Design aresearch project, situating this within a theoretical framework. ‘Researchis all around us’ (Lambert, 2012 p.11), and maybe seen as ‘a plannedinvestigation’ (Lambert, 2012 p.12). The fundamental elements to compilingsuccessful research, are to set the research question and obtain methodologiesof conducting the research to collate relevant data. Theobjective of this research project is to consider the potential difficultiesthat parents may face when establishing an effective bond when experiencing amultiple birth. The project will assess the possible challenges that may arisefor parents and carers when forming an attachment bond with multiple babies. Theterm ‘bond’ is frequently used by parents when referring to their children, orsurrounding the impending birth (Trevathan, 2011).
Trevathan (2011) continuesto explore the concept of the term ‘bond’, suggesting in fact the possibilityof this being interpreted in differing ways. Parentsmay bond differently with each baby, especially if the babies each have uniqueor distinctive needs. This differential bonding can be a source of guilt for parents(Moore, 2007). Moreover, some parents worry that they will not be able to bondwith more than one baby at a time (TAMBA, 2017). This research projects seeksto explore the truth or fiction behind such statements. Hockenberryand Wilson (2011) presented the concept of ‘monotropy’ this is the principle ofonly being able to bond optimally with one individual at one time.
This projectseeks to explore this in further detail, and explore the potential challenges ofbonding with individuals of a multiple birth and being able to bond with the individualsequally and effectively. Theprojects aim is to discuss the above objective within a theoretical framework.Analytically contemplating diverse research methodologies, whilst examining therole of ethics and the reliability and validity of the project, to create anadequate research plan to explore the various ‘bonds’ created through thefamilies used in the research conducted.
Researchis steered by a set of beliefs. This set of beliefs is known as a paradigm(Killam, 2013). A paradigm is defined as ‘a theory or group of ideas about howsomething should be done, made or thought about’ (Killam, 2013, p5). A paradigmencompasses various elements, which are known as: ontology, epistemology,methodology and methods (Scotland, 2012).
Furthermore, every paradigm is basedupon its own ontological and epistemological expectations. Research is about raisingenquiries and seeking information to remedy the questions that are posed. Thevarious elements are further explained; methodology is the method or plot of action,which lies behind the choice, and use of methods (Crotty, 1998). Epistemologyis concerned with providing a physiological grounding for deciding what kindsof knowledge are possible and how we can ensure that they are both adequate andlegitimate (Crotty, 1998). Ontology would sit alongside epistemology formingthe theoretical framework, for each theoretical perspective bodies a certainway of understanding, ‘what is’ (otology) as well as a certain way ofunderstanding what it means to know (epistemology) (Crotty, 1998). Scotland(2012) outlines the ontological view of interpretivist as relativism.Relativism perceives authenticity as subjective in nature, this differs fromperson to person and that this reality is individually constructed (Scotland,2012).
This research project would follow the interpretivist approach as theresults collected would be that of an individual’s experiences, therefore nosingle truth is collected and the results would be subjective and exploratoryin nature. Scotland (2012) supports this by proposing that the interpretiveepistemology is built on subjectivism based on real world phenomena, hencepersonal experiences. Aspreviously mentioned, this research project expresses the interpretivistresearch method; this theoretical perspective compliments this research projectover the positivist paradigm. Interpretivists prefer to use qualitative datafor in depth studies on small group of individuals. The methods used includedinterviews and participant observation (Holder, 2016). Interpretivists believein inter-subjectivity, in which individuals interact and communicate with eachother. Interpretivist approach uses qualitative methodology which has a focuson words and meanings, through research methods such as interviews and questionnaires,in contrast to quantitative methodology which seeks to determine an absolutetruth, (O’Hara, 2011) and has a greater focus on statistics and factualoutcomes. Qualitative research is complex, due to the subjectivity of the dataand being collect in person, it could be open to bias and interpretation.
