Purpose of the study
There are reported cases of sexually abused boys and girls and reported cases of psychological distress among children (Gartner, 2008). However, research studies have not clearly established the correlation between the psychological distress of sexually abused girls and sexually abused boys (Estes & Tidwell, 2002). This study is intended to examine the correlation between boys and girls who have been sexually abused and experienced psychological distress. The relationship between the categories of sexual abuses and the resultant psychological distress experienced by girls and boys will be measured. The study will also determine the characteristics that are exhibited by girls and boys who have been sexually abused. Finally, the study will examine the class performance variations between sexually abused boys and sexually abused girls.
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Research questions and hypotheses
At the conclusion of this study, the obtained outcomes should respond to the following question:
What are the characteristics exhibited by girls and boys who have been sexually abused?
How do sexual abuse-related problems or psychological distress experienced by sexually abused children compare between girls and boys?
How does class performance between sexually abused boys and girls compare?
Ha = There is a correlation between being sexually abused and psychological distress in boys
H0 = There is no correlation between being sexually abused and psychological distress in boys
Ha = There is a correlation between being sexually abused and psychological distress in girls
H0= There is no correlation between being sexually abused and psychological distress in girls
To investigate how sexual abuse-related problems or psychological distress compares between girls and boys who are sexually abused, this study will be quantitative research. The research data will be gathered across the study population through a sampling strategy. Sampled data will be gathered from four (two private and two government) secondary schools in the United States and social service agencies. Students in these schools, as well as those presented by the social service agencies, will be the study participants. Every second student from the study population will be selected to help answer the study questionnaire. A research technique dubbed as the survey method will be used, while descriptive statistics will be applied to help analyze the obtained data. Homma et al. (2012) indicated that through these research methods, it is possible to suggest and come up with an unexpected research hypothesis. As compared to other research methods, the selected method will ensure that the study is quick and cost-efficient. These research methods are considered the best given that they rarely stand a chance of disqualifying any notable alternative explanations.
To present significant research findings, appropriate conclusions, and credible recommendations, the study will use both the primary and secondary data sources. However, the primary research information and desired data will be obtained by administering the self-designed survey questionnaires to the targeted study population. The researcher intends to administer the questionnaires to the study participants in person. The secondary research data and information will accrue from accessible sexual abuse cases reported in the media and social service agencies (Houck et al., 2010).
Population and sampling strategy
In this study, all secondary school children, both boys and girls who are sexually abused and those who are not sexually abused, will be incorporated when carrying out the research (Collin-Vézina & Hébert, 2005). However, the population target will be the selected sexually abused victims, specifically the private and public secondary school students. From the total number of sexually abused children, the study sample will be composed of validated sexual abuse cases. The secondary data sources will comprise of sexual abuse cases referred to as the Child Neglect and Abuse Interdisciplinary bodies.
Besides, filed evidence from social service agencies including medical findings, corroborating witnesses, and perpetrators confessions will similarly be used after seeking permission from the relevant authorities. The primary research data will be gathered through surveying two private secondary schools and two government secondary schools across the United States. Two hundred students (100 girls and 100 boys) will take part in this study. That is, fifty girls and fifty boys from the private secondary schools. The remaining number of fifty girls and fifty boys will come from public secondary schools. Different schools will be included to give a reflection of the study population mix. Convenience sampling strategy will be used, and the research questionnaire will be administered to them to help address the formulated research questions.
After the guardians or parents consents are sought and students’ assents are obtained, 200 students (100 girls and 100 boys) will be surveyed. However, permission from the principals, teachers, and counselors will also be sought to allow the researcher conduct the study in the institutions. The participants will be informed about their voluntary participation, and they will be informed that there will be no unfavorable consequences for non-participation. Study participants under the supervision of the researcher and research assistants will complete the questionnaire. The participants’ responses will be put in containers that are sealed to uphold their confidentiality.
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Instrumentation and Data Collection
Data Collection Instruments
Research data or study information will be acquired from the primary and secondary sources. Primary data on sexual abuse-related problems or psychological distress experienced by sexually abused children will be gathered via self-administration of study questionnaires to study participants. In fact, a comprehensive survey instrument that was developed, tested for reliability and validity, and used in other surveys will be used to conduct the actual research study. The study questionnaire contains the selected items that address the study questions and objectives.
