Stress is one of the leading causes of mental illnesses among people. Research reveals that various aspects of our lives can cause stress. This can be from relationships, work, school, church and from home too. However, research is conducted on how different people cope with and manage stress. This paper seeks to give a research plan on how the research was carried out using the mixed methods research design.
The research conducted addressed the following questions:
- What are the major sources of stress?
- What are the effects of stress?
- How do people cope with stress?
The above questions were asked to respondents and participants through face-to-face interviews. The questions were viable and relevant to the study as they were used to address and bust myths that are associated with stress and stress management. The study was based on the following hypothesis:
- Stress is caused by holding in emotions
- Stress causes illnesses especially in people aged above 40
- Most people see psychologists to cope with stress.
The hypothesis would be tested using the null and alternative hypotheses testing methods. These methods are used to test two opposing hypothesis, with the statement being the null hypothesis (Johnson & Kuby, 2000). The research design used is descriptive and review. This is because it assists in collecting relevant data that is first hand and resourceful in future studies.
The study requires a combination of both qualitative and quantitative research. This is because quantitative research is subjective; it gives figures but not the objective data (Goertz & Mahoney, 2012). For instance, in this study the researcher can collect data on the ages of the respondents, which is numerical, but this does not capture other relevant information such as how the respondent feels at that age, which is part of qualitative research. A research done using either method alone is not comprehensive. For a mixed methods design, the qualitative research method is the most appropriate because most of the data needed is objective.
For this study, I would select the survey method. I find this method appropriate since I will be able to collect inter subjective data and therefore I will be able to create a rapport with the respondent and gather accurate information. I would approach this study with the perspective that most people who have stress have gone through traumatic experiences. The target population for the study would be working class men and women above 40 years old. To recruit participants, I would carry out random sampling in companies within a specific town. This would provide a sample population from which the research would be conducted. To select the sample size, I will have to consider the research material available, the logistics, and movement during the research process and the resources available. For the data collection, I would need stationery, a voice recorder for focus group discussions and a camera for taking photographs.
For the research I would use interview administered questionnaires, direct observation, and focus group discussions, as they are more effective especially because the nature of the study requires face-to-face interaction. Using questionnaires induces the feeling of confidentiality especially if some questions are sensitive (Babbie, 2011). Through the mentioned procedures, the data collected would provide deep insights on the research questions. For instance, through the focus group discussion, respondents will provide information on coping and managing stress as because the group gives them a sense of unity and comfort in numbers. Therefore, they will open up easily.
To ensure the reliability and quality of the data, I would conduct member checks, triangulation, and prolonged engagement. Triangulation validates the data collected through verification from multiple sources (Jamison, 2006). Some of the threats to the validity of the data may be inconsistent findings and incomplete data. To mitigate such issues, I would have prolonged engagement with the respondents, rephrasing the questions asked during interviews, and ensuring the questionnaires have been filled to completion. Such measures ensure the date collected in accurate and reliable. An example would be to ask a respondent directly how they cope with stress and rephrase the question to ask some of the activities they engage in to clear their mind. This way, you have asked the question twice and you should check to see if the information provided is consistent.
To analyze the data, I would investigate how the respondents interpret the concept of stress, how and why they came to that perspective, what they have been doing about their stress and what they think about stress management and its importance. Such an investigation would make the research more comprehensive and informative. Data analysis provides detailed information that completes a study and makes it reliable and valid (Wilson & Maclean, 2011).
A proper research should be done in line with the ethical guidelines for researchers. For this research, I would make sure that the respondent has given me consent to engage them in the research process, treat them as autonomous agents, and respect them. The goal would be to avoid some of the ethical dilemmas in research such as informed consent and having a conflict of interest (Moore, 2007).
Babbie, E. (2011). The basics of social research. Australia: Wadsworth / Cengage Learning.
Goertz, G., & Mahoney, J. (2012). A tale of two cultures. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
Jamison, J. B. (2006). Research methods in psychology for high school students. New York: iUniverse, Inc.
Johnson, R., & Kuby, P. (2000). Elementary statistics. Pacific Grove: Duxbury.
Moore, R. (2007). Ethical Considerations for Psychophysiology Studies. Research Ethics, 3(2), 40-45. doi:10.1177/174701610700300203
Wilson, S., & Maclean, R. (2011). Research methods and data analysis for psychology. New York: McGraw-Hill Higher Education.
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