Description Discussion: Selection of a Statistical Analysis Approach Though data analysis occurs after the study has completed a data collection stage, the researcher needs to have in mind what type of analysis will allow the researcher to obtain an answer to a research question. The researcher must understand the purpose of each method of analysis, the characteristics that must be present in the study for the design to be appropriate and any weaknesses of the design that might limit the usefulness of the study results. Only then can the researcher select the appropriate design. Choosing the appropriate design enables the researcher to claim the data that is potential evidence that provides information about the relationship being studied. Notice that it is not the statistical test which tells us that research is valid, rather, it is the research design. Social workers must be aware of and adjust any limitations of their chosen design that may impact the validity of the study. To prepare for this Discussion, review the handout, A Short Course in Statistics. If necessary, locate and review online resources concerning internal validity and threats to internal validity. Then, review the “Social Work Research: Chi Square” case study located in this week’s resources. Consider the confounding variables, that is, factors that might explain the difference between those in the program and those waiting to enter the program. BY DAY 3 Post an interpretation of the case study’s conclusion that “the vocational rehabilitation intervention program may be effective at promoting full-time employment.” Describe the factors limiting the internal validity of this study, and explain why those factors limit the ability to draw conclusions regarding cause and effect relationships. BY DAY 5 Respond to at least two colleagues by explaining how that colleague might rule out one of the confounding variables that they identified Colleague 1: Katherine Post an interpretation of the case study’s conclusion that “the vocational rehabilitation intervention program may be effective at promoting full-time employment.” The interpretation of the case study’s conclusion is that the intervention group displayed the appropriate amount of participates obtaining and maintaining employment to say that the case study is effective overall. Describe the factors limiting the internal validity of this study and explain why those factors limit the ability to draw conclusions regarding cause-and-effect relationships. The first limitation is that no random assignment was used or a control group. Another limitation is that of possible selection bias since it was a small particular population. “Validity refers to whether the outcome measure reflects what it is supposed to measure and whether it does so accurately” (Dudley, p 222). In this study, only 30 participants were selected in the beginning, and the criteria for selection was fairly strict causing it to shrink the pool of possible participants. This can make drawing conclusions difficult and also question the validity of the overall study. The largest question it raises is if the participant pool is biased, the cause and effect is not accurate. Future groups should gather information on those who obtained jobs but also if they were able to maintain them as well, determining the true effectiveness of the intervention. References Dudley, J. R. (2020). Social Work Evaluation (3rd Edition). Oxford University Press Academic US. https://mbsdirect.vitalsource.com/books/9780190916… Colleague 2: Paige Post an interpretation of the case study’s conclusion that “the vocational rehabilitation intervention program may be effective at promoting full-time employment.” Overall, based on the number of participants in the case study that were able to get a job and also keep it was enough to say that as a whole the case study is effective and reliable. The case study came to this conclusion based on looking at the comparison between the first group of 30 participants that did complete the vocational program and the 30 participants that were on the waiting list. Describe the factors limiting the internal validity of this study, and explain why those factors limit the ability to draw conclusions regarding cause-and-effect relationships. The first factor I would have to say that limits the internal validity of the study would be the selection bias because the participants volunteered for the study which could create differences from the beginning. There should have possibly been a pretest done to expand sureness in the study. “In the absence of random assignment, a pretest of the treatment and comparison groups on some important dimensions can help demonstrate preintervention equality (at least on those variables measured), thus increasing confidence in the internal validity of the study.” (Woodman, 2014) In order to establish cause and effect the cause must first be identified before the effect. References Woodman, R. W. (2014). The role of internal validity in evaluation research on organizational change interventions. Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 50(1), 40–49. https://doi.org/10.1177/0021886313515613
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