PsychologyAdvance Research Methods
PsychologyAdvance Research Methods
Thepurpose of this study is to prove that refined sugar causes a loss inintellectual and behavioral functions that leads to irregulardevelopment and negative mental outcomes. The study specificallyconcentrates on a mental condition known asAttention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), which affects anincreasing number of young children. Excessive consumption of refinedsugar has been theorized to play a role in the disease. Thepopulation of interest for this study is sixth-grade students betweenthe ages of eleven and thirteen in primary school. One hundredstudents participated in the study, whereby 58 were girls and 42boys. The children’s weights, heights, and body mass index weremeasured before the start of the survey. To determine eligibility,questionnaires were administered to the children, and they filledthem with the help of qualified researchers. The results showed thatsome children were not eligible for the study since they did notconsume sugar due to health reasons. Although the data was collectedfrom one hundred students, five were eliminated due to ineligibility.Therefore, ninety-five students were used to produce the resultsrepresenting a feedback rate of 95.5 percent.
Consentforms were among the materials used for the study. Ninety-fivechildren participated after informed consent forms were issuedcontaining information about the benefits, risks, procedures,availability of counseling services, detailed information on how toaccess the results of the research, voluntary participation, andinformation on how to contact the researchers. Also included on theconsent forms was the purpose of the study. There were two types ofquestionnaires, one for the children and the other for the teachers.The questionnaire for teachers derived its basis from the ConnerAbbreviated Teacher Rating Scale (CATRS-10). The children surveys’were divided into three subsections, namely dietary evaluation,dietary habits, and demographic variables. The food nutrient in thefoods consumed by the children was measured using the CAN-Pro 3.0.
Dataanalysis was provided by Statistical Package for Social Sciences(SPSS) software for Windows, version 14.0 on a 14-inch color screencomputer. Cronbach’s alpha was used to measure the validity of theinstrument. Odd ratios in the test were computed using the Mantel-Haenszel-Cochran test. The Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel is morereliable unlike other tests such as the McNemar test (Bastos et al.,2014, p. 920)
Therewere two types of questionnaires one for the children and the otherfor the teachers. The survey for teachers derived its basis from theConner Abbreviated Teacher Rating Scale (CATRS-10), a conventionallyaccepted measuring instrument for the condition’s symptoms and areviewed ‘hyperactivity rating scale’ by Ulrich, Conners, andGoyette containing ten items. A score was achieved for the items(0-not at all, 1-little, 2- pretty much, 3- very hyperactive). Theschool teachers completed the questionnaire by putting intoconsideration the behaviors displayed by the children over the pastnine months. The scores varied from 0-30 points a big scoreindicated that the kids were at greater risk of developing ADHD. Thechildren questionnaires’ were divided into three subsectionsdietary evaluation, dietary habits, and demographic variables.Demographic items included information such as weight, gender,guardians’ information and height including alcohol and cigarettesconsumption, age, education, and jobs. Diet habits included breakfastintake frequency, allowance, unbalanced diets intake, meal intakeregularity, reasons for sugar cravings, and sweetness preference.
Self-reportingwas utilized to collect the data with the help of an additionalresearcher to ensure that the results were adequate. The dietaryevaluation was conducted based on a two-day record mainly focusingon food items, and the amount of sugar in the food items. A qualifiedresearcher assisted the children fill the meal intake recordquestionnaire. The food nutrient in the foods consumed by thechildren was measured using the CAN-Pro 3.0. The questionnaire onsnack consumption included nine categories beverages (juice,carbonated drinks, child beverages), convenience foods, dairyproducts (yogurts, milk), sandwiches, bread, chocolates, and sweets.The participating children completed the questionnaires by indicatingthe quantity and volume of the foods they ate (the amount wasmeasured in the form of slices, cans, and units). The sugar contentin the food was calculated based on the labels on the productindicating the amount of sugar per serving.
Adebriefing was conducted on the completion of the study. Debriefingis important in any psychological research involving humanparticipants. During the process, the participants were informedabout the purpose of the survey and all the misconceptions theteachers had on the relationship between sugar and development ofADHD were addressed. The researchers explained the ADHD condition tothe kids and elaborated how diet and specifically sugar acceleratedthe development of its symptoms. The participants and the teacherswere also informed on the findings of the study. There were concernsthat misleading information on the quantities of food consumed by thekids could tamper with the results of the survey.
Thevariable in the study is the amount of sugar consumed by theparticipants, and it was measured by collecting data on thequantities of foods consumed then the amount of sugar calculated fromthe information derived from the food labels. The food levelsindicate the amount of sugar per serving or 100g. The questionnairesfilled by the teachers derived its basis from the Conner AbbreviatedTeacher Rating Scale (CATRS-10) containing ten items. A summed scorewas achieved for the ten items (0 = not at all, 1 = just a little, 2= pretty much, and 3 = very much hyperactive), the scores distinguishparticipants by deficit-attention, impulsiveness, and hyperactivity.The students` questionnaire was divided into three sub-sections,which include dietary evaluation, dietary habits, and demographicvariables. There were ten items in the dietary behaviors thedemographic information contained 12 items (gender, height, age andjob) and the dietary habits included six items (reasons for sugarcraving, sweetness preference, and regularity of meals). Cronbach’salpha was used to measure the validity of the Statistical Package forSocial Sciences (SPSS), which was the data analysis instrument used.If, Cronbach’s Alpha is higher than 0.90, this indicates a veryhigh reliability and if lower than 0.50, this is an indication of avery low reliability (Bastos et al., 2014, p. 920). CAN-Pro 3.0evaluated the nutrient composition of foods consumed by theparticipants. The abbreviated ADHD grading scale was used todetermine the children’s’ conduct.
Underthe code of ethics, it is imperative to conduct a briefing processonce the study is completed. The semi-structured conversation givesthe participants and researchers an opportunity to address concernsand discuss the findings of the survey. During the process, theparticipants were informed about the purpose of the survey and allthe misconceptions the teachers had on the relationship between sugarand development of ADHD were addressed. The researchers explained theADHD condition to the kids and elaborated how diet and specificallysugar accelerated the development of its symptoms. The participantsand the teachers were also informed on the findings of the study.Researchers are not obligated to share the details of the surveybefore enrolling the participants since the knowledge could affectthe data collection and results. The debriefing also gave theresearchers an opportunity to inform the participants of anydeception during the experiment and explain the real objectives ofthe study. The participants of the study were not told that thesurvey was meant to distinguish the relation between consumingrefined sugar and the occurrence of Attention-deficit/HyperactivityDisorder (ADHD) symptoms. They were told that the researchers wantedto know how much food they consumed.
Informedconsent forms were issued to the participants containing informationabout the benefits, risks, procedures, availability of counselingservices, and detailed information on how to access the results ofthe research. Voluntary participation, information on how to contactthe researchers, and the purpose of the study are also included inthe consent study.
Anotherethical consideration was the protection of participants. Theresearchers ensured that the participants would be protected fromdistress, fright, and harm. The researchers were obligated not toforce the children to consume more food than usual so that they couldcollect data. The researchers ensured that the participation ofchildren in the questionnaire was brief as they get fatigued quicklyand have limited concentration spans.
Theresearchers ensured that participants were informed that they couldwithdraw from the study if they felt uncomfortable at any point. Kidsare easily afraid, and therefore, researchers should make them feelat ease to the point that they can withdraw at any point.
Bastos,J. L., Duquia, R. P., González-Chica, D. A., Mesa, J. M., &Bonamigo,R. R. (2014). Field work I: selecting the instrument for datacollection. AnaisBrasileirosde dermatologia,89(6),918-923.