For this assignment, you will submit an edited version of the research proposal that was the final project for PSY 510. Editing and incorporating feedback are two of the key skills that researchers
For this assignment, you will submit an edited version of the research proposal that was the final project for PSY 510. Editing and incorporating feedback are two of the key skills that researchers need to master in order to produce high-quality writing. Indeed, all peer-reviewed articles have been written and rewritten many times; they are never completed in only one draft!
Rather than merely submitting the same version of the assignment that you submitted in PSY 510, it is important that you edit and improve the paper based on the feedback provided by your PSY 510 instructor. In addition to that feedback, please also refer to the Milestone One Guidelines PDF document.
It is OK to make changes to your research question, hypothesis, or research methods, but please clear any substantial changes such as completely changing the problem statement with your instructor.
FINAL PROPOSAL: STRESS LEVEL AND COLLEGE STUDIES 1
STRESS LEVEL AND COLLEGE STUDIES 5
Final Proposal: Stress Amount and Online Psychology Graduate Program
Research Methods in Psychology I
January 9, 2023
Stress Level and Online Psychology Graduate Program
Stress is a common psychological disorder that affects every age group. There are numerous stress sources. They include financial challenges, family conflicts, relationship issues, bereavement, increased demands, and experiencing abuse. Stress can trigger other mental illnesses, such as depression and anxiety. In the context of students who enroll for online college/university programs, they are confronted with increased demands with limited time. For instance, they are forced to attend to their work, create time for studies and their families, and these demands can trigger stress.
Technology sophistication has made it possible for college and university students to attend to their jobs while studying. This possibility has been achieved through online learning, where students can attend classes and access reading materials in their remote areas. Al-Balas et al. note that e-learning has evolved into a new teaching method that ensures learning continuity (Al-Balas et al., 2020). Further, the authors opine that distance learning entails using computer-assisted technology to support student teaching (Al-Balas et al., 2020). Subsequently, students can enroll in college studies and be taught through online platforms while they attend to their work and family. While technology has made this possible, fixing everything within a limited schedule is always challenging. Students have to grapple between their studies, work, and family life. Eventually, they are thrown into a dilemma, unaware of where to prioritize. The increasing demands with limited time to accomplish everything satisfactorily can lead to stress among the learners.
The research question for this proposal is how does the need for more time and energy to attend online studies for students enrolled in the online psychology graduate program affect their stress level? Preliminary studies show that having increased demands and limited time can result in stress among individuals. The stress can negatively affect how they actively participate in daily routines. The hypothesis for the study is that stress level increases when students enroll in online psychology graduate program.
Individuals choose to enroll in higher education for different reasons. Enrolling in an online psychology program serves different purposes depending on the individual learner. Some enroll in the online program to climb their professional ladder, while others do so for self-fulfillment. Still, others would want to enroll in the graduate program to increase their academic knowledge and diversify their income sources. Authors have conducted various studies that show how stress and learning are correlated. The pressure to excel in the respective studies, having a pile of homework, and the need to study and other aspects of life can be detrimental to individual health. This section offers extensive literature related to stress and learning. The keywords used in searching the articles are stress, higher learning, college studies, and homework.
Kreig notes that as students get absorbed or enroll in higher learning institutions, they have many expectations (Kreig, 2013). Further, enrolling in higher studies offers a developmental opportunity as students have to meet challenges that harden them during the study period. These expectations when joining higher learning institutions have a great bearing on student trajectory and can eventually affect their mental health. Kreig highlights that once students join colleges, they have to adjust their academic, family, and job life (Kreig, 2013). The ability to adjust to the new norms can be the cause of stress experienced by many of the students. Further, some students enrolling for higher studies may be financially independent. Consequently, they have to deal with the financial needs of enrolling in college programs while providing other basic needs for the families (Kreig, 2013). A lack of financial capability to meet these needs results to stress.
