The research question is a critical part of the research process because it enables one to collect and analyze data to get an answer. Morgan (2016) highlights the importance of differentiating between qualitative and quantitative research questions because they guide the type of data that one collects. From the topic, “The impact of social distancing policies on children’s socialization in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic”, the researcher can have the two types of research questions as well as a mixed-method research question. For qualitative research, the question will be exploratory. The example of the question is “what is the effect of social distancing policies on children’s socialization in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic? The question will help the researcher to explore the perceived effects of the policies from a social narrative perspective. From the quantitative research perspective, the question will be relationship-based. The actual example of the quantitative research question from the topic is: “what is the relationship between social distancing policies in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and lack of children’s socialization. The study will reveal the relationship between the two variables using numerical data. Finally, the researcher can combine the two methods to create a mixed research question, which is both exploratory and relationship-based. For example, the researcher could create a research question, such as “what is the effect of the social distancing policies in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and how do they relate to children’s socialization?” The three questions will allow the researcher to collect different types of data, such as narrative and numerical data, to establish the effect of children’s social distancing policies on socialization in children.
The research project I am interested in conducting in my field is the impact of social distancing policies in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic on children’s socialization. I can develop various types of questions from the research topic that will guide me in the collection of data for the study.
- Central Question and Subquestions for a Qualitative Study
- How has social distancing policies developed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic affected children’s socialization.
- How do children feel about spending most of their time in-doors?
- What is the psychological effect of lack of socialization on the children in-doors following the outbreal of the COVID-19 pandemic?
- What is the possible long-term impact of the lack of socialization on the children in-doors following the outbreal of the COVID-19 pandemic?
- Two sets of questions (descriptive and inferential) for a quantitative study
Descriptive (the question allows the research to summarize and graph data from a sample of participants)
- How often do you leave the house to socialize with your friends since the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country?
Inferential (Inferential questions allows the researcher to collect data from a sample and make inferences regarding the general population from which the researcher obtained the
- How is lack of socialization among children in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic relate to social distancing policies implemented to curtail its spread?
- A Mixed Methods Research Question
- What is the effect of the social distancing policies in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and how do they relate to children’s socialization?
Research Questions, Conceptualization, Refined Purpose and Design
- What is the impact of social distancing policies on children’s socialization in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic?
- How has social distancing policies in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic affected play time in children?
- How often are children going out to meet their friends due to social distancing in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic?
In the current research, three terms will be conceptualized:
- Social distancing policies – defined as policies created by the government (such as stay-home) to prevent socialization or crowding that would allow the new coronavirus to infect many people.
- Children’s socialization – defined as the ability of the children to come together with their peers, such as while playing.
- Covid-19 pandemic – The new coronavirus that broke out in China, is highly infections, and has been recorded in almost all countries around the world.
The purpose of the proposed study is to help in understanding the impact of social distancing policies created to control the spread of COVID-19 on children’s ability to socialize with their peers. It is necessary to understand the short- and long-term effects of the pandemic and policies created to curtail it on children to implement strategies to help them because socialization is an integral part of their development.
Research Design and Methods
The study will be a qualitative design, specifically phenomenology to assess the effect of policies created to curtail the spread of Covid-19 pandemic on children’s socialization. The design will provide a deeper understanding of the epidemic and the impact on children’s socialization through their perspectives. The method of the study will be observation, complemented with face-to-face interviews to collect data from a sample of children affected by the social distancing policies.