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Practical research: Planning and Design, Article Critique Example

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Article Critique

1. In the article by Maureen Monaghan, Risa Sanders and their colleges, a summary of research in the field of parent recommendations for intervention modification in Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) was made. The findings of the research showed that irrespective of high “awareness of the psychosocial risks” of this problem very little research was conducted in the field (Monaghan, Sanders, Kelly, Cogen & Streisand, 2011, p. 868). Therefore, the main aim of the research was to find possible improvements and effectiveness maximization of intervention programs in families of children with T1D.

The offered research consisted of two main methods – combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches. In this context, interviewing parents, comparison of relevant survey data, and one-year follow-up observation were conducted (Monaghan et al., 2011, p. 869). Research results showed that 91.7% parents were very satisfied with the existing programs (Monaghan et al., 2011). During the research, some problems became vivid. First of all, parents suggested that programs’ efficiency could be improved through programs introduction on earlier stages of diagnosis. Secondly, some parents found that information given in the first couple of months was stressing in its amount and complexity, and, in order to absorb it entirely, repetition or a follow-up program could have been helpful.  Thirdly, parents suggested that other essential problems were isolation and depression. The main suggestion of the authors was investigation of mentioned problems in details and introduction of individualized support programs in the 2-3 months post-diagnosis (Monaghan et al., 2011).

It can be concluded that this research is of high academic and practical quality since it was published in peered-reviewed Journal of Family Psychology. The structure of the article is easy to follow, since the main objectives of the research were outlined in its beginning. It was conveniently divided by headings of “method”, “data analysis”, “results”, “discussion” and “references” (Leedy & Ormrod, 2010). The main strength of the research is that it managed to summarize previous relevant findings on the topic, but did not base its exploration on the data collected from them. In other words, initial analysis of the previous academic works was used as a ground for understanding what was missing in the target field, and the current research was entirely new by its nature, and subsequent data was fresh and collected specifically for this research (Pyrczak & Bruce, 2008).

Another essential strength of the research is that it explains methodology and data analysis in the great detail. This serves two functions. First of all, the research becomes more comprehensible. Secondly, it gives an opportunity to replicate the research and verify its findings (Pyrczak & Bruce, 2008). In this context, authors had provided even a sample of survey parents were filling in. On the other hand, for a complete replication additional materials, like tape records and timeline of follow-up programs would be helpful (Leedy & Ormrod, 2010). From my point of view, attention to the difference in attitudes and psychological conditions between two caregivers would have been of specific importance in further development of the research. Concerning research results, I entirely agree with the outcomes due to their logical presentation and practical origins.

Overall, it can be concluded that article is contributive to the comprehension and subsequent improvement of intervention programs of T1D families. The most important is that the limits and needs for further exploration of the field were outlined. Parents who did not take part in the whole procedure should be explored separately. Research of pilot 2-3 months post-diagnosis program would be essential for the development of this field. I will definitely remember this article because of the novelty of conclusions and its practical character.  The main research question that can be posed from findings is that how intensively informative intervention programs should be in the first post-diagnosis months; and, therefore, what a connection between efficiency and time of program introduction would be.

 

2. The article by Mark H. Anshel refers to a development of a model for coping with acute stress in sport, particularly in case of Australian Rugby League players from New South Wales. In this context, exploration included analysis of the relevant conceptual and empirical materials in the framework of qualitative research (Anshel, 2001). Thus, interviews and deductive content analysis were conducted. Research findings showed that 53% of stressors were “making a physical error” and “a cheating opponent”; particular feature was that reprimand from the coach was the least stressor, corresponding to only 3% of worries (Anshel, 2001, p. 237). Concerning application of coping strategies, it was acknowledged that participants were applying both coping strategies of approach and avoidance including cognitive and behavioural sub-categories. The outcomes of research confirmed some beliefs concerning coping process in sport. In this context, coping was explained as totality of interconnected   “thoughts, emotions and actions that can be identified by the stressed individual in the general psychology” (Anshel, 2001, p. 226).

