Thursday, November 21, 2013

Do A Research Study On Depression & Substance Abuse

The psychology research method process is based on the principles of the scientific method. Whether you're planning to carry out a research study on depression and substance abuse or another topic, you'll need to figure out what you're studying and record all the observations that you make.



1. Define the area of depression and substance abuse that you're studying and write it down. The purpose of your research study should be to answer some question about depression or substance abuse that is not known or very well documented. Here are a few example questions that you're research study could answer:

1. Is there a correlation between depression, substance abuse and life satisfaction?

2. Does a mother's prenatal depression have anything to do with their offspring's depression or substance abuse?

3. Does hypnosis or other alternative therapies work to decrease a person's depression and substance abuse?

2. Conduct background research on the area of depression and substance abuse you're studying. Research previous authors' academic and psychology studies to see if they have addressed the issue you're studying and what they have found. A few professional journal articles include Psychological Science, Psychology and Health, Psychology and Psychiatry Journal, and Psychology of Addictive Behaviors. Many of these journals require a subscription, but a local university or library may subscribe to them and offer the service free to members. A couple free resources to complete research are Google Scholar and BioMed Central.

3. State your hypothesis about what you think the outcome of your research study will be. Your hypothesis should be based on the psychological principles of what you already know about the topics as well as what you have researched about depression and substance abuse.

Design And Experiment

4. Define the constructs you're studying and the variables. You'll need to define the population you're studying, the levels of depression and substance abuse, if any, and the variables you're manipulating and measuring. In psychological research, the dependent variable is the one being measured and the independent variable is the manipulated factor.

5. Plan your design and gather materials for the research study. For the design, consider using random assignment to reduce confounding variables. Will your experiment use a within-subject or between-subject design or both? For the materials, if you're administering a depression or substance abuse self-report, construct the questionnaire that will be used. If you'll be using a laboratory design, gather the necessary equipment and confirm that lab space is available.

6. Recruit participants for the depression and substance abuse research study. Advertise your study in local newspapers or college campuses or recruit participants from local mental health facilities, nursing homes, schools, or wherever your population lives and works.

7. Carry out the research study and record all data. Organize the data in a software spreadsheet, such as Microsoft Excel or other application where it can be sorted and analyzed.

8. Analyze the data you have collected from your depression and substance abuse participants to confirm or reject your hypothesis. Depending on your research design, a couple examples of analyzing data include independent samples t-tests or ANOVA (Analysis of Variance) tests.

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