Do a Web search for information on a criminological subject that interests you. How much of the information that you find relies on statistics as a tool for understanding the subject? How do statistics allow researchers to test their ideas about the subject and generate new ideas? To what extent could the research topic benefit from a qualitative data collection and analysis and what would a revised research study design look like? Write your insights in a brief report, referring to the Web sites that you found.
The Qualitative Meta-Synthesis Project (http://www.unc.edu/~msandelo/qmp/) provides a meta-synthesis of findings from a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill study of motherhood and stigma in HIV-positive women. Browse the Sandbar Digital Library Project and review the syntheses published for the various research questions. Choose either ‘motherhood’ or ‘stigma’ and review the effect sizes for each synthesis. What do these figures tell you about what researchers are currently able to ascertain about the causal relationship on which they are focused?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified a number of “vulnerable populations” in the United States. Go to the website (http://www.cdc.gov/minorityhealth/populations/atrisk.html) to browse these groups and think of a research question you might want to pose about the experiences of one of the groups mentioned. Given what we know about a) Research Question Congruency, b) Researcher training, c) Participant Accessibility, and d) Access to resources, outline how your research question and subsequent study design would be impacted and which methodology(ies) you would use to launch your study.