SOCW 6311 Application: Creating a Single-System (Subject) Design Study

Hello, SOCW 6311 Scholars,

I am modifying the assignment  to a 2-3 page research proposal.  However, it remains a time-consuming assignment. I urge you to read it over several times over the week and look at the links, which work at this time. Then think about how you would construct a plan as described in the instructions.   I have placed the instructions near the beginning for those already familiar with research designs. If you would like additional help, I have provided more teaching material after the instructions.

Although the textbooks have a wealth of information, with the exception of pages I have suggested in the discussion forum and assignment instructions, I suggest that you skim the rest of the assigned readings and put more effort into reading my post in the discussion forum and the assignment instructions. The information I have provided will help you to identify and understand the main points for the week. When you have free time, study the learning resources at your leisure. But for this week, skim them to get a general idea of what we are attempting to do and then study the discussion forum and assignment information and examples.

The Dashboard assignment involves developing a research plan and method of evaluation for a single-subject research design you might use if you were the social worker assisting the client in the assigned Cortez case.

In today’s faster-paced professional context, a succinct, clear report (sometimes called a \\\\\\\”proposed action plan\\\\\\\”) not to exceed 2-3 pages of narrative and a reference list is the typical format. Lengthier papers are rare except in scientific and government settings where every detail has to be reviewed and approved at the beginning of an initiative.

In most other cases, busy reviewers often limit initial proposals to a few pages so they can make quick decisions regarding support for promising research.

These descriptions of proposed studies are concise and limited to a few pages, sometimes with sentence or word limits. When proposals pass an initial screening, the authors of the proposal may be contacted for more detail.

Writing clear, informative, and brief proposals can be difficult. The goal of the assignment is to enable you to practice this format since you will probably write a proposal or action plan at some point in your career when you plan a new program or intervention.

To familiarize you with typical research writing, you will have fill-in-the-blank sentences to complete. In other sections, you may enter information in list form rather than narrative form, similar to the format for your work in the discussion for the week. Where there are sentence limits associated with a question, follow them.

A final section of the assignment describes how you would apply the results of your study if you learned that the results were effective, marginally effective, or not effective. This section should consist of one short but informative paragraph.

Since the emphasis in this assignment is on the content you present, more points will be awarded for the details of your research plan than on writing.

Application: Creating a Single-System (Subject) Design Study

Your goal for this assignment is to write a well-designed step-by-step plan for conducting a single-subject research design as described in these instructions. Your task requires a succinct, clear report not to exceed 2-3 pages, not counting the reference list.

I am placing the instructions for the assignment here for those who are confident about their knowledge of research design.  Information providing details about how to approach each question follows these instructions, if you would like some additional help. And always, if you need assistance, contact me with a question.  It does not help if you send an email telling me that you are confused, because I will not be able to determine what you are confused about.

Week 3 Assignment

single-subject research study.

To prepare for this Assignment, read the case study entitled The Cortez family linked in the learning resources for this week.

  1. Your challenge is to consider what you might do if you were the social worker assigned to work with Paula Cortez.

Members of three other professions – medicine, psychiatry, and nursing – eagerly want Paula to change specific behaviors and each of them has ideas on what they think you should do.  But as a scholar practitioner, you rely on research to help plan your intervention and evaluation.

While acknowledging the wishes of the other professionals on the team, you recognize that you cannot be effective unless you collaborate with Paula to develop feasible, research-based goals, measure them in a practical manner, and evaluate the results to discover how effective your approach would be for Paula.

After involving Paula in an initial assessment of her social, medical, and psychiatric problems, you decide to use a single system research design to learn what approaches might be most likely to result in long-lasting positive change. (Adapted from Walden, SOCW 6311, 2021).

Your task is to develop a single-subject research plan, including the methods, plan for measuring results, and suggestions for applying the results (the interpretation) to the client in the Cortez case if you find that the method is effective.

 

 

Type your name and Week 3 Assignment in the header: Do not include a title page or abstract.

  1. Locate three peer-reviewed research articles pertinent to clinical or social service work with a client with bipolar disorder and HIV. One article may refer to treatment of bipolar disorder, one may refer to socio-psychological treatments in regard to HIV, and you may choose one additional relevant article of your choice.

