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Theoretical & Conceptual Framework 1/2 Disciplines (Nursing) use theories to organize their body of knowledge and to establish

what is known about the phenomenon. Theory is essential to research as the initial inspiration that impels the researcher to embark on a research venture. A theory is defined as an integrated set of defined concepts and statements that present a view of a phenomenon and can be used to describe, explain, predict, and control that phenomenon. Theories are ABSTRACT Theories are abstract; rather than concrete. Abstract means that the theory is the expression of an idea, apart from any specific instance. An abstract idea focuses on more general things. Abstract ideas in theories can be tested through research to verify that they hold true in a concrete reality. Theories are CONCRETE Concrete refers to realities or actual instancesit focuses on the particular, rather than the general. For example, the word anxiety represents an abstract idea; a family members pacing in an intensive care waiting room is a particular instance and thus is concrete. Theories are generated as a result of research. Critical thinking is required to generate theory, to test theory, or to relate concrete realities to abstract ideas. Selye (1976) developed his theory of stress through specific instances demonstrated in multiple studies. Selye was a physician, he used case studies as specific instances of the phenomenon he was describing. The specific instances discovered during a qualitative study often are used to generate theory. Theories have been developed in nursing to explain phenomena important to clinical practice. For example, nursing has; a. a theory of uncertainty in illness (Mishel, 1988), b. a theory of health promotion behaviour (Pender, Murdaugh & Parsons 2001), and c. a theory of mother-infant attachment (Walker, 1992) In their theory of mother-infant bonding, Klaus and Kennell (1976) suggested that bonding between a mother and her newborn child occurred within hours or days of birth. They proposed that if skin-to-skin physical contact between mother and child did not occur during this short time frame, bonding would not occur, and the relationship between mother and child would be permanently impaired. Nurses leaped on this idea and focused intensely on ensuring that early physical contact occurred between mother and newborn. However, research testing this theoretical notion demonstrated that it was not true (Walker, 1992). Mother and newborn, although kept apart because of illness or other circumstances, were able to bond. This example supports the contention that theories should not be applied to clinical practice without first testing the ideas through research. These findings, expressed as the Theory of Attachment (Walker, 1992) guide nurses in their care of mothers and their children. Theoretical Framework The theoretical framework consists of theories, principles, generalizations and research findings which are closely related to the present study under investigation. It is in this framework where the present research problem understudy evolved. Authors of these theories and principles should be cited. As much as possible research findings and theories should be correct. Uses of theoretical framework Explicit statement of the theoretical assumptions permits them to be evaluated critically. The theoretical framework connects the researcher to existing knowledge. Guided by a relevant theory, researchers have a basis for their hypotheses and choice of research methods. Articulating the theoretical assumptions of a research study forces the researcher to address questions of why and how. It permits researchers to move from simply describing a phenomenon observed to generalizing about various aspects of that phenomenon.

Having a theory helps to identify the limits to those generalizations. A theoretical framework specifies which key variables influence a phenomenon of interest. It alerts the researcher to examine how those key variables might differ in varied populations How to develop the theoretical framework Examine your thesis title or topic and research problem. Example: Farmers comprehension of usage instructions on pesticide packaging

Brainstorm on what you consider to be the key variables in your research. Answer the
question: What factors contribute to the presumed effect (dependent variable)? In our example above, it is: What are the determinants of farmers comprehension of usage instructions? What factors influence the way farmers understand usage instructions on packaging (boxes, bottles)? Read and review related literature to find answers to your research question. List the constructs and variables that might be relevant to your study. Group variables into independent and dependent. In our example thesis topic above, these would be: Dependent variable: Farmers comprehension of usage instructions Independent: Farmers sources of pest management information, perceived credibility of source and frequency of exposure

The paradigm illustrates the conceptual framework of the study and how dehydration technology can be incorporated in the school curriculum and proper application. The incorporation in the secondary curriculum and its proper application with the end recipient of the study to be the school and its stakeholders as such opening a pathway to career and lifelong education. Review the social science theories (communication, psychology, sociology, anthropology) and choose the theory that can best explain the relationships between the key variables in your study. Discuss the assumptions or propositions of this theory and point out their relevance to your research. Conceptual Models/Frameworks Conceptual models are similar to theories and sometimes are referred to as theories. However, conceptual models are even more abstract than theories.

