Chat with us, powered by LiveChat Investigating differences between qualitative and quantitative methods. Many times research articles will specify which method was used by the researchers in the Methods - Wridemy Essaydoers

Investigating differences between qualitative and quantitative methods. Many times research articles will specify which method was used by the researchers in the Methods

 

Investigating differences between qualitative and quantitative methods. Many times research articles will specify which method was used by the researchers in the “Methods” section of an article.

For this Discussion, you will analyze the similarities and differences between qualitative and quantitative methodology. Also, you will critically examine a research question to determine the best method to investigate the question.

The research question is:  Which research method is better for investigating the impact of music on my client’s mood, qualitative or quantitative?

Be sure to support your posting with references and learning resources.  And be sure to use proper APA format and citations.  Minimum 3 sentences per paragraph to ensure you fully explain your thoughts, feelings, and ideas.

Here are suggested headings for your posting: 

Quantitative Research Study 

Qualitative Research Study

Most effective method for my client

Summary

References

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Quantitative Methods: An Example

© 2017-2021 Walden University, LLC 1

Quantitative Methods: An Example Program Transcript

NARRATOR: In this program, Dr. George Smeaton discusses his research study, an example of quantitative research. As he describes his study, pay particular attention to the research design, design elements, and decisions that were made during the design process.

GEORGE SMEATON: My research interests have been in interpersonal relationships. I've studied interpersonal attraction a good deal. And I've also studied sexual behavior, particularly unsafe sexual behavior and sexual aggression, sometimes known as acquaintance rape or date rape.

I'd like to talk about one study that I've done that I think you might find interesting. It's a study in which I went to Panama City Beach, Florida, with a colleague, to collect data on the sexual behavior and substance abuse of students engaging in a spring break vacation.

I was interested in studying this because I've always been interested in the factors that relate to unsafe sexual behavior because of its potential for spreading sexually transmitted diseases and contributing to unwanted pregnancies.

There's been a lot of research that indicates that alcohol consumption contributes to this. There's been plenty of studies which have shown that if students are consuming a lot of alcohol that puts them at greater risk for engaging in casual sex that's often unprotected.

And so it occurred to me that if there was a setting or an activity that was really associated with a high level of alcohol consumption, then that particular setting would put the student participants in it at risk for this kind of outcome. So when I thought about that, I thought what would be setting that would really be associated with a lot of that and the one we came to mind immediately was the North American spring break tradition.

The North American spring break tradition is really interesting because it brings hundreds of thousands of students from throughout the United States and Canada to just a few locations Panama City Beach, Daytona Beach, South Padre, Texas, and a couple of places of Mexico.

And they come for a one week vacation over just a six week period of time during the spring. It's been made infamous as being a situation where a great deal of alcohol consumption and casual sexual activity occurs from the media through MTV and through movies, but what's particularly interesting about that is that, if that is a setting where students do engage in a great deal of unprotected sexual activity, because it brings so many people together into one place, it offers the

Quantitative Methods: An Example

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opportunity for students to encounter sexually transmitted diseases that they might not have encountered in their home campus. And then they would have the opportunity to spread those diseases back to their home campus.

Tourism has been found to be one of the ways in which HIV has been spread throughout the world. And with this population, college students, it may well be that this particular kind of tourist activity, the spring break tradition, is a key way in which HIV and possibly other STDs might be spread through college campuses throughout the country.

I looked into this to see what research had been done and I was really surprised that no one had done any research on this phenomenon, even though hundreds of thousands of students are doing it every year. So it occurred to me then that what was needed was a quantitative study to establish the baseline level of these kinds of behaviors taking place in that setting.

This wouldn't be a study that would directly involve any kind of intervention, but it would have important social change implications because, if we found that students there are in fact engaging in much more substance abuse than would take place at a typical college campus and would be engaging in more unsafe sexual activity, then that would suggest that possibly there could be interventions that could be done on their home campuses, and maybe at these settings, that could possibly reduce the spread of sexually transmitted diseases to college campuses.