The study by Kreig compared expectations that students expressed toward learning, for instance, difficulties in handling homework (Kreig, 2013). The research hypothesis for this study was that violated expectations triggered stress among students. The study participants were first-year students identified during the summer before matriculation (Kreig, 2013). The study sample was ninety-nine students. The participants had joined a liberal arts college. Data was collected using a survey. The author used the Incoming Student Expectations Questionnaire (ISEQ) tool to collect student expectations on their college studies. The participants' psychological symptoms were identified using Brief Student Inventory (BSI). The researcher analyzed data using ANOVA analysis. The results revealed that students spent more time with their families than expected from the first year to the senior years. Further, a comparison of stress levels showed that stress increased from the first to the senior years (Kreig, 2013). Students whose academic achievement surpassed expectations experienced reduced stress, while the reverse was true. Better social experiences than expected among students were associated with reduced stress (Kreig, 2013). The overall impression of the findings in this research is that the stress level for students joining higher education depends more on their expectations and what they achieve in the end. Also, the quality of social after joining graduate programs determines stress levels heavily.
Students may have varying workloads depending on the subjects they study at the Universities. The university culture may also psychologically impact learners in higher learning institutions. Researchers have also delved into the correlation between workloads in different subjects and stress levels among students (Jääskeläinen et al., 2020). In their study, Jääskeläinen et al. hypothesized that students' stress experiences are strongly correlated with the workload in the core subject (Jääskeläinen et al., 2020). The more the workload the students had in their main subject, the higher the probability of experiencing stress. This research is similar to Kreig (2013), in which students' expectations also impacted stress levels, with students having higher expectations being at higher stress risks than others. (Jääskeläinen et al., 2020) adopted a mixed research design. Specifically, the researchers used a sequential exploratory research design that first incorporated a quantitative phase followed by a qualitative stage.
Participant sampling for the study was random. The study's setting was in Finland and the United Kingdom, with participating students selected from seven universities in both countries. The researcher sent prospective participants emails that included information on the research objective and nature of the study. Participation in the study was voluntary and through informed consent. One hundred and fifty-five students completed the questionnaire that was sent through email, while twenty-nine of the students completed interviews. For the first quantitative phase, the researchers collected data using the Workload, Stress and Coping (WSC) questionnaire and performed data analysis using the Bayesian approach. In the qualitative phase of the research, participants responded to open-ended interview questions derived from the WSC questionnaire. The researchers accomplished data analysis at this phase using Atlas.ti software (Jääskeläinen et al., 2020). The results indicated that stress varied with the gender, with female students more vulnerable to stress than their male peers. Also, increased workload and study level (postgraduate, undergraduate, doctoral) impacted stress among students. More workload increases stress risks (Jääskeläinen et al., 2020). As noted by Krieg (2013), student funding also significantly affected stress levels among students. Those with partial or no funding were more predisposed to stress than those with full funding (Jääskeläinen et al., 2020). Lastly, students with prior knowledge of the main subject had low-stress risk.
Further studies reveal that financial challenges for students enrolled in institutions of higher learning amplify stress levels. (McCloud & Bann, 2019) systematically reviewed seven articles to identify the relationship between financial issues and stress levels. The need to study the related financial issues and stress is informed by the fact that most students in higher institutions take up loans to finance their learning. The researchers perused 1272 studies and selected nine of them. The peer review found that some articles had established a correlation between financial crisis and stress among students in higher learning institutions. The mental health deterioration among students increased financial challenges, which amplified stress levels. Part of the findings from this peer review is consistent with those (Jääskeläinen et al., 2020; Kreig, 2013). Financial woes can increase stress.
