Research Methods in Clinical Psychology

Research Methods in Clinical Psychology

Research Methods in Child Psychopathology Carolyn R. Fallahi, Ph. D. 1 Why do research? We can avoid speculation. Is a particular technique really effective? Research also helps us extend and modify

our theories. Example of Becks theory of depression. 2 Methods Observation versus unsystematic observation Unsystematic Observation Naturalistic Observation Case Studies

The Case of Dora The Case of Little Hans The Three Faces of Eve The Mask of Sanity Cases in Behavior Modification 3 Skeptism in Child Psychopathology Research

Experts of childhood disorders frequently disagree. Findings often in conflict with one another. Research has led to different treatment recommendations, and some treatments have no effect. Conclusions are often qualified, with no definitive answers. 4

Epidemiological Research The study of the: incidence prevalence distribution of illness or disease in a given population. Mostly done with surveys and interviews.

5 Common Research topics Correlated variables are associated at a particular point in time with no clear proof that one precedes the other. Risk factor: variable that precedes an outcome of interest and increases the chances that the outcome will occur.

Protective factor: variable that precedes an outcome of interest and decreases the chances that the outcome will occur. 6 Common Research Topics Outcomes associated with childhood problems. Interventions

Treatment efficacy Treatment effectiveness 7 Potential Problems with Survey Data How do we define mental illness? How do we locate these cases?

How do we handle less serious forms of the illness? Sampling issues. Issues of social desirability. 8 Correlational Methods Are particular patient characteristics related to therapy outcomes?

What is correlation? The issue of causality. Factor Analysis 9 Cross-sectional versus Longitudinal Approaches Cross-sectional Longitudinal 10

Experimental Method Cause and effect relationships Langer & Rodin (1976) study The issue of matching. Experimental hypothesis. Independent & Dependent Variables. Controlling for extraneous variables. 11

Between versus Within Group Designs Between: 1 group receives the treatment; the other does not. Random Assignment. Within group: comparisons might be made on the same patient at different points in time. Example.

12 Analog Research The question: are studies in the laboratory analogous to real life?

The benefits of analog research. For example: constructing the way they think phobias occur. Almost all experimental studies are analog studies. Issue: ethical restraints. Other benefits: better internal validity. 13 Single-case design

Similar to both experimental and case study methods. A subjects behavior is measured under several conditions. Baseline measure intervention measure. Positive use in the clinical setting & reduces the numbers needed. 14 ABAB Design

A=initial baseline period B=treatment period A=return to the baseline B=second treatment period. 15 Multiple Baseline Designs Example of a baseline design. Ethical issues.

Moras, Telfer, & Barlow (1993) 16 Mixed Design Experimental & correlational techniques are sometimes combined. Davidson et al (2004). 17 Statistical Significance

Statistical versus practical significance. .05 is a scientific tradition. Significant but meaningful? 18 Ethics in Research

Approval by the IRB. Informed consent. Use of deception. The issues of inducements. Publishing issues. Informing research participants about how the data will be used. Animal use. 19

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