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Color of Stigma "Measuring the Grief Experiences"Methodology" Chapter

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Color of Stigma "measuring the grief experiences of AA women that have lost a son of suicide"

The chapter on methodology seeks to attain the following: 1) explain the methodology this research adopts; 2) the validity of the adopted methodology for this particular research work. For simplifying, the aims stated above this chapter, this section is segmented into three sub-sections: 1. Research Philosophy, 2. Research Approach and 3. Research type and Time line.

Through such segmentation, it is believed that the methodology will be understood as decently planned, while being cogent an applicable to all the issues under examination and to explore all issues in relevance to the study (Cohen, Manion and Morrison, 2007). The segmentation offers the researcher to explain the research process along the lines suggested by the "Research process onion" methodology framework (Saunders et al., 2012, p.83). The systematic, progressive steps taken during the course of the study are thus exemplified lucidly.

1. Research Philosophy

Trochim (2006) discovered in his exploration that most of the research work undertaken focus their attention on the perception that by achieving the objectives of the work, the academic world will benefit towards understanding and hence making sense of our environment and ambient conditions and processes and in so doing, understand how people arrive at inferences that have variations about the same phenomenon, whether in individual or collective capacities. There are two main though processes driving this assumption. The first is Positivism, a percept that seeks to make a measurable performance appraisal through experiencing the process or phenomenon in a quantified manner: these scientists seek to establish facts based on encounters that can be quantified, measured. The second, Post-Positivism, alternatively also known as 'constructivist' framework, (i.e. singular experiences and observations lead us to believe that the living beings and the world they live in follow in a certain way). Both these hypothesis are vital when considering traditional ways of approaching research studies.

According to a Positivist science helps scientists to assimilate the real value of things and the logic and rationality leading to it so that it becomes simpler to control actions and activities. The positivist is inclined to deduce rules, regulations, and laws through practical analysis and measurements. For a majority of those adhering to positivism objectivity of purpose and inference was an ingrained attitude towards research and hence the inclination towards practical affirmation of facts. The post-positivist contends that absolute objectivity is not possible at all times. All experiences according to this hypothesis invariably encounter perception that is subjective at least to some extent. This in turn, according to them means a certain amount of bias creeps into the research study. Fair-mindedness, according to them is a social construct (Trochim, 2006). For the purposes of this study, the post positivist approach is the best-fit and hence has been accepted as the methodology to arrive at the inferences rationally.

2. Research Approach

According to Trochim (2006), there are essentially two methodologies used for exploratory work: inductive and deductive. Deductive thinking, alternatively understood as "top-down" procedure, starts its work from the outside, larger percepts and experiences and moves progressively towards narrowed down specific requests- the objective of the study. The inductive thinking also commonly called "bottoms-up up" strategy, approaches research work from inside (that is, the narrow and smaller objective) i.e. It starts off specific notions and expands on those to reach out to the whole gamut of thoughts and practices relevant to the singular point of origin of the research work. This research work has chosen to adopt the inductive methodology to reach its objectives.

3. Research type and Time line

The path taken by a research study bears direct correspondence with its framework. The essential frameworks of an exploration work are:

1) cross-sectional and

2) longitudinal studies.

In 'cross-sectional' method of approach the researcher focuses on a determined frame and time, which means, the researcher envisages only a piece of the whole percept of work or objective. As against it, a longitudinal study, the analyst spreads focus over larger time scales i.e. Autonomous variables, of considerable measure, more reliant scales are incorporated, and variations that are encountered while the expansion is processed over the time scale are accounted for while assimilating the final outcome (Trochim, 2006). In this particular study, for the available research time available, and the universality of influence that this outcome may have on the population-at-large, longitudinal configuration has been adopted by the researcher.

Research Design

The research design of this study is quantitative, with a correlational cross-sectional approach. Certain cities were chosen, and from these data were obtained with respect to: religious orientation, professional and educational status, death certificates, and current census information. Data from surveys was gathered and coded numerically to analyze statistically (Creswell, 2012).

According to the method of Baron & Kenny (1986), conclusions for the four questions being researched were obtained by hierarchical multiple linear regression (HMLR) and by multiple linear regression. HLMR was selected for use in this study because these analyses permit moderation, due to covariates of demographic data entered in the HMLR model at the first step; variables from the study were entered in the subsequent two steps to yield the 2nd and 3rd models (Baron & Kenny, 1986).

Subsequent to encoding of findings and finalized data analysis, all materials were placed in a secure facility, where they will be stored for a period of no less than five (5) years. At the end of the five-year period, all items related to this work, including notes and data, shall be destroyed.

According to Heiman (2002), correlational design for studies can usefully show how one variable predicts another. In this work, the dependent variable was 'severity of grief'; independent variables were: (a) 'John Henryism'; (b) interaction of John Henryism and stigma; (c) interaction of societal cause of suicide with John Henryism; (d) belief that suicide is derived from societal causes; and (e) sensed stigma due to suicide. A goal of the study was to determine the predictive effects of the independent variables (a) through (e) upon severity of grief, the dependent variable.

Sampling Procedure

Within the African-American community, research on suicide is limited, as are studies on the effects of their son's suicide on mothers. Furthermore, because this population is not one that is typically 'open', it may be more difficult to recruit study participants (Barnes, 2006; Crosby & Molock, 2006; Day-Vines, 2007; Perry, Pullen, & Oser, 2012). In order to perform 'snowball sampling', Sydor (2013) discussed the importance of trust. In fact, this researcher suggested that the development of researcher-respondent trust and/or rapport might lead to additional referrals. However, given the highly sensitive research topic, such trust is a prerequisite. Furthermore, Sydor (2013) indicated that because these populations were more emotionally vulnerable, they might not want to come out into the 'open', and should be accessed as early as possible for study data acquisition.

For this study, the population was assessed using a snowball/conventional random survey. Specifically, all possible factors that might be connected to treatment and/or care of African-American mothers who had lost male children to suicide were utilized. These included: education, religious, social, and health facilities as well as death certificates, Boys Club, Girls Club, YMCA, YWCA, community organizations, churches, support groups, social service organizations, and both community leaders and outreach offices. In all cases, these organizations were approached and asked for assistance and/or reference to African-American mothers who had lost a male child due to suicide. All participants, and institutions contacted, were provided with a statement from the institutional review board (IRB) including details concerning confidential and ethical precautions. As well as details describing ethical and confidential precautions.

Snowball sampling, defined as a sampling method where participants refer others, is a non-probability sampling method that has advantages in that it may assist in leading researchers to less obvious and/or 'hidden' populations. However, as Browne (2005) states, snowball sampling may also introduce bias in the participant group as well. While some may denigrate this approach, others, such as Noy (2008) state that the snowball method can deliver unique data and is quite informative. To an extent, the researcher is turning over study control to the participants, as expansion of the project requires new referrals from existing participants Noy, 2008). However, given the very limited data available on the population studied herein, the snowball sampling method appears to be the most efficacious choice.

Respondent-driven sampling is a modification of snowball sampling based on the work of Heckathorn (as discussed by Treiman, Lu & Oi, 2012). Considering the potential subjective bias of the snowball method (Creswell, 2009), the 'respondent driven sampling method' was established, which uses the biased network theory and Markov chain theory (both mathematical theories). Applying these assumptions, the 'respondent-driven sampling' method can yield population estimates that are unbiased (Treiman, Lu & Oi, 2012).

Mothers included in this study are those whose sons committed suicide as young as age 15 and as old as age 24. This population is potentially quite large. There are five predictors for this… [END OF PREVIEW]

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