Article: Harris, M.B. &amp Franklin

Pages: 12 (3365 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Children  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] This study fell under the category of quasi-experiment because it utilized a treatment and a comparison group. It also used a pre and post test model. Therefore, this was a pretest posttest nonequivalent group design. This increases generalizability of the results. This study was not a true experiment because it did not randomly assign individuals to groups (because of ethical issues).

16. This study had two limitations that threatened the internal validity of the study. The first threat to the internal validity was that of the selection mortality rate. Four participants dropped out of the comparison group and one dropped out of the treatment group, due to transferring schools. The second threat to internal validity was that of unseen differences between the two groups. The researchers compared a limited number of demographic variables at pretest, but it is impossible to account for all possible differences at pretest and therefore, it is possible some were missed. Psychographics were not investigated at pretest and therefore might account for some difference between the groups.

17. There were two threats to external validity. External validity refers to the likelihood that the data can extend to the rest of the population. This study looked at a very specific demographic; Mexican mothers in the southwest. Focusing on one specific culture reduces generalizability. The researcher cannot claim that these results can extend to other adolescents in other cultures. The location is another threat to external validity. The program was implemented in only one location. There might have been something unique to this school or this region of the country that will not extend to other schools. Although the researchers do not claim their results will extend to the rest of the population, they believe that, based on previous research, their program can in fact benefit adolescent mothers in other cultures, from different backgrounds in other locations. They base this assumption on previous research done on cognitive-behavioral skills building approaches that have demonstrated effective for other groups. Of course, additional research is necessary to make such claim with any certainty.

18. To evaluate the data, an ANOVA was used for both the pretest data and the posttest data. It is appropriate to use an ANOVA when a researcher would like to see whether there is a significant difference between two or more groups. In this case, researchers wished to see if a difference existed between the comparison group and the treatment group before beginning the treatment period and after completing the treatment period. Two hypotheses were tested. A Bonferroni was used to offset Type-I error and the alpha was set at .01. A Bonferroni correction is appropriate to use when testing multiple hypotheses and reduces the familywise error rate. This was appropriate in this study because researchers were testing both attendance and grade average.

19. After analyzing the data of the pre and the post test, results indicated a significant difference in both attendance and grade average between the treatment and the control group. Groups were assumed equal after administrating the pretest where an ANOVA found no significant difference in the demographic variables of age and grade level or in the outcome variables of attendance and grade average. The pretest took into account the first six weeks of the spring semester. Unlike the pretest, the posttest resulted in significant differences after running the ANOVA and accounting for the Bonferroni correction. Results indicated a significant difference in both the attendance and the grade average, the two outcome variables. The treatment group showed an increase of 8% in attendance while the comparison group showed a decrease of about 2% in attendance.

A significant difference was also found for the outcome variable of grade average between the treatment and the control group. Like attendance, grade averages reflected the first six weeks of the spring semester for pretest and the posttest reflected the six weeks ending immediately after the final group session. At posttest, the treatment group increased grade average by 2.04 points while the comparison group dropped 2.70 in grade average during the course of the six weeks while the intervention was in progress. Therefore, both hypothesis were supported.

20. Multiple limitations exist. The researchers address four such limitations. The first limitation the researchers address is that of the potential differences between the two groups upon beginning the study. Although attempting to recognize any differences that might exist, the researchers acknowledge that the quasi-experimental design is weak in this area as participants are not randomly assigned to groups. The second limitation is that of the small sample size. Although the sample size is typical for this type of study, a larger sample size might result in different results. The third limitation is that of lack of follow-up. The lack of follow-up does not allow the researchers to make claim of the initiative's long-term effectiveness. It is impossible to determine that the participants gained any long-term benefits at all. The final limitation is the difficulty to extend these results to the rest of the population. The sample consisted of a homogenous group of young mothers. For example, most were Mexican, lived in the southwest, were not diagnosed with any mental illness and were not part of a foster system. Possibly, a different sample set would lead to different results. The researchers are confident that, despite these limitations, the findings is promising and that the Taking Charge Initiative is worth investigating further.

21. This research has practical implications for social work practices. The education of a young mother is detrimental to her, and her child's future. Any aid in continuing and finishing high school will help the young woman to avoid poverty during the course of her life. The study points to the responsibility of the school and school social workers to lend support to the adolescents to the best of their ability as this institution has a significant impact on the outcome of the mothers' educations. This study adds to the knowledge of cognitive-behavioral interventions and provides another tool for social workers to use when attempting to change the behavior, and the outcomes, of pregnant or parenting adolescent girls. This study provides support for the effectiveness of a program that has demonstrated success for a particular group of adolescents and therefore adds to the available tools for social workers and schools. The more programs available with evidence of success, the more likely a school can find a program that fits their community, culture and students.

22. The assent and consent process was adequate for this sample. First, pregnant or parenting adolescents were invited to participate in this study. They gathered for an orientation where the assent and consent forms were distributed. Assent forms were used for adolescent living alone, or without a parent or guardian, and assent along with consent forms were given to those who lived with their parents or guardians. Although one must use caution when working with children, if the adolescent is an emancipated minor and there is no guardian to approve the consent form, the minor would be entitled to make the decision on her own. Some participants were at or above the legal age of eighteen and therefore did not require a consent form. In addition, the adolescents were all at least fifteen years of age and therefore able to decide if they would like to participate in the study. The assent form allowed them to have the ultimate decision to participate or not. It appeared that the study presented only minimal risks to the participants.

23. The authors do not address how the participants involvement in the study is kept confidential. It is clear that participation is not anonymous as the study does not allow for that. An anonymous study would not identify the participants to anyone, including the researcher. As the researcher is facilitating the intervention and therefore must have face-to-face interaction with the participants, this is not possible. It is possible to keep participation confidential from other students in the school. This might be important to students if they are not interested in letting others know they are pregnant. Simply by reading the study, it is not clear if participants participation was kept confidential or not. Therefore, it is inconclusive whether the researchers did an adequate job of maintaining confidentiality or not.

24. The researchers made adjustments to be culturally sensitive throughout the study. The intervention program was designed for a Hispanic culture and the majority of the participants identified as Hispanic or Mexican. Therefore, the researchers tailored the program to the culture. During the program, researchers focused on developing unity through initiating activities the young women would be familiar with. For instance, the group ate lunch together during group sessions. In the Hispanic culture, preparing and sharing food is a tradition. This allowed the participants to grow closer. The researchers believe this is one factor that led to the participants remaining in… [END OF PREVIEW]

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