SNHU Pretests Posttests and Attrition Response & Research Design Discussion

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Respond to a colleague’s post by supporting or refuting ideas about his or her vision of how the study might be designed to gather data about the effectiveness of these parenting classes. Please use the resources to support your answer.

Colleague: Autumn

What Social Workers Want to Know When Pre/Posttest are Designed

Pretest and posttest are designed to measure the effectiveness of a program or intervention (Yegidis, Weinbach, & Myers, 2018). When used for parenting classes, the social worker wants to determine what information or skills parents have before the class begin. The posttest is completed once the series of classes concludes to determine whether the objective was met, which may include new knowledge and skills.

Concept of Attrition/Is It Considered

Attrition occurs when participants are not able to complete the study for one reason or another, this can include death. When attrition occurs, it can cause biases to form in the study. I do not believe attrition was considered in the Hernandez case prior to the classes beginning. The social worker voiced concern of the Hernandez’s not being able to be accounted towards the data collection and how it will cause the program to seem ineffective (Laureate Education, 2013). To avoid attrition the social worker could have possibly considered allowing make up classes for the Hernandez’s. This would give the parents an opportunity to complete the classes that were required and provide the social worker with the data needed for the study. However, if death is the reason for attrition

Potential Lessons from Attrition

One thing that can be learned is that attrition can be harmful to a study, but it is important to know that it is possible (Catalogue of Bias, 2017). In this case, the social worker could possibly enroll more parents than that minimum requirement in order to collect the amount of data that is needed for the study. Additionally, attrition should be accounted for in the study.

Designing a Study to Gather Information About the Effectiveness of Parenting Classes

To gather information about the effectiveness of a parenting class, I would use a quasi-experimental design. Quasi-experimental designs are used to assess the effectiveness of the programs and interventions used on a specific population. This would not be a random selection (Yegidis, Weinbach, & Myers, 2018). Future resources would depend on how effective the program has been to parents. A pretest/posttest would be used to assess the skills the parents on child development and appropriate discipline. Attrition will have to be considered in the study.

Measurement Over Time

The study would be measured over a period of time to determine the concreteness of the validity. It is important at this point to identify if there were any other factors that may have contributed to changes in the parent skills and discipline techniques.

Control group/Who Will Be Compared

The control group would consist of parents who were not able complete the class. This group is compared to the experimental groups, which consist of the parents who met all requirements of completion.

Limitations of Generalization

Limitations may occur when parents are not able to meet the requirements of completion. This may mean they cannot complete the posttest which may lead to a different outcome than the social worker expected.

Suggestion to Social Worker on Client Drop Out

I would tell the social worker to expect dropouts. This may occur for various reasons. Parents that may be mandated to attend are less motivated and take the risk of not completing the classes. In the Hernandez case, the father’s work schedule interfered with the completion of the class (Laureate Education, 2013). Another barrier to consider is transportation. These are things that could affect the parent ability to complete the classes and should be taken into consideration. Attrition should be added into the study’s findings.


Catalogue of Bias. (2017). Attrition bias.

Laureate Education (Producer). (2013). Hernandez family (Episode 5) [Video file]. In Sessions.

Yegidis, B. L., Weinbach, R. W., & Myers, L. L. (2018). Quantitative research. In Ethical issues in research. (8th ed. 100-125). Pearson.

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