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Variables for Evaluation - Essay Example on Research

3 pages
594 words
University of California, Santa Barbara
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The variables for this evaluation are the number of youth finishing the program, attitude, and self-efficacy.

Number of participants finishing the program

The number of participants finishing the program will help determine whether it is successful or not. The number will be measured relative to the number of enrolment. If the dropout rate is high, it would suggest that the program is not achieving its objectives. A program cannot sustain higher success rates if it is not useful. This variable will be measured on the ratio scale. This is because numbers have meaning, including a zero, and they can be ranked. Besides, the difference between consecutive numbers is equal. For instance, the difference between 25 people and 24 participants is equal to that between 15 and 16.


Attitude is a key variable since the program is all about behavior change. Reducing delinquent rates among youth in the area requires changing their attitudes (Grinnell, Gabor & Unrau, 2012). Attitude influences the behavior of an individual. The evaluation will help determine if the program helped change the attitude of the participants about alcohol and drug abuse. A change from negative to positive attitude would imply that the program is successful.

Attitude will be measured on the interval scale. We will use the Semantic differential technique where we will ask a participant to rate drug and alcohol abuse on a seven-point scale (Babbie, 2016). For instance, the participants will be asked whether they believe alcohol and drug abuse is harmful. They will choose between 0 and 7, with 7 indicating the strongest support for the claim. In this case, the interval scale is the most suitable since a response of a zero does not imply that the participant has no attitude at all (Thompson, 2012).


Self-efficacy refers to the belief in the ability to succeed in a given condition. Self-efficacy is a measure of how someone has control over his behavior and how he/she approaches situations. Studies have found that there is a significant link between self-efficacy and substance abuse disorders. A high self-efficacy is important to those undergoing rehabilitation. Rehabilitation is a gradual process and encounters challenges. A person with a low self-efficacy can easily go to full-blown relapse in case of a slip while one with a high self-efficacy will treat a slip as a challenge. This variable will be measured on the interval scale. Participants will be required to rate questions regarding self-efficacy.

Research Design

We will use a descriptive research design with some aspects of correlational design. The evaluation focuses on determining the attitude, self-efficacy of the participants. Questionnaires will be administered to the selected participants at the beginning of the program and six months into the program (Grinnell, Gabor & Unrau, 2012). This will help test whether there has been a change in these variables after the admission of a participant into the program. Descriptive analysis of the number of participants will help identify the dropout rates which suggests the success of the program. It will be a one-group design since we will not use control variables.

Sampling method

We will use a clustered random sampling to select the participants for this evaluation. Participants will be clustered depending on age and gender then selected randomly from each cluster (Thompson, 2012). This is to ensure the sampling is not biased while taking into account internal heterogeneity.


Babbie, E. R. (2016). The Basics of Social Research. New York: Cengage Learning.Grinnell, R., Gabor, P., & Unrau, Y. (2012). Program evaluation for social workers:

Foundations of evidence-based programs (7th ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Thompson, S. (2012). Sampling. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.


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