Topic: how the family can help their family member dealing with PTSD?

Topic: how the family can help their family member dealing with PTSD?

Your Research Proposal is a six- to seven-page plan for a new study on your research topic. Incorporate at least four scholarly/peer-reviewed journal articles in addition to the course text to support your proposed study.

Include the following sections and content in your paper:

  • 1. Introduction – Introduce the research topic, explain why it is important, and present your research question and/or hypothesis.
  • 2. Literature Review – Summarize the current state of knowledge on your topic by citing the methods and findings of at least two previous research studies. State whether your proposed study is a replication of a previous study or a new approach using methods that have not been used before.
  • 3. Methods
    • Design – Indicate whether your proposed study is qualitative or quantitative in approach. Select one of the research designs you have studied in the course, and indicate whether it is experimental or non-experimental. Evaluate why this design is appropriate for your research topic. Cite the textbook and one other source on research methodology to support your choice.
    • Participants – Identify the sampling strategy you would use to recruit participants for your study. Estimate the number of participants you would need and explain why your sampling method is appropriate for your research approach.
    • Procedure/Measures – Apply the scientific method by describing the steps you would use in carrying out your study. Indicate whether you will use any kind of test, questionnaire, or measurement instrument. Cite the source of any instruments to be used.
    • Data Analysis – Describe the statistical techniques (if quantitative) or the analysis procedure (if qualitative) you plan to use to analyze the data. Cite at least one source on the chosen analysis technique.
    • Ethical Issues – Analyze the impact of ethical concerns on your proposed study, such as confidentiality, deception, informed consent, potential harm to participants, conflict of interest, IRB approval, etc. Explain how you would address these concerns.
  • Conclusion – Briefly summarize the major points of your research plan and reiterate why your proposed study is needed.

The Research Proposal

  • Must be six- to seven- double-spaced pages in length (not including title and references pages) and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center (Links to an external site.)’s APA Style (Links to an external site.)
  • Must include a separate title page with the following:
    • Title of proposal
    • Student’s name
    • Course name and number
    • Instructor’s name
    • Date submitted

For further assistance with the formatting and the title page, refer to APA Formatting for Word 2013 (Links to an external site.).

  • Must utilize academic voice. See the Academic Voice (Links to an external site.) resource for additional guidance.
  • Must use at least four scholarly/peer-reviewed journal articles in addition to the course text.
    • The Scholarly, Peer-Reviewed, and Other Credible Sources (Links to an external site.) table offers additional guidance on appropriate source types. If you have questions about whether a specific source is appropriate for this assignment, please contact your instructor. Your instructor has the final say about the appropriateness of a specific source for a particular assignment.
  • Must document any information used from sources in APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center’s Citing Within Your Paper (Links to an external site.)
  • Must include a separate reference page that is formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center. See the Formatting Your References List (Links to an external site.) resource in the Ashford Writing Center for specifications.

    Running Head: RESEARCH PROPOSAL 1

    Example Research Proposal

    Pamela Murphy

    PSY 326 Research Methods

    Instructor’s Name

    Date Submitted

    NOTE: The details in this example research proposal are based on a published study which I co-

    authored with Charles B. Hodges and my doctoral dissertation, both in 2009. Portions of the text

    are excerpted from the published article (Hodges & Murphy, 2009) and the dissertation (Murphy,



    Example Research Proposal


    The concept of self-efficacy was introduced nearly 40 years ago. “Perceived self-efficacy

    refers to beliefs in one’s capabilities to organize and execute the courses of action required to

    produce given attainments” (Bandura, 1977, p. 3). Self-efficacy has been identified as an

    important construct for academic achievement in traditional learning environments for at least

    two decades. Zimmerman and Schunk (2003) go so far as to say that “the predictive power of

    self-efficacy beliefs on students’ academic functioning has been extensively verified” (p. 446).

    Its importance has been noted consistently through all levels of the educational process, with

    various student populations, and in varied domains of learning.

