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Early Childhood Caries: Research Discussion

The nature, epidemiology, and health implications of oral diseases have changed significantly within the past four decades. The prevalence of caries in childhood has increased in the United States. Additionally, the increase of caries is strongly associated with health disparities in different parts of the world (Ezer, Swoboda, & Farkouh, 2010). The proposed study will explore the major issues related to caries in early childhood and the best approaches to improve the oral health of many communities. This essay analyzes the effectiveness of validity and reliability in the targeted research study.

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Validity and Reliability

Researchers should embrace the use of reliability and validity whenever designing the best tools for their studies. Validity refers to the effectiveness of a test towards measuring the targeted situation or phenomenon (Taylor & Asmundson, 2007). The participant should strongly believe that the targeted tool or test can assess the situation accurately. A research study aimed at examining the prevalence of caries in children should deliver accurate measurements or results (Ezer et al., 2010). The idea of validity should be taken seriously in order to create appropriate research methods.

The term reliability refers “to the degree to which assessment tools in research can produce consistent and stable results” (Taylor & Asmundson, 2007, p. 2). The tool used such as a questionnaire should deliver the same results unless the existing conditions change. The concept of reliability is therefore critical in order to ensure the targeted study delivers consistent and meaningful results. By so doing, the tool will give an accurate assessment of the problem of dental caries in small children.

Internal and External Validity

Taylor and Asmundson (2007) argue that “validity in research is something that varies along a continuum” (p. 3). That being the case, external validity refers to a research study that is aimed at generalizing the entire population. The targeted findings tend to generalize the targeted population. The approach can be used to generalize the prevalence of caries in children in a specific population. On the other hand, internal validity is the ability to eliminate mystifying variables in a specific study (Taylor & Asmundson, 2007). These two concepts should therefore be considered whenever undertaking a study.

Examples of Validity

The first example is formative validity. This form of validity is used to analyze how the findings of a study can be used to improve the situation. For example, the research tool should provide meaningful data that can be applied to address this problem in the future. The second example is sampling validity (Taylor & Asmundson, 2007). The validity ensures the researcher examines a wide range of issues within the study. The two examples of validity should therefore be considered in order to ensure the study findings are used to support the oral needs of more children. The objectives presented below explain why the use of formative validity is necessary. This kind of validity will ensure the researcher presents new approaches to address the problem of caries in babies (Taylor & Asmundson, 2007).

Hypotheses

  • The first hypothesis is that untreated dental caries in early childhood results in numerous health problems.
  • The second hypothesis is that there is a significant relationship between breastfeeding and early childhood caries.

Objectives

  • The first objective is to understand how untreated dental caries in childhood affect the health outcomes and academic performance of more children.
  • The second objective is to understand the importance of breastfeeding towards addressing the problem of early childhood caries.

Research Question and Target Population

Several research objectives and questions have been identified for this research study. However, the study will focus on one question in order to deliver meaningful findings. The targeted research question is presented below.

  • What are the major consequences associated with untreated dental caries in early childhood?

This question will make it easier for the researchers to present new facts about the challenges associated with untreated dental caries (Taylor & Asmundson, 2007). This approach will make it easier for the researcher to present the best ideas that can support the needs of the affected children. The important thing is to ensure more children get quality care.

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The study will focus on three groups. The groups will include children between 1-5, 6-10, and 11-15 years. Children from every racial background will be considered during the study. The researchers will also target children in both rural and urban areas. The research will be examining the major causes of carries in these three groups. The study will identify the group that is affected the most by dental carries. The findings obtained from the study will be used to develop the best campaigns to deal with caries (Ezer et al., 2010). Parents, teachers, and guardians will be informed about the findings in order to undertake new preventative measures.

Surveys will be used to examine the major challenges and dental health problems affecting each of the three groups. Screenings will be conducted randomly in order to understand the dangers associated with dental caries in the three groups (Taylor & Asmundson, 2007). The gathered information will be used to come up with the best discussions and conclusions.

References

Ezer, S., Swoboda, A., & Farkouh, R. (2010). Early childhood caries: the dental disease of infants. Oral Health Journal, 1(1), 1-7.

Taylor, S., & Asmundson, G. (2007). Internal and external validity in clinical research. Web.

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