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To get started in this class, select a topic of research interest within your chosen area of study (e.g., I/O, Forensics, Health, General, Educational, etc.). Post a discussion in which you briefly describe potential qualitative research questions along with how your research topic fits with one of the four goals of research that you read about this week. Explain how your topic aligns itself more readily with the use of either a qualitative or quantitative approach to research? Provide a thorough and complete rationale for your answer. Now, think of how you might reframe your research question to one that aligns with a quantitative approach. How would this work? What might you uncover here that you might not be able to if you were using a qualitative approach? How might the goals of the research change with a quantitative approach? 

You will be able to revisit this discussion thread throughout the course to continue the dialog with your professor. You will be able to ask any questions that may arise and continue to explore this week’s topic. 

Length: Content post 350-500 words

Your discussion entry and possible responses should reflect a collegial attitude, be free of grammar and spelling errors, and include the criteria mentioned above. Be certain to cite any sources or references in your discussion post as well.


My focus in the program is Health Psychology, and my topic of research interest is Teen Pregnancy.

For this discussion board, we were asked to post a discussion that briefly describes potential qualitative research questions along with how the research topic fits with one of the four goals of research. We were then asked to explain how the topic aligns itself more readily with the use of either a qualitative or quantitative approach to research.

Right from the start, a quantitative approach is what comes to mind when researching teen pregnancy. Although, in regards to this research topic, I feel as though a pragmatic approach is necessary.

There are a variety of mixed method designs that we can use depending on what we are researching. We need one research question to determine where to start and with either qualitative or quantitative data. The development of a hypothesis is typically a quantitative design, which is theory-based.

In regards to teen pregnancy statistics, extending the quantitative design to include qualitative measures (because there is a social component), means we end up with a mixed method design in which both quantitative and qualitative data are used to answer the research question.

Goals of scientific research are: description, prediction, and explanation/understanding. In science, descriptions are systematic and precise.  Scientific research makes use of operational definitions.  Operational definitions characterize events, qualities, and concepts in terms of observable operations, or procedures used to measure them.

When only using quantitative design, researchers are interested in what is relevant to the study.  They have no interest in describing or using observations that are meaningless to the investigation.


Description refers to the procedures used to define, classify and categorize subjects and their relationships.  Descriptions allow us to establish generalizations and universals.  By gathering information on a large group of people, for instance, a researcher can describe the average person and the average age of the specific group being studied.

Describing observations of a group of people does not take away from the fact that there are important differences among individuals.  Description allows researchers to describe a phenomenon or observations of someone.


Descriptions of events often provide a basis for prediction.  Predictions are sometimes made based off of a hypotheses, which are testable predictions concerning the relationships between or among variables. 

Hypotheses are frequently derived from theories, or interrelated sets of concepts that explain a body of data and make predictions. Prediction of later performance is of particular importance to researchers.  For example:

· Does living in a low income housing development make a teen at higher risk for teen pregnancy?

When a variable can be used to predict another variable or variables, we can say the variables are correlated. Correlation exists when different measures vary together, which makes it possible to predict values of one variable by knowing values of another variable. Predictions are made with varying degrees of certainty.


Many researchers state that the main goal of scientific research is explanation.  Explanation is achieved when the cause or causes of a phenomenon are identified.  In order to determine cause and effect three pre-requisites are essential: co- variation of events, proper time-order sequence, and the elimination of plausible alternative causes.

What might you uncover that you might not be able to if you were using a qualitative approach?

Quantitative research can help you answer questions such as “how many” and “how often” and is invaluable when putting together a prevention plan for a teen outreach program.

The statistical results that can be derived from quantitative research are good for estimating the probability of success. So, a quantitative method will give us an idea of the scale or percentage of teen pregnancy rates which the qualitative method will not.

How might the goals of the research change with a quantitative approach? 

I don’t know that the goals would necessarily “change” given one method or the other, but I would say that the quantitative method would be the start to evaluate the significance or degree of the problem in the initial stage of research. The quantitative approach provides raw data. Numbers don’t lie. With a prevention plan in place based off of all prior research, we would hope to see a direct decline in the numbers of teen pregnancy in post quantitative survey.


Gravetter, F. J., & Forzano, L. B. (2015). Research methods for the behavioral sciences (5th ed.). Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.

Park, J., & Park, M. (2016). Qualitative versus Quantitative Research Methods: Discovery or Justification? Journal of Marketing Thought, 3(1), 1–7.