inadvertently miss a question.

Additionally, please submit a title page and a reference page in proper APA format.

    1. What is your research question?
    1. What is your hypothesis or hypotheses? What is the null hypothesis?
    1. How many participants would you like to use and why? What are the inclusion characteristics, i.e., what must they have in order to be included in your study (for example, gender, diagnosis, age, personality traits, etc.)? Are there any exclusion characteristics, i.e. are there certain characteristics that would exclude them from being in your study? Does the sample need to be diverse? Why or why not?
    1. What sampling technique will be used to collect your sample? What population does your sample generalize to?
    1. What are the variables in your study? HINT: Refer back to your hypothesis or hypotheses.
    1. Provide operational definitions for each variable.
    1. How will you measure each variable? Discuss the reliability and validity of these measures in general terms.
    1. What technique will be used for data collection (e.g., observation, survey, interview, archival, etc.)?
    1. What type of research design is being used?
    1. Briefly discuss the procedure that would be followed when conducting the research.
  1. What are some POTENTIAL ethical issues? How might they be addressed?

#2 THE EXAMPLE FOR THE ASSIGNMENT

Final Project: Early Method Section


Final Project:  Early Method Section

  1. What is your research question?  My research question is “Does stress reduction efficacy vary between relaxation response treatment and mindfulness-based programs for female undergraduate students between the ages of 18-25?”  The research question is important because previous studies have only provided empirical evidence demonstrating the efficacy of each method on its own and a comparison of the methods within other controlled populations. Research has investigated the effects of these stress-reduction methods within specific subgroups of the population, but not within the population that is targeted in this study. It is also important because the majority of research has focused on the effects of stress-reduction techniques on medical students, healthcare professionals, and undergraduate pre-medical students (Jain, Shapiro, Swanick, Roesch, Mills, Bell, & Schwartz, 2007). Ample meta-analytic studies have investigated the efficacy of stress-reduction treatment on stress-related illnesses and disorders (Grossman, Niemann, Schmidt, & Walach, 2004). There is, however, a gap in the literature regarding a comparative analysis of Relaxation Response treatments and Mindfulness-based treatments for stress within the population of female undergraduate students that are not specializing in medicine and/or healthcare. The results of this study may provide empirical evidence regarding the most efficacious technique to be used when reducing stress for this population.
  2. What is your hypothesis or hypotheses? What is the null hypothesis?  My hypothesis is that female undergraduate students between the ages of 18-25 that suffer from unhealthy levels of stress are more likely to achieve higher levels of stress reduction through the use of mindfulness-based stress reduction treatment than through the use of the technique of relaxation response.  My null hypothesis is the efficacy of stress-reduction treatment does not differ between mindfulness-based programs and relaxation response techniques for female undergraduate students between the ages of 18-25.
  3. How many participants would you like to use and why?  The National Center for Education Statistics (2016) estimates that 11.7 million females attended undergraduate colleges and universities in the fall of 2016. According toBarlett, Kotrlik & Higgins (2001), the minimum required sample size for an empirical study for a specific and large population with a .05 alpha level should not be less than 100 participants. As this study will consist of three groups: control group (receiving no treatment), group receiving Relaxation Response treatment, and group receiving Mindfulness-based treatment the total desired number of participants will be 120 with 40 participants in each group. In order to reflect population diversity, each group will be statistically subdivided by ethnic background variable according to data from the United States Census Bureau (2016).  In each group, I will seek to include 23 whites, 8 Latinos, 6 African-Americans, 2 Asian-Americans, and 1 participant identified as mixed-race
  4. What are the inclusion characteristics, i.e., what must they have in order to be included in your study (for example, gender, diagnosis, age, personality traits, etc.)? The characteristics necessary for inclusion in this study will include a specific gender, age, education level, location of residence (USA) and current level of stress.  Are there any exclusion characteristics, i.e. are there certain characteristics that would exclude them from being in your study? The characteristics that would exclude someone from the study will include anyone who is not female, anyone who is not an undergraduate student, and anyone over 25 years of age, and any female who does not suffer from a measurable level of stress.  Does the sample need to be diverse?  Why or why not?  The sample does need to be diverse because the population of interest is female undergraduate students in the USA with a measureable level of stress. According to the US Census Bureau (2016), this is a highly diverse population.
  5. What sampling technique will be used to collect your sample? I will usethe nonprobability sampling technique of convenience sampling with an element of stratification to reflect diversity. This is necessary as I will have limited access to the population of interest.  Unlike random sampling that would draw a representative sample from the entire population, convenience sampling does not provide a representative sample as it only draws participants from a segment of the population that is easily and conveniently accessible (Argosy University, 2017). My convenience sample will involve surveying and treating female undergraduate students who agree to sign up for the study on specific college campuses and are contacted through posters, flyers, and online advertising. What population does your sample generalize to?   This sample will generalize to female undergraduate students in the United States between 18 and 25 years of age. It is important to note, however, that as this study is based on a convenience sample, care must be taken when generalizing the results to the population (Shaughnessy, Zechmeister, & Zechmeister, 2015).
  6. What are the variables in your study? HINT: Refer back to your hypothesis or hypotheses.  The variables of the study include stress level, Mindfulness-based treatment technique, Relaxation Response treatment technique, and female undergraduate students.
  7. Provide operational definitions for each variable. Stress is defined as the physiological and psychological responses in face of threat, perceived or real, to the homeostasis and welfare of the individual (Chrousos & Gold, 1992). A female undergraduate student is any female between the ages of 18-25 who is taking undergraduate courses toward completing a bachelor’s degree within any accepted discipline in the United States. Mindfulness-based stress-reduction treatment is a structured 8-10 week program based on mindfulness techniques of silent awareness. Relaxation Responses techniques include yoga, meditation and exercise to achieve a reduction in stress levels by lowering blood pressure, slowing muscle activity and increasing mental alertness.
  8. How will you measure each variable? Discuss the reliability and validity of these measures in general terms.  During this experimental between-group designed study, I will be recording the relationship between female undergraduate students between the ages 18-25, type of relaxation technique employed, and the level of stress-reduction achieved. I will also be looking at a possible causal effect between relaxation technique and stress-reduction result. This means I will be measuring the psychological and physiological characteristics and responses of female undergraduate students and their response to the specific relaxation treatment received. Statistical results will express the reliability of the measure showing that the results are an accurate representation of the population, are consistent over time, and can be reproduced as explained in Joppe’s study (as cited in Golafshani, 2003). The results and measurements used are valid, in Joppe (as cited in Golafshani, 2003), if “the research truly measures what is intended to be measured.”  Validity and reliability will be further demonstrated to the extent that the results can be generalized to the general population (Golafshani, 2003).
  9. What technique will be used for data collection (e.g., observation, survey, interview, archival, etc.)?  I will use existing surveys to collect data because of their known reliability, the age group of the study, and the nature of the study.  The surveys that have proven to be reliable in the past include:  Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI) which is designed to assess psychological distress and mood, and the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) as a global measure of stress. Medical and blood tests to ascertain the physiological effects of stress levels will include resting heart and breathing rates, blood pressure readings, muscle tension, sleep patterns, and general health indicators (Esch, Fricchione & Stefano, 2003; Shapiro, Astin, Bishop, & Cordova, 2005).
  10. What type of research design is being used?  I will use an experimental between-group design because I am studying the effects and efficacy of two different types of stress-reduction treatments and how they differ for female undergraduate students with measurable levels of stress (Argosy University, 2017).  As the experimenter, I will manipulate the variable “Treatment type” for each group to try to determine causality, or in this case, which treatment provides greater stress-reduction efficacy (Ibid).
  11. Briefly discuss the procedure that would be followed when conducting the research.  Prior to conducting the research, I will meet with the participants to explain the study, the purpose and the steps involved. Stress-reduction treatment will be described and informed written consent will be obtained. The participants will be randomly divided into the 3 groups for the research. Surveys and questionnaires will be administered and completed. Medical tests will be administered in private for each individual with a healthcare professional. The results of the surveys, medical tests and consent forms will be filed separately and identified by a participant number to ensure anonymity and privacy.  Each group of 40 participants will be surveyed separately before they are informed which treatment they will receive. Participation will consist of two hours per week for the 8 weeks of the program. After the 8 week treatment period, the results will be analyzed for the purpose of demonstrating the more efficacious stress-reduction treatment for female undergraduate student in the United States. Each participant will receive financial compensation of $20 per week for their involvement in the study.
  12. What are some POTENTIAL ethical issues? How might they be addressed?  As this study involves private medical information, each participant will be informed of the steps to ensure the privacy and the anonymity of the results and of each participant. Participants will be given the choice to have the medical tests or to provide permission for this information to be obtained from their primary care physician. To reduce any stress that the study itself might generate, participants will have free access to counselling during and after the study. Participants will also be informed that they are free to withdraw from the study at any time with no penalty.

