Take-home Essay for Exam 3
(worth 70% of Exam 3)
Due in class on the day you take Exam 3
Write a 1000 word statement in which you propose a qualitative aspect of a hypothetical research project.
Your first paragraph should introduce your proposed research question with a brief paragraph. In this
paragraph you should: a) state the question you are researching as a question and b) describe the argument
or debates you hope your research can address. Your research question does not have to be precisely the
same as your original question. However, I recommend that you can propose a question which addresses
some aspect of your original topic of interest, so that you can see how you might need to adapt your
research in order to do a qualitative research project.
In the following paragraphs, you should a) justify why qualitative research, as opposed to quantitative
research would be well suited to addressing your question b) identify the main type of qualitative
research design that you think would be most appropriate for your research question (participant
observation, intensive interviews, case study or comparative research) c) explain why this design overall
is well suited to addressing your question d) identify and explain the merits of the type of sampling
strategy you would use to select your site or case (deviant, exemplars), e) describe the steps you would
take to realize your study ( how you would gain access to your research cite/subjects and how you would
represent your work to them or how would gain access to relevant data on your case(s)) f) explain how
these steps would help you attain authenticity in your research (such as why you think your approach to
gain and maintain access to a particular participant observation site, interview subjects or data on a case
or comparison is the best strategy likely to yield the most authentic results) g) identify the type of
sampling strategies you would use to select subjects or data within your sites or cases (such as quota,
snowball, availability, purposive) and h) explain how these sampling strategies within sites/cases will
shape the conclusions you are able to reach with your research (how generalizable it is, how it will enable
you to examine or refine your main theoretical argument of interest).
At the end of the research proposal, create the documents you would need to apply for IRB approval for
research involving human subjects. This would include a statement for an IRB board as well as an oral
script for obtaining informed consent. Introduce the statement with the subheading “IRB Statement”.
The statement should a) describe how your research will relate to human subjects (what interaction if any,
will you have with human subjects? Or what identifiable information, if any, would you collect from
human subjects?) b) assess the potential harms (and benefits) to subjects of your research c) assess the
risk of experiencing these harms and d) explain why the benefits of the study outweigh any potential risk
of harm to the subjects. For the oral consent, adapt one of the scripts provided by BU’s IRB for your
project. (Go to https://binghamton.edu/research/compliance/humansubjects/coeus.html and scroll down to
find the oral consent sample to work from.)
Professor Leslie Gates
October 1, 2018
Take Home Essay
The internet is a phenomenon that has become very important in our everyday lives. This
has become even more true with the increased use of social media. Social media is a good way to
communicate with other and get news, but there are some negatives that come with it. With the
use of social media increasing there has also been an increase of depression among the youth
according to some sources and cyberbullying has become common. Has the increase of
technology and use of social media cause depression to affect adolescents or young adults? This
is an important topic to discuss as social media year after year will become more imperative in
our daily life. The research being conducted will be aim toward a scholarly audience so it can
influence more people to do more research on the topic. The purpose of this research question
would be explanatory because I want to find the cause and effect of social media and depression
amongst our youth. With the information and sources I gathered I will be able to add to this topic
and influence others to do more research on this subject.
From this topic I know that there are possible debates that may occur from it. Some may
question if social media may have a negative effect on people’s mental health, while others may
say the opposite and suggest that it’s helpful. Some researcher have found the potential of social
media or the internet as way to deal with mental health. Previous research from authors Gross,
Juvonen, and Gable (2002) suggests that time spent online was not associated with daily
well-being. What was found however is that the closeness of instant message communication
partners are correlated with social anxiety and loneliness in school. This research can help make
the argument that there isn’t much of a relationship with internet use and depression. Naslund
(2017) has a study where he talks about how it's feasible for social media users with mental
illness can use social media to make mental health services more widely available. What’s most
interesting about this piece is that most participants “expressed interest in mental health
programs delivered through social media, especially to promote overall health and wellbeing
(72%) and for coping with mental health symptoms (90%)”. This shows how social media can be
used to benefit people’s mental state if it’s done correctly.
Also, there is another study done by Seabrook, Kern and Rickard (2016) where their aim
was to identify and summarize research examining depression and anxiety with social
networking sites. They found out that positive interactions on social networking sites were
related to lower levels of depression and anxiety. While, negative interaction and social
comparisons on social networking sites were related to higher levels of depression and anxiety.
