· “Why do some individuals with major depression have a course that persists over a long time while for others with major depression their course does not persist ?”
Module 1: Background Reading on Mental Health and Depression:
Module 2: Research Methods
Literature Search, Critical and Comparative Review of Pertinent Research Articles, and Hypothesis Generation:
This module will include readings that describe methods for identifying the important published research studies on a topic, that outline the criteria and processes for conducting a critical and comparative review of the evidence reported in selected research articles, and that model well written critiques. Readings will also cover the structure and development of a researchable hypothesis. Students will:
1. Conduct a literature search of the scientific studies pertinent to the above question.
2. Identify your literature search process, key words, and search engines utilized.
3. Complete a written critical, comparative review of 3 research articles pertinent to the course question identified above. [You will be provided with 3 research articles for this review and will follow the guidelines for critical reviewing research articles and summarizing and comparing across different studies that are identified in the Module 2 readings].
4. Formulate a researchable hypothesis relative to the course question.
Module 3: Research Methods
2: Study Design, Target Population, and Sampling:
Readings included in this module will address issues related to the thinking about and planning for formulating a research proposal designed to minimize different types of study bias and maximize selection of appropriate target populations and utilization of sampling approaches best designed to test a specific study hypothesis. Utilizing information included in the readings and the module power point presentations, students will draft a research proposal designed to test the hypothesis specified in Module 2.
Module 4: Research Methods 3: Variable Definition, Measurement Selection, and Data Collection Approaches:
The identification, definition, and measurement of important study variables are critical to the success of a research activity and test of a specific hypothesis. These research components are of particular importance when, as with psychiatric epidemiology, there are no totally ‘objective’ indicators for many variables…..even those as important as diagnostic indicators. Readings will focus on issues related to how to identify conceptual and operational definitions of variables and how to evaluate existing indicators and scales that have been proposed to measure selected variables. Students will be assigned to a variable identified in the hypothesis they developed, and they will be given at least two different approaches to its assessment. Based on these materials, students will conduct further research to identify the ‘psychometric properties’ of their assigned measurement instruments. Such information will be used to select and justify which measurement approach they would recommend for inclusion in their ‘study’.
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