From the peer-reviewed research articles, list three goals regarding better self-management of her bipolar disorder, HIV, and/or bio/social/psychological conditions.  Remember that behavioral goals must be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable through the client’s actions alone, not by others or events outside her full control – relevant, and timely). (2-3 sentences)

 

  1. Provide a rationale for your selected goals from the research literature you found (that is, the peer-reviewed research journal articles). Include citations for the articles that provided information for the goals you have selected. Do not use books, websites, or other materials that are not from scholarly journals. (Maximum sentences for your rationale: 1-2 per behavioral indicator or goal).

 

 

  1. From the peer-reviewed research articles pertinent to clinical or social service work, identify three observable behavioral indicators of change regarding better self-care in regard to her bipolar disorder, HIV condition, and other social or physical factors that affect her well-being, and provide a brief rationale. The behavioral indicators must describe actions or indicators that will indicate if Paula is making progress toward the behavioral goals you identified in #1.
    1. Create at least one behavioral indicator of progress for Paula in dealing with or managing bipolar disorder (1-2 sentences)
    2. Create at least one behavioral indicator of progress for Paula in dealing with or managing her HIV condition. (1-2 sentences)
    3. Create a third behavioral indicator for Paula regarding management of her bipolar disorder, her HIV condition, or other behavior that would improve her mental or physical health (your choice). (1-2 sentences).

 

Your response to Question 3 should use these stems:

  1. A behavioral indicator of Paula’s progress toward improving her management of her bipolar disorder is _________.

[This behavioral indicator (specify it here)] is important because _____ [offer your rationale in 1-2 sentences] [Add citation from your selected peer-reviewed article].

A behavioral indicator of Paula’s progress toward improving her management of her HIV condition is ____.

[This behavioral indicator (specify it here)] is important because _____ [offer your rationale in 1-2 sentences] [Add citation from your selected peer-reviewed article].

A behavioral indicator of Paula’s progress toward improving her [physical or mental health condition– select one and specify it here]________ is __________________

[This behavioral indicator (specify it here)] is important because _____ [offer your rationale in 1-2 sentences]

  1. Then list one or more measurement tool for assessing Paula’s progress toward the goals you identified. Select the measurement tool from a measurement tool found in PsychTests or Health and Psychosocial Instruments on the library webpage or from the Mental Measurements Yearbook. Include information regarding the validity and/or reliability of the instrument, if found in the research article or Mental Measurements Yearbook (it is often not included; don’t worry if it is not available)

In addition to these tests and measures, you may also use attendance logs, phone apps, or other objective data measurement methods. Do not use self-report because we are all poor self-observers, and here’s a test: how many glasses of water did you drink last Wednesday? Limit your response to 1-2 sentences per goal.

Your response should be as follows: Progress toward ______ [this selected behavioral indicator] will be measured by [your choice of measurement tool (1 sentence)] [Add citation from your selected peer-reviewed article].

 

  1. Explain how you will measure the target behaviors to assess change:

 

I will take baseline measures with and assess changes that occur toward [the behavioral goal(s)] on a ________[select: daily, weekly, etc.]  basis with [specify your measuring tool]___________________ .

 

Cite the source of the measurement tool if it is a published test, checklist, or rating scale found in one of the articles you read regarding appropriate interventions for persons with HIV or bipolar disorder, the Mental Measurements Yearbook,  PsychTESTS, or the Health and Psychosocial Instruments database.

 

If you are using observation or self-reports, describe the logs, phone apps, worksheets, or other tool you are using to obtain consistent, objective data. For example, you might specify that you intend to review the client’s daily food diary during a weekly phone counseling session.

 

  1. Describe a general type of intervention to use in your study and your rationale. General categories might include psychotherapy, case management, creating an app or a worksheet, telehealth (phone or video contact with your client) or some other type of intervention.

 

Use the research articles you selected to choose general type(s) of intervention(s) that have been found to be effective with HIV and/or bipolar clients.    Don’t be too specific – use general categories (psychotherapy, case management, an app for the phone, etc.), for your intervention(s). You may use the same intervention for all the behavioral goals or use different interventions for different goals. (2-4 sentences).

 

Your response to Question 6 should resemble this:

 

In this study, I intend to explore the use of [specify your intervention] to determine if it enables Paula to achieve [restate your behavioral indicators for Paula’s goals. You may use more than one intervention if it makes sense to do so]_____________.

