Assignment: Working With Data
Statistical analysis software is a valuable tool that helps researchers perform the complex calculations. However, to use such a tool effectively, the study must be well designed. The social worker must understand all the relationships involved in the study. He or she must understand the studyâ€™s purpose and select the most appropriate design. The social worker must correctly represent the relationship being examined and the variables involved. Finally, he or she must enter those variables correctly into the software package. This assignment will allow you to analyze in detail the decisions made in the â€œSocial Work Research: Chi Squareâ€ case study and the relationship between study design and statistical analysis. Assume that the data has been entered into SPSS and youâ€™ve been given the output of the chi-square results. (See Week 4 Handout: Chi-Square findings).
To prepare for this Assignment, review the Week 4 Handout: Chi-Square Findings and follow the instructions.
By Day 7
Submit a 1-page paper of the following:
- An analysis of the relationship between study design and statistical analysis used in the case study that includes:
- An explanation of why you think that the agency created a plan to evaluate the program
- An explanation of why the social work agency in the case study chose to use a chi square statistic to evaluate whether there is a difference between those who participated in the program and those who did not (Hint: Think about the level of measurement of the variables)
- A description of the research design in terms of observations (O) and interventions (X) for each group.
- Interpret the chi-square output data. What do the data say about the program?
Week 4 Handout: Chi-Square Findings The chi square test for independence is used to determine whether there is a relationship between the two variables that are categorical in the level of measurement. In this case, the variables are: employment level and treatment condition. It tests whether there is a difference between groups. The research question for the study is: Is there a relationship between the independent variable, treatment, and the dependent variable, employment level? In other words, is there a difference in the number of participants who are not employed, employed part-time and employed full-time in the program and the control group (i.e., waitlist group)? The hypotheses are: H0 (The null hypothesis): There is no difference in the proportions of individuals in the three employment categories between the treatment group and the waitlist group. In other words, the frequency distribution for variable 2 (employment) has the same proportions for both categories of variable 1 (program participation). ** It is the null hypothesis that is actually tested by the statistic. A chi square statistic that is found to be statistically significant, (e.g. p< .05) indicates that we can reject the null hypothesis (understanding that there is less than a 5% chance that the relationship between the variables is due to chance). H1 (The alternative hypothesis): There is a difference in the proportions of individuals in the three employment categories between the treatment group and the waitlist group. ** The alternative hypothesis states that there is a difference. It would allow us to say that it appears that the treatment (voc rehab program) is effective in increasing the employment status of participants. Assume that the data has been collected to answer the above research question. Someone has entered the data into SPSS. A chi-square test was conducted, and you were given the following: