Social Work Research and Evaluation: Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches

By Richard M. Grinnell Jr.; Yvonne A. Unrau | Go to book overview

Glossary

Yvonne A. Unrau

Judy L. Krysik

Richard M. Grinnell Jr.

Abstracting indexing services Providers of specialized reference tools that make it possible to find information quickly and easily, usually through subject headings and/or author approaches.

Abstracts Reference materials consisting of citations and brief descriptive summaries from positivist and interpretive research studies.

Accountability A system of responsibility in which program administrators account for all program activities by answering to the demands of a program's stakeholders and by justifying the program's expenditures to the satisfaction of its stakeholders.

Aggregated case-level evaluation designs The collection of a number of case-level evaluations to determine the degree to which a program objective has been met.

Aggregate-level data Derived from micro-level data, aggregate-level data are grouped so that the characteristics of individual units of analysis are no longer identifiable; for example, the variable “gross national income” is an aggregation of data about individual incomes.

Alternate-forms method A method for establishing reliability of a measuring instrument by administering, in succession, equivalent forms of the same instrument to the same group of research participants.

Alternative hypothesis See Rival hypothesis.

Analytical memos Notes made by the researcher in reference to interpretive data that raise questions or make comments about meaning units and categories identified in a transcript.

Analytic generalization The type of generalizability associated with case studies; the research findings of case studies are not assumed to fit another case no matter how apparently similar; rather, research findings are tested to see if they do in fact fit; used as working hypotheses to test practice principles.

Annual report A detailed account or statement describing a program's processes and results over a given year, usually produced at the end of a fiscal year.

Antecedent variable A variable that precedes the introduction of one or more dependent variables.

Antiquarianism An interest in past events without reference to their importance or significance for the present; the reverse of presentism.

A Phase In case-level evaluation designs, a phase (A Phase) in which the baseline measurement of the target problem is established before the intervention (B Phase) is implemented.

Applied research approach A search for practical and applied research results that can be used in actual social work practice situations; complementary to the pure research approach.

Area probability sampling A form of cluster sampling that uses a three-stage process to provide the means to carry out a research study when no comprehensive list of the population can be compiled.

Assessment-related case study A type of case study that generates knowledge about specific clients and their situations; focuses on the perspectives of the study's participants.

Audit trail The documentation of critical steps in an interpretive research study that allows for an independent reviewer to examine and verify the steps in the research process and the conclusions of the research study.

Authority The reliance on authority figures to tell us what is true; one of the six ways of knowing.

Availability sampling See Convenience sampling.

Axes Straight horizontal and vertical lines in a graph upon which values of a measurement, or the corresponding frequencies, are plotted.

Back-translation The process of translating an original document into a second language, then having an independent translator conduct a subsequent translation of the first translation back into the language of origin; the second translation is then compared with the original document for equivalency.

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