Aug 30, 2009

Sample research proposal

Abstract - 100
This is a research proposal seeks to establish the contributing factor to the onset of delinquency in adolescent. It aims at the criminal justice system to assist with possible intervention of young offenders before they graduate into the criminal justice system. It focuses on three particular issues which are childhood maltreatment, neighbourhood disadvantage and lack of monitoring in adolescents. Preventing the onset of delinquency in adolescent has to be birth from understanding what causes juvenile delinquency. Through this research, we know what causes delinquency, when and how to This would help the removal of such causes which can result in better community awareness and services. This research and analysis time frame is set for 18 months and a final propose recommendation for community service intervention report to follow suit.

Introduction and Research question - 400
Juvenile delinquency is a most discussed about topic. The need for juvenile delinquency prevention is noted as young offenders do not necessary cope well with the criminal justice system (NSW Law Reform Commission, 2005). As part of the community, we should be seeking ways and looking into methods which can assist in the intervention of preventing juvenile delinquency. This would mean that we must know what and at which stage of their life causes the onset of criminal lifestyle which would result in young offenders graduating into the criminal justice system which will label for the rest of their life.
This research proposal’s idea is based on a few topic of research already looked at but I would be exploring a more refine area of the study. The research question I would be researching on is: ‘The contributing factor to the onset of delinquency in adolescent – childhood maltreatment, neighbourhood disadvantage and lack of monitoring in adolescents’. The Element of the research proposal would be focusing on juvenile delinquency. The potential significance of this study is for us to develop our understanding to the prevention according to the factors which cause the onset of juvenile delinquencies. This is relevant for our public agencies, youth mentoring programs and criminal justice studies in improving general policies for provision of community services for youth and independent units such as family members in their involvement of before and after an onset of delinquency. I would only hope that the results of this research would reach the relevant party who would see to implementing community awareness campaign, policies to assist family members and adolescents, and youth services which runs mentoring programs for young people. With the combination of community and government involvement in preventing onset of young offenders, juvenile delinquency could be minimized for good.

The objective of this research is to provide an indication to the factors of childhood maltreatment, neighborhood disadvantage and lack of monitoring in adolescent for prevention and intervention measures to the onset of juvenile delinquencies which can be taken, studied and developed. It is noted that the prevention of juvenile delinquencies involve a range of policies which is provisioned for community services, youth and family units (Seymour, 1979). With this said prevention studies are equally as important. The criminal justice system, although provides reformation for juvenile delinquent, is unpleasant. This study of juvenile delinquent onset prevention might assist youth before they need the criminal justice system.

Literature review - 1000
According to research, childhood maltreatment is link or influence to the development of delinquencies (Crooks, Scott, Wolfe, Chiodo, Killip, 2007; Stuewig, McCloskey, 2005). In the article; ‘Understanding the Link between Chilhood Maltreatment and Violent Delinquency: What does Schools Have to Add?’ (Crooks, Scoot, Wolfe, Chiodo, Killip, 2007), their research concentrated on the research of child maltreatment and the development of delinquent behavior. In the research on child maltreatment, the adolescents who experienced maltreatment were assessed using The Childhood Trauma Questionnaire and additional questions were added for those who were involve in some sort of domestic violence. Other topics that were explored include community and school connectedness which interprets if violent activities originated from the student and school characteristics and engagement in violent delinquency, parenting methods and academic success. Their research methods were a combination of qualitative and quantitative using interview methods and questionnaires. The findings that they came up with mentioned that male subjects who went through maltreatment in their childhood are more prone to delinquency but parenting involvement plays a significant role. Another result of findings state that schools played a role in the influence of violent delinquency. They also looked into the relationship between childhood maltreatment and adolescent delinquency which potentially been affected by all school-level factor. This was the cause of their research limitation as it is hard to distinguish if the adolescent were affected by their primary school years instead in the onset of delinquency (Crooks, Scoot, Wolfe, Chiodo, Killip, 2007).

Another journal titled ‘The Relation of Child Maltreatment to Shame and Guild among Adolescents: Psychological Routes to Depression and Delinquency’ by Stuewig and McCloskey researched into different forms of maltreatment in childhood and parenting during adolescent influenced their psychology which leads to delinquency. The purpose of their research is to find the relationship of abused children to psychological problems which links to the onset of delinquencies. The research methodology adopted was mainly interviews with both mother and child on separate occasions. Their research produced findings on two broad questions. One of which is the shame and guilt emotional style originated from the family and second is how these emotions related to depression and delinquency. Stuewig and McCloskey concluded that emotions do not relate directly to delinquency instead to depression which inhibits the onset of delinquency (Stuewig, McCloskey, 2005).

