Depressive Symptom Changes Article Discussion

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Depressive Symptom Changes Article Discussion

Depressive Symptom Changes Article Discussion

Question Description
PSYC2102 – Article Critique Tips

Describe the problem – What is the issue being studied?Why is this important?What improvements will come about by studying this? What do the authors think is going to happen (this is their thesis, usually at the end of the intro)?

Describe methodology – look at the methods section.If your article does not have a methods section, it is not a good article to use.Describe the “recipe” of what the researchers did to the participants.How many people were there? What were the age/gender/racial/whatever breakdowns listed?What did these participants do within the experiment?If your design is very complex, just give us the simple version.This portion is nothing more than describing what the participants are, and what they will be doing.

Describe findings – this is fairly straight forward.What did the authors find?This is the “plain English” section right after results.Sure, you can look at results, but most of that is in strong statistical language.The discussion section would be the same information, but presented in words.Summarize this.There may be many findings within your article; summarize the main findings.

Describe conclusions – this should be in the section immediately after the discussion section.It may be listed as conclusion, or it may be included at the end of the discussion section.This is where the authors tell you what the previously listed findings mean.This is where they tell you how their discovery will change the world.Often times they go overboard and make claims that their results are more important than the invention of the wheel.Simply find, and summarize, the main conclusions.List what the authors believe this means.

Critique – this is where you pick on the authors.No study is perfect!Sure, many students have limited research experience at this point, but there are many things you can criticize.Look at the sample size – is it large enough?Look at the balance of men to women – is it fairly even, or is the study mostly women?Look at the racial breakdown – is it mostly members of a certain group?Look at their conclusion – are they overstating the importance of their findings?These are just a few things newcomers can quickly criticize.Many articles will list limitations as well.This portion is where the authors are directly telling you what they did wrong.These limitations are listed near the end of the conclusion usually (and may even be labeled, but not always).Use their limitations against them here in the critique section.

sample : Complete reference in APA format

Stone, A. A., Smyth, J. M., Kaell, A., & Hurewitz, A. (2000). Structured writing about stressful events: Exploring potential psychological mediators of positive health effects. Health Psychology, 19 (6), 619-624.

Description of the “problem”

Structured writing entails having persons write about stressful or traumatic events and has previously been associated with improvement in health. Due to a lack of information regarding the mechanism(s) in how this improvement occurs, the authors in the current study examined several behavioral pathways for their potential as mediators of the structured writing effect. Mediators examined included affect, social relations, perceived stress, substance abuse, medication, and quality of sleep.

Article Methodology

Adults were recruited through advertisements. A telephone screening resulted in 112 participants who were given $50 compensation for finishing the study. Participants were asked to wear programmed watches that signaled them three times per day for 24 days. Upon the signal, they were asked to record their mood, activities, location, whom they were with, current stressors, symptoms, and medication usage. They also completed twice daily questionnaires.

Participants were assigned randomly to either the control or treatment writing groups (writing about their day or writing about stressful experiences). There were three writing sessions. Mood was assessed after each writing session. In addition, participants had four health evaluations over the course of the study.

Article Findings

Only one of 11 tests was significant (occurrence of daily stressors), showing that the control group had more of a decrease in daily stressors than did the treatment group. However, it was not found to be a significant predictor (which the authors had described as being necessary for mediation). There did not seem to be support for the idea of mediation in the effects of writing.

Article Conclusions

The authors in this study concluded that changes in affect, sleep, stress, medication usage, or social relations produced by the intervention (writing) or any other reason, were not responsible for improvements in health. They noted some possible explanations for this result and provided a set of possible limitations as well as directions for future study.

My Critique

The idea of the study and implications of the results was promising. The authors did discuss the lack of previous literature, but then made a number of hypotheses without strong supporting evidence. The measures used were well described but no validity or reliability statistics supporting their use were provided. They did note in their discussion that standardized assessments are needed and delineated a number of possible limitations including the time frame of the study, lack of statistical power, and possible alternative variables. One area of concern that they did not address was that some of the measures were self-report in nature. Perhaps they felt it was not a concern as the participants were apparently blind as to the group they were in.Although the authors did not get the results hypothesized, they acknowledged the deficiencies and made some excellent suggestions for the future in this area.

Depressive Symptom Changes Article Discussion

You must proofread your paper. But do not strictly rely on your computer’s spell-checker and grammar-checker; failure to do so indicates a lack of effort on your part and you can expect your grade to suffer accordingly. Papers with numerous misspelled words and grammatical mistakes will be penalized. Read over your paper – in silence and then aloud – before handing it in and make corrections as necessary. Often it is advantageous to have a friend proofread your paper for obvious errors. Handwritten corrections are preferable to uncorrected mistakes.

Use a standard 10 to 12 point (10 to 12 characters per inch) typeface. Smaller or compressed type and papers with small margins or single-spacing are hard to read. It is better to let your essay run over the recommended number of pages than to try to compress it into fewer pages.

Likewise, large type, large margins, large indentations, triple-spacing, increased leading (space between lines), increased kerning (space between letters), and any other such attempts at “padding” to increase the length of a paper are unacceptable, wasteful of trees, and will not fool your professor.

The paper must be neatly formatted, double-spaced with a one-inch margin on the top, bottom, and sides of each page. When submitting hard copy, be sure to use white paper and print out using dark ink. If it is hard to read your essay, it will also be hard to follow your argument.

 

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