A conceptual model broadly explains phenomena of interest, expresses assumptions, and reflects a philosophical stance. A phenomenon is an occurrence or a circumstance that is observed, something that is impresses the observer as extraordinary, or a thing that appears to and is constructed by the mind. Caring is a phenomenon. You provide caring as part of your nursing practice. How do you explain caring in your nursing practice? You can give a specific example of your caring for a patient, but can you make clear what caring is? Watson (1985) has developed a conceptual model of caring that expresses her philosophy of caring in nursing. Conceptual models generally are not considered testable through research. However, theories derived from a conceptual model can be tested. A number of conceptual models have been developed in nursing. Roys model (Roy and Andrews, 1999) describes adaptation as the primary phenomenon of interest to nursing.

Their model identifies the elements they consider essential to adaptation and describes how the elements interact to produce adaptation. Orem (2001) considers self-care to be the phenomenon that is central to nursing. Her model explains how nurses facilitate the self-care of clients. Roger (Rogers, Malinski, and Barrett, 1994) sees human beings as the central phenomenon on interest to nursing. It is designed to explain the nature of human beings. A conceptual model may use the same or similar terms as those of other models but define them in different in different ways. For example, Roy, Orem, and Rogers all may use the term health but define it in different ways. How would you define health? Schematic Models/Conceptual Map Schematic models are visual representations of some aspect of reality; like conceptual models and theories, they use concepts as building blocks, but with minimal use of words. A visual or symbolic representation of a theory or conceptual framework often helps to express abstract ideas in a concise and readily understandable form.

Schematic models, which are common in both qualitative and quantitative research, represent phenomena graphically. Also referred to as conceptual map. Concepts and the linkages between them are represented through the use of boxes, arrows, or other symbols. Penders Health Promotion Model, is a model for explaining and predicting the health-promotion component of lifestyle (Pender, Murdaugh, and Parsons, 2006)

Framework A framework is a brief explanation of a theory or those portions of a theory to be tested in a quantitative study. Every quantitative study has a framework. This is true whether the study is physiological or psychosocial. A clearly expressed framework is one indication of a well-developed quantitative study.

In a study based on a theory, the framework is referred to as the theoretical framework; In a study that has its roots in a specified conceptual model, the framework is often called conceptual framework (although the terms conceptual framework and theoretical framework are frequently used interchangeably)

It is the overall conceptual underpinnings of a study including an overall rationale and conceptual definitions of key concepts. (Conceptual Framework) Not every study is based on a formal theory or conceptual model, but every study has a frameworka theoretical rationale. When researchers fail to clarify the conceptual underpinnings of their research variables, it becomes difficult to integrate research findings. Researchers undertaking a study should make clear the conceptual definition of their key variables, thereby providing information about the studys framework. Element of Theory a. Concept A concept is a term that abstractly describes and names an object or phenomenon, thus providing it with a separate identity or meaning. For example, the term anxiety is a concept. The concept is the basic element of a theory. Two terms closely related to concept; Construct In conceptual models, concepts have very general meanings. A construct associated with the concept of anxiety might be emotional responses. Variable A variable is more specific than a concept. The word variable implies that the term is defined so that it is measurable and suggests that numerical values of the term are able to vary (vari-able) from one instance to another. A variable related to anxiety Construct Emotional responses might be palmar sweating, because a specific method exists for assigning numerical Abstract values to varying amounts of palmar sweats.

Concept Variable Concrete

Anxiety Palmar Sweating

b. Statement c. Conceptual Map Theoretical and Conceptual Framework 2/2 Introduction In formulating research framework it explain the existence of a problem. It serves as the basis for examining and analyzing the connection between or the study among variables. Most research study involves the examination of relationship between variable. One of the most important concepts in research is the concept of variable. Many kinds of variable and many research involve the examination of relationship between variables, it may studied one at a time or in a relation to other variable Definition of Terms Framework The abstract, logical structure of meaning that guides the development of the study and enables the researcher to link the findings to nursling's body of knowledge. Theoretical Framework Term used in a study based on a theory. Conceptual Framework Term used in a study that has its roots in a specified conceptual model. Models A connection with symbolic representation of a conceptualization. Concepts Refers to the abstraction. Construct Refers to an abstraction or mental representation inferred from situations or behaviors. Paradigm Is a world view, a general perspective on the complexities of the real world. Variables In quantitative studies, this refers to concepts. As the name implies, it is something that varies. Theory Accdg. to scientist: It refers to an abstract generalization that offers a systematic explanation about how phenomena are interrelated. Accdg. to traditional definition: It is a statement of relationship w/ atleast two concept that are related in a manner that the theory support to explain. Accdg to working definition: Is composed of specific concept & proposition that attempts to account for particular notion that is observable in the real world. Components of a Traditional Theory Scientific theory defined as a series of proposition regarding interrelationship among concepts. Types 1. Grand theories (macrotheories) - it supports to describe & explain large segment of human experience. 2. Middle-Range Theories - it attempts to explain such phenomena as decision making, stress, selfcare, health promotion, & infant attachment. Proposition are statement that suggest a specific relationship between two or more concepts, so that a prediction , explanation, or description of something can be provided.