Youth who grow up in disadvantage neighborhood where gangs reside tend to be more prone to the opportunity of delinquency (Dupere, Lacourse, Willms, Vitaro, Tremblay, 2007). In their journal Affiliation to youth Gangs During Adolescence: Tendencies and Neighborhood Disadvantage, they studied on the affiliation of youth in gangs which comprises of samples in a Canadian neighborhood. The purpose of the study was to find out if there was considerable likelihood for youth in such neighborhood to join a gang also if group membership to such gangs contributes to the onset of delinquencies. The method of conducting the research for this case was mainly survey of potential gang members in targeted neighborhood. The respondents measured were 14-15 years old. The findings from the research indicated that youth who grow up in residential area which is unstable has a higher tendency of gang affiliation (Dupere, Lacourse, Willms, Vitaro, Tremblay, 2007). Another finding in this journal mentioned that single parent families are of importance in parent-to-child ratio especially in the case unstable neighborhood. Youth with less guardianship is found to be more prone to gang affiliation (Dupere, Lacourse, Willms, Vitaro, Tremblay, 2007). This research finding contributes to the moulding of my research hypothesis: neighborhood disadvantage causes onset of juvenile delinquency. Community level strategies to discourage youth involvement with gangs seem to reduce juvenile delinquencies (Dupere, Lacourse, Willms, Vitaro, Tremblay, 2007).

Research question(s) and research hypotheses - 400
This research is based on the topic: ‘The contributing factor to the onset of delinquency in adolescent – childhood maltreatment, neighbourhood disadvantage and lack of monitoring in adolescents’
As the topic includes a wide range of factors which could have contributed to the onset of delinquency in adolescent, I have had to narrow the research down into three specific areas. These areas are then developed into three hypotheses which would be analyzed in the course of this research.
Hypotheses one: Childhood maltreatment contributes to violent delinquent.
Abusive background or victims of crime in an adolescent childhood might be cause of the onset of juvenile delinquency. The research on this hypothesis will present questions in regards to history and relationship of family violence, abuse by one or both parent, history of victimization or witness of a violent crime than compare them with the age, sex, race and the approximate social class. These questions will take place in form of focus group and random sampling from different clusters targeted. The clusters would be made up of educators, youth and community workers, public and adolescent. Unit of measure will be based on how abusive background is presented against the different age group to onset of delinquency. Based on the history of juveniles to their present tendency toward delinquency, the research data could be cross reference for contribution of childhood violence to current delinquency.
Hypotheses two: Neighborhood disadvantage causes onset of juvenile delinquency. The research on this hypothesis will seek to provide data based on observations of disadvantage neighborhood. Quantitative research on juvenile detainee’s neighborhood background will be part of analysis. Based on the qualitative research data on disadvantage neighborhood and quantitative research on juvenile detainee’s childhood, the data would be cross reference for contribution of disadvantage neighborhood to the onset of delinquency in adolescent.
Hypotheses three: Lack of monitoring of adolescent contributes to the onset of juvenile delinquency. This part of the research will be divided into age clusters ranging from childhood to adolescent. The clusters will contribute to the unit of analysis where the amount of lack of monitoring is classified into stages. The research will seek out who is the primary care givers to the clusters and who is their primary influencer based on the units teachers, parents, siblings, extended family members or other non family related person. It will include a control group of children on the basics of age, race/ethnicity, gender, and approximate family social class too.

Research site and/or research subjects – 600

In 2003, there were reports that juvenile delinquency in Canberra is on the rise (Murray, 2003). This report gave rise to cause for this research to be conducted in the Australian Capital Territory instead of the other states.

