Quantitative study on depression in college freshmen

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Article 1

The article by Dyson & Renk (2006) explain the topic of adaptation to stress and depression among college students by examining the relationship among femininity, masculinity, stress level, and depressive symptoms among college freshmen.

The quantitative research design used in the study is correlational. This is due to the fact that it examines the relationship between variables without incorporating a control experiment. The variables whose relationships are examined are: depression, femininity, masculinity, levels of stress and coping techniques among college freshmen.  The use of correlational form of quantitative research design was appropriate in this study because it promoted the understanding of the relationship between variables by the use of significance measures such as the p-value which enabled understanding the level of significance of the relationship. The ramification of using a different an inappropriate research design in this case would result into inability to understand the level of significance of the relationship between variables. It would have been assumed that the variables are correlated even if the relationship is not statistically significant. For instance, if a qualitative research design was used, it could have been concluded that all the variables are related to one another but the researcher would not have understand the strength of the relationship.

Article 2

The article by Reynolds et al., (2011) presents the topic of Brief Behavioral Activation treatment for depression (BATD) Into College Orientation program and examines its impact on depressive symptoms among college freshmen at the University of Maryland.

The quantitative research design used in the study is experimental research design. This is a research design which is composed of experimental group and the control group. In the experimental group, there is an intervention while in the control group there is no intervention. The experimental group in this study was provided with an intervention in the form of ‘behavioral activation-enhanced orientation’ in addition to their regular learning programs while the control groups were provided with their regular learning programs. This resulted into the finding that there was a reduction in depressive symptoms among those who had undergone behavioral activation-enhanced programs’ compared with those who underwent regular learning programs.

The use of experimental quantitative research design in this study was relevant because it examined the number of students who had depressive symptoms after the intervention compared with those who did no undergo intervention. The quantity part of this research that makes it suitable is its ability to provide the number of students as well as understanding the impacts of the intervention. If a different research design such as correlational quantitative research design, it would not have been possible to understand the impact of the intervention in reducing depression among the participants. It would also not be possible to know the number of students who had depression after the experiment since the correlational quantitative research design only provides a correlation without additional information about the study outcomes.

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  1. Dyson, R., & Renk, K. (2006). Freshmen adaptation to university life: Depressive symptoms, stress, and coping. Journal of clinical psychology62(10), 1231-1244. Available at: http://web.b.ebscohost.com.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=0&sid=6402c337-c633-4f64-b491-bb68841ce563%40sessionmgr101
  2. Reynolds, E. K., MacPherson, L., Tull, M. T., Baruch, D. E., & Lejuez, C. W. (2011). Integration of the brief behavioral activation treatment for depression (BATD) into a college orientation program: Depression and alcohol outcomes. Journal of counseling psychology58(4), 555.
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