Researchers have also explored the concept of student-perceived employability and stress. As earlier noted, one of the motivations for enrolling in college studies is to get decent jobs. Perceived employability is the extent to which students see themselves getting or being suitable for a job. This perception can impact students' academic achievement, positively or negatively. Further, perceived employability can influence stress levels among students in different programs. (Ma & Bennett, 2021) explored the relationship between perceived employability among students in higher education, academic engagement, and stress. The study's setting was China. The researchers accomplished data collection through the use of an online survey. A Likert scale measured nine variables: academic engagement, social capital, stress, and perceived employability. The researchers used a stratified sampling method to select research participants for the study (Ma & Bennett, 2021). The questionnaire was sent through online platforms, and participants were required to respond voluntarily. A total of 1555 students completed the questionnaire (Ma & Bennett, 2021). The researchers analyzed the data using structural model assessment. The SPSS data analysis instrument was used.
The results revealed vital information. First, the researchers discovered that students who felt more employable had higher academic engagement ratings. The higher the students felt that the chance of getting a job was higher after their studies, the more they showed effort in their studies. Higher employability feelings were associated with lower stress (Ma & Bennett, 2021). When students felt that they could easily get a job, they experienced less stress in their studies than their peers who felt less employable (Ma & Bennett, 2021). These findings reveal that job availability may be a mediating factor against stress for students who are enrolled in higher learning institutions.
Higher education ushers in a new era of adult life, which is complicated with new challenges. (Bryce & Kathryn, 2015) researched the perceived stress, feeling of loneliness, and burnout that comes with enrolling in higher education. They developed two research questions that guided their work. The research questions focused on academic coping as a stress mediating factor and loneliness and burnout as triggers of stress perception. The researchers hypothesized that loneliness and burnout augment stress levels and that academic coping can help students cope with the demands that arise from pursuing higher education (Bryce & Kathryn, 2015). The study's setting was in southeastern Ontario, Canada. One hundred and fifty participants were included in the study. Selection to the study was random for all students enrolled in an undergraduate psychology course and who had registered in Psychology Participant Pool (Bryce & Kathryn, 2015). Participation in the program was not voluntary, and all the students included in the research had varying social demographics.
Perceived stress among the participants was measured using the Perceived Stress Scale developed by Cohen in 1983. On the other hand, academic coping was assessed using Academic Coping Strategies Scale (ACSS), while learning burnout was determined using Maslach Burnout Inventory-Student Survey (Bryce & Kathryn, 2015). The study was an online-self report survey. Data analysis was done using regression, t-tests, and correlations. One of the findings showed that feelings of loneliness and burnout increased stress perceptions among higher education learners and negatively influenced their academic experiences (Bryce & Kathryn, 2015). Loneliness may occur since the learners have increased work to deal with and reduced time. Consequently, most of their time could be spent on work and studying, which cuts their social interactions with family and friends. Additionally, the results indicated that academic copying did not mediate the effects of loneliness and burnout among participants (Bryce & Kathryn, 2015). Students would still feel lonely and stressed even when they copied successfully to the academic environment. Thus, the authors concluded that loneliness and exhaustion increase vulnerability to stress for students in higher learning regardless of their academic coping strategies.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Based on the research question, most reviewed articles show a correlation between higher education and stress levels among students. The researchers agree that higher education enrollment can increase students' stress levels. Researchers give several reasons for the stress students experience in higher learning institutions. Burnout and loneliness are among the stress triggers for students in universities and colleges, as most of them have to work on school work, live their social life, and accomplish their jobs (Bryce & Kathryn, 2015). Financial problems also trigger stress, as most students have to take loans to finance their learning (McCloud & Bann, 2019). Lower employability perceptions may also cause stress among students and reduce their academic engagement in learning activities (Ma & Bennett, 2021). Researchers have also used different research methods: quantitative, mixed, and qualitative. Using different research methods has made the evidence established within the literature more reliable and valid.
One of the disadvantages of the studies is that most of them used questionnaires in data collection. Only one study used interviews in addition to the questionnaire in a mixed research design (Jääskeläinen et al., 2020). Secondly, for most studies, data were collected through an online platform. Online data collection methods pose some demerits that future researchers should address. Another major drawback is that all the participants in the respective studies attended physical classes. Therefore, stress levels and experiences were measured based on physical learning experiences. Therefore, it is instrumental in conducting a study that evaluates stress levels for students enrolled in an online graduate program.
