Is the Problem Clearly and Concisely Stated?
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Yes, the author of the article states the problem clearly and concisely. First, Zimmerman underlines that exposure to violence is a crucial topic for consideration due to the impact it has on young people. Then, it is stated that exposure to violence could be associated with “adverse emotional, medical, and socio-behavioral problems” (Zimmerman 178). Finally, it is necessary to examine if direct and indirect exposure to violence, as well as vulnerability levels, differ in the same individuals. It is clear to the reader that the author wants to investigate the peculiar features of direct and indirect types of exposure to violence and their effects on human vulnerability. The introductory part of the article is concise and informative so that the reader could get a general idea of the project and clarify the goals and objectives set by the author.
Is the Problem Adequately Narrowed Down into a Researchable Problem?
Yes, the problem is adequately narrowed down into a research problem with the help of research questions and the identification of past studies that could be used as a solid basis for the current project. Within the frames of research, Zimmerman suggests investigating the differences between direct and indirect types of exposure to violence and includes 1915 youth from Chicago. Besides, the problem is researchable with the help of an “empirical examination of differential vulnerability” in regards to direct and indirect exposure to violence (Zimmerman 179). Using the research questions identified by the author in the introductory part, it is possible to understand what kind of work has to be done and what outcomes are expected. At the end of the article, the author proves that the chosen problem can be investigated further regarding a new aspect of the analysis, the cumulative level of violence.
Is the Problem Significant Enough to Warrant a Formal Research Effort?
Yes, the problem discussed in the article is significant enough to warrant a formal research effort because of several reasons. First, the results of the study prove an “innovative statistical approach based on item-response theory” is effective indeed to investigate the relations between direct and indirect types of exposure to violence (Zimmerman 184). Second, the findings show that young people, who were personally victimized, are at higher risks to witness violence. However, those people, who witnessed violence, are not at higher risk to be personally victimized. This correlation has to be thoroughly investigated in future research. Finally, the study underlines the importance of family factors and the process of socialization. These factors are crucial for ordinary people, even those, who are not exposed to violence. Therefore, the results of the problem’s discussion could be used to prove the possibility of a formal research effort.
Is the Relationship between the Identified Problem and Previous Research Clearly Described?
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Yes, the relationship between the identified problem and previous research is clearly described in the article under analysis. Though there is no “Literature Review” section in the article, Zimmerman relies on some past investigations to prove the importance of the study. The projects by Finkelhor, Gibson, Morris, Gladstein, and Gorman-Smith are mentioned at the beginning of the article as the way to explain why the chosen problem is worthy of attention. Qualitative research findings by Anderson also help to explain the significance of direct and indirect exposure to violence among young people. Therefore, the article is a good combination of past research finding with a current study conducted based on the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods (Zimmerman 179).
Zimmerman, Gregory, M. “Risk Factors for and Behavioral Consequences of Direct Versus Indirect Exposure to Violence.” American Journal of Public Health, vol. 106, no. 1, 2016, pp. 178-188.