Determining Sample Size

Author: Patrick Dattalo
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780195315493
Release Date: 2008
Genre: Social Science

This text describes the following available approaches for estimating sample size in social work research and discusses their strengths and weaknesses: power analysis; heuristics or rules-of-thumb; confidence intervals; computer-intensive strategies; and ethical and cost considerations.

Social Work Research Methods Oxford Bibliographies Online Research Guide

Author: Allen Rubin
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199804863
Release Date: 2010-05-01
Genre:

This ebook is a selective guide designed to help scholars and students of social work find reliable sources of information by directing them to the best available scholarly materials in whatever form or format they appear from books, chapters, and journal articles to online archives, electronic data sets, and blogs. Written by a leading international authority on the subject, the ebook provides bibliographic information supported by direct recommendations about which sources to consult and editorial commentary to make it clear how the cited sources are interrelated related. A reader will discover, for instance, the most reliable introductions and overviews to the topic, and the most important publications on various areas of scholarly interest within this topic. In social work, as in other disciplines, researchers at all levels are drowning in potentially useful scholarly information, and this guide has been created as a tool for cutting through that material to find the exact source you need. This ebook is a static version of an article from Oxford Bibliographies Online: Social Work, a dynamic, continuously updated, online resource designed to provide authoritative guidance through scholarship and other materials relevant to the study and practice of social work. Oxford Bibliographies Online covers most subject disciplines within the social science and humanities, for more information visit www.aboutobo.com.

Sample Size Determination and Power

Author: Thomas P. Ryan
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 9781118439227
Release Date: 2013-05-28
Genre: Medical

A comprehensive approach to sample size determination and power with applications for a variety of fields Sample Size Determination and Power features a modern introduction to the applicability of sample size determination and provides a variety of discussions on broad topics including epidemiology, microarrays, survival analysis and reliability, design of experiments, regression, and confidence intervals. The book distinctively merges applications from numerous fields such as statistics, biostatistics, the health sciences, and engineering in order to provide a complete introduction to the general statistical use of sample size determination. Advanced topics including multivariate analysis, clinical trials, and quality improvement are addressed, and in addition, the book provides considerable guidance on available software for sample size determination. Written by a well-known author who has extensively class-tested the material, Sample Size Determination and Power: Highlights the applicability of sample size determination and provides extensive literature coverage Presents a modern, general approach to relevant software to guide sample size determination including CATD (computer-aided trial design) Addresses the use of sample size determination in grant proposals and provides up-to-date references for grant investigators An appealing reference book for scientific researchers in a variety of fields, such as statistics, biostatistics, the health sciences, mathematics, ecology, and geology, who use sampling and estimation methods in their work, Sample Size Determination and Power is also an ideal supplementary text for upper-level undergraduate and graduate-level courses in statistical sampling.

Basic Statistics in Multivariate Analysis

Author: Karen A. Randolph
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199982141
Release Date: 2013-01-24
Genre: Social Science

The complexity of social problems necessitates that social work researchers understand and apply multivariate statistical methods in their investigations. In this pocket guide, the authors introduce readers to three of the more frequently used multivariate methods in social work research with an emphasis on basic statistics. The primary aim is to prepare entry-level doctoral students and early career social work researchers in the use of multivariate methods by providing an easy-to-understand presentation, building on the basic statistics that inform them. The pocket guide begins with a review of basic statistics, hypothesis testing with inferential statistics, and bivariate analytic methods. Subsequent sections describe bivariate and multiple linear regression analyses, one-way and two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and covariance (ANCOVA), and path analysis. In each chapter, the authors introduce the various basic statistical procedures by providing definitions, formulas, descriptions of the underlying logic and assumptions of each procedure, and examples of how they have been used in social work research literature, particularly with diverse populations. They also explain estimation procedures and how to interpret results. The multivariate chapters conclude with brief step-by-step instructions for conducting multiple regression analysis and one-way ANOVA in Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS), and path analysis in Amos, using data from the National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988 (NELS: 88). As an additional supplement, the book offers a companion website that provides more detailed instructions, as well as data sets and worked examples.

