Applying Outcome Studies

For this discussion, describe how you would conduct an outcome  evaluation, using quantitative research methods, at your current or  former internship, work, or volunteer site.

  • Give a brief background on the program.
  • Include a discussion of experimental design, sample, independent  and dependent variables, measurement, data collection, and data analysis  strategies.
  • Include a rationale for making the choices you have made with regard to design, measurement tools, and analysis strategies.

Include references to the course text, particularly the tools that describe the principles of quantitative research.

Note that your post should be substantive and be 500–750 words. It should be well-organized and proofread.

Answer:

Program Background: For the purpose of this discussion, I will assume that the program being evaluated is a mentorship program for at-risk youth, aimed at reducing youth involvement in criminal activities and promoting positive behavior. The program is implemented by a non-profit organization and runs for a duration of 12 weeks, where each youth is paired with a mentor.

Experimental Design: For the outcome evaluation, I would use a randomized control trial (RCT) experimental design, which is a common design used in evaluating the effectiveness of interventions. In this design, participants are randomly assigned to either an intervention group (youth participating in the mentorship program) or a control group (youth not participating in the program). This design allows us to control for extraneous variables and isolate the impact of the mentorship program on youth behavior.

Sample: The sample for the study would consist of at-risk youth, ages 14 to 18, who reside in a particular neighborhood. A sample size of 100 participants (50 in the intervention group and 50 in the control group) would be sufficient for this evaluation. The sample would be selected through purposive sampling, where participants are selected based on specific criteria (e.g., at-risk youth, residing in a particular neighborhood).

Independent and Dependent Variables: The independent variable in this study would be the mentorship program. The dependent variable would be the youth’s involvement in criminal activities, which would be measured using self-reported surveys and official criminal records.

Measurement: To measure the dependent variable, self-reported surveys would be administered to both the intervention and control groups at the beginning and end of the 12-week program. The surveys would consist of questions about the youth’s involvement in criminal activities, including frequency and type of criminal activities. In addition, official criminal records would be obtained from local law enforcement agencies to validate the self-reported data.

Data Collection: Data would be collected using both self-reported surveys and official criminal records. The self-reported surveys would be administered by trained research assistants, and the official criminal records would be obtained through a formal request to the local law enforcement agencies.

Data Analysis Strategies: The data collected from the self-reported surveys and official criminal records would be analyzed using descriptive statistics (e.g., mean, standard deviation) and inferential statistics (e.g., t-tests, ANOVA). Descriptive statistics would be used to summarize the data, and inferential statistics would be used to test the significance of the difference in criminal activities between the intervention and control groups.

Rationale for Choices: The choice of using a randomized control trial design was made to control for extraneous variables and isolate the impact of the mentorship program on youth behavior. The use of self-reported surveys and official criminal records was chosen to provide a comprehensive assessment of the youth’s involvement in criminal activities, and to ensure the validity of the data collected. The use of descriptive and inferential statistics was chosen to provide a clear understanding of the data and to test the significance of the difference in criminal activities between the intervention and control groups.

References: Creswell, J. W. (2017). Research design: qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. Sage publications. Cozby, P. C. (2017). Methods in behavioral research. McGraw-Hill Education.

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