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Human Services Research Paper

Imagine you are asked to give a half-hour presentation about research in human services. Since this could cover a vast number of concepts, you decide to illustrate the steps of a basic research process using a real-world example from your text. You may select from any of the “Research in Practice” sections of your textbook for a real-world example. In your discussion, state the steps of the research process and propose a fictitious, yet practical, conclusion. If you cannot come up with a conclusion from your real-world example, you may locate and cite a research conclusion from a published article. Explain how this research conclusion could be used to inform human service practice with regards to the problem formulation you selected. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts.
Often when providing services, basic intake information is required. The researcher could, at the end of a given time period, examine these intake papers and, based on some need, compute descriptive statistics using information provided by the clients / participants. Information such as income, family make up, and education levels could be used to compute mean values. However, you may be asked to configure a study that can be called experimental. In this discussion forum you are asked to compare these two formats and identify in what ways they differ. Your post should focus on differentiating these two research types and then discuss their potential contribution to research in health and human services. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ postings.
The ability to locate and utilize information relative to Health and Human Services is an important component of many health and human service jobs. Some of the areas included in HHS programs are: Legal/illegal immigration, Poverty, Violence in the Media, Unemployment, Alcoholism, Gambling, Sexual Harassment, Criminal Justice, Hunger / Homelessness, Mental Illness, Health
As an example, the area of “poverty” was selected from the above list to locate information and relevant reports. To accomplish this, the following was entered into a search engine (such as Google or MSN): “Health and human services and programs dealing with poverty.” One of the 1, 490,000 “hits” was titled: “Poverty Guidelines, Research and Measurement.” Upon searching this website, an elaborate set of focus subtitles was found. Under the heading “Poverty Research Centers” six more references were discovered. As the interest was focused on discovering what information was available, the search centered on “The National Poverty Center.” An examination on this site under that heading yielded numerous areas regarding new research opportunities, informing the policy community, and training for young researchers. Your specific assignment follows. Start with an exploration of what can be found in several of the areas listed above. Then, identify one area and prepare a descriptive post outlining the information in this site. You may want to experiment with various areas in order to understand the unusually large number of resources / programs, but also the kinds of information. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ postings.
Research can be divided into three broad areas: descriptive, qualitative, and quantitative. Some researchers subsume descriptive research (archival) as quantitative. However, for this discussion, we are considering it a separate kind, as descriptive research can fall into either area: qualitative or quantitative. Your assignment for this discussion is to prepare a 250-300 word post differentiating qualitative, quantitative, and analysis of availability data. Identify those attributes that form the essence of these three research venues. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ postings.
Questions that might be considered:
• What are the differences in types of data / information among the three venues?
• What are the expected outcomes when using each kind? For example, does using available data enable one to determine cause and effect?
• Which venue utilizes narrative and observation as a data source?
• What are some advantages / disadvantages for each research venue?
Research can vary from highly sophisticated experimental studies to less rigorous short term investigations. Each research approach has advantages and disadvantages. Among the different paradigms you could use, two of the more common are the “positivist approach” and the “interpretive approach” (consult pages 39-40 in the text). If you were interested in determining if the Canadian National Health Plan was “better” (better in terms of care, coverage, and choice of doctors) then the current United States Health Coverage Plan (Obama sponsored), which approach would you choose to make this determination? Provide a justification to your answer. Remember, your decision is about the research paradigm, and the subject focus (health care plans) provides the context. Select the responses of two classmates, comparing the position you take and the justification. If you agree in terms of the position, discuss any differences of opinion in terms of the justification.
The research format found in scholarly journal articles has purpose and direction. Parallel to the structure of the research format is the notion of the scientific method as a basic approach to solving problems. Your task is to analyze these two venues, identifying in what ways they complement each other, and how each venue is related to the other. You may want to access outside references regarding the concepts of research format and the scientific method. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ postings.
The great variety of careers and occupations within the field of HHS is growing every year. A review of some of the data bases in the text will provide opportunities to search and identify many occupational areas within different governmental departments and programs. Searching, for example, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website will result in finding many careers such as: social workers, preschool programs, criminal justice, counseling, gerontology, and drug and alcohol treatment. After selecting two different websites related to HHS, identify two career areas in the HHS field and do the following:
• Record the websites or data bases, listing the careers or occupations given.
• Prepare a brief description of the career / occupation.
• Respond thoughtfully to the following two questions:
o Selecting one of the career occupation areas, complete the following sentence: I believe working in the HHS career area would be right for me because…
o In this career area the kind of work I would be doing would be… (complete the sentence)
Ethics plays an important role in conducting of research. While the individual researcher is responsible for his/her ethical practice, any research sponsored by an organization, university, or government program has a review process guided by a code of ethics. Besides the code of ethics, the Institutional Review Board (IRB) plays an important role in monitoring research. Your task in this discussion is to examine the origins of the IRB and analyze how the Review Board guides or monitors research. In your 250-300 word post answer the following three questions:
• What does the IRB do to protect a research participant from harm?
• One of the reasons for the existence of the IRB has to do with screening research applications. What is the basis for such screening?
• The IRB provides the guidelines for ethical research practice. What would the researcher responsibilities be in terms of these guidelines?
Assume you were interested in the issues related to violence in elementary level school children. You are aware of the increased incidences of bullying, leading to serious problems. Specifically, you want to video tape children’s behavior out of school on their way home to and from school. You want to capture, on video, the social interactions that take place, trying to record behaviors that are definitely bullying behaviors or “could lead to bullying.” So you are focusing on the perpetration of bullying. For this discussion, you are asked to identify “ethical” factors involved in your proposed research. Your list would include research issues and ethical implications beyond the basic informed consent condition.

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