Topic: Juveniles in Adult Prisons
B. Research questions
State the research question and hypothesis
All good research also operates from a theoretical model which outlines your assumptions about the nature of the problem, which variables are important to study, as well as the relationship between the variables being studied. Theoretical frameworks help us decide which measures are the best ones to use to assess the variables we have selected. For example, if my theory is Cognitive-Behavioral theory, then I want to make sure to assess thoughts and behaviors as part of the study because part of my assumption is that as the participants’ thoughts shift then then their behaviors will also shift. I am not expecting this section to be long and detailed. Rather, I would encourage you to be clear about your framework so that in situations where the literature is not clear about which variables are important to study, your framework can fill in the gaps and help you make decisions about the variables you choose to focus on. It is okay to choose your theory after completing your literature review.
Use 5 scholarly sources minimum to (a) describe the basic assumptions of the theory you selected, (b) describe why you thought this theory was relevant as an organizing framework, (c) identify which variables would be the most important to focus on to understand this issue.
Study Design (cross-sectional, experimental, ethnography, etc.)
E. Research Questions
State your Research Questions and your hypotheses.
F. Study Variables
In this section you should identify your demographic variables, your independent variables and your dependent variables. Make sure to describe how you are conceptualizing them and how you are operationalizing your variables.
In this section describe your sampling approach and technique. This will include your sample size, how you will engage the target population, how you will recruit your participants, how you would address anticipated barriers to recruitment, and, if relevant, how you would retain them in the study you are proposing.
H. Data Collection
This section goes into detail about the specific procedures you will use to collect your data. It will include the method of data collection (e.g. survey, focus groups, etc.) and the setting that will be used to collect the data. You will describe your procedures for obtaining informed consent and will discuss throughout how your procedures address requirements for Human Subjects Protections and other ethical guidelines for interaction with your participants. This section tends to have enough specific details that anyone could use it to replicate your study exactly.
I. Data Analysis
This section will describe how you will analyze your data to answer each of your research questions. Again, this description should be specific enough that someone could replicate your data analysis procedures.
J. Strengths and Limitations of Proposed Study
This section should explore the strengths of the methods that you proposed, as well as their limitations. It should also describe how feasible the methods you proposed are and brainstorm intended and unintended impacts on your study subjects.
This section is normally written after data is collected and incorporates insights gained after completing all the proposed procedures. However, since you will not be conducting the study, you will be theorizing the potential implications of the study. Spend one paragraph discussing each of the following: Implications for Social Work Practice (remember this can be both direct practice, and community level practice); Implications for Social Work Research; and Implications for Social Work Policy. I do not expect these to be long paragraphs but do expect them to show critical thinking and insightful discussion.