Discussion: Integrating The Research Process

About 15 years ago, before evidence-based practice became a standard to which to aspire, a professor found an article describing a treatment program for substance-abusing African-American women that incorporated their children and aimed to preserve their families. The program was built around principles of African-centered theory. The professor thought the program appeared well designed and heartily urged students to study the article and possibly find ways to imitate the program ideas, if not the program itself. A few years later, the professor, having continued her education, especially in the area of research, searched for a follow-up on the program, perhaps reporting outcomes and evidence of effectiveness. No research evidence on the program appears in the scholarly journals. In fact, no evidence that the program continues to exist at this time has been found. The fact that what appeared to be a promising practice approach did not endure or have the opportunity to benefit from evaluation is unfortunate.

Note: This week you will work as a class to create a plan for evaluating the rite of passage program described in the assigned article. Each member of the class will be assigned one step of the research process:

1.Research problems and questions
2.Finding and using existing knowledge
3.Focused research questions and research hypothesis
4.Research methods
5.Sampling issues and options
6.Measurement
7.Data acquisition
8.Data collection instruments
9.Analyzing data
10.Disseminating research findings

To prepare for this Discussion, read the Poitier et al. study and then revisit what you have learned about your assigned step of the research process. Consider what would be the most important information to share with your colleagues about that step. Together the class will create a research plan for evaluating the rite of passage program described in the assigned article.

Required Readings

Poitier, V. L., Niliwaambieni, M., & Rowe, C. L. (1997). A rite of passage approach designed to preserve the families of substance-abusing African American women. Child Welfare, 76(1), 173–195.
Retrieved from Walden Library databases.

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