After I decided to study this spring break phenomenon, shortly after that I met an individual on my own campus who happened to be a hospitality and tourism professor who had studied the spring break phenomenon from the business perspective. He'd studied the financial impact of spring break destinations on the local economy and things of that nature.

And he was now interested in how various factors such as its location, its climate, even the diligence of law enforcement, contribute to students' decision to choose a particular destination. So when he heard about my interests in studying the sexual behavior and substance abuse of students in spring break, he was really excited about the possibility that the two of us could work together to put a survey together that would answer all of our collective research questions at once.

So, therefore, we decided to do a quantitative survey study to establish baseline data on the kinds of substance abuse questions and sexual behavior questions that I was interested in and the tourism motivation questions that my colleague was interested in.

Once we decided that we wanted to do that approach, we had three things we had to figure out. First of all, we had to put together an instrument. And secondly,

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we had to figure out an approach to administering that survey instrument. And then third, we had to determine a sampling method.

The instrument was kind of difficult to put together because no one had done anything. Typically what you would do in that situation is you try to use a measure that's already been used in a previous study. There were no previous studies, so we had to make it up from scratch.

What we wanted to do was we wanted to make sure that when we put the survey together that students wouldn't, when they took a look at the questions, immediately be turned off by some of the more sensitive questions that we were asking.

So again we designed the survey, we were very careful to make sure that we started out with the least sensitive questions, the questions dealing with tourism issues. And then we moved to questions that were slightly more sensitive, alcohol questions, then the illegal drug use questions, and then, finally, the sexual behavior questions.

That way we built the rapport with the respondents. By the time they reached the most sensitive questions, they were very comfortable completing the survey. When we had put together a survey that we were fairly satisfied with, then we brought it to some of our students to get feedback. And that was really an important thing to do because they give us some really good suggestions.

One suggestion, in particular, was we had a question where we ask students how often they drink to the point of getting intoxicated during their spring break vacation. The highest choice we had on that was every day. But our students told us that that wasn't high enough.

That, in fact, students during spring break often get intoxicated more than once a day. Once during the daytime and possibly once in the evening. And they said there are some students who are intoxicated the whole time they're there.

So, as a result, we added more than once a day and all the time to that particular item. So it was really important to get some feedback on our survey from the population that we would like to give it to before we actually administered it.

When it came time to determine how we were going to administer it, the typical way that a survey like that is administered is in large lecture classes. Students are already assembled. They're given the survey maybe at the beginning of class or at the end of class. That's a good way of doing it for a lot of purposes because it's very economical. You can watch over the students to make sure they're taking the survey seriously. And, unlike mail surveys, they're not going to lose the survey or forget to turn it in.

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But for this particular study, that didn't work very well because, in any given class, only a small portion would have been on a spring break vacation. And many of them wouldn't have been on one for several years so their memory about it wouldn't been very clear.

So we concluded that the best way to study this would be to actually go to the setting and administer surveys to students on the spot. It would be more efficient and we'd get better data.

So that was the approach we took. We had to obtain funding from our university to go down there. And we were a little unsure that we would get this funding for this particular study. But to our amazement, they actually gave us everything we wanted except they didn't fund us for payment for the students, the participants.

So we had no idea if, when we went down there, students would take time out of their vacation to complete our survey. But we thought we'd take a chance on it anyway. So we did.

And when we arrived there, we determined our sampling method by, after we kind of looked around the situation, we found that there was two areas where the students were congregated on the beach. They were separate by about a mile.

So what we did then was we'd alternate. One day we'd survey in one place and the other day we'd survey in the other place. We'd start at one end of the beach and we'd survey every single person we encountered. What we'd call that is a convenience sample, strictly speaking.

But because people arrange themselves fairly randomly on the beach, and because we were encountering every single person that we came along, we came up with a fairly representative sample of the students who were on this vacation.

It was amazing. We approached 800 students during a scope of one week and we only had five students who turned us down. And our survey design seemed to work very well because no one who started the survey discontinued it at any point.

Every survey that we gathered was completed. So that approach that we did of starting out with the safe questions and moving to the more objectionable ones seemed to work quite well.

