Survey

1.      You are doing a survey-research project by mail and want to ensure a high response rate. What are four things that you might do to help make more people respond to the survey?

a.       Enclose a cover letter to explain the importance of the survey.

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b.      Enclose a stamped, self addressed envelope or easy mailer response design.

c.       Follow-up with those people that don’t respond initially.

d.      Assure respondents that their survey response is anonymous.

2.      Survey research is often inherently problematic in that only highly motivated respondents reply to the survey. Is this a problem of Internal or External Validity and why?

This is a problem of internal validity because the survey has not managed to eliminate variables, so the results become less meaningful. To correct the problem, the survey designer would need to assure that a response from a representative sample of people is assured. This issue of internal validity results in problems with external validity because findings can’t be generalized to the larger population if the survey sample does not mirror that population.

3.      Read the attached article and answer the following questions:

1.      What was the research design?

The study was an ex post facto correlational study.  The goal was to look at the relationship between service variables and employment outcomes. Ex post facto means, after the fact. There is no actual experimental research and the researcher has no control over the variables. In this study, the data that was examined was from closed cases and simply looked at determining if a relationship exists between variables and outcomes related to employment. In this design, the researcher chooses a dependent variable and then looks at possible reason for that particular variable.  The relationship or correlation can be shown in this study design but there cannot be an actual claim of cause and effect.

2.      What was (were) the independent variable(s) and dependent variables for hypothesis 1?

The hypothesis was that the provision of specific services will be equivalent in the employed and unemployed groups. Each specific service was a variable. The independent variables were the services and the dependent variables or outcomes were unemployed and employed.

3.      What was (were) the independent variable(s) and dependent variables for hypothesis 2?

Hypothesis 2 was that consumers provided specific services, will have weekly earnings equivalent to consumers not provided specific services. Again, the specific services were the independent variable and the dependent variables were earnings.

4.      Why was ANOVA appropriate for hypothesis 2 (What is ANOVA used for?) Analysis of variance or ANOVA is used to evaluate the relationship between several independent variables and a continuous variable.  This study had several services to compare to the earnings of consumers.

5.      What alpha level was used for the analysis?

The significance level, or alpha level used in the analysis was 1. When the confidence interval had a value of one, it meant that the variable is not considered a useful predictor

6.      In a single-single spaced page or less-What were the findings? What are the implications of the findings for counselors working with people with TBI? In a single-single spaced page or less-What were the findings? What are the implications of the findings for counselors working with people with TBI?

Hypothesis one looked at the service variables. The results of the study showed that there is in fact a significant difference in the employment outcome linked to four of the five service variables that were analyzed.  This means that the alternative hypothesis was accepted, in part.  For consumers receiving the specific services of assessment, job placement, job search and diagnosis/treatment there was correlation to competitive employment. It seemed that these consumers were more likely to be competitively employed than those consumers who did not receive the services. The service of counseling and guidance did not show such a correlation to competitive employment.  Upon further detailed review of the data, neither assessment nor guidance/counseling services were predictors of success with competitive employment.

Hypothesis two used the ANOVA and looked at the relationship between services and weekly earnings. While the provision of assessment services couldn’t predict job outcome, it can be stated that those consumers that received the service were more likely to actually gain competitive employments than those consumers who didn’t receive assessment services. There was no significant relationship between assessment and weekly wages at the time the case was closed.  Counseling and guidance services did not affect employment outcome in consumers.

There are a number of important implications for counselors working in this field. For counselor working with TBI consumer, assessment services are certainly an important and necessary service and can improve outcomes related to competitive employment. However, it is important to understand and consider the individuals other resources prior to assuming the need for assessment services. Individual with other healthcare resources and insurance may or may not require additional assessment services.  Though this study did not show a positive correlation between guidance and counseling service with employment outcomes, counselors will need to consider the other life areas impacted aside from employment. Those individuals requiring counseling services may have a more sever injury which affects the possibility of competitive employment. It would seem that the greatest predictor of success in employment and success in other life areas will depend on the type and extent of injury and prognosis for recovery. The study showed that diagnosis and treatment are associated with positive employment outcomes and earnings.  Assuring a complete and accurate diagnosis and assessment should be a priority for those working with TBI consumers.

7.      What were two of the reported limitations of the study (not your opinion, but as reported, but in your own words-e., translate what was said into your own words).

The study has several limitations to its validity. The first problem or limitation with this study is that the researchers don’t know that the services were delivered in the same way to every consumer. Some consumers may have received high quality service over a long period of time than others. The quality, quantity and duration of services were not a consideration in the study or the outcome conclusion. The study also has limitations linked to the reasons that cases are closed. While most of these cases were closed due to employments, other was simply consumers who refused services or were lost to contact. For those who did return to employment, it is possible that they simply recovered from heir injury and returned to competitive employment, without specific services.

8.      Does this study add meaningful information to the profession? Defend your answer.

Yes, the study does add some meaningful information in terms of thinking about specific service benefits and outcomes. It makes one aware of the importance of looking at outcomes and being aware of what it is the client is working towards. Research in general reminds us of this important aspect of treatment. The study points to the importance of assessment and diagnosis which should remind all counselors working with the population to be mindful that their clients have the board range of assessment and diagnosis services they need.

The study indicates that there is no correlation between guidance and counseling with employment outcomes and this is my most serious concern with the study. While the study notes its limitations with regard to the exact quantity, duration and quality of service, there is a danger that the results can be quoted out of context leading to an assumption that counseling isn’t important for this population. While this study was looking only at employment outcomes, there is a concern that the statement regarding counseling could be generalized assuming that it is not helpful to other areas of a person life, that can affect employment outcomes.

While I think the study has some benefit, I feel that it was poorly done in several ways. Without having knowledge of quantity, quality and duration, it seems that the study had too many limitations from the start to be a particularly scholarly or meaningful study. I also feel that the most important variable in these cases is missing from the research. The type and extend of the TBI is going to have the largest impact on outcomes in all areas of life. The study needed to look at individuals with varying levels of functioning in separate groups.

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