Would you recommend a pre-experimental, experimental, or quasi-experimental design?

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FEMALE SPEAKER: They’ve missed four of their parenting classes so far.

FEMALE SPEAKER: So they haven’t completed their parenting group?

FEMALE SPEAKER: I have to call the ACS worker and let her know. They’re probably going to have to take the classes over again, and that’s going to be tough. The classes caused the father to miss overtime at work, and they really rely on that money to make ends meet.

FEMALE SPEAKER: But they have to finish the program. They’re only allowed three missed classes. There’s another problem. You know the agency’s been conducting a study of our performance. Well, it lowers our completion numbers. Lower numbers put our funding at risk. Our bosses start questioning the credibility of what we’re trying to do here.

FEMALE SPEAKER: But I can’t give the Hernandez family the post test. They won’t be able to complete it.

FEMALE SPEAKER: No, that’s not why I brought this up. The agency needs data to determine how effective these parenting classes are. The more attrition we have when parents don’t finish the program, there’s no data. No data means no support for what we’re teaching or how it might benefit other populations.

FEMALE SPEAKER: Maybe we should account for the attrition then. Maybe there’s something we can learn from it?

This week’s video introduces you to the Hernandez family. Juan and Elena Hernandez are mandated to attend parenting classes. As part of the parenting classes, they are required to participate in both a pretest (taken before classes begin) and a posttest (taken after classes end). Pretests and posttests can yield very useful information. They can measure the learning that has or has not taken place as a result of the education being provided. For this Discussion, imagine what kinds of questions would be on a pretest and posttest for this particular study sample (the parents who are taking parenting classes).

your explanation of what you think the social workers wanted to know when they designed the pre/posttest for evaluating the parenting classes. Be sure to address the concept of attrition and whether or not you believe they took that into account. Be sure to explain why. Then, analyze potential lessons learned from attrition. Finally, explain how you might design a study to gather data about the effectiveness of these parenting classes. Use the following questions to focus your thinking:

Would you recommend a pre-experimental, experimental, or quasi-experimental design?

Would the study involve measurement over time?

Would there be a control group?

In this group research design you imagine, what or who will be compared?

What limitations in terms of generalizability and internal validity can you anticipate based on the research plan you envision?

What can you tell the social worker about the issue of client drop out (also called attrition or experimental mortality)?

If there is no control group, what type of research design could answer the question: Is this parent training class effective in reducing abusive parenting practices?

 

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