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Qualitative Research of Alcoholism in the U.S.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2010), 11% of alcohol consumed in the USA is drunk by adolescents, and 90% of it is consumed in the form of binge drinking. The main idea of this paper is to define five approaches to qualitative research, analyze them and develop a research problem, research purpose, and research questions. Creswell (2007) has managed to distinguish between narrative research, phenomenological research, grounded theory research, ethnographic research, and case study research depending on the research questions and the purposes of the research. These approaches to the quantitative research may be applied to different aspects of our study devoted to the consideration of the level of alcohol consumption among adolescents aged 12-16 in the West Indies.

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Narrative research is used for describing the results of individual discussions or an interview with several people. The main idea of this approach is to collect necessary information for each subject and analyze it. Polkinghorne’s (1995) “analysis of narratives” should be used for the following research question, what are the main reasons for alcohol consumption of students aged 12-16 in the West Indian public school according to their personal point of view are. Being aimed at analyzing the information considered from individual communications, we are going to apply this method for understanding the personal reasons of those who consume alcohol at age of 12-16. The narrative approach to qualitative research is used in this case because of the peculiarities of the method. To understand the personal reasons for alcohol consumption, it is not enough to make students fulfill the questionnaire. Detailed and passionate discussion should be led. Personal diaries or the parts from those diaries related to the alcohol consumption problem may be used as the documentation for analysis. Only on the basis of this documentation and detailed interviews, a researcher can make the analysis of the gathered information to meet the stated purposes. Having chosen this approach to the research, a researcher should pay much attention to the situation of the “individual stories within participants’ personal experiences (their jobs, their homes), their culture (racial or ethnic), and their historical contexts (time and place)” (Creswell, 2007, p. 238).

Phenomenological research is aimed at considering the experience of each student separately without using generalizations. Therefore, using this approach for qualitative research, we are going to show that many students aged 12-16 in West Indies have problems with alcohol on the basis of the individual study. The research question should sound as follows, whether alcohol consumption is a significant problem for students aged 12-16 in the West Indian public school or not. This approach for qualitative research is taken because it helps understand the spread of the phenomenon. The main purpose of the research is to develop strategies or policies on the basis of the received information. Phenomenological research helps gather many specific answers to the most problematic issues. It is significant to ask only those who have experience in the researched problems. Therefore, we are going to refer only to students aged 12-16 who have problems with alcohol, in opposition to the narrative approach where other people related to the subjects could be used as the interviewees. The phenomenal approach is an ideal method for discussion of the problem of alcohol consumption as it has already been stated that it is directed at individuals. The possibility to consider the problems each adolescent has may help the researchers to create the general picture of the problem, get some particular reasons and barriers adolescents face and develop a strategy for battling those barriers. A phenomenological approach to qualitative research may be used as the basis for grounded research devoted to the identification of the reasons for adolescents’ alcohol consumption in the West Indies.

Grounded theory research is aimed at generalizing the research results and may be used for discussion in the groups of many people (Clarke, 2005). Using the grounded application to qualitative research, we may interview those adolescents aged 12-16 in West Indian public schools who consume alcohol regularly. It may be informative for understanding the reasons for alcohol consumption and the spread of the problem. Thus, it is important to interview students aged 12-16 in West Indies about the reasons, situations and the consequences of alcohol consumption from their personal point of view and to offer the results which may be applied to other regions due to the similarity of the problems after a thorough analysis of the data. Therefore, the solution to the problem may be offered on the basis of this data. The purpose of this research is to understand the reasons for adolescents’ alcohol consumption in West Indies and to create a program for combating the problem. The peculiarity of the grounded research is that the researchers select the most frequently used answers and use those for modeling the situations.

We are going to consider the problem of alcohol consumption among adolescents aged 12-16 in the West Indies. The ethnographic approach to qualitative research may be chosen for consideration as the issues discussed within this framework perfectly fit the purpose of our study. Beliefs and behaviors of the ethnic group, their power and domination perfectly fit the problem of the reasons for alcohol consumption among adolescents aged 12-16. The main research question we are going to consider is based on the seriousness of the alcohol consumption of youths aged 12-16 in the West Indian public schools. Having chosen the ethnographic approach to the qualitative research, we are going to focus on collecting data concerning age, sex, religion, level of education, and family problems which may impact the increase of alcohol consumption among students aged 12-16 in the chosen region. Ethnological research perfectly fits the purpose of the research as considering the relationship between social and environmental factors and alcohol drinking of students aged 12-16 in the West Indian public school we are eager to understand the reasons for consuming alcohol and to develop the strategies for reducing the level of the disaster with the further elimination of the problem. Having chosen the ethnological approach to quantitative research, we are going to refer to realist ethnography as the most objective type of research with the reference to participants’ views (Van Maanen, 1988).

Case study application for qualitative research is research that is based on the experimental situation considered within a bounded system. According to Creswell (2007) case study research is a case or a number of cases that last for some time and the data is collected by means of involving multiple sources of information. Having chosen the case study methodology for our research, we are going to consider the following research question: what is the relation between social and environmental factors and alcohol drinking of students aged 12-16 in the West Indian public schools? The subjects of the research should be offered specific conditions, they are to be provided with the cases they are to follow. Additionally, it is important to predict the level of the relation between social and environmental factors and alcohol drinking of students aged 12-16 in the West Indian public schools. When using the case study research type, it is important to refer to many different sources of information which should be gathered and analyzed applying to the case under discussion. The main purpose of this application is to check the hypothesis applied to practical experiments.

Therefore, it should be concluded that the various purposes of the study require many specific approaches to quantitative research. As it has already been stated, the choice of the research method depends directly on the purposes of the research and the research questions which are going to be considered. Therefore, having set the research purposes and having defined the research questions it is possible to select the most appropriate method which may help draw the fullest conclusions and create an appropriate program, policy or standard aimed at solving the problem of the research. Each of the five approaches to qualitative research may be used for considering the reasons for alcohol consumption of adolescents aged 12-16 in the West Indian public schools depending on the stress of the purposes and research questions. The means for gaining the desired result may be also taken into account.

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Reference List

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2010). Alcohol and Public Health. Web.

Clarke, A. E. (2005). Situational analysis: Grounded theory after the postmodern turn. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Creswell, J. W. (2007). Qualitative inquiry & research design: choosing among five approaches. New York: Sage Publications.

Polkinghorne, D. (1995). Narrative configuration in qualitative analysis. Qualitative Studies in Education, 8, pp. 5–23.

van Maanen, J. (1988). Tales of the Field. Chicago: Chicago University Press.

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