 

[Cite your research article(s) that support the intervention(s): Author (date)] indicates that [your type of intervention] _____ was effective in a study of ________ who had _____condition.  [If you use more than one type of intervention, repeat this sentence for each type of service you intend to apply in this study).

 

 

  1. Identify your choice of the single-case research design for your research proposal and your rationale. Remember that the goal of the research is to determine how effective your intervention is in enabling Paula to progress toward her behavioral goals.  [Note: You may select an AB or ABA design if you have only one intervention, (they have poor validity, but use them if none other apply), an ABAB design if it is ethical to withdraw the treatment and reintroduce it (better validity), and ABC design for two or more interventions, or the multiple-baseline-over-behaviors design for one or more interventions (better validity).

 

Review the typical choices of research designs for single case research in social work listed in my discussion post at the top of the discussion forum.

 

The choice of the single-case research design(s) is yours – there is no right or wrong here – but you must provide cogent reasons for the designs you selected.

 

Your response should be similar to this example:

 

To assess my intervention in aiding Paula’s progress toward these behavioral goals, I will use a(n) ______ single-case research design.  (1-2 sentences.)

 

The _____ research design involves [provide a brief description of your selected single case research design]. This single-subject research design is appropriate for this study because [provide your rationale].   (3-4 sentences).

 

  1. List two procedures that you will perform to ensure that the research is performed ethically. (2-4 sentences). Hint: check back to your notes from SOCW 6301 regarding research ethics (Yegidis, Weinbach, & Myers, 2018, pp. 32-42), or read the list in Laerd Dissertation, cited above (http://dissertation.laerd.com/principles-of-research-ethics.php).  (1-2 sentences).

 

  1. Application: When you have completed this outline, explain how you might use the information from your study in your own current or future work as a social worker by identifying what you would do if the results showed that intervention(s) was/were effective, marginally effective, or not effective (your choice, based on your reading). Your remarks should be descriptive and informative but not exceed 3-4 sentences.
  2. List your references, following APA format for punctuation, italics, and capitalization at the end of this research plan. In the interest of conserving resources, please do not place your references on a separate page. Begin them beneath under a header entitled “References”.

For the purposes of this assignment, limit your remarks so that you do not exceed 2-3 pages, including references. The list format should assist in reducing the amount of writing in the proposal.

To submit your Assignment, do the following:

  • Save your Assignment as a “.doc” file with the filename “WK3Assgn+last name+first initial.doc”. For example, Sally Ride’s filename would be “WK3AssgnRideS.doc”.
  • To upload your Assignment, click on Assignments on the course navigation menu, and then click the “Assignment Turnitin – Week 3” link.

_____________________________________________

Research has been described as a form of principled argument that requires practice to master. Please do not hesitate to contact me at jane.yank@mail.waldenu.edu so I can assist you if you have difficulty understanding or completing this assignment.

Help!  I don’t know how to prepare a research proposal!

Students often panic, thinking that they don’t know enough about research to develop a research plan. While it is true that a research plan follows well-defined steps, it is not much different than following a recipe.

 

 

Social work research studies include methods that involve at least these elements:

  1. defining exactly what activities and tasks are being performed
  2. the specific manner, order, or protocols for performing the activities and tasks in detail (just as in a recipe)
  3. who performed (or will perform) the activities and tasks
  4. the plan for ensuring that the tasks are performed as directed. This is essential to ensure that differences are due to the intervention or the social work method being tested, not other extraneous factors
  5. choosing a method for assessing outcomes or making fair comparisons, such as measuring change after an intervention, identifying if a goal is achieved, or comparing interventions (or recipes!) to see which has better results.
  6. other steps specific to the type of study being conducted.

In the case of recipes, you will know which recipe is best by appearance, flavor, texture, aroma, and the responses of your tasters. Your group of tasters will provide outcomes: reactions or behavioral indicators such as their ratings (opinions), requests for the recipe, and your observation about how quickly the food made with the new recipe is devoured and which is left over.

