The paper 'Reducing Secondhand Smoke on Children' is a decent example of pediatric research. In definition, instrumentation, or a research instrument refers to a means or tool applied by investigators as they attempt to measure items of interest or variables in the process of data collection. Surveys, ratings, scales, tests, and questionnaires that measure the characteristics, information of interest, or the variables are research tools. Research tools are likely to focus on the behavioral and/or psychological characteristics. These instruments are important in that depending on their application, they determine the success such as the credibility of a study (Bradford & Cullen, 2013). Factors to consider in choosing a research instrument One factor to consider is the instrument’ s alignment to the study’ s objectives.
When going for an instrument, it is important to go for the instrument that is directly related to the study and is most likely to provide strong and credible information about the investigation. The second factor to consider is the cost of the instrument(s) because some instruments will have to be purchased from an author or test publishers while others will be available free of charge.
Additionally, some instruments will require more or less time to locate than others. As such, it is important to go for the resources that best suit the research’ s budget or timeframe. The third factor is whether to use an existing instrument or create a new one. An existing instrument saves time (thus convenience) since it only requires application in the study. Sometimes, an existing instrument will not align with the research’ s objectives and will require the investigator to come up with their own. In this case, more resources will be required such as time.
The advantage is that a new instrument provides very strong alignment thus a more credible research study outcome. Finally, the quality of the instrument should be considered. Instruments can either be of low or high quality, and the results will match with the quality of the tool used. A high-quality instrument will mean more useful results and better scores that can be used in making solid conclusions or decisions (Blankenship, 2010). Locating an existing instrument Existing instruments may require a lot of time to search; they may be published in a dissertation, exist on the internet, be published in a book, or can only be obtained by directly contacting the person who developed it (which might result in delay).
Therefore, these instruments may exist in multiple sources such as journal articles, dissertations, databases, websites, books, and internet search engines. Family SEC and FAS Scales survey The family socioeconomic classification (FSEC) and family affluence scale (FAS) survey link children’ s exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) to several covariates. The scale provides statistics about different amounts of smoke-related effects on children following the adjustment of controlled variables.
The scale relates the underlying hazard (secondhand smoke) to significant effect parameters in participants. In the study, the main covariateisnicotine levels in children’ s saliva before and after the introduction of smoke-free legislation and will be used to tell whether any variance exists pre and post smoke-free legislation (Akhtar, Haw, Levin, Currie, Zachary, & Currie, 2010). The Ratio Scale The ratio scale will be used because it encompasses the qualities of the other scales, and mainly the interval scale for this study (Jackson, 2014).
The interval scale will be used since cotinine concentrations have an “ acceptable” level (absolute zero) in the body and are using it; it will be possible to tell whether a child’ s cotinine levels are high or low (from the difference in deviation from the absolute zero). Data collection procedures In applying the instrument, several variables will be used to assess the factors. They include the measure of exposure to secondhand smoke, parental smoking status, family structure, socioeconomic status, and the level of salivary cotinine concentration. The results will then be drawn from the analysis of these factors.
Akhtar, P, Haw, S, Levin, K, Currie, D, Zachary, R, & Currie, C. (2010). “Socioeconomic differences in second-hand smoke among children in Scotland after the introduction of the smoke-free legislation”. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health. 64(1): 341-346.
Blankenship, D. (2010). Applied research and evaluation methods in recreation. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
Bradford, S, & Cullen, F. (2013). Research and Research Methods for Youth Practitioners. Routledge.
Jackson, S. (2014). Research Methods: A Modular Approach. Cengage Learning.