Research Design, Methods, and Social Work Values
Through the research study into relational psychotherapy for women and mothers who abuse substances, the goal was to identify the different effects that these substances had on their children.
Research Design Used
To effectively capture the required data from this study, the researchers and analysis made use of group surveys in the research design process. The group survey method of data collection to identify the different effects for each respondent in the research process. The survey also allowed the researchers to sieve through respondents identifying individuals who would not be eligible for the study based on group therapy results on cognitive and psychotic thought processes. This was achieved by dividing the participants of the study into cohorts therefore allowing the research study to focus on each individual as well as developing a personal relationship between the personal assistant and these respondents.
Additional Method for research design
The choice to use a questionnaire form as a data collection method for this research study was based on the type of information that study aims in collecting. The study wanted to identify what type of effects and impact the mother’s substance abuse habits had on their children. For this reason, the amount of data collected would have spanned over 10 years between different studies. Through questionnaires, it gives the researcher ample room to question and identify causative agents between the respondent mother and the impact the behaviour has on their child (Krogel et al., 2013). This amount of data would help in providing a clear picture of mental behaviour and attitudes the child exhibits in their normal lives. Questionnaires also help in tracking each progress through each study.
Social Work Values
The participants of the research study had to be motivated to continue participating in this research through group therapy and the personal relationship with the research assistant (“Social Work Core Values and Code of Ethics”, 2021). This effort was only made possible through compensation therefore allowing each participant to remain in contact with the researchers. For each assessment carried out by the research assistants, seven visits were scheduled between weeks 0, 8,16,32,40 and 48. The intervals allowed the course of time to take place and prevent skewed data from the collection process. Time spent in the assessments was reimbursed to both children and mothers during each of their visits. Mothers were paid $20 at the baseline and the amounts rose to $40 at the end of the last visit (Luthar et al., 2007). Children were gifted vouchers at the local toy store while those older than 13 years received $20 cash.
The use of cash handouts to promote the availability of these respondents presents an ethical pitfall especially with the participants of the study. While through the group therapy, participants were expected to reform and choose a better path for their lives, it was also expected that some of the respondents did not improve and were instead promoted to continue abusing substances during the research period. This is evident from the lack of some respondents resuming the assessment process due to loss of child custody during the research period. On the other hand, by providing financial resources to the respondents, the study was able to facilitate mental health treatment for some of the participants who found it difficult to acquire transportation facilities to these mental health clinics due to limited economic resources.
Krogel, J., Burlingame, G., Chapman, C., Renshaw, T., Gleave, R., Beecher, M., & MacNair-Semands, R. (2013). The Group Questionnaire: A clinical and empirically derived measure of group relationship. Psychotherapy Research, 23(3), 344-354. https://doi.org/10.1080/10503307.2012.729868
LUTHAR, S., SUCHMAN, N., & ALTOMARE, M. (2007). Relational Psychotherapy Mothers’ Group: A randomized clinical trial for substance-abusing mothers. Development And Psychopathology, 19(01). https://doi.org/10.1017/s0954579407070137
Social Work Core Values and Code of Ethics. Socialwork.buffalo.edu. (2021). Retrieved 18 February 2021, from http://socialwork.buffalo.edu/admissions/is-social-work-right-career-for-me/values-ethics.html.