Each one of these indicators can be described, counted or rated. These are the outcomes that will enable you to decide which recipe is best.  Outcomes are measurable indicators because you can count, observe, rate, or measure them.  In many social work services, the outcomes are behaviors or conditions that improve or change and the degree of change.

d). Finally, after you have created and served the recipe and observed the reaction, you will decide if the recipe is a success. If the new recipe is better than the usual recipe, you will make conclusions about whether the extra cost and effort is worth the improvement over the usual recipe. This will be your interpretation of the results.

Approach a research plan in the same way.  Do not provide copious details but make sure that they are clear. Get right to the point.  Most researchers want to glance quickly at aims of the research (also called goals or objectives) and the methods of an article to decide if the goals and methods are appropriate for their client(s) and compatible with their own skills and training.  Help your readers by conveying accurate, brief, and clear descriptions of these steps by using the template listed below.

Note: Some material in the articles, particularly the findings, may have to be copied into your report, but quoted or copied material should not exceed 20% of the assignment.  Please cite copied material carefully and accurately with quotation marks.  Copied material without quotation marks will result in a 50% reduction in points for the assignment the first time and a zero the second time it occurs along with a referral to the department disciplinary committee (Walden policy).

__________________________________________________________________________

 

The assignment this week involves single system (or single subject) designs.

What is unique about single-system (also known as single-subject, single-case) research designs?

Single-system research designs are planned interventions on ONE person, group, or organization that is considered as a single unit that is compared to itself. Every time you weigh yourself and compare your weight to the weight(s) you had previously, you are conducting a variation of single subject design on yourself.

The purpose of a single-subject design is to evaluate the effect of the intervention on target behaviors for a single unit of study – an individual (most common), a classroom, an organization, a department or an agency, to name a few – where the focus is on comparing before-and-after changes to itself the person or group being studied, without comparing to other individuals or groups.  

Caution!  When approaching this assignment, remember this important fact: research is not the same as treatment. Research is designed to measure changes that occur as a result of an intervention. In research, the focus is on the intervention. Changes are not made to the intervention during the research study. The client must first approve to participate in the research. If the client is not improving or complains, but is not being harmed, those effects are observed but do not force a change in the method used unless it appears that the client is being harmed in some way or chooses to discontinue the study.  Research requires careful baseline measurements prior to the intervention, during the intervention, and after the intervention ends and provides valuable information about whether the methods are effective. If you change them during the study, the research is no longer valid.

Treatment or therapy uses interventions, too, but in treatment, the focus is on the client and their goals which can change over the course of treatment. Therapy requires flexibility from the social worker and the ability to make changes in the intervention as needed so that the therapy remains relevant to the client and the client’s preferences.    Research maintains the pre-determined methods throughout the study period unless they are shown to cause harm.

What’s the difference between experimental or quasi-experimental research designs and single case (also called single subject) research designs?

In experimental or quasi-experimental research, groups are set up, given different interventions, and compared to one another. In contrast, single-system designs compare individuals or groups only to themselves, such as pre-post testing on a single client or group.

For example, imagine that a teacher wants to assess the effect of an anti-bullying campaign in the classroom. The school social worker gets baseline data on the number of complaints and incidents of bullying that occur over a period of time. Then the campaign begins and is conducted for six weeks. The social worker continues to measure the incidents and complaints of bullying during the intervention and one month after the campaign ends. No one is singled out, and there are no comparisons to groups getting different interventions (or none at all – the control group category).

Since the group is compared only to itself, researchers consider this type of study a single subject design (also called single case design) with the classroom considered as the subject or the case.

How are results presented in single case research designs?

Bell (2012) report that “[g]enerally, [single system designs] use visual analysis of data [such as graphs] to … compare participants’ target behaviors before they receive an intervention, [during the intervention] …and after the intervention….” similar to the graph shown in the discussion regarding George’s multiple baseline design.

Measurements of the client’s targets (i.e., problems or goals) must be taken several times over the course of the study. Since there may be many factors that can affect the client’s behaviors, the researcher uses graphs to assess the target behaviors before, during, and after the intervention to obtain an accurate picture of change.

Bell (2012 continues:

If the data illustrate that target behaviors change only after the intervention is initiated, this effect suggests that the intervention was responsible for the behavior change.

