Identify the independent and dependent variables in your hypothesis.

Instructions: Read each situation carefully and answer the related questions in the space provided. Answer each question completely, but be brief and succinct. Excessive wordiness will not improve the quality of your answers.

A researcher investigated the behavior of nursing students in crisis or emergency situations. The investigator was interested in comparing the behaviors of students from BSN and diploma programs to determine the adequacy of the preparation given to students in handling emergencies. Fifty students from each type of program participated in the study. The investigator wanted to observe reactions to crises as they might occur naturally, so the participants were not told the exact nature of the study. Each student was instructed to perform a simple task, purportedly to investigate reaction time. A second person, who was described as another participant but who in fact was confederate of the investigator, simulated an epileptic seizure during the study. The investigator observed the timeliness and appropriateness of the student’s response through a one-way mirror.

State the purpose of this study. Write an appropriate hypothesis for this study? What would the Independent Variable(s) and Dependent Variable(s) be? (20 points)

Evaluate the study with respect to ethical considerations. Are guidelines for ethical conduct violated? If so, is there any justification for this violation – that is, does the knowledge to be gained outweigh the ethical transgression? If not, suggest some modification that handles the ethical consideration better. (10 points)

In each of the following research problems, identify the independent and dependent variables: (20 points)

Does assertiveness training Independent: _____­­­­­­­_____________________________________

improve the effectiveness of

psychiatric nurses? Dependent: ___________________________________________

Does the postural positioning Independent: ___________________________________________

of patients affect respiratory

function? Dependent: ___________________________________________

Is tolerance for pain related Independent: __________________________________________

to the age and sex of a patient?

Dependent: __________________________________________

Are levels of stress among Independent: __________________________________________

nurses higher in pediatric

or general intensive-care units? Dependent: ___________________________________________

In a study of how different doses Independent: __________________________________________

of a drug affect the severity of

symptoms, a researcher could Dependent: ___________________________________________

compare the frequency and

intensity of symptoms when

different doses are administered.

A researcher hypothesized that the wearing of dentures has a negative effect on the appetite of chemotherapy patients. She tested this hypothesis by comparing two groups of patients on chemotherapy at a small rural hospital – 15 who wore dentures and 15 who did not. Data regarding the patient’s appetite were collected in two ways. First, patients were asked 10 true/false questions concerning their eating habits and interest in food (e.g., ” I look forward to eating my meals” and “I don’t have as much interest in food as I used to”). Second, each patient was observed eating dinner; the observer rated patients on a 10-point scale in terms of (a) amount of food consumed and (b) degree of perceived appetite for interest in eating. The researcher found only small differences in the appetites and eating behaviors of the two groups and concluded that her hypothesis could not be supported.

Describe the researcher’s overall research design. What extraneous variables might be important to

control in this study? Did the design control these variables? (10 points)

Overall design:

Extraneous variables and how they are controlled:

How were the research variables measured? Could they have been operationalized (measured) more effectively?

(10 points)

Describe the study sample. What type of sampling design was used? Were subjects selected so as to

adequately represent the population? (10 points)

State whether each of the following is a nondirectional or directional hypothesis. (10 points)

Nurses’ attitudes toward mental retardation vary _______________________________

according to their clinical specialty areas.

Nurses who initiate conversation with patients ________________________________

are rated as more effective in their nursing care

by patients than those who initiate less conversation.

The incidence of decubitus ulcers is related to ________________________________

the frequency of the turning of bed-ridden patients


Nurses and patients differ in terms of the relative ________________________________

importance they attach to having the patients

physical versus emotional needs.

Women who give birth by cesarean section are ________________________________

more likely to experience postpartum depression

than women who give birth normally.

A researcher hypothesized that aging negatively affects intellectual capacity and motor responsivity. To test this hypothesis, she randomly selected the names of 250 men aged 70 or above, 250 men in their 50’s, and 250 men in their 30’s from the residents living in a medium sized city in Illinois. The researcher realized that intellectual capacity is sometimes correlated with social class and that mortality rates vary by social class. Therefore, the subjects were selected in such a way that half in each group were from low-income households (household income of $15,000 or less) and half were from high-income households (incomes of over $15,000). The 750 subjects were each administered an individual intelligence test that measured verbal aptitude, problem solving, quantitative skills, spatial aptitude, and overall intelligence. In addition, the participants were given various reaction-time tests. The analysis of the data revealed that, as hypothesized, intelligence declined with age in both income groups. Except on the measure of verbal aptitude, the subjects in their 30s scored highest; the subjects in their 70s scored lowest on the subtests of intellectual capacity and on overall intelligence. The same pattern was observed for reaction time. The researcher concluded that the aging process causes deterioration of both intellectual and motor capacity.

Evaluate the internal validity (the degree that the independent variable caused the observed effect) of the study. What are the threats to its internal validity? (10 points)

What extraneous variables did the researcher identify, and by what method were they controlled?

How else might have those variables been controlled? (10 points)

You are a nurse researcher in a mental health facility. You have been reading about social support theory, and you believe it might provide an explanation for some of the behavior displayed by adolescents in your facility.

The main principles of this theory are:

Social support facilitates self-actualizing tendencies throughout the lifespan

Social support involves interpersonal interaction that produce a sense of belonging

Social support communicates positive feelings.

Social support positively affects self-esteem.

You decide to test this theory by developing a quantitative research study utilizing some aspect of social support theory as your theoretical framework. Describe the process you would go through to design and implement this study, and include the following. (20 points)

Write a hypothesis.

Identify the independent and dependent variables in your hypothesis.

What type of sampling would you use?

How would you collect data on your variables?

What type of statistical analysis would be appropriate?

Describe a method for studying what you are experiencing with these patients using a qualitative design, including (20 points):

The research question.

Data collection.

Data analysis.