References

Argosy University. (2017). PSY302: Module Two. Retrieved February10, 2017 from http://myeclassonline.com

Argosy University. (2017). PSY302: Module Three. Retrieved February10, 2017 from http://myeclassonline.com

Bartlett, J. E., Kotrlik, J. W., & Higgins, C. C. (2001). Organizational Research: Determining Appropriate Sample Size for Survey Research. Information Technology, Learning, and Performance Journal, 19, 43-50.

Chrousos, G. P., & Gold, P. W. (1992). The Concepts of Stress and Stress Systems Disorders. Journal of the American Medical Association, 267, 1244-1252.

Esch, T., Fricchione, G. L., & Stefano, G. B. (2003). The therapeutic use of the relaxation response in stress-related diseases. Medical Science Monitor, 9, 23-34.

Golafshani, N. (2003). Understanding Reliability and Validity in Qualitative Research. The Qualitative Report, 8, 597-607.

Grossman, P., Niemann, L., Schmidt, S., & Walach, H. (2004). Mindfulness-based stress reduction and health benefits: A meta-analysis. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 57(10), 35-43.

Jain, S., Shapiro, S. L., Swanick, S., Roesch, S. C., Mills, P. J., Bell, I., & Schwartz, G. E. R. (2007). A Randomized Controlled Trial of Mindfulness Meditation Versus Relaxation Training: Effects on Distress, Positive States of Mind, Rumination, and Distraction. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 33(3), 11-21.

National Center for Education Statistics (2016). College and University Education: Fast Facts. Retrieved from https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=372.

Shapiro, S. L., Astin, J. A., Bishop, S. R., & Cordova, M. (2005). Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Health Care Professionals: Results from a Randomized Trial. International Journal of Stress Management, 12, 164-176. DOI: 10.1037//1072-5245.12.2.164.

Shaughnessy, J. J., Zechmeister, E. B., & Zechmeister, J. S. (2015) Research Methods in Psychology (10th ed.). McGraw-Hill: New York.

United States Census Bureau. (2016). Quick Facts: United States. Retrieved from https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/table/PST045216/00

#3 THE INFORMATION THAT IS NEEDED FOR THE ASSIGNMENT

Annotated Bibliography: Driving Safety and Types of Distractions

Patricia Vela

Tutor: Research Methods | PSY302 A01

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