Intervention Research

Author: Mark W. Fraser
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0195325494
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Intervention research lies at the heart of social work research. It serves as a principal basis for drawing inferences about the effectiveness of practice and is used to assess the design of public policies that fund social and health programs. This book, the latest volume in the Pocket Guides to Social Work Research Methods, clearly describes the process of conducting intervention research.

Pocket Guide to Developing Cross Cultural Measurement in Social Work Research and Evaluation

Author: Thanh V. Tran
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199724048
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Social workers engage in cross-cultural research in order to understand how diverse populations cope with life situations, to identify risk and protective factors across cultures, and to evaluate the effectiveness of policies and programs on the well-being of individuals from different cultures. In order to do so, it is necessary to begin with meaningful, appropriate, and practical research instruments, yet such instruments are not always readily available, or they may be misleading or biased. In this clearly written pocket guide, social work researchers will find a concise, easy-to-follow explanation of how to develop and assess cross-cultural measures that sidestep such complications and provide reliable, valid data. Using a step-by-step approach, expert cross-cultural researcher Thanh V. Tran carefully explores the issues and methodology in cross-cultural measurement development in social work research and evaluation. The book draws on existing cross-cultural research in social sciences and related areas to illustrate how to formulate research questions, select observable statistics, understand cross-cultural translation, evaluate and implement measurement equivalence, and discern quality within practices of measurement development. Tran also discusses how to use statistics software programs such as SPSS to generate data for LISREL analyses, providing enough detail to help readers grasp the programs' applications in this area but not so much as to overwhelm. This concise text offers a wealth of knowledge about using and interpreting the use of culturally relevant research instruments. Doctoral students and social researchers in the field seeking guidance in selecting and adapting such instruments in their studies, or developing and assessing their own, will find it a terrific source of essential information for their work. For additional resources, visit http://www.oup.com/us/pocketguides.

Conducting Substance Use Research

Author: Audrey L. Begun
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199395861
Format: PDF
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This book assists new and experienced scholars in planning and conducting high quality, contemporary studies for knowledge building about substance use. The target audience is individuals new to substance use as a field of study, either as novice researchers or as experienced researchers in other areas who find themselves lacking experience to address overlapping issues of substance use. Organized around a translational science framework, the contents address substance use research about epidemiology, etiology, intervention efficacy and effectiveness, and implementation of evidence-informed interventions. In addition, examples and issues are drawn from social work traditions involving multiple levels of study (organisms to large social systems), integrating biopsychosocial aspects, and adopting a lifespan perspective. The authors examine the implications for research of current "great debates" in the field and present readers with a variety of specific substance use research resources and tools. This practical "how to" guide takes the reader step-by-step through issues specific to substance use research in study design, participant recruitment and retention, measurement and analysis, and the processes involved in the dissemination, diffusion, and implementation of evidence-informed innovations. A variety of technical resources and measurement tools are provided, as are references to journals for scholars to consider both as knowledge resources and as outlets for disseminating their work. In sum, this book offers a fresh approach to conducting substance use research that is not readily available in other texts.

Systematic Reviews and Meta Analysis

Author: Jacqueline Corcoran
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190296119
Format: PDF, Docs
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When used in tandem, systematic reviews and meta-analysis-- two distinct but highly compatible approaches to research synthesis-- form a powerful, scientific approach to analyzing previous studies. But to see their full potential, a social work researcher must be versed in the foundational processes underlying them. This pocket guide to Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis illuminates precisely that practical groundwork. In clear, step-by-step terms, the authors explain how to format topics, locate and screen studies, extract and assess data, pool effect sizes, determine bias, and interpret the results, showing readers how to combine reviewing and meta-analysis correctly and effectively. Each chapter contains vivid social work examples and concludes with a concise summary and notes on further reading, while the books glossary and handy checklists and sample search and data extraction forms maximize the books usefulness. Highlighting the concepts necessary to understand, critique, and conduct research synthesis, this brief and highly readable introduction is a terrific resource for students and researchers alike.

Basic Statistics in Multivariate Analysis

Author: Karen A. Randolph
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199982147
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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The complexity of social problems necessitates that social work researchers understand and apply multivariate statistical methods in their investigations. In this pocket guide, the authors introduce readers to three of the more frequently used multivariate methods in social work research with an emphasis on basic statistics. The primary aim is to prepare entry-level doctoral students and early career social work researchers in the use of multivariate methods by providing an easy-to-understand presentation, building on the basic statistics that inform them. The pocket guide begins with a review of basic statistics, hypothesis testing with inferential statistics, and bivariate analytic methods. Subsequent sections describe bivariate and multiple linear regression analyses, one-way and two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and covariance (ANCOVA), and path analysis. In each chapter, the authors introduce the various basic statistical procedures by providing definitions, formulas, descriptions of the underlying logic and assumptions of each procedure, and examples of how they have been used in social work research literature, particularly with diverse populations. They also explain estimation procedures and how to interpret results. The multivariate chapters conclude with brief step-by-step instructions for conducting multiple regression analysis and one-way ANOVA in Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS), and path analysis in Amos, using data from the National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988 (NELS: 88). As an additional supplement, the book offers a companion website that provides more detailed instructions, as well as data sets and worked examples.