What’s interesting about this is that they found out that social networking sites being beneficial
or detrimental was not found. The evidence suggested that Social networking sites use correlates
with mental illness and well-being, but whether this effect is beneficial or detrimental depends
partly on the quality of social factors. Another article by Almodovar, Silva, Surve, Axon,
Cooper, and Nahata (2018) shows how technology can be useful in people’s mental health. A
mobile app called Sinasprite was made to help coping skills and improve anxiety and depression.
This was done with users answering questionnaires to obtain demographic and medical histories.
This just demonstrates more that the advancement in technology and the internet can do many
The argument going against social media being a detriment is talked about less. Most
sources support the fact that social media and the internet has an effect on many’s mental
well-being in a negative way. Adolescents are the most frequent users of social media so they
tend to be the victims mostly to cyber bullying or cybervictimization. In a 12 month study by
Cole (2016) it was found out that cybervictimization predicted changes in negative cognitions,
victimization-related cognitive reactions, and depressive symptoms. The results also showed that
it was less stable than other forms of victimization and can increase with time. Also there is a
study by Elhai, Hall, and Erwin (2017) that talk about how loss of social media can affect
teenagers. Their results showed that emotion dysregulation was related to imagined social media
loss and emotion dysregulation was not related to imagined smartphone loss. This suggests that
emotion dysregulation is correlated with psychopathology from social media loss.
From hearing both sides of the argument I lean with the side arguing that social media
can lead to depression and has more of a negative effect than a positive one on adolescents
mental state. This is due to the fact that there are more articles, scholarly journals, and books
about the matter agreeing with that sentiment. So there is more facts and research done that see
social media as a factor in depression. Becker and Lienesch (2018) in a study highlight that
nighttime media use may contribute to sleep problems and affect adolescents with ADHD. This
is shown with how adolescents with more night time media use have less than 8 hours of sleep.
Teenagers that are not getting enough sleep may possible led them not feeling good or mentally
well due to lack of sleep. Social media and other forms of technology is often used more than
necessary especially by the youth. Social media and the internet as a whole can be used to help
people’s mental state, but more information backs up the argument going against that. With my
research I want to find out why that’s the case and add to the discussion.
For this proposed research I feel that talking with 14-22 year olds would be very
important as they use social media the most. I would like to know how many people in those
groups are depressed and learn how active they are in social media to see how they relate. Than I
want to see their reasoning behind their use of social media and see if it has been an avenue to
deal with their mental health. Qualitative research would be done for my research as I want to
understand the underlying reasons and motivations for people’s use of social media and learn
how it can lead to cause depression for some people.
1. Almodovar, Armando Silva, Swatee Surve, David Rhys Axon, David Cooper, and
Milap C. Nahata. 2018. “Self-Directed Engagement with a Mobile App
(Sinasprite) and Its Effects on Confidence in Coping Skills, Depression, and
Anxiety: Retrospective Longitudinal Study.” JMIR MHealth and UHealth 6(3).
Becker, Stephen P. and Jessica A. Lienesch. 2018. “Nighttime Media Use in
Adolescents with ADHD: Links to Sleep Problems and Internalizing Symptoms.”
Sleep Medicine 51:171–78.
3. Cole, David A. et al. 2016. “Longitudinal and Incremental Relation of
Cybervictimization to Negative Self-Cognitions and Depressive Symptoms in
Young Adolescents.” Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 44(7):1321–32.
4. Elhai, Jon D., Brian J. Hall, and Meredith Claycomb Erwin. 2017. “Emotion
Regulation’s Relationships with Depression, Anxiety and Stress Due to Imagined
Smartphone and Social Media Loss.” Psychiatry Research 261:28–34.
5. Gross, Elisheva F., Jaana Juvonen, and Shelly L. Gable. 2002. “Internet Use and
Well-Being in Adolescence.” Journal of Social Issues 58(1):75–90.
Naslund, John A. et al. 2017. “Exploring Opportunities to Support Mental Health
Care Using Social Media: A Survey of Social Media Users with Mental Illness.”
Early Intervention in Psychiatry.
