Project #4778 - Research Methods

Question 1. (25 points) In the research article entitled: “Positive Parenting and Early Puberty in Girls,” Mrug and colleagues (2008), employed a nonexperimental/ correlational design to examine the relationship between positive parenting practices and aggressive and delinquent behaviors in early-maturing girls.

 

You are interested in conducting a follow-up study to further explore the thesis and claims of the Mrug et. al study. In this study, you would compare the two parenting interventions: a) Positive parenting Intervention and b) Discipline and Behavior Management Intervention, for parents of early-maturing girls. In this essay, you should: In summary, this essay should include:

a. State the independent and dependent variables or your study.

b. Provide a description of the type of research design you would employ for this study. There is more than one type of design that could be used, but you only need to select one (be specific- nonexperimental, experimental or quasiexperimental would not be enough).

c. An explanation of why would you select this research design.

Positive parenting and early puberty in girls: protective effects against aggressive behavior.

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether positive parenting practices are associated with less aggressive and delinquent behavior in early-maturing girls.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional survey.

SETTING:

Interviews with a community sample of children and their caregivers were conducted in their homes or in a research setting.

PARTICIPANTS:

An ethnically diverse cohort of 330 fifth-grade girls (mean age, 11.25 years) from 3 metropolitan areas.

MAIN EXPOSURE:

Early onset of menarche, parental nurturance, knowledge of the child's activities, and communication.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Physical, relational, and nonphysical aggression and delinquent behavior.

RESULTS:

A total of 25% of girls could be reliably classified as early maturers. Early maturation was associated with delinquency (b = 0.53) but not aggression. Low levels of maternal nurturance were associated with delinquency and relational aggression (both b = -0.04). Early maturation was associated with higher relational aggression only at low levels of nurturance (b = 0.94), communication (b = 1.36), and knowledge (b = 1.06) (P < .05 for each interaction). Also, early maturation only predicted physical aggression when combined with low maternal nurturance (b = 0.93).

CONCLUSIONS:

Early puberty is a risk factor for delinquency, and early puberty combined with low parental nurturance, communication, or parental knowledge of the child's activities presents a risk for aggressive behavior in early adolescent girls. Early-maturing girls may benefit from increased parental nurturance, communication, and knowledge.

 

Question 2. (25 points) Diener and Seligman (2002) reported that “very happy people were highly social and had stronger romantic and other social relationships than less happy groups.” (See Abstract below for details of this study). In their report, the authors acknowledged the limitations of their findings since their sample was restricted to college students. Discuss alternative sampling approaches in case this study was to be replicated to confirm the findings in a larger population. In your essay, you should:

a. Describe the population and sampling frame for the replication study.

b. Describe at least three different sampling methods that could be used to select the sample for the replication study.

c. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages each sampling method would have.

 

 

Very Happy People

 

ABSTRACT—Psychologists, self-help gurus, and parents all

work to make their clients, friends, and children happier.

Recent research indicates that happiness is functional and

generally leads to success. However, most people are already above neutral in happiness, which raises the question of whether higher levels of happiness facilitate more

effective functioning than do lower levels. Our analyses of

large survey data and longitudinal data show that people

who experience the highest levels of happiness are the most

successful in terms of close relationships and volunteer

work, but that those who experience slightly lower levels

of happiness are the most successful in terms of income,

education, and political participation. Once people are

moderately happy, the most effective level of happiness

appears to depend on the speci?c outcomes used to de?ne

success, as well as the resources that are available.

 

 

Question 3. (15 points) Read the Abstract and Methods sections of the Schwartz et al. (2007) study. Describe at least two to three methodological weaknesses of this study and one to two strengths.

 

Offic-Based Motivational Interviewing to Prevent Childhood Obesity

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether pediatricians and dietitians can implement an office-based obesity prevention program using motivational interviewing as the primary intervention.

DESIGN:

Nonrandomized clinical trial. Fifteen pediatricians belonging to Pediatric Research in Office Settings, a national practice-based research network, and 5 registered dietitians were assigned to 1 of 3 groups: (1) control; (2) minimal intervention (pediatrician only); or (3) intensive intervention (pediatrician and registered dietitian).

SETTING:

Primary care pediatric offices.

PARTICIPANTS:

Ninety-one children presenting for well-child care visits met eligibility criteria of being aged 3 to 7 years and having a body mass index (calculated as the weight in kilograms divided by the height in meters squared) at the 85th percentile or greater but lower than the 95th percentile for the age or having a normal weight and a parent with a body mass index of 30 or greater.

INTERVENTIONS:

Pediatricians and registered dietitians in the intervention groups received motivational interviewing training. Parents of children in the minimal intervention group received 1 motivational interviewing session from the physician, and parents of children in the intensive intervention group received 2 motivational interviewing sessions each from the pediatrician and the registered dietitian.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

Change in the body mass index-for-age percentile.

RESULTS:

At 6 months' follow-up, there was a decrease of 0.6, 1.9, and 2.6 body mass index percentiles in the control, minimal, and intensive groups, respectively. The differences in body mass index percentile change between the 3 groups were nonsignificant (P=.85). The patient dropout rates were 2 (10%), 13 (32%), and 15 (50%) for the control, minimal, and intensive groups, respectively. Fifteen (94%) of the parents reported that the intervention helped them think about changing their family's eating habits.

CONCLUSIONS:

Motivational interviewing by pediatricians and dietitians is a promising office-based strategy for preventing childhood obesity. However, additional studies are needed to demonstrate the efficacy of this intervention in practice settings.

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Due By (Pacific Time) 04/22/2013 10:00 pm
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