Conducting Substance Use Research

Author: Audrey L. Begun
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199395866
Release Date: 2014-03-05
Genre: Social Science

This book assists new and experienced scholars in planning and conducting high quality, contemporary studies for knowledge building about substance use. The target audience is individuals new to substance use as a field of study, either as novice researchers or as experienced researchers in other areas who find themselves lacking experience to address overlapping issues of substance use. Organized around a translational science framework, the contents address substance use research about epidemiology, etiology, intervention efficacy and effectiveness, and implementation of evidence-informed interventions. In addition, examples and issues are drawn from social work traditions involving multiple levels of study (organisms to large social systems), integrating biopsychosocial aspects, and adopting a lifespan perspective. The authors examine the implications for research of current "great debates" in the field and present readers with a variety of specific substance use research resources and tools. This practical "how to" guide takes the reader step-by-step through issues specific to substance use research in study design, participant recruitment and retention, measurement and analysis, and the processes involved in the dissemination, diffusion, and implementation of evidence-informed innovations. A variety of technical resources and measurement tools are provided, as are references to journals for scholars to consider both as knowledge resources and as outlets for disseminating their work. In sum, this book offers a fresh approach to conducting substance use research that is not readily available in other texts.

Research with Diverse Groups

Author: Antoinette Y. Farmer PhD
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199395903
Release Date: 2014-02-27
Genre: Social Science

Social work researchers often conduct research with groups that are diverse in terms of gender, sexual orientation, race or ethnic background, or age. Consequently, social work researchers must take great care to establish research-design equivalence at all phases of the research process (e.g., problem formulation, research design, sampling, measurement selection, data collection, and data analysis); otherwise, the results might reflect methodological flaws rather than true group differences and therefore lead to erroneous conclusions. This book introduces the methodological precautions that must be taken into consideration when conducting research with diverse groups. Multigroup Confirmatory Analysis (MG-CFA) using structural equation modeling (SEM) was utilized to demonstrate how to assess seven types of measurement and structural equivalence that Milfont and Fischer (2010) have deemed important for studies with diverse samples. A hypothetical example was provided to illustrate how to design a study with good research-design equivalence. A case example was provided to demonstrate how to conduct an MG-CFA for each type of measurement and structural equivalence discussed. The Mplus syntax used to conduct the MG-CFA was provided. The results from the MG-CFA analyses were written up as they would be for publication.

Intervention Research

Author: Mark W. Fraser
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199717079
Release Date: 2009-04-02
Genre: Social Science

When social workers draw on experience, theory, or data in order to develop new strategies or enhance existing ones, they are conducting intervention research. This relatively new field involves program design, implementation, and evaluation and requires a theory-based, systematic approach. Intervention Research presents such a framework. The five-step strategy described in this brief but thorough book ushers the reader from an idea's germination through the process of writing a treatment manual, assessing program efficacy and effectiveness, and disseminating findings. Rich with examples drawn from child welfare, school-based prevention, medicine, and juvenile justice, Intervention Research relates each step of the process to current social work practice. It also explains how to adapt interventions for new contexts, and provides extensive examples of intervention research in fields such as child welfare, school-based prevention, medicine, and juvenile justice, and offers insights about changes and challenges in the field. This innovative pocket guide will serve as a solid reference for those already in the field, as well as help the next generation of social workers develop skills to contribute to the evolving field of intervention research.

Participatory Action Research

Author: Hal A. Lawson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780190204402
Release Date: 2015-01-06
Genre: Social Science

As novel, complex social problems increase, especially those involving vulnerable people who reside in challenging places, the limitations of conventional research methods implemented by just one or two investigators become apparent. Research and development alternatives are needed, particularly methods that engage teams of researchers in real world problem solving while simultaneously generating practice- and policy-relevant knowledge. Research methods that effectively tap the expertise of everyday people, especially those impacted by these targeted social problems, are a special priority because academic researchers often lack experiential knowledge that stems from direct, everyday encounters with these vexing problems. Participatory action research (PAR) responds to these manifest needs. It provides a methodological structure and operational guidelines for preparing and deploying people from various walks of life as co-researchers, and it provides a proven strategy for generating practice- and policy-relevant knowledge as problem-solving in real world contexts proceeds.

