Conducting Time Series Research

The assignment: (2– pages) Imagine that you are a counselor working with a child who is having some behavioral problems at her elementary school.

As a scholar practitioner, you approach your work with her from an empirical standpoint and want to measure the effectiveness of your work. As such, you pose the following research question: \”What impact does a designed intervention have in reducing off-task behavior, physical aggression, and verbal aggression for the identified child?\”

For the purposes of this research, the target behaviors for intervention are as follows: 1. Off-task – failure to maintain eye contact with task at hand for more than 3 consecutive seconds 2. Physical Aggression – hitting/pushing/kicking peers/teachers, throwing objects 3. Verbal Aggression – threatening, yelling Consider the following observation report:

During the first observation period, which was conducted on Monday (in math class) between 11:20 and 11:30, 10-minute, 10-second, partial interval recording was used to assess the frequency of off-task behaviors, physical aggression, and verbal aggression. Kaya was observed to be off-task 12% of the intervals observed, engaged in physical aggression 0% of the intervals observed, and engaged in verbal aggression 2% of the intervals observed.

During the second observation (during recess), which was conducted on Wednesday from 9:00 to 9:30, Kaya was observed to be off-task 15% of the intervals observed, engaged in physical aggression 20% of the intervals observed, and engaged in verbal aggression 3% of the intervals observed. Kaya was also observed on Friday from 10:30 to 10:40 during a group activity. Kaya was observed to be off-task 20% of the intervals observed, was observed to engage in physical aggression 7% of the intervals observed, and was observed to engage in verbal aggression 10% of the intervals observed.

Off-Task Physical Aggression Verbal Aggression 12% 0% 2% 15% 20% 3% 20% 7% 10%

Based on the above data, you determine that you must design a behavioral intervention for Kaya and determine if it is successful. As you begin the process of investigating your research question: Briefly describe a time series design that you would use to investigate the impact of your intervention, and explain how you would collect and record the additional data. Be specific. Select a method for graphically representing the provided data. Use the method to create a graph. Analyze the data and provide a narrative description of your analysis. Support your Application Assignment with specific references to all resources used in its preparation. You are required to provide a reference list and to appropriately cite, in APA style, all references used within your assignment.

Resources

Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.). Research and program evaluation: Quantitative research – Time series design [Video cc_WAL_COUN6326_qrt_EN RICHARD BALKIN: A time series design simply refers to a study done over time, as opposed to an attempt to click data at one particular instant. Often a time series design is related to a single subject design, but you can have multiple participants in timed series design.

In the article that we\’ll even discuss for this week, we see a time series design occur as in element of looking at changes across a program over time and perceptions that participants have about that program over time. So time series design can be used to look at how data is predictable, how information can become verifiable, and can this information be replicated over time? In other words, in a good time series design I should be able to conduct a study like this again and get the same result.

So in a series design, instead of looking at how changes may occur between groups, we may see how change occurs with a single subject, or even within a group or for a program over a particular period of time. And that period of time can even be more of a longitudinal nature. We can look at changes across a few months or we can look at changes across years.

Additionally, if multiple subjects are used in a time series design, and if the research is longitudinal in nature, you need to take into consideration attrition rates. Are the participants who began the study the same participants at the end of the study? Was there attrition? And maybe consider why attrition might occur. For example, is the researcher able to keep up with all of the participants at the beginning, intermediate, and latter stages of the study? Attrition is normal in any research study, but it also needs to be accounted for.

An example of some time series research that I\’ve conducted in the past has been when I worked as a therapist at a psychiatric hospital. At that time we were very interested in seeing what happened to our clients once they leave the hospital. We knew how they were when they were admitted. They were either a danger to self or a danger to others. And we had an idea of how stable they were when they discharged. But how are they doing one month, three months, six months, and 12 months after treatment? So we had an aftercare program and through the aftercare program we were able to do some post-care follow up with each of the clients once they left the hospital. One of our experiences was that after six months it was very difficult to continue to get feedback from the participants.

One of the reasons simply was that working with this population, they were highly transient. Phone numbers would change, addresses would change, and we just weren\’t able to get a lot of one-year follow up. Or perhaps the child had relapsed and the parents were maybe angry at the treatment center and didn\’t want to respond to our queries. So those elements can play a role too. As I said before, attrition occurs. But that process of getting data from each client at one month and the three months, and the six months and the 12 months interval was essential in terms of doing a time series design and finding out, did kids relapse or regress to their previous high risk behavior after receiving treatment at the hospital?

And what were the influencing factors? We would also want to know information as, did they continue in outpatient counseling for example? In examining an article that uses time series design, we\’ve selected an article that\’s quite multifaceted. So in this particular article they use a four phase design to conduct a time series research. The 12-month baseline pre-exposure phase assessed program and patient outcomes. And phase II, whichever occurs after six months of training, MDFT experts train adolescent day treatment program staff and administrators.

And then in phase III they have an implementation stage, and this is at 14 months. And then at phase IV they have a durability practice phase which is around at 18 months. So let\’s take a look at how the program dimensions changed over time through this time series design. So these programs dimensions included aspects like autonomy and clarity and program organization and control. And what they noticed is that as a result of implementing this MDFT program is that participants– patients within the program– noticed positive differences among these program dimensions.

So here what we end up with is a statistically significant difference in the way a program is perceived by the primary stakeholders, in this case, the patients, who are experiencing treatment in the day program. So imagine being able to implement an intervention that, across time improves your program and improves the receptiveness to treatment. And that was the importance of this study.

Hopefully when practitioners see this, they can see a treatment model that affects the quality of care, and they may be more apt to use such a model in their programs. In terms of multicultural, ethical, and legal considerations, we might want to once again review, who was the sample? Who were the participants in this study so that we make sure that the participants in the study are truly generalizable to the population of interest. Additionally, whenever doing a time series design, you want to think about and consider what occurs during the study? What is the intervention? What is the change that we\’re looking at? Is this change positive or not?

For example, what would happen if a study was being conducted and immediately a negative consequence, as a result of the intervention is occurring? Well, of course the ethical thing to do would be to stop the study. Then it would be important to note that maybe this is not a good intervention to use. The study was cut short and now all the phases were completed because of an unforeseen event, or a negative consequence was occurring. So that\’s another element of time series design, particularly when the study is longitudinal in nature.

Course Text: Sheperis, C. J., Young, J. S., & Daniels, M. H.(2017). Counseling research: Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods (2nded.) Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc. • Chapter 8, “Single-Case Research Designs” Article: Borckardt, J., Nash, M., Murphy, M., Moore, M., Shaw, D., & O\’Neil, P. (2008). Clinical practice as natural laboratory for psychotherapy research: A guide to case-based time-series analysis. American Psychologist, 63(2), 77–95. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.63.2.77

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