Qualitative Research Impacting Practice, Policy

No matter the method, social work research should be done with an eye toward informing and improving social work practice, policy, and/or service delivery. You will analyze the results of a qualitative study conducted with inner-city African American youths and determine how the results can be applied to social work practice, policy, or service delivery. Learning about the lives and experiences of vulnerable populations, such as African American inner-city adolescents, can help contribute to enhancing social work practice or policy with such populations.
• Community
Background Information
An important aspect of social work research involves the ethical considerations of a study. As an empowering practice, social work seeks to involve the research participants as much as possible to learn from the voices that are rarely heard or taken to heart. You will read about a qualitative study done with inner-city African American youth. You will then analyze the study for the quality of its data and data collection methods. Also, critically examine the study for ethical situations that the researchers had to address, such as confidentiality issues and even recruitment issues, and reflect on whether they appropriately and positively addressed them, or if something else could have been done to improve the ethical standards of the study. You will learn more about sampling in an upcoming workshop, but this article gives you a preview of sampling issues, as well as how the researchers addressed them. Finally, after reading a chapter on policy-oriented qualitative research, you will apply what you learned from that chapter to the research article.

  1. In the eBook Qualitative Inquiry and Social Justice, read Chapter 2, “Four Points Concerning Policy-Oriented Qualitative Research,” pages 73–80.
  2. Read the article “Issues of Conducting Qualitative Research in an Inner-City Community.” SEE FILES
  3. Write a three-page (minimum) paper that addresses each of the following:
    a. How did the authors of the article decide to gather qualitative data to address their research question?
    b. How well do you think they supported their decision?
    c. What qualitative data collection methods did they use?
    d. Do you think those were the best or most effective collection methods, or could other methods have addressed the research question better? Suggest other methods as appropriate, along with a rationale.
    e. What ethical issues were involved with the study, and how did the researchers address them? Do you think they addressed them appropriately? If not, what else could they have done and why?
    f. What methods did the researchers use to make their data more credible and reliable? Do you think they could have done better? If so, specify how and justify your answer. If not, also provide a scholarly rationale.
    g. How could the results or findings be used to inform practice, policy, or service delivery?
    h. Identify how at least one of the four points discussed in Qualitative Inquiry and Social Justice’s Chapter 2, “Four Points Concerning Policy-Oriented Qualitative Research,” could be applied to this research article.”