Week 5 Discussion
Researchers who use mixed methods employ a research design that uses both quantitative and qualitative data to answer a particular question or a set of questions. This combination of methods “involve[s] the collection, analysis, and integration of quantitative and qualitative data in a single or multiphase study” (Hanson, Creswell, Plano Clark, Petska, & Creswell, 2005, p. 224).
My research question is what are parent’s attitudes toward corporal punishment? To answer this question I would use a mixed method study. A structured questionnaire would be administered to quantitatively measure the use of corporal punishment among parents. I would then use focus-group interviews and open-ended questionnaires to follow up with the parents to capture their perception on the various types of corporal punishments and what punishments they feel are too severe. The results of conducting both studies would sequentially contribute to the overall understanding of corporal punishment within this population. The structured questionnaire provided a statistical understanding of parent’s use of corporal punishment. The data was triangulated by the follow-up focus group. By doing this the results from the focus group should be consistent with the open-ended questionnaire.
By implementing a sequential explanatory design, this method is a two phase design where the quantitative data is collected first followed by qualitative data collection. This adds a value of understanding for both results. The purpose is to use the qualitative results to further explain and interpret the findings from the quantitative phase. For example, a survey may be used to collect quantitative data from a larger group. Members of that group may then later be selected for interviews where they can explain and offer insights into their survey answers. The focus group data clarified definitions and uses of terms (Hesse-Biber, 2010). The dominant method for this study is qualitative. The ethical principles I would apply is informed consent for research and confidentiality.