Key Concepts in Measurement

Author: Brian E. Perron
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780190235970
Release Date: 2015-03-06
Genre: Social Science

Measurement refers generally to the process of assigning a numeric value to, or ordering characteristics or traits of, entities under study. Measurement is necessary for building and testing theory, specifying problems, and defining goals. It is arguably one of the most important and diffcult tasks in social work research. Social work researchers who are not expert in developing, selecting, and using measures will not be able to contribute maximally to the social work knowledge base. Such knowledge and skills related to measurement ultimately determines the extent to which social work research can effectively inform social policy and social work interventions. This book is to serve as a guide for developing, selecting, and using measures in social work research. In particular, this book provides a detailed review of contemporary validity theory; an update on the major issues of reliability; common errors in measurement of latent variables; and suggestions on measurement of social networks and collectives. An important theme of this book is the focus on the creative potential of measurement - that is, helping social work researchers think about the wide variety of ways that social work concepts can be measured. Reflecting on these differences raises questions about underlying assumptions that in turn inspires creative theoretical insights. Rather than seeing measurement as simply a task to be completed in the research process, we will encourage the reader to think creatively about measurement and theory. This book also addresses the interdependency of measurement and theory construction. In other words, this book covers how measurement and theory are connected in two different ways. First, every measure has its own working theory that relates the measure to the concept being measured. Second, theory construction is dependent on measurement. What we learn using a given measure could be different if a concept was measured in a different way.

Systematic Reviews and Meta Analysis

Author: Julia H. Littell
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780195326543
Release Date: 2008-02-13
Genre: Social Science

When used in tandem, systematic reviews and meta-analysis-- two distinct but highly compatible approaches to research synthesis-- form a powerful, scientific approach to analyzing previous studies. But to see their full potential, a social work researcher must be versed in the foundational processes underlying them. This pocket guide to Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis illuminates precisely that practical groundwork.In clear, step-by-step terms, the authors explain how to format topics, locate and screen studies, extract and assess data, pool effect sizes, determine bias, and interpret the results, showing readers how to combine reviewing and meta-analysis correctly and effectively. Each chapter contains vivid social work examples and concludes with a concise summary and notes on further reading, while the book's glossary and handy checklists and sample search and data extraction forms maximize the boo'ks usefulness.Highlighting the concepts necessary to understand, critique, and conduct research synthesis, this brief and highly readable introduction is a terrific resource for students and researchers alike.

A Social Justice Approach to Survey Design and Analysis

Author: Llewellyn Joseph Cornelius
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 9780199739301
Release Date: 2014
Genre: Social Science

A Social Justice Approach to Survey Design and Analysis is written for students, teachers, researchers and anyone who is interested in conducting research. It draws heavily on current discussions regarding social justice, equity, health disparities and social determinants of health to provide a framework for researchers to use both to engage in social justice research as well as to evolve as social justice practitioners. This research book includes a framework of the continuum of social justice research, a presentation on how to provide an active voice for the community in the design and exaction of research, examples of social justice data sources along with how researchers have used that data to measure social inequities, and an overview of how to analyze data, using the social justice research framework. The book also includes several in depth case scenarios that highlight how social justice research has been used to document, monitor and evaluate inequities encountered by underserved populations

Using Complexity Theory for Research and Program Evaluation

Author: Michael Wolf-Branigin
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199841462
Release Date: 2013-01-22
Genre: Social Science