Two Forms of Proposition 1. Axiom Is a statement that links the concept of a theory. The links or relationships between concepts are assumed to be true. 2. Theorem Is a statement that designate a relationship between concepts that are deduced from relationship already formed by axiom Concept Are imaginary, abstract pictures or mental images formed from real-world observation of things, object or events that an individual has experience. Construct It is the reflection of the specific, potentially observable characteristics of a concept and thus facilitates testing of the idea. Model A connection with symbolic representation of a conceptualization. Types 1. Schematic model Represent phenomena graphically. 2. Statistical Model Uses symbols to express the nature of relationship among variable Schematic Model Frameworks Is the overall conceptual underpinning of the study. 1. Theoretical Framework - The study is based on a theory 2. Conceptual Framework - The study is rooted in a specified conceptual model Theoretical Framework Presents a theory that explains why a problem under study exists (Mercado, 1994). Explains the connection between certain factors and the problem. A background in theories on behaviour, education, communication, sociology and anthropology can be very useful in formulating a theoretical framework. The concepts used in a theoretical framework are abstract and expressed in generally terms. Purpose of a Theoretical Framework in Research o It provides the general framework which can guide data analysis. o It identifies the variables to be measured. o It explains why one variable can possibly affect another or why the independent variable can possibly influence the dependent variable. o It limits the scope of data relevant to the framework by focusing on specific variables. o It stipulates the specific frame of mind or viewpoint that the researcher will take in analyzing and interpreting the data. Conceptual Framework Is an elaboration of the theoretical framework in concrete terms. Is anchored on the theoretical framework. Needs to be consistent with and related to the theoretical framework. Based on the theory used or the related literature, the predicted association between variables or the assumed effect of one variable (independent variable) on another variable (dependent variable) is explained.

The Conceptual Framework explains in more detail the: Variables to observe in the study Assumed connection between the independent and the dependent variable The conceptual framework is summarized in paradigm or schematic diagram identifying the hypothesized link between the independent and dependent variables, independent and intervening variables and intervening and dependent variables or between an independent variable and dependent variable, controlling for the effect of another variable. Variables - A variable is a concept that stands for a variation within a class of objects or persons (Fraenkel and Wallen, 1996) - A variable is a characteristic or property that can take different values or attributes (Schutt, 1999) - Variables are the basic elements which are measured in a study. They are observable and measurable. Types of Variables aacdg. to function Numerical variables continuous - with this type of data, one can develop more and more accurate measurements depending on the instrument used, e.g.: height in centimeters (2.5 cm or 2.546 cm or 2.543216 cm) temperature in degrees Celsius (37.20C or 37.199990C etc.) discrete - these are variables in which numbers can only have full values, e.g.: number of visits to a clinic (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, etc). number of sexual partners (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc.) Categorical variables ordinal -these are grouped variables that are ordered or ranked in increasing or decreasing order: For example: High income (above $300 per month); Middle income ($100-$300 per month); and Low income (less than $100 per month). Other examples are: Disability: no disability, partial disability, serious or total disability Seriousness of a disease: severe, moderate, mild Agreement with a statement: fully agree, partially agree, fully disagree Fear of leprosy: will not share food with a patient; will not enter the house of a patient; will not allow patient to live in the community. Note: Fear of leprosy is an attitude, and attitudes are often scaled (you make them into ordinal variables). It is obvious that the definition of what we would call high (income) or far (distance) will vary from country to country and from region to region. If a researcher has little idea about the distribution of a certain variable in a population (for example, if you dont know whether 30%, 50%, or 95% are below the poverty line of $100 per month), it is advisable to categorise numerical data only after the pre-test, or even after data collection nominal - the groups in these variables do not have an order or ranking in them. For example: Sex: male, female Main food crops: maize, millet, rice, etc. Religion: Christian, Moslem, Hindu, Buddhism, etc. Types of Variables Dependent Variable - The dependent variable is the assumed effect of another variable. Independent Variable - The independent variable is the assumed cause of a problem. It is an assumed reason for change or variation in a dependent variable. It is sometimes treated as antecedent variable. For example