Mixed Methods Research

Author: Daphne Watkins
Publisher: OUP Us
ISBN: 0199747458
Format: PDF, Docs
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"In this pocket guide, Watkins and Gioia review the fundamentals of mixed methods research designs and the general suppositions of mixed methods procedures; look critically at mixed method studies and models that have already been employed in social work; and reflect on the contributions of and application of this work to the field"--

Using Complexity Theory for Research and Program Evaluation

Author: Michael Wolf-Branigin
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199841462
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Complexity as a paradigm has been underutilized by social work, but this cutting-edge pocket guide makes a convincing argument for its use. Every agency worker has been faced with a deluge of records, making it difficult to grasp onto structures and trends undergirding behavior. Complexity theory studies the interactions of competitive and cooperative tendencies of agents such as individuals, families, groups, or communities, making the case that there is a hidden order in things that are seemingly chaotic. Exploring their interactions involves identifying a set of simple rules that the agents follow, revealing patterns that emerge without a predetermined template. Readers will learn how to frame their research using the components found in complex systems by using their existing knowledge of research methods and applying basic mathematical concepts. Concepts such as bordering between chaos and equilibrium, diverse perspectives, diverse heuristics, robustness, and wisdom of crowds are considered and applied to social work research studies. Basic introductions on game theory, graph theory, Boolean logic, decision theory, and network science provide the necessary mathematical background for understanding interconnectedness and networking. The next part of the book is a hands-on guide to the agent-based modeling software NetLogo. By inputting initial parameters and rules, the outputted models provide valuable information for visualizing unintended consequences, including how conflict can foster cooperation and how threats to a social network can improve the network's robustness and resiliency. The result is both a user-friendly introduction to using complexity theory in a socio-environmental context and a framework that provides an overarching structure for investigating process, outcomes, and the collective behavior of groups.

Participatory Action Research

Author: Hal A. Lawson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190204400
Format: PDF, ePub
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As novel, complex social problems increase, especially those involving vulnerable people who reside in challenging places, the limitations of conventional research methods implemented by just one or two investigators become apparent. Research and development alternatives are needed, particularly methods that engage teams of researchers in real world problem solving while simultaneously generating practice- and policy-relevant knowledge. Research methods that effectively tap the expertise of everyday people, especially those impacted by these targeted social problems, are a special priority because academic researchers often lack experiential knowledge that stems from direct, everyday encounters with these vexing problems. Participatory action research (PAR) responds to these manifest needs. It provides a methodological structure and operational guidelines for preparing and deploying people from various walks of life as co-researchers, and it provides a proven strategy for generating practice- and policy-relevant knowledge as problem-solving in real world contexts proceeds.

Pocket Glossary for Commonly Used Research Terms

Author: Michael J. Holosko
Publisher: SAGE
ISBN: 1412995132
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Contains over 1000 research and statistical terms, written in jargon free, easy to understand terminology. It will be a quick guide for students who are taking research methods courses as well as those who are working on their research projects.

Key Concepts in Measurement

Author: Brian E. Perron
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190235977
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Measurement refers generally to the process of assigning a numeric value to, or ordering characteristics or traits of, entities under study. Measurement is necessary for building and testing theory, specifying problems, and defining goals. It is arguably one of the most important and diffcult tasks in social work research. Social work researchers who are not expert in developing, selecting, and using measures will not be able to contribute maximally to the social work knowledge base. Such knowledge and skills related to measurement ultimately determines the extent to which social work research can effectively inform social policy and social work interventions. This book is to serve as a guide for developing, selecting, and using measures in social work research. In particular, this book provides a detailed review of contemporary validity theory; an update on the major issues of reliability; common errors in measurement of latent variables; and suggestions on measurement of social networks and collectives. An important theme of this book is the focus on the creative potential of measurement - that is, helping social work researchers think about the wide variety of ways that social work concepts can be measured. Reflecting on these differences raises questions about underlying assumptions that in turn inspires creative theoretical insights. Rather than seeing measurement as simply a task to be completed in the research process, we will encourage the reader to think creatively about measurement and theory. This book also addresses the interdependency of measurement and theory construction. In other words, this book covers how measurement and theory are connected in two different ways. First, every measure has its own working theory that relates the measure to the concept being measured. Second, theory construction is dependent on measurement. What we learn using a given measure could be different if a concept was measured in a different way.