Professor Leslie Gates
November 20, 2018
Take Home Essay 2
As we have seen through out this generation technology has become more and more
intricate in our daily lives. A big factor into this is the factor that social media and other social
networking sites have grown and expanded with Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Linken, and
etc. However, most people that tend to use social media are kids going through adolescence or
young adults. This increased use of social media may have a correlation into increased
depression amongst youth due to cyberbullying and poor self esteem being highlighted. Has the
increase of technology and use of social media cause depression to affect adolescents or young
adults? To conduct this research it will be done with a quantity research design using surveys to
help get data and do an experiment.
If I send surveys to teenages kid’s phones in different states, than I will have a reliable
representative of how kids see social media and if it causes depression for them. It is important to
do a phone survey with this topic as phones can reach many people in a timely matter. Doing
these surveys in person would probably give the most generalizability, but going door to door or
seeing all these people would be very time consuming and would take a very long time to collect
the data. Furthermore, these surveys will be self-administered and not require your name, so the
information will be disclosed. Also, since not everyone uses social media or looks at their mail,
having this done through the phone will be the best solution. Mailing these surveys would also
reach teenagers or young adults that are home school or do not attend school, so a larger
audience will be reached with this. The problem with mailing the surveys is that there is a low
response rate with that. Making sure that this experiment has the highest degree of
generalizability is important because it eliminates bias and it helps find the general consensus.
The level of analysis that will be needed for this experiment is on a macro scale because to make
the experiment generalized and randomized this needs to been done on a bigger scale. The
execution for this experiment would have to on a larger scale for the whole country of America
because an accurate representation needs to be done for this. If this was done in a micro or meso
scale it would be too small and limit results that I am trying to get for this. Conducting a survey
is good for this experiment as doing a survey is superior to experiments in describing society and
the main goal of this experiment is to explain society and how social media plays a factor into it.
Also, surveys balance establishing generalizability with causality.
The two main variables that will be looked upon for this experiment would be how long
the subject uses social media in their daily life and if they feel that from using social media does
it cause them to be depressed. The independent variable for this will be the time spent on social
media as that will directly affect the dependent variable which is if social media makes them feel
depressed. The series of questions that will be addressed and asked in this survey will also
include other questions to see the effects of social media on the youth. For example, asking if
they ever experienced cyberbullying, have you seen someone get cyber bullied, does social
media ever make you feel insecure, why do you use social media, and many more engaging
question. If someone uses social media on a daily basis from 2-3 hours a day they will be more
inclined to have experienced depression due to social media? That’s the hypothesis I will work
on for both the variables as it is direct and straight to the point. The independent variable will
also be a continuous variable as there is endless answers and outcomes that can be answered for
how long someone uses social media in their daily life. The dependant variable will also be a
nominal variable as it is categorical data that can be in the yes or no column for the experiment.
For the whole experiment I would like it to be continuous as there is a lot of possible answers
and conclusions I want to be made from it.
Validity and reliability are very important in experiments like this because they make or
break the crediable of the research. A solution to a problem with no credibility holds no weigh in
the grand scheme of things as they can not be backed up properly, thus the results will not be
trusted and can not be builded upon later in the future. The validity for this experiment will be
proven with criterion validity as I will need to compare these results with past reachect and
studies on depression and if there is a correlation with that that and social media. There are
sources and references I seen that have done research on this topic, so I will have enough sources
to compare my findings in the future too. The reliability will be constant for this as I will make
sure surveys have the same questions and that there are spread around to multiple areas to have
IRB Statement: My research will be relevant and relate to my human subject as social
media is the largest growing entity in the internet, so their will be a lot of opinions and views on
this subject. Social media is still fairly new, but many of my subjects grew up with social media
and have a great understanding of how it has been beneficial or harmful. The benefits of this
research will be that if there is a correlation to depression and social media, we can discover that
and than think about future steps to fix or prevent this from occurring. The harm of this
experiment will be if we can not find a solution to this issue and some people may still suffer
from this depression caused by social media. Another harmful effect is that if social media did
cause some subjects depression, the survey may bring about bad memories from their time in
social media. The benefits still however outweigh the harm because in the survey we learn about
the experiences that they had with social media and this can lead to the direct cause of their
depression. Solutions can be identified if we can enough data and this can help prevent many bad
occurrences in social media. This is an important issue because as the world gets more
technologically advanced, so will the influence and impact of social media. If this issue is not
addressed in the future we may get outcomes worth than just depression.
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