in a study of the relationship between smoking and lung cancer, suffering from lung cancer (with the values yes, no) would be the dependent variable and smoking (varying from not smoking to smoking more than three packets a day) the independent variable. Whether a variable is dependent or independent is determined by the statement of the problem and the objectives of the study. It is therefore important when designing an analytical study to clearly state which variable is the dependent and which the independent ones are. Note that if a researcher investigates why people smoke, smoking is the dependent variable, and pressure from peers to smoke could be an independent variable. In the lung cancer study smoking was the independent variable. Intervening Variable/ confounding variable - The intervening variable is a factor that works between the independent and dependent variables. It can weaken (decrease) or strengthen (increase) the effect of the independent on the dependent variables. It is also called a facilitating variable, moderator or a control variable. Therefore, in order to give a true picture of cause and effect, possible confounding variables must be considered, either at planning stage or while doing data analysis For example: A relationship is shown between bottlefeeding and diarrhea in under-twos. However, mothers education may be related to bottlefeeding as well as to diarrhea. Mothers education is therefore a potential confounding variable. In order to give a true picture of the relationship between bottle-feeding and diarrhea of under-twos, the influence of mothers education should be controlled. This could either be addressed in the research design, e.g., by selecting only mothers with a specific level of education, or it could be taken into account during the analysis of the findings by analysing the relation between bottlefeeding and diarrhea separately for mothers with different levels of education. Antecedent Variable - An antecedent variable is a factor or characteristic which is found before (ante) the independent variable. It is expected to influence the independent variable/s. it is usually irreversible. Operationalising variables by choosing appropriate indicators Note that the different values of many of the variables presented up to now can easily be determined. However, for some variables it is sometimes not possible to find meaningful categories unless the variables are made operational with one or more precise INDICATORS. Operationalising variables means that you make them measurable: For example: In many studies, if you want to determine the level of knowledge concerning a specific issue in order to find out to what extent the factor poor knowledge influences the problem under study (for example low utilisation of pre-natal care by pregnant women). The variable level of knowledge cannot be measured as such. You would need to develop a series of questions to assess a womans knowledge, for example on pre-natal care and risk factors related to pregnancy. The answers to these questions form an indicator of someones knowledge on this issue, which can then be categorised. If 10 questions were asked, you might decide that the knowledge of those with: 0 to 3 correct answers is poor, 4 to 6 correct answers is reasonable, and 7 to 10 correct answers is good. For example:

Nutritional status of under-5 year olds is another example of a variable that cannot be measured directly and for which you would need to choose appropriate indicators. Widely used indicators for nutritional status include: Weight in relation to age (W/A) Weight in relation to height (W/H) Height in relation to age (H/A) Upper-arm circumference (UAC) For example: For the classification of nutritional status, internationally accepted categories already exist, which are based on so-called standard growth curves. For the indicator Weight/Age, for example, children are: well-nourished if they are above 80% of the standard, moderately malnourished if they are between 60% and 80%, and severely malnourished if they are below 60%. Note: When defining variables on the basis of the problem analysis diagram, it is important to realize which variables are measurable as such and which ones need indicators. Once appropriate indicators have been identified we know exactly what information we are looking for. This makes the collection of data as well as the analysis more focused and efficient. Establishing Categories of Variables Mutually Exclusive Categories Mutually exclusive categories do not overlap. Categories are mutually exclusive when a respondent cannot be assigned to more than one category. - Knowledge scores can be grouped and each group assigned to a category such as high level of knowledge, average level of knowledge and low level of knowledge . Exhaustive Categories Categories are exhaustive if all the possible responses are included among the options of responses. The answers given by each respondent can be assigned to a particular category. - If the researcher is not sure about the exhaustiveness of the categories identified, he/she should include Others, the catch all category. Under this category, responses which cannot be assigned to any of the other categories can be classified.