Complexity as a paradigm has been underutilized by social work, but this cutting-edge pocket guide makes a convincing argument for its use. Every agency worker has been faced with a deluge of records, making it difficult to grasp onto structures and trends undergirding behavior. Complexity theory studies the interactions of competitive and cooperative tendencies of agents such as individuals, families, groups, or communities, making the case that there is a hidden order in things that are seemingly chaotic. Exploring their interactions involves identifying a set of simple rules that the agents follow, revealing patterns that emerge without a predetermined template. Readers will learn how to frame their research using the components found in complex systems by using their existing knowledge of research methods and applying basic mathematical concepts. Concepts such as bordering between chaos and equilibrium, diverse perspectives, diverse heuristics, robustness, and wisdom of crowds are considered and applied to social work research studies. Basic introductions on game theory, graph theory, Boolean logic, decision theory, and network science provide the necessary mathematical background for understanding interconnectedness and networking. The next part of the book is a hands-on guide to the agent-based modeling software NetLogo. By inputting initial parameters and rules, the outputted models provide valuable information for visualizing unintended consequences, including how conflict can foster cooperation and how threats to a social network can improve the network's robustness and resiliency. The result is both a user-friendly introduction to using complexity theory in a socio-environmental context and a framework that provides an overarching structure for investigating process, outcomes, and the collective behavior of groups.

Designing Clinical Research

Author: Stephen B. Hulley
Publisher: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
ISBN: 9781469840543
Release Date: 2013-05-08
Genre: Medical

Designing Clinical Research sets the standard for providing a practical guide to planning, tabulating, formulating, and implementing clinical research, with an easy-to-read, uncomplicated presentation. This product incorporates current research methodology--including molecular and genetic clinical research--and offers an updated syllabus for conducting a clinical research workshop. Emphasis is on common sense as the main ingredient of good science. The book explains how to choose well-focused research questions and details the steps through all the elements of study design, data collection, quality assurance, and basic grant-writing.

Grounded Theory

Author: Julianne S. Oktay
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199909865
Release Date: 2012-01-17
Genre: Social Science

Grounded Theory (GT) is one of the oldest and most often used forms of qualitative research. Unlike other methods, GT is used to develop theory. Grounded Theory has great potential for social work because in order to conduct theory-based practice, social workers need middle-range theories that are neither highly abstract nor difficult to apply in real life. Social work and Grounded Theory focus on the interaction of individual and society. GT studies can provide theories about how individuals navigate their surroundings that can be tested in social work practice and, ultimately, be used to guide social work practitioners. In this volume, readers will find discussions of the common roots of social work and Grounded Theory, the basic characteristics of grounded theory research, and issues of quality in grounded theory research. In addition, practical guidelines and suggestions are provided for conducting grounded theory research, from writing the proposal to advanced data analysis. Exemplars from social work literature are used to illustrate grounded theory research in different social work fields. With practice exercises, guidelines for formulating problems and gathering and analyzing data, tips for working with software, consideration of ethical and Institutional Review Board issues, and discussion of new developments such as mixed-method and synthesis, this pocket guide offers social work researchers a strong, practical introduction to GT research.

Conducting Research in Conservation

Author: Helen Newing
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781136934391
Release Date: 2010-10-18
Genre: Science

Conducting Research in Conservation is the first textbook on social science research methods written specifically for use in the expanding and increasingly multidisciplinary field of environmental conservation. The first section on planning a research project includes chapters on the need for social science research in conservation, defining a research topic, methodology, and sampling. Section two focuses on practical issues in carrying out fieldwork with local communities, from fieldwork preparation and data collection to the relationships between the researcher and the study community. Section three provides an in-depth focus on a range of social science methods including standard qualitative and quantitative methods such as participant observation, interviewing and questionnaires, and more advanced methods, such as ethnobiological methods for documenting local environmental knowledge and change, and participatory methods such as the ‘PRA’ toolbox. Section four then demonstrates how to analyze social science data qualitatively and quantitatively; and the final section outlines the writing-up process and what should happen after the end of the formal research project. This book is a comprehensive and accessible guide to social science research methods for students of conservation related subjects and practitioners trained in the natural sciences. It features practical worldwide examples of conservation-related research in different ecosystems such as forests; grasslands; marine and riverine systems; and farmland. Boxes provide definitions of key terms, practical tips, and brief narratives from students and practitioners describe the practical issues that they have faced in the field.