Textbook Notes (368,330)
Canada (161,803)
Anju Joshi (18)
Chapter 2&7

Research Issues and Methods (Chapter 2 & 7).docx

4 Pages
Unlock Document

Health, Aging and Society
Anju Joshi

Research Issues and Methods 1BB3 September 18, 2012 Research Issues - Gerontologists generally place changes in old age into one of three categories: o Age effects due to physical decline. These changes appear with the passage of time o Cohort effects related to the time of the person’s birth. A cohort refers to a group of people born around the same time. People born in a certain cohort often share a common background and experience of the world o Period or environmental effects due to the time of measurement. Includes social or historical effects on measurement such as an ongoing war, changes in health habits or changes in health care policies. Different influences on different age cohorts - Age grade is a period of life defined by society, such as childhood, young adulthood, or third age (used by age stratification theory) - Gerontologists use a number of research designs to look at these three effects in their attempts to understand change in later life Cross-sectional Research Design - Studies people from many age groups at one point in time - Measures age differences but does not provide reason for the differences - Tended to confuse differences between age groups (cohorts) with changes due to aging (age effects) - Allows researchers to gather data in a short time at a relatively low cost - The findings from cross-sectional studies cannot tell us whether aging leads to changes in intelligence, health, or any other conditions or behaviours that change over time Longitudinal Research Design - Looks at a single group of people at two or more points in time - These results give a truer picture of the effects of age on intelligence, because this kind of study avoids the problem of trying to compare different cohorts - This method also creates problems that can confound changes due to aging such as environmental changes (historical events, changes in the economy) - Longitudinal studies involving older people face special problems: o Loss of study participants due to death, illness, and moving can lead to biased sample o Inability to respond due to chronic illness or cognitive decline o A shift in sex ration in the study due to the deaths of more men than women in later life o Often take many years to complete o Expensive to maintain o Require institutional support. The time needed to complete a longitudinal study can be so long that researchers themselves die or move before the study ends. The institution can see the study through and provide a home for the data Sequential Design - Gerontologists have solved some of these problems by turning simple cross-sectional and simple longitudinal designs into sequential designs - Sequential designs look at a series of cross-sectional studies during a longer longitudinal study (Used to examine age differences and age changes at the same time) - Pros: o Can compare impact or period effects on each cohort o Accounts for maturational change, cohort differences, and environment (period and cultural effects) – thereby reducing the confusion of age change with age differences - Cons: o Time-consuming o Expensive to maintain o Attrition can bias the results o Difficult to obtain a representative sample that is randomly selected Time-Lag Study - Examines different groups of people of the same age at different points in time - Measures differences between cohorts (pro) - Time-consuming, expensive to set up and maintain, attrition can bias the results, confounds cohort effects with environmental effects Quantitative and Qualitative Methods - Quantitative methods remain the dominant approach in much of the gerontological research - Mixed methods or triangulation refers to the use of two or more methodological approaches in a research study - Quantitative methods emphasize the relationship between and among factors (variables) through numerical measurement (quantity, amount, frequency) - Quantitative studies often gather data through surveys or questionnaires - Qualitative methods seek to understand the social experience of individuals from the subjects’ own perspective - Qualitative research is characterized by a verbal or literary presentation of data - Qualitative methods include interviews, life histories, field observation, case studies, and content analysis - Qualitative research tends to use an interpretive theoretical approach to understand these data - Key principle of qualitative research is to give voice to the study participants - Stre
More Less

Related notes for HLTHAGE 1BB3

Log In


Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.