    While learner self-efficacy has a well-established literature base in the context of

    traditional learning environments, self-efficacy research related to learners in online and other

    non-traditional learning environments is relatively new. Hodges (2008a) has called for

    researchers to explore self-efficacy in online learning environments. Additionally, in terms of

    students’ self-efficacy beliefs toward academic achievement, “there have been few efforts to

    investigate the sources underlying these self-beliefs” (Usher, 2009, p. 275). The purpose of the

    proposed study is to investigate the relative strength of the four traditionally proposed sources of

    self-efficacy beliefs of students enrolled in a technology-intensive asynchronous college math



    Literature Review

    Self-efficacy beliefs have been found to be significant contributors to motivation and

    performance in academic achievement (Multon, Brown, & Lent, 1991), group functioning

    (Gully, Incalcaterra, Joshi, & Beaubien, 2002; Stajkovic & Luthans, 1998), health (Holden,

    1991), and sports performance (Moritz, Feltz, Fahrbach, & Mack, 2000). Research revealing the

    connection between self-efficacy and mathematics, the context of the proposed study, includes

    many cultures and levels of education (Malpass, O’Neil, & Hocevar, 1999; Pietsch, Walker, &

    Chapman, 2003; Randhawa, Beamer, & Lundberg, 1993; Stevens, Olivarez, Lan, & Tallent-

    Runnels, 2004) and continues to the present (Usher, 2009).

    Sources of Self-Efficacy

    Albert Bandura’s (1977) introduction of self-efficacy theory included the proposition that

    self-efficacy is derived from four principal sources: mastery experiences, vicarious experience,

    social persuasion, and physiological/affective states. These four areas are generally accepted in

    the literature as core elements in the development of self-efficacy beliefs, but an ordering of the

    importance of each of these sources is unsettled.

    Mastery Experiences. Mastery experiences refer to previous, successful experiences a

    learner has had performing a task. Successes build positive self-efficacy beliefs and failures

    undermine self-efficacy. If failures are experienced before a firm positive belief in one’s self-

    efficacy is formed, the creation of positive self-efficacy beliefs is more difficult.

    Vicarious Experience. Vicarious experience refers to one’s observation of a role model

    performing a task. Knowledge of how others have performed a similar task helps one determine

    whether or not a performance should be judged a success or failure. Surpassing the performances

    of others increases self-efficacy and falling below others’ performances lowers self-efficacy.


    Note the importance of the selection of individuals for comparison. Self-efficacy beliefs will

    vary depending on the abilities of those chosen for comparison, thus, models for comparison

    should be selected carefully (Wood, 1989).

    Social Persuasion. Social persuasion is commonly used due to the ease with which it can

    be dispensed. The believability of the persuader(s) is important in the use of social persuasion.

    The receiver must view the persuader as competent to provide meaningful and accurate

    feedback. Bandura (1997) cautions that verbal persuasion consists of more than flippant, off-

    hand comments of encouragement. Unrealistic comments from the persuader may mislead the

    receiver, which may decrease self-efficacy and diminish the belief in the persuader as one

    competent to evaluate the performance. “Skilled efficacy builders encourage people to measure

    their successes in terms of self-improvement rather than in terms of triumphs over others”

    (Bandura, 1997, p. 106).

    Physiological/Affective States. Stress, emotion, mood, pain, and fatigue are all

    interpreted when making judgments regarding self-efficacy. For example, someone may have

    prepared well for an exam, but upon learning of some unfortunate news, stress may reduce

    concentration, thus impacting performance on the exam. In general, success is expected when

    one is not in a state of aversive arousal (Bandura, 1997).

    Usher and Pajares (2006) summarize the inconsistent findings regarding the relative

    strength of each self-efficacy source well. They follow with the proposition that “exploring the

    predictive value of the sources of students’ academic self-efficacy beliefs and determining

    whether this prediction varies as a function of group membership such as gender, academic

    ability, and race/ethnicity is a matter of import” (p. 130).




    The proposed study is quantitative in nature and will use a survey research design

    (Newman, 2011). Survey research falls into the non-experimental category of research designs.

    The survey questions use mostly ordinal scales and will result in numeric scores summarizing the

    extent of use of each source of self-efficacy beliefs as well as a score representing the level of

    self-efficacy held by each student in relation to the ability to learn math in an asynchronous

    learning environment.


    Approximately 300 students in an asynchronous college algebra course offered at a large,

    state supported university in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States will be invited to

    participate in a survey. This is a convenience sample, and participation is voluntary, so the final

    sample size may be considerably smaller than the number of students invited. The course is

    delivered using an emporium format (Twigg, 2003) which is technology intensive. The students

    enrolled in the course tend to be engaged in academic majors that are not math-intensive. They

    may have a high degree of math anxiety or at least some negative feelings toward their math

    abilities. In addition, the emporium model may be an unfamiliar concept for them.


