Quantitative Research Design: Adolescents in School

Introduction

I will be focusing on the article which studies child trend in school environment and adolescence well-being written by Marin and Brown (Marin and Brown, 2008). The study employed quantitative research methodology where the researcher went out to collect data from the field. This research focuses on a broader perspective where the researcher looks at the school environment and how it affects social, health and academic performance of the students who are in their adolescent stage.

Structured interview design was used in the research where respondents were asked to fill in questionnaires. Interview design can be classified as unstructured, structured or semi-structured interview (Wengraf, 2001; Burns, 1994).

Burns (1994), defines the term structured interview as “repeated face-to-face encounters between the researcher and informants directed towards understanding informants perspectives on their lives, experiences or situations as expressed in their own words”. The researcher designs questions which are formed in accordance to the research objectives to guide the interview process ensuring that vital areas are well addressed. The respondents are forced to select the answer from the range of fixed answers. This was the main reason for not using this type of interview.

Population

The population consists of staff members and high school students from the selected population area. High schools are academic institutions that impart knowledge for its students. The schools have large audience composed of students, teachers and the surrounding community.

Sample

Sampling is a method used to select respondents from a specific population whose statistics are to be analyzed and give solutions on a way forward (Mertens, 1998). A sample is a subset of the given population with the help if which the researcher intends to generalize the results/statistics obtained.

Mertens (1998), points out that there are five strategies for probability-based sampling that include simple random sampling, systematic sampling, stratified sampling, cluster sampling and multistage sampling. Random sampling means that each individual of population has equal chance to be selected for being a part of sample group and being used in research or analysis. Systematic random sampling technique can be described as the situation when each kth of the target population from a randomly ordered group is taken for analysis.

The third, stratified random sampling presupposes that population is divided into groups or states within which individuals are randomly selected to be used in the intended research. Considering the cluster technique, all the sample populations from the target group are sampled and used in the research and statistics is obtained and concluded based on all population under scrutiny.

The last technique is multistage sampling which can be explained as a combination of several sampling techniques like cluster and random sampling used in a single sampling process. Simple random sampling was used to select the respondents when individuals were chosen from the population randomly. Random sampling method ensures that there is no biasness in the selection of respondents. The researcher was able to accomplish the objectives of the research using simple random sampling method.

Conclusion

This chapter examined the research methodology and design focusing on the quantitative research approaches. Firstly, the chapter commenced by stating the key research questions based on general and specific objectives of the study. Secondly, the rationales of the research methodology, including theoretical concepts and reasons of using quantitative and qualitative approaches, were provided. Thirdly, the sampling design and sample size were identified and followed by the development of questionnaire design and pre-testing.

References

Burns, R. (1994). Introduction to Research Methods. Melbourne: Longman.

Marin, P., and Brown, B. (2008) The School Environment and Adolescent Well-Being: Beyond Academics. Child Trends Research Brief. Washington, D.C. Web.

Mertens, D.M. (2005). Research and Evaluation in Education and Psychology: Integrating diversity with quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications.

Morison, M. (2007). What Do We Mean by Educational Research?. In A.R.J. Briggs & M. Coleman (Eds.), Research Methods in Educational Leadership and Management (pp. 13-36). London: SAGE Publications.

Wengraf, T. (2001). Qualitative Research Interviewing. London: SAGE Publications.