When we returned, we analyzed the data. And we found that students did consume a great deal more alcohol during that setting than would be typically the case in an average week on campus. In fact, the items, more than once a day and all the time, were frequently chosen by students down there. And we could see that was true based on our observations of students on the beach.

Quantitative Methods: An Example

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With regard to sexual behavior, it was relatively uncommon that people had sexual encounters with people hadn't met before during spring break. But when these things did occur, they were often unprotected.

One interesting finding that we found was that we found that males who had a relationship partner back home were more likely to have sex with a new partner during spring break than males who did not have a steady relationship partner back home. So that indicated that the setting really did have the potential for spreading STDs to people who were not even involved in the activity.

We came up with a lot of good baseline data on these kinds of behaviors from using this quantitative method, but there were a number of questions that we couldn't answer from this approach.

For example, one of the most important questions was, did this setting contribute to this extremely high levels of substance abuse, or did we simply see that the portion of students who are already extremely high users of various kinds of substances were attracted to come to these places in the first place.

So that's something we wouldn't know from our data. We would wonder, maybe, if males with relationship partners at home, if they go on vacations of this nature with a specific intention of having an outside fling, or if that's something that just happens.

We'd wonder, possibly, if students are aware of the risks that are involved in this kind of vacation or maybe they are aware and they're just willing to take those chances. The way to answer those kinds of questions would be to go and do some type of focus group research, or possibly in-depth interviews, qualitative research designs.

And that's something we would like to do as a follow-up to this quantitative study that we did. It was a good first step by means of studying something that had never been studied before. But our data approach still leaves many questions that we need to answer using possibly other approaches.

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Qualitative Methods: An Example

© 2017-2021 Walden University, LLC 1

Qualitative Methods: An Example Program Transcript

NARRATOR: Dr. Sreeroopa Sarkar's research study is an example of qualitative research. Its design was made particularly interesting because of cultural questions and decisions that guided the design process. Listen as she explains.

SREEROOPA SARKAR: Today, I'm going to describe two research studies that myself and Dr. Bonnie Nastasi of Walden University have carried out for promoting mental health among the schoolchildren in the South Asian countries of Sri Lanka and India. These two studies were formative in nature and it aimed at assisting the mental health needs of the adolescent school students in these two countries and resources available to them to deal with any kind of mental health issues.

The first study was initiated in Sri Lanka. We wanted to test the model in a similar culture. So as a native of India, I wanted to extend this study on the model that we developed in Sri Lanka and wanted to test it in a similar culture in the neighboring country of India. We expected that India and Sri Lanka has many similarities in cultures.

I'd like to share with you why we decided to carry out these two studies in two different cultures. We have been involved in a sexual risk prevention project with the youth in Sri Lanka. And during our interviews with the young adults, many of the mental health issues that came up such as suicide, alcohol and drug abuse, and so on– for example, suicide rate among the adolescents in Sri Lanka was very high. That was also the case for adolescents in India.

Sri Lanka has the highest rate of suicide in the world. And the rate of suicide among the adolescent population, particularly between the age of 15 to 18, is highest in India. We also found out that drug and alcohol abuse is on the rise in both cultures and there are also incidents of gang activities or criminal activities, community violence, that were affecting the adolescents and the young adults in both countries.

We started looking into the literature and we also found that there is very limited emphasis on mental health issues in both cultures. There are also very limited resources available. For example, in Sri Lanka, there are only 19 psychiatrists available for a population of 20 million. There are also misconceptions as well as widespread ignorance about mental illnesses and mental disorders. And there are also cultural stigmas about mental illnesses in both of these cultures.

In this background, we decided to initiate our first study in Sri Lanka. And for conceptualizing mental health for the purpose of our study, we used three theoretical frameworks. One was Bronfenbrenner's ecological developmental framework, which emphasizes on the role of ecology in influencing a person's

Qualitative Methods: An Example

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development. We also used personal and environmental factors model, which emphasizes the importance of personal factors as well as environmental factors in influencing a person's mental health. And the third framework that we have used was the primary prevention of mental illnesses through promotion of personal social competencies.