The study participants will be students enrolled in the Online Psychology Graduate program. Participants will be selected from online psychology students at Southern New Hampshire University Online Studies program. Participation in the study will be voluntary for all participants.
The researcher will use a structured interview to collect data from the participants. A structured interview will be selected to evaluate the information quantitatively. Each participant will be required to respond to all the interview questions for inclusion in the final analysis.
Once the researcher drafts the interview questions, a link will be created to allow sharing. The link will be sent randomly to students enrolled in the online psychology graduate program at Southern New Hampshire University of Online Studies. Upon sending a link to the interview questions, participants must send a specific code confirming they received the link. A maximum of three days will allow each participant to respond. Respondents who fail to meet this target will be considered to have withdrawn from the study. Data analysis will begin immediately after all participants submit their responses. Results from the findings will be published on the researcher's portal.
Informed consent, privacy, and confidentiality will be primary in the research. Before participation, participants will be informed of the purpose and nature of the study and their roles during the study period. They will use pseudonyms to ensure that their privacy is protected. Participant data will be locked in a cabinet and destroyed permanently once findings are published and the course is completed.
Data Analysis Plan
Prepare new Data
Raw data from the participants will be entered into excel. Each research variable will be analyzed descriptively to find the mean, standard deviation, and percentiles. The researcher will use the interquartile range to find outliers that could affect the research outcomes.
Descriptive statistics include mean, mode, median, standard deviation, frequency, and percentiles. For this study, the researcher will use mean, median, and interquartile range as descriptive statistics. All descriptive statistical information will be tabulated to ease reading, analysis, and interpretation.
Analysis of data will be done at a 95% confidence interval. Stress levels as a result of enrolling in an online classroom will be done using correlational analysis, meaning the Pearson coefficient will be calculated. Correlation is crucial in showing the relationship between different research variables, and in this study, the variables include stress level and enrollment in the online graduate program. A Pearson coefficient between 0.5 and 0.7 will show that stress level and enrollment for an online graduate program are strongly correlated. A P-value of between 0.1 and 0.3 will show a weak correlation.
Principles and Standards
As with any study, participants' information must be guarded to the latter, and this research will be no exception. The participant information will be protected as stated under the ethical consideration section. The reliability and validity of collected data and results will also be prioritized. During the study, the researcher will adhere to university regulations, including academic honesty. Further, the researcher will abide by the APA Code of Ethics (2017).
The researcher anticipates that the null hypothesis will be accepted. The stress level increases for students who enroll in online psychology graduate programs. In such a case, the findings will imply that balancing distance learning, work and family increases stress for students enrolled in online programs. This information will augment the existing evidence on the relationship between stress levels and higher education, specifically online learning programs. The results could also offer insights into how students enrolling in an online program can be assisted in avoiding risks of mental health problems. The only limitation is that the study focuses on psychology students; thus, it may be difficult to generalize the findings. More rigorous studies may be required in the future.
