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THE QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH

APPROACH
Chapter 2

RESEARCH STEPS WITHIN THE
QUANTITATIVE APPROACH
• Step 1: Identify a Problem Area
• Step 2 & 3: Review & Evaluate Literature
• Step 4 & 5: Be aware of ethical & cultural issues
• Step 6: State Research Question or hypothesis
• Step 7 & 8: Select research approach & decide
measures
• Step 9 & 10: Select a Sample & Data Collection Method

THE QUANTITATIVE APPROACH (Continued)
• Step 11: Collect and Code the Data
• Step 12: Data Analysis
• Step 13 & 14: Write & Disseminate the report

DEVELOPING THE RESEARCH QUESTION
– Developing Concepts
– Identifying Variables within Concepts

g.g. and a question with three or more variables is multivariate • Dependent and Independent Variables ..g. ethnic group) • Operationalization: the process of naming and defining variables for your study Putting Labels on Variables • Labeling the “units” to be measured for the selected dimension (e.g. Native American) Defining Independent and Dependent Variables • Bivariate Relationship: a research question that includes only two variables • a one-variable question is univariate. Ethnic groups may include: Asian. societal grouping) • Selecting a dimension of the concept to be measured (e. Hispanic. ethnicity) Identifying Variables Within Concepts • Consider all the dimensions that make up the concept (e. race.. identity.. culture.– Putting Value Labels on Variables – Defining Independent and Dependent Variables – Constructing Hypotheses Developing Concepts • Giving a name to an idea that you want to study (e.. Caucasian. African American.

– Names used to specify the direction of a relationship in a research question with two or more variables – Independent (X) Dependent (Y) • Studying (X) High grades (Y) • Aging (X) Vision Loss (Y) Constructing Hypotheses • Formulating research questions into statements – educated guesses • Non-directional hypothesis – Claims a relationship between two variables but does not specify the direction of this relationship • Directional hypothesis – specifically indicates the “predicted” direction of the relationship between two or more variables Hypothesis Examples • Non-directional hypothesis: African-American and Hispanic patients see hospital social workers at differential rates. – Note: the direction of the relationship is specified. – Note the direction of the relationship is not specified. Criteria for Constructing Hypotheses (Box 3.3) . • Directional hypothesis: African-American patients see hospital social workers less often than Hispanic patients.

• Features of a Good Quality Hypothesis – Relevance – Completeness – Specificity – Potential for testing DESIGNING THE RESEARCH STUDY • The “blueprint” for your study – Determining your sample – Deciding how. where. and when data are to be collected COLLECTING THE DATA • Three features that are key to quantitative studies – All variables must be measurable – All data collection procedures must be objective – All data collection procedures must be able to be duplicated (replicable) ANALYZING AND INTERPRETING THE DATA • Two major types of analysis in quantitative research studies – Descriptive statistics – Inferential statistics Descriptive Statistics • Statistics used to describe a study’s sample or population .

000) Inferential Statistics • Used to determine the probability that a relationship (between.g. median income is $24. mean age of BSW students is 24. two variables) found in the study sample also exists within the population from which the sample was drawn. 48% male) – Average (e.. say. and graphs AN EXPANDED EXAMPLE OF THE QUANITATIVE METHOD • Step 1: What’s the problem? • Step 2: Formulating initial impressions • Step 3: What others have found • Step 4: Refining the general problem area • Step 5: Measuring the variables • Step 6: Deciding the sample . regression PRESENTATION AND DISSEMINATION OF FINDINGS • Quantitative research findings are often presented using tables. figures. t-test..• Common descriptive statistics – % percentages (e.2 years. • Common inferential statistics – Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). 52% female.g.

Analyzing & Interpreting data • Step 11 & 12: Comparing results & study limitations • Step 13: Writing and disseminating study results SUMMARY • Quantitative research is based on the scientific method • It is a systematic process of inquiry that is used to investigate many social problems addressed by social workers . 9 & 10: Collecting.• Step 7: Obeying ethical principles • Steps 8.