Concerning a critical evaluation of the article, it may be conducted through analysis of methodology, findings and writing style. From a methodological perspective, the research was conducted on a high academic level. First of all, the article started with a detailed explanation of the context of the research and relevant empirical and theoretical findings on the topic. Secondly, methods of data collection were described in details. The conditionality of outcomes due to the exploration of a single team was also outlined as limitation for generalisation of findings (Leedy& Ormrod, 2010). This shows a high self-criticism of the author and objectivity. Thirdly, the variety of data and time of its collection were also indicated. Although the number of 28 rugby players might seem too small for generalisation of outcomes, the time researcher spent with the team was sufficient for an appropriate analysis, meaning 2.5 years as team’s psychologist (Anshel, 2001).

From the point of findings, general analysis and further discussion of the findings were conducted properly and on a subsequent academic level. The weakness of this aspect was a lack of detailed explanation of data analysis. Although general characterisation was given, no exact information for revision and reinterpretation of data was provided (Leedy& Ormrod, 2010). The reason might be in the fact that author outlined appropriate academic resources to support his findings and subsequent discussion of the topic. In this case, the author managed to conducted and represent a sufficient triangulation of his findings and confirm them by other resources interpretation (Pyrczak & Bruce, 2008). All figures represented in the research were quite comprehensible and relevant for the realisation of the research. One of the main strengths of the report is its detailed description of the whole process and interpretation of findings, which made it easy for comparison with other similar research studies. In fact, the author made a comparative example of different results for Australian and American rugby players (Pyrczak & Bruce, 2008).  Another essential strength of the report is that the author explained connection between his research, theoretical approaches to the issue of coping and their empirical implications.

Concerning writing style, it is expository, which is relevant for the nature of research. Although the emphasis is placed on explanation of connection between research and academic field, specific examples and quotation of players’ answers make the whole language more diverse and comprehensible. On the other hand, terminology is quite sophisticated, so it would not be very understandable for a reader without substantial background knowledge of the topic (Leedy& Ormrod, 2010). The research question that comes from the findings is that what the connection between strategies and national mentality of people is. In other words, how general those findings might be and therefore, how applicable offered formula might be in the everyday life.

 

3. The article by Mei Wah Williams, Koong Hean Foo and Beverly Haarhos summarizes a case study research of application of “Western therapy model of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) with a Chinese client” (Williams, Koong & Haarhoff, 2006, p.154). The client was a 69-year old woman, originally born China, who married and lived for the last 20 years in New Zealand. The main aim of the research was to prove that irrespective of the widespread perception both academic and casual, Western therapy is applicable and may be efficient in treatment of mental illnesses of Chinese people (Williams et al., 2006).

In a nutshell, the case proved that Chinese people prefer direct, structured and brief treatment. The client was analyzed in the framework of five-part model, consisting of environmental influences, culture, history/family, situation/ problem and unity of biology, cognition, behavior and emotions (Williams et al., 2006, p. 157). The main findings of the research showed that, although the treatment was not finished with a complete recovery, certain improvements were evident. First of all, unlike most of Chinese clients, Mrs. Young visited all 13 sessions instead of regular 8. Secondly, the connection between client and patient was one of the main contributive elements of the recovery, since therapist was of the same ethnicity as the client. Thirdly, treatment should be oriented on specifics of ethno-cultural background of a client. Finally, the research showed that it is not the Western therapy which is should be considered dysfunctional, but the approach of its application with Chinese clients (Williams et al., 2006).

Concerning the critical evaluation of the article, context of the study was described in details both in theoretical framework of the literature analysis and description of relevant empirical data of the case study (Leedy & Ormrod, 2010). Techniques of data collection were entirely corresponding to the aim of the research. Interviews and specialists’ analysis of the Mrs. Young’s case study were evidential and argumentative. Since the research was based on the case study, no additional participants except the client were involved. A distinction between participant’s role and researcher’s obligations were identified precisely and in the due manner. One of the strengths of the research was that authors had identified the reasons for a possible twofold interpretation of the situation, like in case when insomnia was imagined (Pyrczak & Bruce, 2008).

Concerning findings and their interpretation, they were collected according to therapeutic norms and requirements of the treatment. All needed details of interviews conduct, treatment techniques of each aspect of the psychological disorder were outlined. An important aspect of this research and case study in general is that collected data might be interpreted in other ways without any need for further replication of the research (Leedy & Ormrod, 2010). Report is quite detailed in all aspects of case study and treatment description; therefore, it might be very useful for comparative analysis with other case studies on the topic. Comparison of this case with a male case study could have been of specific relevance for the development of the field (Pyrczak & Bruce, 2008). Since the aim of the research was to unite theory with practice, the outcomes for both parts were emphasized. The main reason why this article might get additional academic value is the fact that it was published in peer-reviewed journal New Zealand Journal of Psychology.