This research would concentrate solely on the juvenile in the Australian Capital Territory, Canberra. The reason for this is so that the research can be focused and through instead of collecting data from samples across many states which would be spread too thin. It is important to realised that culture differences in different clusters from every neighbourhood, thus the need to focus only on selected clusters with in this circumstance we study the juvenile in one particular state.
The research sites are chosen not based on the effort to obtain single or multiple representation or unbiased samples instead it focuses on a diverse range of respondents from different backgrounds to provide impartial results. The diversified range comprises from different area, culture, society and believes which is sampled across Canberra.
Visits to high schools will be first up on the list where surveys and focus groups will be conducted. Based on the sampling specified earlier, students will be handed questionnaires to be filled in during break time and be offered a small incentive such some lollies and souvenirs as a token of appreciation. This would encourage the student to participate in the research but at the same time might incur a negative outcome which would be link back to the ethics of research. Due to the fear of Students might be participating in the research due to peer pressure instead of it being a volunteer which will cause the inaccurate outcome of the result produced. This is where the researcher must emphasis to the students that the participation of this research is totally voluntary and they are free to not participate at all. This will guarantee that the students will be true to the answer and not making them up.

The educators, parents and youth workers will be invited to attend one of the focus group sessions which would be held in the community centres at Woden and Belconnen. Three to five sessions for each area would suffice. The reason for the few sessions planned is first to allow the students and the teacher to be familiarise with the setting and to allow sampling error or data collection error that might occur in any of the sessions. This would render the results useless and new data would have to be collected from a different cluster of samples. To minimise or prevent the errors from occurring, the researcher will have to be trained to handle a discussion group without influencing them to any specific ideas.
The youth centres will also be visited for a few respondents, youth and social workers. At this place, interviews will potentially be conducted unless the respondents prefers filling in questionnaires on their own. The interviews will be word for word using the questionnaires prepared to allow consistency of data analysis. Interviews allow the researcher to be more personal to the respondent and this can make the filling in of questionnaires less boring of a task but more interactive.
The malls and skate parks will be visited by researches to gain more samples. These sites are warranted as these will be places adolescents will visit to spend time at. The methods used for these samples will be the same where interviews using questionnaires will be posed. Informal focus group will also be held for the adolescents with some incentive to volunteer. Researcher must make sure that the respondents understand that they are free to not participate in the focus group as it is a voluntary act. The focus group will mainly discuss about respondents family backgrounds and life experiences with gangs, violence, abuse, neglect and expectations from the society.

Research design and sample -700
The sampling would be taken from two clusters, the north side and south side of Canberra. Canberra has three cluster of what is known as neighbourhood to Canberrans. The three are the Southsiders, City Folks and Northsiders. This research would be based solely on the Southsiders and Northsiders because it is where the preschool, primary and the secondary schools are located and families units resides and they are the prime clusters required for sampling purposes.

Stratified sampling would be considered as a prime method for questionnaire, interviews, surveys and observations. The target audience sampled would comprise of educators, social workers, family members and students. The variable in sampling the population would vary for each factor which is discussed from the topic. For example in the factor of ‘childhood maltreatment’, the bulk of the population would be social workers. The factor of ‘neighbourhood disadvantage’ would attract the population of family members. The factor ‘lack of monitoring in adolescents’ will find bulk of its data coming from the educators. Permission would have to be sought from the education and training department of the state prior to the research conducted onsite in schools where the samples are educators and trainers.

The sample required for this research is setup to be precise and unbiased. To do so, the sampling is specified and the acceptance of response results will be monitored to minimise error in sampling. The sample is as follow:
Age Location Percentages
under 18 North side 20%
under 18 South side 20%
19-25 North side 10%
19-25 South side 10%
26-35 North side 5%
26-35 South side 5%
36 - 45 North side 10%
36 - 45 South side 10%
46 and above North side 5%
46 and above South side 5%
Total = 100%
Table: Sample breakdown from cluster
The age groups targeted is deduced from the profession intended. The majority sample from the under 18 would be comprise of adolescents. The 19 to 25 years old would mostly be youth workers, the 26 to 35 years old would be usually being social workers and the educator would be mostly above 35 of age although some will not fall into that category. This deduction is just a rough guide to the reason of this sampling breakdown. Snowball sampling will happen and these samples will be used in case of error in response exceeds beyond expectation.
Questionnaire would be the first approach in this research. The questionnaire would be designed to be given to participants for self-administering. This method saves time and money if well design questions were formatted in the questionnaires (Maxfield and Babbie, 2005). Self-administering questionnaires also allow the participants to complete it on their own with little or no involvement from the researches providing a comfortable environment which would affect the quality of the data received. The disadvantage of this method is that questionnaires might be distributed to non relevant participants which might affect the data collection. In order to prevent this from happening, questionnaires would only be hand delivered or distributed to appropriate individuals and groups which are targeted from the cluster of samples. Surveys would take place using the questionnaires if participants prefer researcher’s involvement. The informed consent form would also be included in the questionnaires as part of the required response in this method.