In order to establish causal evidence that the intervention was in fact responsible for behavior change, replication of the effect is then attempted. […]

One of the most notable features of SCD [single case design, which is the same as single-subject or single-system design] research is that each case serves as its own control, therefore eliminating the need for a control group condition typically required of experimental designs. Specifically, the baseline period serves as the control, which can then be compared to the period after and/or during the intervention phase that follows.  (Bell, 2012).

From the Walden Dashboard for Week 3:

The steps at the heart of single-system (subject) research are part of the everyday practice of social work. Each day social workers implement interventions to meet clients’ needs and monitor results. However, conducting proper single-system (subject) research entails a more rigorous approach than we apply on a day-to-day basis.

Proper single-system research requires a high degree of knowledge and commitment. Social workers must fully understand the purpose of single-system (subject) research and the types of single-system (subject) designs. They must develop a hypothesis based upon research and select the right design for testing it.

They must ensure the reliability and validity of the data to be collected and know how to properly analyze and evaluate that data.

How to plan your proposal (don’t write your report yet).

  1. Look through the case study to identify Paula’s problems. List or highlight them so they are easy for you to find.
  2. Conduct a literature search on HIV/AIDS and bipolar mental disorder that might include some information about any of the problems that Paula is experiencing.

Specifically, find at least two research articles that include some general type of social work intervention that identify helpful, reasonable, and measurable behavioral goals for individuals with HIV to improve their condition and at least two research articles that describe reasonable and measurable behavioral goals for clients with bipolar disorder to  improve their condition. Research that addresses goals for persons with both HIV and bipolar disorder are rare – you will probably have to select an article that addresses one disorder and a second article that addresses the other. Please choose social work research articles where possible and avoid articles for professions that are beyond our scope (nursing, medicine, law, etc. that refer to interventions that social workers are unlikely to do).

  1. From these articles, select three feasible behavioral indicators of progress toward therapeutic goals or improved self-management for Paula, the client in the Cortez Family case, based on what you found in the literature search on management of HIV/AIDS and/or bipolar disorder. Remember that behavioral indicators are signs of progress for Paula and they must be SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely. Behavioral indicators of change should identify behaviors that show progress, and they must be easily reported, observed or demonstrated by observable changes in behavior, changes in scores on objective screening tools, or psychological tests

 

Ensure that at least one behavioral indicator will help her to perform healthy options for her bipolar disorder and at least one indicator will improve her self-care in regard to her HIV disorder. The third behavioral indicator can be relevant to either disorder.

 

Since Paula is the research participant, the indicators must be stated as changes in mood, thinking, or behavior that rely on actions that she will perform to make progress toward her goals.  The actions or services that social workers, family members, and other professionals should do are not behavioral indicators – they are the interventions.

 

For example, do not select a behavioral indicator that may involve conditions that are not fully under her control, such as delivering a healthy baby (Mother Nature may have other plans), getting admitted to a residential treatment center (someone else will have to approve the admission which may depend on insurance or capacity of the facility),  or an improvement in health, such as increased T-cells,  since health is affected by many factors, some which she can control and others that are affected by other influences. For example, taking medications is a healthy option she can control, but living in a safe and clean environment or being able to afford or purchase nutritious food may not be.

 

  1. Locate instruments (tests or assessments) to monitor changes in the target behavioral indicators so the social worker can assess progress. In SOCW 6101, you searched the Mental Measurements Yearbook, a highly reliable source, to identify scales and measurement tools that could be used to evaluate the client’s progress during treatment. The Mental Measurements Yearbook may be helpful in finding tests or assessments to measure change in the behavioral goals you selected in #2. Other test databases that could be used by social workers to find methods to measure change are APA PsychTests and Health and Psychosocial Instruments.

 

To locate them, log into the Walden University library at https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/library. In the top bar, near “Ask a librarian”, click on Start Your Research.  On the page that opens, click on Tests and Measures highlighted in green below.   Click on that label and the database of available test sites will open, including PsychTests, Mental Measurements Yearbook of Tests in Print, APA PsycTests, and Health and Psychosocial Instruments.

 

 

 

Identify the measurement tools that you would use to assess progress with each behavioral indicator or target problem you chose in Question #2 and describe each one briefly.  You will need one measurement tool per goal or problem to assess change.  You may use the same tool for more than one goal if it would provide you with the information you want.

