Read the vignette below and respond to all of the questions listed at the bottom. Use headings to identify your response to each question. A senior citizen’s service organization is concerned about t 1

Read the vignette below and respond to all of the questions listed at the bottom. Use headings to identify your response to each question. 

A senior citizen’s service organization is concerned about the large number of purse snatchings and other attacks on elderly people in the community and decides to apply for a Department of Justice grant intended to assist local communities in fighting crime. A requirement for receiving such a grant is that an evaluation be done to assess the effectiveness of any program established.

      The idea of the staff of the center is, first, to hire local teenagers to work out of the center as escorts to those people who request the service.  Second, they plan to use the teenagers as a crime watch in those areas where attacks have been fairly frequent.  Initially, the center will not be able to serve everyone, and the crime watch staff will only be able to cover some of the neighborhoods.

      The senior center staff believes that this program will serve two objectives.  First, it will reduce the threat of crime to the elderly.  Second, if young people are put into positions where they can work with and help the elderly, it will increase feelings of understanding between the generations.

      You have been asked to help the center develop a research design whose purpose is to assess how well the program attains its objectives.

Answer the questions below from the reading above:

  • What would be the independent and dependent variables for such a project?
  • What research design (Rs(participant group), Xs(Inteventions, manipulation or treatment), and Os( refers to observation or experiment) would you use? Why?
  • A major issue in these designs is how to assign participants to treatment (or experimental) and comparison (or control) conditions.
    • Consider just the escort service. How could participants be assigned to treatment (or experimental) and comparison (or control) conditions?  Would random assignment be ethical?  Why?
    • Now consider the crime watch component, which serves anyone who happens to be in the patrolled area. Assume the center serves about a 50-block area of the city.  What are some possible ways to developing treatment (or experimental) and comparison (or control) conditions?
  • How would you collect data to evaluate the effectiveness of the program in meeting its goals of reducing crime and increasing inter-generational understanding? (Include sampling or census.)
  • What are the weaknesses of this evaluation? Consider measurement, sampling, and design issues.

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