Besides questionnaire and surveys, focus group would be part of the method used as it allows free flow of points and discussion in a relax environment and it is usually as real as it can get when people discussing an issue with another person which might be of acquaintance. This method would allow more in-depth point of views which would satisfy the generation of qualitative data collection. The participants would be gathered in a comfortable setting and a few small issues would be presented to the group for discussion while the researcher will be given straight order to maintain a passive role in the discussion except to facilitate the issues presented. The issue which the group would mainly focus on would be to hear what they have to say about the three possible onset of delinquency.

Data collection methods and variables – 600
Quantitative methods are used in this research to generate precise data to ensure the specific details and requirements are met as a baseline standard for the data reporting. Certain details such as age, gender, place of residence and etcetera are used as standard variables.
Questions that would be asked in the quantitative surveys would be overlapping in some areas in hopes to gain consistency of the response give by each respondent. The questions design would be covering a range of details which would encompass the following:
Characteristics – i.e. what is your age range?
Self classification – i.e. what social class would you categories yourself in?
Behavioural – i.e. what is your favourite past time?
Attitudes, belief and opinions – i.e. what is the biggest problem facing the young people these days?
Expectations – i.e. how much time should a parent spend with their children each week?
Knowledge – i.e. what percentage of the students in your school are brought up with single parenting?

These details are variables which would be used in the data analysis.
Sample Question: Have you witness a gang fight before?
Age Yes No
under 18 xxx numbers xxx numbers
19-25 xxx numbers xxx numbers
26-35 xxx numbers xxx numbers
36 - 45 xxx numbers xxx numbers
46 and above xxx numbers xxx numbers

Sample Question: Do you know someone who belongs to a gang?
Age Yes No
under 18 xxx numbers xxx numbers
19-25 xxx numbers xxx numbers
26-35 xxx numbers xxx numbers
36 - 45 xxx numbers xxx numbers
46 and above xxx numbers xxx numbers

Note: xxx numbers = numbers of respondent
Table: Measure of variables
As qualitative methods are more flexible which allows researchers to change, adapt and develop the methods used, it is used more frequently in all the surveys, discussion and observation conducted across the board (Alson & Bowles, 1998). The incorporation of qualitative methods in this research allows wide range of responses to the topic of research which generate significant amount of data for analysis and collection.
Focus group is essentially assumed as the most useful method of data collection. This would allow the researcher to obtain massive information quickly. The questions planned to be thrown to the focus group for discussion are:
1. Does childhood maltreatment contribute to violent delinquent? What constitute maltreatment towards a child?
2. Does neighbourhood disadvantage causes onset of juvenile delinquency? What constitute a neighbourhood disadvantages?
3. Does the lack of monitoring of adolescent contribute to the onset of juvenile delinquency?
This method allows the most responses from focus group generating a huge amount of data which would need to be process and deemed relevant for collection. The sample where focus group would be a useful method of data collection is from the educators and workers from the community centres. The data collected will mainly be from the specified sample intended to maximise effectiveness of the sampling protocol.
Qualitative research is different to quantitative approach in terms of not having a specific method which is repeated for each data to achieve results. The research method is subjected to change as needed to adapt to situations and circumstances out in the field (Maxfield and Babbie, 2005). In any case, the design or manipulation of appropriate and ethical questions used in questionnaires and surveys is necessary.
A properly planned research would achieve a far greater result in the planned time frame. These planning would include design of research questions, methods and administration which include prior communication and obtaining permission from appropriate authorities.