Al-Balas, M., Al-Balas, H. I., Jaber, H. M., Obeidat, K., Al-Balas, H., Aborajooh, E. A., Al-Taher, R., & Al-Balas, B. (2020). Distance learning in clinical medical education amid COVID-19 pandemic in Jordan: Current situation, challenges, and perspectives. BMC Medical Education, 20(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12909-020-02257-4
American Psychological Association. (2017). Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct. http://www.apa.org/ethics/code/index.aspx
Bryce, S. E., & Kathryn, L. D. (2015). The Influence of Perceived Stress, Loneliness, and Learning Burnout on University Students' Educational Experience. College Student Journal, 49(1), 146–160
Jääskeläinen, T., López-Íñiguez, G., & Phillips, M. (2020). Music students’ experienced workload, livelihoods and stress in higher education in Finland and the United Kingdom. Music Education Research, 22(5), 505–526. https://doi.org/10.1080/14613808.2020.1841134
Kreig, D. B. (2013). High Expectations for Higher Education? Perceptions of College and Experiences of Stress Prior to and Through the College Career. College Student Journal, 47(4), 635–643
Ma, Y., & Bennett, D. (2021). The relationship between Higher Education Students' perceived employability, academic engagement and stress among students in China. Education + Training, 63(5), 744–762. https://doi.org/10.1108/et-07-2020-0219
McCloud, T., & Bann, D. (2019). Financial stress and mental health among higher education students in the UK up to 2018: Rapid review of evidence. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 73(10), 977–984. https://doi.org/10.1136/jech-2019-212154
I appreciate your efforts on your final proposal. You have a good start towards your project but many areas would benefit from elaboration. Qualtrics is just a format for presenting your survey, and the materials is the actual survey you will be using. The Writing Center has some great resources you might find helpful. Note that the proposal will change from future-tense to past-tense in the next course (520) as you design and collect data and will include more sections (such as results and conclusions), but what you have is a nice start. Your grade is based on the rubric for this assignment, and I focused on how well you incorporated feedback from previous milestones, as well as the overall flow of your final proposal. Let me know if you have any questions.
PSY 520 Milestone One Guidelines
Note that you are required to use Southern New Hampshire University students as research participants by using the PSY 510/520 Lounge in SNHUConnect (link is located in the left-hand navigation menu). You are strictly prohibited from using individuals outside of Southern New Hampshire University as research participants.
In PSY 520, you will be collecting and analyzing data in an attempt to answer your research question. Before you do this, however, it is important that you have your research proposal (i.e., your PSY 510 paper) in a very strong shape. Your research proposal will form the building block for the full research paper that you will submit in this course. Please remember, research proposals that ask questions around diagnosable mental health disorders, suicide, or abuse of any kind will not be allowed.
As you revise your PSY 510 paper, be sure to take into account the feedback from your instructor from PSY 510. In addition, use the list below as a guide for how to revise your paper into an exemplary research proposal. As you revise your paper, be sure to think about how you will go from a proposal to an actual research project as you will be using your research proposal from PSY 510 to help complete your final project for this course, a research manuscript.
To help see the flow of the PSY 510 and PSY 520 projects, you can review this document.
Paper Element Characteristics of an Exemplary Paper
Problem Statement The beginning of the paper clearly explains the general purpose of the research, and it relates the research to a real-world issue.
This section should be interesting to read and entice the reader.
Literature Review This section should review relevant research on the topic.
The literature needs to be an integrated discussion of research on the topic, not a one-by-one summary of all the articles you found.
The literature should build towards your research question and hypothesis. In other words, research that is most relevant to your research question and hypothesis should be discussed. Research only tangentially related to your research question should not be included.
Research Question This should be clearly stated at the end of your literature review.
Because the problem statement introduced the general research question and the literature review builds toward the research question, when you state your specific research question it should not surprise the reader.
Hypothesis Your hypothesis should be clearly stated.
It should be supported by your literature review, so it should not be a surprise to the reader. In other words, your hypothesis is not just a guess of what you will find; it is an educated guess supported by research.
Methods Your proposed participants, materials, and procedures should be clearly described.
Keep in mind that you will rewrite this section in Milestone Four once your data collection is complete.
Data Analysis Plan This section will not be included in your final paper, since you will ultimately explain what you actually did in your Results section.
Anticipated Results This section will ultimately be rewritten in Milestone Four once you have analyzed your data.
Overall Be sure to follow APA style. Use your style manual!
The entire paper should flow. Even though it is broken into sections, each section should flow into the next and the paper should read as one coherent, integrated paper.
Be sure to proofread carefully. It is very unlikely that your instructor corrected every typo and grammatical mistake. One of the best techniques is to read the paper out loud so as to catch awkward phrasing.
Guidelines for Submission: Submit a copy of yo
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