April 4, 2012
Outline for today
• Exam preparation
• Mini lecture on research with children
Short lecture on research with young people
I/ What is research?
Systematic way of looking at the world.
II/ Choosing a strategy
•Eg: Imagine you are studying bullying between students in elementary school:
what do you want to know? how will you find out?
•Broader, underlying questions
Is there an objective world out there that we can access?
Do you want to know what people do or do you want to know what that activity
means to the people involved?
Do you want to study from a distance or close up? How much detail are you
Do you want general information about a lot of people or detailed information
about fewer people?
Are you seeking descriptive findings? Explanations?
What kinds of assumptions are embedded in your questions?
-E.g. what assumptions are embedded in asking “what are the differences
between the teenage brain and the adult brain” ?
-E.g. what assumptions are embedded in asking “what are the dominant
discourses of adolescence”?
Even how you organize your questions can make a difference... 2
• Quantitative and qualitative approaches
III/ Quantitative Research Methods (by John)
• Objective: Looking at things from a distance. There is a truth, we need to uncover
• Independent of our opinion
Bullying - Quantitative Approaches
How many kids on playground are bullied? Have you ever been bullied? If so, how
• Collect “Data”
• Examples (What data might we collect?)
• Look for patterns: Type of bullying, how often, percentage of bullying, gender..
• Look to generalize results
• Should predict future behaviour: Bullying in similar schools, doing something to stop
• Our methodology should be “replicable”
• Example of Wakefield’s Autism study
• Statistical power: Enough sample size (power) to get reliable results.
• A large “N”
• Why? To be reliable results.
• Increases “reliability”
• Results are “reliable”
• We tested what we thought we were testing and the results reliably represent the
phenomena we were studying
Longitudinal Research (Repeated Measures)
• Bullying Example
• How might we study “bullying” using a longitudinal design? Development through
• Why would this be advantageous?
Implications of Quantitative Research
• Policy Makers
• School boards
• Influences curriculum, policies, special education, etc.
• Product companies (Advertizing, marketing, etc.)
• Coke VS Pepsi, companies need large “N”.
IV/ Qualitative research (Rebecca)
• Link to interpretivism: Assumes people experience the world differently from each
other. Strong relationship with constructionalism. 4
• Focus on quality, themes, meanings. Reliability, patterns, themes, what are the
• Usually smaller number of cases. Small groups - thought out, more in depth,
• Objectivity/subjectivity and triangulation. Believe to know the truth and how true
findings are - not as important- everyone sees things differently.
• Techniques include participant observation, intensive interviews, focus groups,
• Analysis of large quantities of detailed data through various techniques. Code/group
data & find themes in data recovered.
• E.g. of research with children on bullying
• Kind of question being asked. What do you think bullying is? What kind of bullying
do you see? How does it make you feel? (More in depth questions).
• Collecting data
• Coding data and identifying themes
• Implications of qualitative research, e.g. for bullying
-Alongside quantitative research. Quantitative study to start - can lead to
-Policy development. Conjunction or on its own.
-Linking with other research. Conjunction with other research subjects. 5
III/ Differences between adults and young people in terms of research?
CHYS 4th Year Honours Poster Fair
April 9th, 2011