Data Collection Methods
Teenage pregnancy is a community menace that has been studied by many researchers. This study will adopt secondary data collection methods to collect data from the secondary sources, including published reports and government records, in order to realize the set objectives and to assist form the hypothesis of the project. The secondary data collection method involves the application of findings of other researches, thus, applies secondary data collection method to analyze the objective of the research. Proceeding from all-purpose to precise research questions makes the research actions in any project more focused - in regards to data needed to respond to the research questions. Hence, questions related to data collection make the most significant aspect of any research inquiry (Axinn, & Pearce, 2006). Data collection is the procedure of collecting and measuring information on the element of interest, in a developed systematic fashion that facilitates one to answer declared research questions, assess hypotheses, and evaluate results. The data collection constituent of research is ordinary to all fields of study, comprising physical and social sciences, business, humanities, and others.
This study is a social research which tends to gather information about the consequences of teenage pregnancy in the U.S. While data collection methods vary by discipline, the importance of making sure accurate and honest compilation remains the same (Axinn, & Pearce, 2006). Both the assortment of suitable data collection instruments, such as existing, customized, or newly developed and obviously delineated instructions for their correct application reduce the probability of errors occurring. This study involves the application of findings of other researches, thus, applies empirical findings to analyze the objective of the study.
Regardless of the discipline of research or preference for defining data, either quantitative or qualitative, accurate data gathering is essential to maintaining the integrity of the study. The right of subjects is a crucial integrity issue in research method. The methods applicable to collect primary or secondary data must protect the subjects. This is done by ensuring that data collected is applicable for the research purpose alone and not any other purposes. The primary rationale for protecting data integrity is to maintain the detection of mistakes in the data collection procedure, whether they are intentional, such as deliberate falsifications, or systematic or accidental errors (Axinn, & Pearce, 2006). Quality assurance and control are two applicable approaches in preserving data integrity during the research project. Since quality assurance comes first to data collection, its major focus is prevention that can forecast problems with data gathering. In this study, the information or reports gathered from the researches must be used for study purposes so as not to bridge integrity issues. Prevention is the mainly cost-effective action to make sure of the integrity of data collection.
Reliability and Validity of the Study
Secondary data collection method is dependable and reliable since the information has been certified before publication. The procedures for this instrument of collection guarantee reliability and validity of the research. This proactive gauge is best established by the standardization of protocol created in a comprehensive and exhaustive procedures guidebook for data collection. Poorly written outlines increase the threat of failing to recognize problems and mistakes early in the study endeavor. While quality management activities, such as detection/monitoring and action, happen during and after data gathering, the information should be cautiously documented in the procedures booklet (Axinn, & Pearce, 2006). A clearly illustrated communication structure is an essential pre-condition for developing monitoring systems. There should not be any ambiguity in regard to the flow of data between principal researcher and staff members subsequent the detection of mistakes in data collection. An inadequately developed communication organization encourages lax monitoring and confines opportunities for detecting mistakes. Following the above procedure ensures that reliability and validity of the research are maintained.
Data Analysis Procedures:
The data collected through secondary methods are interpreted and analyzed in accordance to the research objective. In this study, the consequences of teenage pregnancy in the U.S. are researched. The interpretive technique enables interpretation and presentation of these data in a more understandable way. The analysis procedure is important for conversion of data collected into information that can be interpreted and used to gauge the study (Good, 2005). Data analysis is a continuing activity, which not only responds to a research question but also provides the directions for future data compilation. Data analysis procedures (DAP) assist to achieve the data analysis. The use of such processes puts the research venture in perspective and assists in examining the hypotheses with which the research was started (Good, 2005).
The interpretive technique is essential in answering the research question and evaluating the study hypothesis since it uses the data collected and measures them against the objectives set for the project.
Qualitative and Quantitative Comparison
In a research analysis, qualitative and quantitative data differs due to the method applied to collect them. Quantitative data would involve primary collection techniques where a researcher does his own research to gather data using techniques such as surveys and questionnaires (Good, 2005). Qualitative data are gathered from established sources such as other researchers’ findings on the particular research topic (typical for this research).
The research outcomes revealed that many U.S teenagers between the ages of 15-19 have encountered teen pregnancy. The figure collected from the empirical literature review reveals that approximately 400,000 teenagers in the USA experience this problem yearly (CDC, 2012). Implementation of sex education in schools has been noted as a mean of reducing the problem. The problem associated to this menace is much more revealed now; the teens are inexperienced, they lack financial capabilities to support their children. The supposed fathers are either too young or careless to be responsible for their actions.
The secondary research method is cheap and easy to carry out. Data integrity is available since the materials have been audited and authenticated for publication. The weakness of the method is that it does not reveal accurate result as per the research date, only approximations. The limitations of secondary research method are basically the restrictions of researcher’s capability to collect real data. They are confined to the source data even if they do not agree with them 100%. The result of the study reveals that schooling can curb the problem. This finding supports the hypothesis of the study, thus, validating the process applicable for this research.
Axinn, W. G., & Pearce, L. D. (2006). Mixed method data collection strategies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
CDC, 2012. Teen Pregnancy in the United States, Retrieved on 19th June 2013 from http://www.cdc.gov/teenpregnancy/aboutteenpreg.htm
Good, P. I. (2005). Resampling methods: A practical guide to data analysis. Boston: Birkhäuser.