As a field survey, the sexual abuse-related problems or psychological distress information on sexually abused children will be collected through administering research questionnaire. The research questionnaire will be administered to the study participants in person by the researcher. Each part of the questionnaire constitutes key items that suitably attend to the research questions. To ensure reliability and validity, the questionnaire will accrue from a survey that has been conducted on identical topic by other researchers.
The questionnaire will thus be made of both open and closed ended research questions. Conversely, secondary research data will be acquired from the validated sexual abuse cases that have been reported and filed as well as other documentation containing similar information. The research variables will include the students’ achievements in class, level of suicide attempts, threats, plans, and ideas. Psychological distress will also be measured in terms of the internalized risk factors namely the participants dejection and despair. Different scales will be applied in the survey questionnaire during data collection to ensure scales reliability and validity of some research questions. The ordinary scale, scale reliability, and split half techniques will be applied to attain internal consistency.
To ensure logical completeness as well as response consistency, the researcher will edit the acquired data each day. This will help identify the ensuing data gaps or any mistakes that need instant rectification (Price et al., 2002). Thereafter, the collected research information will be analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively. For example, any data collected from secondary sources such as the reported cases on sexually abused children will be analyzed by means of content and logical analysis techniques (Gartner, 2007). Furthermore, logistic regression will be used to analyze data to establish the multivariate correlations. Conversely, Chi Square tests and descriptive statistics will be used in to analyze the univariate correlations.
Two-approach interactions amid child sexual abuse and gender are considered important. The interactions will be between boys and girls who are sexually abused and experience psychological distress. As a result, separate logistic regression analyses will be conducted for girls and boys. This will assist in underlining the differences in the responses made by each gender. In relation to logistic regression analyses, the dependent variables will be dichotomized. As Gartner (2008) claims, this will aid in avoiding a decline in the calculated correlation strengths between the independent and dependent variables. In fact, it will help in producing easily comprehensible and interpretable findings as regards to the anomalous rations. This is in comparison with the result instant correlation (r) and the ordinary least square compound regression (Gartner, 2008). The method will suit the collected data very well with dichotomous parameters including sexual abuse related problems or psychological distress such as suicidal attempts, threats, plans, and ideas.
The data analyses will focus on examining what the independent (sexual abuse) variable contributes to the sexual abuse related problems or psychological distress. The latter includes variables such as the internalized risk factors namely dejection and despair. The parenting style and socio-demographic variables will be monitored for purposes of importance (Bergen et al., 2004). Hence, family functioning, desperation, and dejection will be incorporated in the model for regression as co-variants. Rather than being used in their dichotomous form, the co-variants will appear as constants. This will make certain that data variability is incorporated in the regression models (Leeb, Barker, & Strine, 2007).
In the study, variables with variance proportions and tolerance values will be examined. Examining these study parameters will determine whether there is multi-co-linearity in the study (Gover, 2004). The researcher will also conduct logistic regression tests after confirming that they will not distort the study findings. In fact, the researcher will examine variance proportions and tolerance values if the dependent variables exhibit higher ratios. Further quantitative data analysis techniques such as percentages, frequency distribution, and deviations will be used when analyzing study data to determine the proportion of research respondents that selected various responses in the study questionnaire. These data analysis methods will be applied for each group of items in the questionnaire.
From the obtained and analyzed research data, it is anticipated that girls and boys who are sexually abused will exhibit various characteristics. However, it is estimated that the study results will show variations in the characteristic that these study participants’ exhibit. For boys and girls who are sexually abused, it is expected that they will experience varying degrees of sexually abuse-related problems or psychological distress. Probably from the analyzed data, there will be a correlation between being sexually abused and psychological distress in boys. Conversely, there will probably be a correlation between being sexually abused and psychological distress in girls. The sexual abuse-related problems or the psychological distress factors are expected to be suicide attempts, premeditated self-injury, threats, plans, and suicidal thoughts (Hébert et al., 2006). Thus, it is expected that sexually abused girls will experience the least sexual abuse-related problems, suicidal attempts, and psychological distress compared to those experienced by sexually abused boys.
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