Concerning the writing style of the article; when it referred to the theory, it was quite explanative and, when it referred to the case study,  it was narrative. In general, it corresponded to the aim of the article and its overall academic level. The narrative part of the article was logical and comprehensible. Represented arguments and discussions were concise and concrete in their representation. I was completely convinced by the represented arguments. The research question to pose on the basis of these findings is that a wider scale research if the issue is needed, particularly, comparative analysis of gender and age specifics’ influence on successful treatment.

 

4. The article by Paolo Azzone, Salvatore Freni and their colleagues summarized the research on the topic early adolescents’ description of their dreams and psychoanalytical meaning of those dreams. In this context, they have conducted interviews with 11-14 year old teens and analysed the data through the application of quantitative methodology. The main aim of the research was to find tendencies in dream language on “the critical developmental stage: early adolescence” (Azzone, Freni, Maggiolini, Povantini &Vigano, 1998, p. 231). This was achieved through computer processing of the tape-recorded interviews and analysis of numerical application of various words in specific age and gender groups.

The main findings of this research showed that, in general, linguistic features of dream description depend on gender and age, which proves some clinical theories on nature of dreams and their implications for an individual. It was acknowledged that male teens were reluctant to use intransitive words unlike female ones (Azzone et al., 1998). Males used more transitive words, which were decreasing with age, while, in female cases, the trend was entirely opposite. For both genders, the number of words application increased with age. The most frequently used noun for girls was “teacher”, while for boys “animal” (Azzone et al., 1998). The outcome of the research was that through comprehension of dreams’ linguistics, one would be able to understand psychoanalytical pattern of adolescence. The main limit of these findings was that it was conducted in Italian urban area, which made findings case oriented. Thus, for the generalisation of findings and institutionalisation of their application, further research in the field is needed, particularly, case studies of other nations under different circumstances (Azzone et al., 1998).

Getting top the criticism, it can be outlined that the report is of a good academic quality, because it was taken from a peer-reviewed journal of Adolescence. The report is well-structured and precise in statement of research objectives and its main focus. One of the main strengths of the research is that main data used for it was originally collected for it and not borrowed from other sources (Leedy & Ormrod, 2010). On the other hand, it does not mean that researchers did not include a substantial background literature and other empirical findings on the topic. In this context, another strength of the work is in it precise explanation of academic and empirical originality of the research. It was outlined that dreams manifestation was the main topic for exploration rather than language of dreams description. Thus, the research was starting a new direction of exploration (Pyrczak & Bruce, 2008).

Concerning the explanation of methodology and process of research conduct, it was done in details, though some specifics of data analysis could have been more particular and exemplar. Although figures and tables were provided, additional interpretation of the findings could have been of a use (Pyrczak & Bruce, 2008).   The procedure of data collection seems to be precise, but exact replication of the research would not be possible without knowledge of specific software applied and how collected data was analysed in respect to their emotional and symbolical meaning (Leedy & Ormrod, 2010). Overall, I would agree with the outcomes of the research and their possible empirical application in adolescent psychology. On the other hand, I would have paid more attention to psychoanalytical interpretation of words meaning in each case and individual perception of it. It would give an opportunity to comprehend the pattern of age/gender interpretation of the words meaning and their applicability in the context of dreams narrative. In general, the article is important, since it pays attention to entirely new direction of dreams comprehension and interpretation – analysis of linguistics development with age (Leedy & Ormrod, 2010). The research question which can be posed from these findings is what the connection between those findings and national mentality of children is. In other words, it would be relevant to explore whether the same findings would be acknowledged in other ethnic groups.

 

 

 

References

Leedy, P.D. & Ormrod, J.E. (2010). Practical Research: Planning and Design (9th ed.). New Jersey, NJ: Pearson.

Monaghan, M., Sanders, R.E., Kelly, K.P., Cogen, F.R. & Streisand, R. (2011). Using Qualitative Methods to Guide Clinical Trial Design: Parent Recommendations for Intervention Modification in Type 1 Diabetes. Journal of Family Psychology, 25 (6), 868-872.

Pyrczak, F. & Bruce, R.R. (2008). Evaluating research in academic journals: a practical guide to realistic evaluation. Los Angeles, CA: Pyrczak Publishing.

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