 

If you choose observations or self-reports as your measure of any of the behavioral indicators, you must describe a selected method that ensures objective, consistent reporting, such as the use of an app, a daily or weekly checklist, a journal, a rating scale devised for the purpose, or other tool to ensure that the target behaviors are counted or measured in the same way every time that they occur.

 

  1. Select one or more general types of interventions that YOU will perform to assist Paula to meet her behavioral goals as measured by the behavioral indicators you selected in Question #2.

Sources for evidence based practice interventions include A Compendium of Evidence-Based Interventions and Best Practices for HIV Prevention (http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/research/interventionresearch/compendium/index.html,websites of professional groups such as the Society for Clinical Psychology (Division 12 of the American Psychological Association; www.psychologicaltreatments.org), or research articles such as A review of evidence-based psychosocial interventions for bipolar disorder (Miklowitz, 2006, accessed from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17029494), to name a few. You may use other relevant sources as well.

In research, you cannot change an intervention once it has been started. Your choices are to continue the interventions as designed or stop the research completely.

You cannot change the research plan during the study because changes to the research plan while the study is in progress will invalidate the study. In many cases your study has been approved by your agency Institutional Review Board, and making changes to the study can open you and your agency to liability if something goes wrong or someone files a complaint.

If you are not getting the response you expected, you can explore whether there are confounding variables such as an unanticipated barrier (car breaks down making it impossible for the client to get to scheduled clinic appointments, for example) and you can attempt to mitigate the obstacle if doing so does not put undue influence on the research client and does not involve an unauthorized change in the research methods.

You may find that some external event or person is interfering with the client’s efforts.  In that case, document the obstacle in your report as an explanation for lack of the success you anticipated, but do not change the methods until the research period has expired.

If the research causes unwelcome discomfort or harm, you must stop it. Our ethics require us to “do not harm”.

**** At this point, you have selected behavioral indicators of progress for Paula based on her HIV and bipolar conditions and you have identified ways to measure them.  You also have chosen a general approach for your intervention that you will test with a single case research design.

 

Next, you will select a single case research design.

 

  1. Select a specific form of the single-subject research design outlined in Dudley (2020), pp. 237-247 and Thyer (2010), pp. 250-256 to apply in your research proposal as described below. For our purposes, A-B (Dudley and Thyer), A-B-C (Dudley), A-B-A-B (Dudley and Thyer), and multiple baseline (Thyer) designs are most common to social work and the most applicable to a study such as the one for this assignment.

 

Reminders when considering an A-B or A-B-C or Concurrent A-B design

A-B and A-B-C designs are intended for only one behavioral goal. Note that A-B design (the simplest single-case study design), and A-B-C design have poor validity since many factors may cause change besides the intervention. A-B and A-B-C designs do not control for external events that may help or hinder the client’s progress toward her goals.

Problems with an A-B design. A-B designs evaluate only one behavioral goal.  If you have multiple goals, as in this study, you may consider a series of A-B designs (start with AB1, then complete and discontinue goal #1 and the AB1 intervention and start AB2, then complete and discontinue goal #2, and the AB2 intervention, and continue for each goal and matching intervention). With a series of AB interventions, validity will be poor as there would be after-effects from the first intervention on the second intervention, the first and second interventions might impact the third intervention, and so on).   If you need to monitor progress from one intervention during another intervention, the A-B design is not appropriate.

Problems with an A-B-C design.  Likewise, the A-B-C design is intended for use on only one behavioral goal. It involves starting an intervention on a behavior, then changing to a different intervention or supplementing the first intervention with another, then evaluating the results at the end of the study.  This approach is very common in mental health where a depressed client may be treated with counseling and provided with medication at a later time to hasten change in the depression symptoms. Sometimes the counseling continues, but the counseling may discontinue in an ABC design also.  You are monitoring ONE target behavior in the ABC design, but introducing a new or supplemental intervention. If you plan this approach ahead of time, it is acceptable to make the change but validity is poor because it is not clear if the second intervention is better or benefiting from delayed change from the first intervention .

Problems with the concurrent A-B design.  Because multiple interventions are applied to different target behaviors at once, it is very difficult to determine how much influence your interventions may be having on the changes in any single target behavior.  In other words, if change occurs, you don’t know which method caused it or hindered it. All you know is that change occurred, but you cannot explain which of the methods was useful.