Butis based on first hand experiences so is undisputable data and could givediverse results. Analternative paradigm is the positivist, ‘the basic beliefs of positivism isrooted in a realist ontology, this is the belief that there exists a realityout there driven by immutable natural laws (Guba, 1990). The positivism approachis research that is founded on the underlying assumption, that there are’truths’ to be uncovered, and that the best way to discover these ‘truths’ isto use scientific methods. This approach intimates a single reality based onexperimental hypothesis and realism, this is not appropriate to the project dueto the nature of individual unique experience, hence why the interpretivist isappropriate. The positivist approach could be advantageous over interpretivistdue to its basis on fact rather than opinion, so reliability could be superior,however this is determined by the aim of the project. Thereare also other paradigms that research could be based around, such as ‘actionresearch’ which is practitioner led and practice based research. Also,’pragmatism’ where experience could be changed due to surroundings orcircumstances, this could be another paradigm relevant to this researchproject, as the families used in the research maybe from differing backgroundsor social class which could contribute diverse results. This will be consideredwhen the research has been conducted to compliment the interpretivist paradigmapproach.
Methodsare the specific techniques and procedures to collect and analyse data andresults. The data collected will either be qualitative or quantitative. Allparadigms can use both quantitative and qualitative data (Scotland, 2012). Thepurpose of research and the type of information required varies from project toproject using both of quantitative and qualitative research to obtain thedesired aim (Taylor, 2005). Qualitativeresearch has a multimethod concentration, encompassing a study of the topic ina routine setting, the study and collection of resources such as personal experiences,perceiving individualities without quantities or measurement (Thomas, 2003).This supports the reasoning for adopting the qualitative approach in thisresearch project.
This form is reliable and relevant as a clear documentationof the research collected will be recorded although there is no ability toquantify the results. Though, the results may be open to interpretation due tothe descriptive nature and generalised approach as not based on fact likequantitative research which is measured. Quantitativeresearch is constructed around measurement and amounts; a focus on detail isparamount (Thomas, 2003). This form of research is reliable due to itscredibility as there is the ability to replicate methods used and consistencywill produce accurate data.
Conclusions and interpretations will be based onfact so sound rationality. Evenso, quantitative research is not relevant to this research project as there isno research to measure through the form of amounts, rather the collation and analysisof opinions and personal experiences. Researchcannot commence without any facts, figures, statistics or a subject matter (Pawar,2004). Diverse data collection methods imitate the attribute, extent, capabilityand importance of the data to ensure a research project is successfullycompleted (Pawar, 2004). Researchers should to choose a data collection methodthat is most applicable to their field of education, although it may not be onethat they prefer (Pawar, 2004). The methods chosen should be tailored to thesubject matter and be applicable to the audience the research project.
Aspreviously mentioned, the interpretivist approach will be followed and will usedata collection methods that capture qualitative data. The researcher willgather data through two research methods. Firstly, interviews, these are acommon and useful data collection (Philips and Stawarski, 2016). In this researchproject, the interviews will be conducted in the interviewee’s home. Green andThorogood, (2009) states the positives of this, if an interview is carried outwithin the interviewees private space this not only ensures confidentiality butalso a comfortable atmosphere to develop understanding. On the other hand,being in the interviewee’s own home may cause distractions; the interviewermust ensure that the location is quiet enough to facilitate conversation to collectwholesome data (Guest, Namey and Mitchell, 2012). Philips and Stawarski (2016) stressthat interviews can be time consuming and they require the interviewer to setaside time for preparation to ensure that the process goes ahead consistently. Carefulplanning will ensure accurate and effective results are achieved.
Thesecond data collection method within this research project is questionnaires usinga writing frame format. When planning a questionnaire, it is significant tokeep the questions sharp and explicit (Cargan, 2007). The use of open-endedquestionnaires allows for spontaneous answers and a fuller picture of what therespondent believes or what is important to him or her.