    This course is offered through the Math Emporium and has no traditional class meetings.

    After a brief, face-to-face, orientation meeting, students complete the course asynchronously.

    There are weekly deadlines for quizzes, and proctored tests are administered periodically.

    Students prepare for the quizzes and tests by taking advantage of various technology resources

    available to them online. Lesson pages serve as an online textbook for the course, short


    streaming video lectures are available on most topics, and an unlimited number of practice

    quizzes are available. For students who desire it, face-to-face interactions with assistants in the

    computer lab are available several hours each week. No appointment is needed for the face-to-

    face assistance.

    At the conclusion of the course, data will be collected using a web-based survey tool.

    Students who provide informed consent to participate will be given an ID number and survey

    access information. They may access the survey either in the Math Emporium or offsite through

    the internet. Specific instruments to be used are the Self-Efficacy for Learning Mathematics

    Asynchronously (SELMA) survey (Hodges, 2008b), a demographics survey, and the Sources of

    Mathematics Self-Efficacy (SMSE) scale (Lent, Lopez, & Bieschke, 1991).

    The SELMA survey is a 25-question survey constructed for use in college algebra and

    trigonometry courses offered in an emporium model. A validation study showed an internal

    consistency Cronbach’s alpha value of 0.87 (Hodges, 2008b) which is greater than the 0.80

    minimum level recommended by Gable and Wolf (1993) for instruments in the affective domain.

    The SMSE scale consists of four 10-question subscales designed to measure each of the

    four sources of self-efficacy: mastery, vicarious experiences, social persuasion, and

    affective/physiological state. In a validation study of the SMSE, Lent et al. (1991) reported

    internal consistencies of 0.86 for mastery, 0.56 for vicarious, 0.74 for persuasion, and 0.90 for

    affective/physiological arousal.

    Data Analysis

    To investigate the relative strength of the four traditional sources of self-efficacy beliefs

    of students in an asynchronous math course, analysis of variance (ANOVA) and multiple

    regression will be used. Scores from each of the four subscales of the SMSE will be used as


    predictors of the SELMA score. Bivariate correlations will also be examined. Significant

    correlations among the predictor variables may present a problem of multicollinearity. If

    necessary, additional statistical tests such as ridge regression (Joe & Mendoza, 1989; Kidwell &

    Brown, 1982) will be applied to solve this problem.

    Ethical Issues

    Participation in the survey will be strictly voluntary, and will not be tied to evaluation of

    the student’s performance in the course in any way. As a non-experimental survey study, no

    deception will be used. Signed informed consent will be obtained from those who wish to

    participate. Those who agree to participate may withdraw from the study at any time without any

    type of penalty.

    Confidentiality of participants will be protected by the assignment of ID numbers to be

    used on the survey documents instead of names or any other type of identifying information. A

    single copy of the list matching the ID numbers with participants’ names will be kept in a secure,

    locked location for a period of three years after the completion of the study. After three years, the

    list will be destroyed in accordance with the instructions of the Institutional Review Board


    As a token of appreciation, all participants will be entered into a drawing for an Amazon

    gift card. The proposed amount of the gift card, subject to IRB approval, is $25. University

    facilities, including the computer lab known as the Math Emporium, its computers and a survey

    software program, will be used if this study is approved. This project will not receive any

    external funding from commercial or other sources, and no conflicts of interest are reported by

    the researchers.



    Self-efficacy and its relationship to academic achievement in asynchronous online

    learning environments are only recently beginning to be researched (Hodges, 2008a). Given the

    growing prominence of asynchronous online learning, it is essential that we understand what role

    constructs such as self-efficacy play in these learning environments. The proposed study will

    address this need by using a survey research design. The surveys will provide data on the four

    sources of self-efficacy which will serve as predictors of students’ self-efficacy for learning

    mathematics in an asynchronous online setting. A multiple regression model using the four

    predictors with the SELMA survey score as the dependent variable will indicate how much each

    source contributes to self-efficacy.

    The results of this study are expected to be important to instructional designers and

    educational practitioners who either currently use or are considering using an emporium model,

    as they will give indications of which elements of the asynchronous course design should be

    emphasized to best promote students’ self-efficacy relating to the subject matter. An expedited

    review of this proposal by the IRB is requested for approval to begin this research as soon as




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