Recall the external threats to validity that you studied in SOCW 6301 such as history and maturation; these are not controlled in the A-B,  A-B-C, or concurrent A-B single-subject designs.

Maturation is most common in studies of children and elderly, where capabilities may be changing due to normal progression in the life cycle, but are not usually an influence in studies with adults. Therefore, they are not likely to be appropriate in a single subject design with a mature adult.

Despite the low evidence of validity, there are situations where an A-B design or the A-B-C design is the best choice, usually due to ethical reasons. In those cases, validity is established by repeating the single-subject study with many individuals (replication with A-B designs or A-B-C designs). It cannot be considered a test of the design if you have only one subject, as there could be other influences at work.

 

If you choose a multiple-baseline-over-behaviors design, here are some reminders:

 

Recall that multiple baseline designs across behaviors or problems refer to taking baseline measurements on several target problems, then introducing the same intervention to each problem in a staggered sequence – not all at once – so you can observe how the intervention affects each problem separately.

 

The intervention is applied to one problem/target while baseline data continues to be measured on the other targets. When the client’s behavior on the first target remains stable after receiving the intervention, the researcher applies the intervention to the second behavior while continuing the intervention on the first target behavior and taking baseline data on the third and subsequent targets. When the client’s response to the second target is stable, the intervention may be applied to the third target behavior as well, so all three behaviors are being addressed by the intervention.

 

By staggering the introduction of the intervention to each target, you can observe the unique response of each target behavior to the intervention so you learn how the intervention affects each one. You may find that the intervention works well with one or more target behaviors, but is not as successful with others.  In fact, this is often what happens.

 

The staggered application of interventions is different from a concurrent AB design where interventions are applied to several behavioral goals all at the same time, which makes it impossible to assess the impact of the intervention on each separate target behavior. Do not select the concurrent AB method for this assignment because you will be unable to tell how effective an intervention might be for each target behavior!

Later in the assignment, you will briefly describe the phases of the design you selected. (What does A stand for? What does B or C stand for? See the information in my post in the discussion forum for more information on research designs).

 

You will explain why the research design you selected is appropriate to measure this client’s progress toward the behavioral goals you have chosen. Just keep these ideas in mind for now.

  1. Describe two actions that you will take to ensure that the research is performed ethically. Adam Lund, author of Laerd Dissertation has outlined various principles of research from the Nuremberg Code, Declaration of Helsinki, and Belmont Report in a user-friendly webpage here: http://dissertation.laerd.com/principles-of-research-ethics.php. Select two actions that you would do to ensure that your research is ethical.

Final step: Writing your report

The rules:

Submit your information using the following template. If the question asks for information in list form, itemize your responses; no further explanation is needed and sentences are not required. If you are asked for a more detailed response, limit your remarks to the number of sentences listed per item.

Please do not use a title page. Instead, please place your name and page number in the upper margin.  You are not required to double space; Single line spacing is acceptable.

Make your paper readable and well organized with numbers, bullet points, or short headers to identify the prompt to which you are responding.

Points will be awarded for scholarly word choices, succinct, clear, and accurate composition to communicate in a reader-centered manner. Remember the ABC’s of reader-centered writing for effective communication in the workplace: accuracy, brevity, and clarity. Provide accurate information at the level your reader can understand (clarity), and be brief.

At least 80% of your report should be your own synthesis or paraphrases of the material in the articles; no more than 20% of the paper should consist of quotes.

When you quote a source, please cite it carefully and accurately. Beginning this week, your reference list will be subject to guidelines for formatting as indicated in the discussion according to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed).  You will find the details in the Scholarly Writing Goal in the discussion. If you find sources to cite that are trickier than the examples in the Scholarly Writing Goal, consult the Writing Center or me for help.

Remember that the reference list provides details for the sources you have cited in the body of your assignment. Only the sources you used to support your writing should be in the reference list. Likewise, any source that you cite must be listed in the reference list.

In subsequent weeks, additional APA formatting guidelines for in-text citations and other elements will be outlined in the weekly Scholarly Writing Goal. Once they are introduced, you will be graded on them, but for this week, the only APA formatting that will be graded is the reference list.

Points are deducted for lateness according to Walden policy as stated in the syllabus.

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