A section that describes how the investigator intends to analyse their data – 600
Reliability and validity of the data measurement methods and tools are important. The analysis of data will be done separately for the quantitative research and qualitative research.
After the completion of quantitative data collections, researchers will analyse their raw data and assemble them into data matrix where it contains details which information is sorted into columns, variable and values. The data matrix then is subsequently used for statistical and percentage calculations which is prepared for the analysis of the data.
Based on the research data, the most basic characteristic of the samples would be mapped out via distribution of the variables such as age, gender and location of the respondents.
Age Total Percentages (estimate)
under 18 x 40%
19-25 x 20%
26-35 x 10%
36 – 45 x 20%
46 and above x 10%
Total = 100%
Table: Response transformed into data for the age of respondents

The variables will be coded accordingly to allow the computer to produce results. This would require mass data entry by the researchers and research assistants.
Sample Question: Have witness a gang fight

Response Code
Yes 1
No 2
No response 0

Sample Question: Know someone who belongs to a gang

Response Code
Yes 1
No 2
No response 0
Table: Example of data coding

The quantitative data analysis will be done using the statistical package software SPSS. The statistical package software would be handy for cleaning and transformation of the data which would allow simpler interpretation of the data.
Qualitative data would yield a few other methods of data analyses from the investigator. The analysis of qualitative data should usually occur simultaneously while it is being collected (Alson & Bowles, 1998). This is especially essential when conducting the research as Methods planned to be used are analytic induction and subsequently grounded theory. The reason for analytic induction is to seek out data collected which can be interpreted quickly and resolved. This approach is adapted to seek out the collection of data until no cases of that are inconsistent with a hypothetical explation of occurrence is found (Bryman 2004).
Grounded theory which is developed by Glaser and Strauss is widely used by most researchers.

A section that describes who will conduct the research, how the research will be managed, how the project will be organised as well as a schedule for getting the research completed – 300
I will personally conduct this research with the of an experience supervisor. Most questionnaires will be discussed with my supervisor before putting into words. My supervisor will sit in most of my discussions with the educators and the students concern. After the research data collected, it will be analyse, compare the ration, the probabilities, and differences in risk of certain outcome for different groups. The research will study the timing, frequency and types of maltreatment, negligent and types of maltreatment and outcomes for the children, including the question of whether clusters of children with similar maltreatment experiences ended with the same path into adolescence. The study is to confirm the link between child maltreatment and juvenile offences and repeating offences. Race, sex, timing, frequency and types of maltreatment will be taken into consideration because it is significant predictors of whether maltreated children offended in adolescence.

Research budget and budget narrative – 300
Budget summary
The budget breakdown is summarised as follow:
Item Description Cost
Salary 2 researchers x $40 000 80 000
4 research assistant x (100 hours x $25) 10 000
I.T. supplies 2 Desktops x $3000 6000
2 Laptops or PDA x $2000 4000
Software licensing 7000
Storage devices 3000
Office supplies Paper, stationeries, and etc. 1000
Travel 6000
Publishing 1000
Total = 118 000

a. Personnel:
Funding in the amount of $XXXX is requested to defray the cost of Dr. X's salary for X months. The cruise requires X sea days plus several days travel and preparation. Dr. X will organize and participate in the cruise, submit the requisite NOAA and Ocean Exploration reports, direct the analysis of imagery and samples, and prepare all final manuscripts.

Funding in the amount of $X is request for graduate student salary for X months. The student is critical to the project and will assist Dr. X in the analysis of imagery and samples.

b. Fringe Benefits:
Fringe benefits for the salaries of the personnel listed above equal $XXXX and were calculated at a rate of XX%.

c. Travel:
Two one-way tickets (Dr. X and student) to city X ($XXX x 2 = $XXX) and return tickets from city Y
($XXX x 2 = $XXX), plus X days housing and per diem for each traveler. An additional $X is requested for renting a vehicle for transporting supplies and equipment to and from the ship. Travel costs for Dr. X to travel to city X for presenting preliminary results after the cruise is over are estimated at $XXX (round-trip airfare and X days per diem).

d. Equipment (provide description and estimated cost per unit (if appropriate) for items >= $5000):
Funding in the amount of $XXXX is requested for two laptop computers ($XXXX each), one printer ($XXX), and a digital audio recorder ($XXX).

e. Supplies:
Funding in the amount of $XXXX are requested to cover chemicals ($XXXX); sampling jars and labels ($XXX); specialized collection traps ($XXXX); mini-DV tapes ($XXX); instruments for dissecting organisms ($XXX); and miscellaneous supplies ($XXX).

f. Contractual:
Funding in the amount of $XXXXX is requested for a subcontract with ZZZ Company for lease of a portable multibeam unit and crew to operate the system for a period of XX days during the cruise, and for post-processing the data collected (provide separate sole-source justification if necessary).


Alan bryman (2004) Social research methods 2nd edition, oxford university press, new york

1 comment:

Victoria Ward said...

hank you this helped with my criminology proposal.