Policy Analysis DB 3

Qualitative and Quantitative Research Analysis

Below is an example of a mixed methods approach to considering one element of the post-Katrina response.

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Problem statement: This researcher is interested in studying posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in soldiers who deployed to the area from the 82nd Airborne Division, as compared to experiences they had in combat operations prior to Hurricane Katrina. The researcher wants to examine whether they experienced greater trauma helping Americans in trouble than they do on distant battlefields.

The researcher intends to use survey instruments with carefully crafted questions, the answers of which she can numerically collate and process. After all of the data is processed, she intends to follow up with selected soldiers based on their answers by speaking to them personally and conducting conversational interviews.

Primary Task Response: Within the Discussion Board area, write 400–600 words that respond to the following questions with your thoughts, ideas, and comments. This will be the foundation for future discussions by your classmates. Be substantive and clear, and use examples to reinforce your ideas:

  • Critically evaluate the problem statement. Is this a problem that can be undertaken or answered with the instruments she has listed she intends to use? Why or why not?
  • What other techniques or instruments do you recommend she add to her intended tools? Why?
  • Do you feel there is information missing? 
    • If so, what information do you think is necessary? Why?
    • If not, how is the information sufficient? Explain.
  • What do you think are the assumptions this researcher seems to be employing? Explain.
    • Do you believe the assumptions are strong or weak? Explain your answer.
  • What do you think are some of the challenges or limitations this researcher might encounter during her study? Explain.
    • What might be some ways she can overcome these? 

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