So based on these theoretical frameworks, we generated six major mental health constructs or variables that are related to mental health. First was the culturally valued personal and social competencies. The second construct was social stressors as viewed by the adolescents in that culture.

Third was what kind of coping strategies that the youth utilized to deal with major mental health problems and stressors. Fourth was what kind of social resources that are available to the youth to deal with mental illnesses. Fifth was personal and family history that makes an individual vulnerable to mental illnesses. And the last was socialization practices and agents that influences a person's development.

We realized that using a qualitative research method would be very effective in this formative research stage. We have decided to use the ethnographic research tradition because we were trying to understand mental health from the perspective of the people from two different cultures which are very different from the cultures that we see in the United States. We wanted to learn about the culture from the perspective of the people of the culture. We wanted to get a definition of mental health as the people from that country defined it– how they viewed mental health, how they viewed different mental health problems, what kind of attitudes they have toward mental health. So we felt that ethnographic research method will enable us to get a very culture specific definition of mental health.

We conducted focus group interviews with the schoolchildren. We started with open ended questions and based on what kind of responses we are getting– for example if they wanted to discuss a particular topic, we also wanted to focus on that particular topic and discuss it with the children in detail.

I'll give you an example. When we were conducting interviews with them and we asked them about social stressors, many of the children were very vocal about academic pressure. And we wanted to explore that issue in detail and we asked them more questions about academic pressure. And we found out that there are several factors such as rigorous examination system in the country, high level of competition, parental pressure for academic achievement, as well as lack of opportunity for identity creation were identified as major stressors by the children.

Another example would be when asking females students about social stressors in India and Sri Lanka, girls talked a lot about sexual harassment and molestation that they encounter in everyday life. So we were very interested and asked them

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more questions about that and we wanted to discuss it in detail. We found out the girls are regularly teased by boys on the streets and they're also molested frequently in the public transportation by men. They identified that problem as a major social stressor for them. We expected that the findings from these studies will help us developing a culture specific survey questionnaire and an intervention tool that we can use with a larger population of adolescent students in both of these countries.

I'll give you some of the examples of our findings. Some of the characteristics of personal social competencies as defined by the adolescents in that culture included honesty, hard work, ability to balance between work or play, and respect for elders. Social stressors as viewed by the adolescents included poverty, academic pressure, sexual harassment, family violence, fights between the parents, and divorce of the parents. Some of the coping strategies that they described included crying, pouting, isolation, listening to music, or seeking support from family members, from parents, and from friends. Social resources available to the adolescents included seeking support from family, friends, or seeking support from private tutors who particularly helped them in their academic needs. Interestingly, students never discussed getting any kind of support from professionals such as psychiatrists or psychologists.

Based on our findings from both of these research studies, there are several implications. First, the findings from these studies suggested a strong need for mental health services for the adolescent school students in both of these countries. Secondly, based on the qualitative data as well as our intervention data, we expect to recommend to the policymakers of the country several things. We expect to recommend them that they may explore the opportunity for integrating personal/social competency promotion or life skill training to the children in the schools, such as how to deal with stressors. It will teach them resiliency or it will teach them how to seek support when they are having some kind of mental health problems.

One of the challenges that I personally had to deal with while carrying out this research was keeping out my personal biases. I am a native of India and am very familiar with the culture of India as well as Sri Lanka. So when I went out there and I was carrying out interviews, I had to make sure that my personal biases doesn't interfere with data collection or data interpretation. And I think that's important for any qualitative researchers to remember, that we have to be careful. We have to be aware of any kind of personal biases that we bring in with ourselves into the research.

In closing, I would like to say that, as we expected, qualitative research was found very effective for this particular study. We found a very culture specific definition of the major mental health constructs that we were looking into. And based on the definition of this construct, we were successful in developing a culture specific instrument for collecting data as well as we developed an

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intervention program that we implemented in Sri Lanka. We hope to do the same in the future in India with the qualitative data that we have collected there.

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