Discussion Board: Design a Study

First post:  Design a study that would evaluate whether social work intervention in an agency with which you are familiar successfully causes the effects it intends to achieve. Please attempt to maximize internal validity and design a study that will be feasible to carry out in the chosen agency.

(Example:  you might want to have an experimental design by separating your clients into two groups: one receiving a new intervention and another not receiving any intervention).  You also have to remember that you might need to separate your clients in two groups RANDOMLY.  We all know that the experimental design is the best design for the internal validity….however….it is often times not feasible.  In some agencies, it is not even ethical to select some participants for a group receiving no intervention…so what do you do?)

Second post: Then please discuss the design compromises one colleague (first response of others in your class)  made in response to concerns about ethics and feasibility and whether the study would still be worth doing despite those compromises.

Please respond to the following post::

The study I would like to design involves incarcerated men, aged 18-60. I would like to measure the ability of prisoners to return to society as responsible citizens by comparing two groups of male inmates.  One group of 100 men attends vocational training while in prison, as well as academics that are applied to their training.  The other group of 100 men does not further their training or education while in prison.  These men are not in a maximum-security prison.  They are all serving 2 to 5 years for theft, perjury, or unemployment.  One year after returning to society, I would follow up with these men to see if they have obtained employment in their field of training or in any other field, if they are financially independent and are law-abiding citizens.  I would also follow up with the men who did not participate in vocational training and see if they are living financially independent and are law-abiding.

I believe the study would be internally valid since it involves inmates who obtain vocational training while incarcerated and inmates who do not obtain vocational training while incarcerated.  The study would include stratified sampling since the 100 men in each group are selected randomly.

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