Since the respondentsare free to express themselves, they are not bias or conditioned by theresearchers answer selections (Cargan, 2007). As this research project, willascertain results based on experiences with individualised answers, this willbe a suitable format to collect the data. As data, will be coming direct fromthe source, this will enhance the validity of the results. Questions should beopen to gain opinions under the qualitative approach, whereas a quantitativeapproach would target closed questions to obtain fact.
During the planningstage of the research project, the questionnaires will be carefully constructedto ensure the wording is clear but not ambiguous. An important component whenconducting a questionnaire is to ask each respondent the exact same set ofquestions, but not necessarily in the same order, since this increases thereliability of the answers (Cargan, 2007), also this will support the validityof results due to the consistency of questions used. Otherforms of quantitative data collection methods involve carrying out observationson participants.
This is not suitable for this research project because thescope is to consider specific individual experiences which cannot be collectedthrough observation due to the nature of the research require, this can only bequantified through interaction with the parties involved, hence the choice ofinterviews and questionnaires. However, strengths of observation method couldhelp to overcome some of the limitations of the chosen data collecting methods ofinterviews and questionnaires (Pawar, 2004). This type of method aids to gatherrich and insightful data in environments with relatively less cost and lessinconvenience to the researched (Pawar, 2004).
The weaknesses to observations arethat it is demanding in terms of the observer’s time, it can also be difficultto observe everything at a time (Pawar, 2004). Whereas, questionnaires haveminimal dependence on the researcher; there are no invasive procedures, hencechosen for this project as it is collating data that is personal and needs tobe collected sensitively. The most important aspect of a questionnaire is to havea focused hypothesis (Pawar, 2004). Ethicsmust be deliberated throughout this research project. The British EducationalResearch Association (BERA, 2011) and the Scottish Educational ResearchAssociation (SERA, 2005) published ethical guidelines for educational research.These guidelines have been considered during the planning and implementation ofthis research project.
Consentmust be obtained from the participants to carry out any research or collectionof data. BERA (2011) states the importance of acquiring ‘voluntary informedconsent’ from participants, they must understand their role, why participationis necessary, how the data will be collected and whom it will be shared with (BERA,2011 p.5). Participants must agree to participate prior to the research projectbeing undertaken. Consent forms will be used in this research project,outlining why the data is being collected and how it will be used, these willbe distributed prior to any data being collected. Wherechildren are involved within the research process, educational researchers mustconduct their research in accordance with the United Nations Convention on theRights of the Child (UNCRC) (United Nations, 1989) (SERA, 2005). Article 12, requiresthose who are old enough to form their own opinions to have the right to decidewhether to give consent for their own participation. During this research project,babies and toddlers will be present, however, the data collection will comefrom parents and carers of those of a multiple birth therefore there is nodirect research being undertaken from the minors.
Article 3 of the UNCRCconcerning children’s best interests (United Nations, 1989) has also beenconsidered when planning this project. As each participant, will be sharinginformation about themselves and the children, their wellbeing will be takeninto consideration, Article 3 states that when making decisions that may affectchildren, the most vital part is considering the best interest of them (UnitedNations, 1989). Participantsmust be aware that they have the option to withdraw their data for any or noreason at all (BERA, 2011). A deadline will be provided within the consentletter so that they are made aware in advance; this is important as the datacannot be withdrawn once the findings have been published. It is crucial thatthe researcher does not use pressure of any kind to convince participants toreengage with the project (BERA, 2011). Theproject should consider the emotional and physical impacts of the investigationon the participant.
Appreciation of the participants during this researchproject should be given as it could may cause concern or uneasiness (SERA,2005). The researcher should take all vital steps to decrease the sense of disturbanceand create comfort (BERA, 2011). Equally,the researcher and participant must be aware that all data gathered will beanonymous and confidential. To ensure this, the project will comply with the Data Protection Act (Gov.uk, 1989).
