Socw 6301-9 | SOCW 6301 – Social Work Practice Research I | Walden University

 

Discussion 1: Relationship Between Purpose of Study and Data Analysis Techniques

In order to make decisions about the value of any research study for practice, it is important to understand the general processes involved in analyzing research data. By now, you have examined enough research studies to be aware that there are some common ways that data are reported and summarized in research studies. For example, the sample is often described by numbers of participants and by certain characteristics of those participants that help us determine how representative the sample is of a population. The information about the sample is commonly reported in tables and graphs, making use of frequency distributions, measures of central tendency, and dispersion. Information about the variables (or concepts) of interest when quantified are also reported in similar manner.

Although the actual data analysis takes place after data have been collected, from the initial planning of a research study, the researcher needs to have an awareness of the types of questions that can be answered by particular data analysis techniques.

For this Discussion, review the case study entitled “Social Work Research: Measuring Group Success.” Consider the data analysis described in that case. Recall the information presented in the earlier chapters of your text about formulating research questions to inform a hypotheses or open-ended exploration of an issue.

By Day 3

Post an explanation of the types of descriptive and/or inferential statistics you might use to analyze the data gathered in the case study. Also explain how the statistics you identify can guide you in evaluating the applicability of the study’s findings for your own practice as a social worker. Please use the resources to support your answer.

By Day 5

Respond to a colleague’s post by raising questions about the value of the evidence based on the quantitative or qualitative data analysis described by the classmate. Please use the resources to support your post.

Submission and Grading Information
Grading Criteria

To access your rubric:
Week 9 Discussion 1 Rubric

Post by Day 3 and Respond by Day 5

To participate in this Discussion:
Week 9 Discussion 1

Discussion 2: Statistical Significance and Variables

Research studies often compare variables, conditions, times, and/or groups of participants to evaluate relationships between variables or differences between groups or times. For example, if researchers are interested in knowing whether an intervention produces change in the desired direction, they will want to know whether the change is due to chance (statistical significance) or possibly due to the intervention. In this case, researchers could use a pre and post measurement of the same participants on the condition being treated, or they could compare a group of individuals who receive the intervention to a group that does not receive the intervention. Researchers could also compare two groups of individuals who receive different interventions. The rigor of the research design helps control for other factors that might account for the changes (e.g., time, conditions, group differences in other factors, etc.). To prepare for this Discussion, consider the concept of statistical significance.

By Day 5

Post your explanation of how the difference between statistical significance and the true importance (clinical significance) of the relationship between variables or the degree of difference between groups affect your practice decision making. Be sure to include an explanation of what statistical significance means. Include an example from a quantitative study that found statistically significant differences. Discuss whether the results of the study would—or should—influence your practice as a social worker. Please use the resources to support your answer.

By Day 7

Respond to a colleague’s post by suggesting how statistical significance can be used in his or her research and practice. Consider practical issues such as whether a social worker is looking for a treatment approach that might be more effective than what he or she has been using, whether the participants in the study are similar or different from the client the social worker is treating, or decisions about whether to continue a program. Please use the resources to support your answer.

Colleagues response for Discussion 1

Post an explanation of the types of descriptive and/or inferential statistics you might use to analyze the data gathered in the case study. Also explain how the statistics you identify can guide you in evaluating the applicability of the study’s findings for your own practice as a social worker. Please use the resources to support your answer. 

Diane Sharkey RE: Discussion 1 – Week 9

Post an explanation of the types of descriptive and/or inferential statistics you might use to analyze the data gathered in the case study.

I would use frequency distribution as descriptive statistics for the total scores on the pretest questionnaire. It would include a column for depression, anxiety, and stress (Yegidis, Weinbach, & Myers, 2018). Additionally, I would create a pie graph/chart using this data to compare cumulative percentages (Yegidis et al., 2018). I would also use measures of variability by creating a box plot indicating the interquartile range of the data from each participant.

Regarding inferential statistics, certain bivariate tests would be useful to analyze the data gathered in the study. A T-test for dependent samples would be helpful to compare the results from pre and post test for participants in the support group (Yegidis et al., 2018). Finally, I would look for correlations between the three measured symptoms for each participant. For example, I would predict a positive correlation between symptoms meaning if measures of depression decreased, so would anxiety and stress (Yegidis et al., 2018).

Explain how the statistics you identify can guide you in evaluating the applicability of the study’s findings for your own practice as a social worker.

First, I would want a larger sample size before considering the study applicable or multiple studies conducted using the same method with different groups of participants. However, the statistics I identified would give me a clear representation regarding the efficacy of the group as multiple analyses are relevant. Furthermore, there are many different analyses I can do with the data that was collected. As a social worker, I can use the study’s findings to complete further research and as a starting point for implementing a similar group in my practice.

Discussion 2 Response

Respond to a colleague’s post by suggesting how statistical significance can be used in his or her research and practice. Consider practical issues such as whether a social worker is looking for a treatment approach that might be more effective than what he or she has been using, whether the participants in the study are similar or different from the client the social worker is treating, or decisions about whether to continue a program. Please use the resources to support your answer.

 Angelica Wiggins RE: Discussion 2 – Week 9

Statistical significance is the likelihood that a relationship between two or more variables is caused by something other than chance. In research there are so many aspects that play a significant role that is necessary for accurate results in research. Per Yegidis, Weinbach & Myers (2018), “Statistical analysis plays an important role in the design of research, summarizing the distribution of variables within research data, estimating the characteristics of the population from which a sample was drawn, and drawing conclusions and interpretations about answers to research questions and the presence or absence of support for hypotheses.” So, in other words, it plays a significant role in the makeup of the research and it guides us on how to make decisions significant to the research.

As social workers, we can utilize statistical analysis when we are trying or planning on implementing a service for our clients. On a clinical level, this is significant as well because you would want the focus to emphasize on what works best for each client. Certain medicines or even treatment plans may not work with every individual, so researching what is client specific is important.

A quantitative study has been identified that focuses on relationship between African Americans, suicide and help-seeking behaviors amongst African American youth. The choice of research put emphasis on focus groups however the makeup of the group was very particular. The information gathered for each participant consisted of schooling, household makeup, socioeconomic status, community type and religion and the group was broken into male and female between the ages of 12- 18 (Molock et al., 2007).

This study would definitely influence my practice as a social worker because it displays the importance of one’s experience and ensuring that all possible means of the research are covered. This study covered both genders which are the makeup of the topic at hand. It did not limit information that was being gathered and that is vital.

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