It is extremely important that theparticipants are aware of where the data is being stored, how it is being used andto whom it may be made available to (BERA, 2011). This information will beprovided to the participants before any research is collected. Theconfidentiality and anonymous handling of a participant’s data is vital during thisresearch project. The participants right to privacy should be respected (BERA,2011). Participant names or any information that will disclose theparticipant’s identity in the data collection results will be eliminated andwill only be shared with the necessary professionals. Where required,participant’s permission must be acquired to disclose any personal informationto third parties.
Participants should give their agreement specifically toindividual third parties being permitted to have access to the information(BERA, 2011). As the data gathered during this research project will highlypersonal the ethical stance taken is paramount, it will be highly regardedthroughout. Also,the researcher must be aware of reliability and validity when undertaking theresearch project to ensure the results produced are legitimate and dependable. Reliabilityindicates whether a research method is neutral in its effect and consistentacross multiple occasions of its use. There are a variety of ways thatresearchers can analyse their data to check on reliability (Denscombe, 2014). Validity refers to the accuracy and precision ofthe data. It also concerns the appropriateness of the data in terms of theresearch question being investigated. To warrant the validity of your data, theresearcher must ensure the right questions are being asked in relation to theexisting theories and knowledge on the area (Denscombe, 2014).
Tocomprehend the reliability of the research project and the data collected, thesample size used will need to be credible. The researcher will need to ensureany scope for prejudice is eliminated. The data will need to be dependable,clear transcripts kept from the interviews will be conserved, ensuring theseare written up on the day it takes place, will ensure the occurrences is up todate in the researcher’s mind, this will ensure the reliability. Andersonand Ardsenault (1998) identify questionnaires as the most used form ofaccumulating research data, if constructed precisely the data collated will bereliable and valid, whilst being a simple, inexpensive and timely manner. Whendesigning the questionnaire, the wording should be clear and unambiguous. Thesample size should be considered, usually the demographic would also beconsidered to ensure a wide range is captured, this is limited however in thisresearch project, due to those who would care for multiples are going tolargely parents or a responsible adult. Interviewsaim to capture a measurement of personality and an individual’s viewpoint, thedesign of the interview is key to obtaining the research project propositions(Kline, 1983).
When conducting interviews, the questions used should be clearand unambiguous and any leading questions should be avoided. The benefits ofquestionnaires can be tailored to meet desired needs and gain the specific datarequired. The ‘Hawthorne effect’ should be considered when conductinginterviews, as outlined by Cohen, Manion and Morrison (2017) the attendance ofa researcher may affect the attitude of the respondent also the answers given,this may see the participant have a desire to impress or influence theresearcher which may give inaccurate results.
The answers may be disguisedthrough a notion of giving a correct answer that is pre-determined. To reducethe impact of the Hawthorne effect is difficult, as this is in built withinhumans given a specific situation, the research will aim to make the respondentfeel comfortable to give accurate and honest answers. Validityof the data will also depend on checking the data to make that it contains nofaults (Denscombe, 2014). Qualitative data will need to be descriptive towarrant it being objective and neutral, also generalisability so that thefindings can be applied to wider research surrounding bonding with multiples. Thereare numerous characteristics that must be measured before embarking upon thisresearch project, such as selecting the sample size and forming data collectionmethods. The researcher must be aware of reliability, validity and ethics aswell as ensuring that the data collection methods are the most effective forthe project. Thisproject will enable the researcher to access the challenges that parents andcarers may face when establishing an effective bond, and identify the possible outcomeson how to overcome the challenges.
Through situating the research project in atheoretical framework, guidance from philosophers allows an approach to beformed to construct a valid methodology. Essentially,confirmation bias from the researchers point of view should be deliberated,this could affect the results of the research project. The risk is of onlycollecting or using data that is suitable and appropriate due to pre-existing perceptions(Lillienfeld and Waldman, 2017), this will be eliminated through carefullyconstructed research methodology approaches.Word Count: 3,111