Article Critique : • Article: Mears, S. L., Yaffe, J., & Harris, N. J. (2009). Evaluation of wraparo

Article Critique Assignment Based on your understanding of the material presented in class and the textbook, answer each of the following questions regarding the assigned article. This assignment must be written in APA style research paper format with a cover page and reference, no abstract is needed. You are not required to cite outside references other than the textbook and the assigned article. Respond to each question individually with each question being the title/header of your paragraph (e.g. Type of Research, Research Problem, Research Question, etc.) 1. Is this study qualitative, quantitative, or mixed-methods? Is it exploratory, descriptive, or explanatory? Be sure to justify your answers. 2. What was the research problem identified by the researchers? In your opinion, was it clearly defined? Be sure to justify your answers. 3. What were the research question(s) and hypotheses? 4. Describe the methodology used. Is this a group research design, case-level research, or something else? Be sure to include the group research design notation (ie: O X O) with an explanation. Was randomization present? Was the methodology appropriate to the research question? Why or why not? Be sure to justify your answers. 5. What was the population that this study sample was drawn from? Describe the characteristics of the sample (ie: gender, age). What sampling method was used? Did the study used probability or non-probability sampling? Was the sampling appropriate for the research question? Why or why not? Be sure to justify your answers. 6. Described two concerns related to reliability of measurement that the researchers may have faced. Be sure to justify your answers. 7. Described three potential threats to internal validity. Be sure to justify your answers. 8. What was the conclusion of this study? Was the hypothesis confirmed or not? Are the findings generalizable beyond the study? Why or why not? 9. In your opinion, does this research contribute to social work knowledge? Do you think it is useful for social work practitioners? Why or why not?

Readings • Chapter 8 in: Krysik, J. L. (2018). Research for effective social work practice (3rd Ed.). New York: Routledge.

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• Article: Mears, S. L., Yaffe, J., & Harris, N. J. (2009). Evaluation of wraparound services for severely emotionally disturbed youths. Research on Social Work Practice, 19(6), 678-685.


Type of Research

Mears (2009) conducts exploratory research in the Evaluation of Wraparound Services for Severely Emotionally Disturbed Youths. The study is exploratory because it is initial research that investigates a hypothesis and a theory that wraparound services can be beneficial to severely disturbed youths (SED). The study is also a quantitative type of research in that the researcher collects and analyses numerical data in an attempt to observe patterns, make predictions, and generalize the findings to a wide range of affected people. Data was collected for six months and then analyzed on the Child and Adolescent Functional Assessment Scale (CAFAS) to be compared with traditional modes of children’s welfare frameworks.

Research Problem

Children and Adolescents with SED have not always had adequate services, while other services like the wraparound remain to be explored. It is believed that given a chance, wraparound services could respond appropriately to children and adolescents experiencing SED together with their families through an individualized, strength-based, and family-focused team framework that puts weight on flexible service planning. The research problem is well defined at the beginning of the paper, and its applications are current and aim to solve a real problem in the real world, which by the end, prompts the need for deeper research and assessment of alternative services to respond to the need of SED children.

Research Question and Hypothesis

The research hypothesis is that subject groups in the study receiving wraparound services would have better outcomes than the comparison subject group receiving traditional modes of children welfare frameworks. The research findings and conclusion by the end of the research attempt to answer the question of how different and effective wraparound services to SED youths could be marked in comparison to traditional welfare systems and whether these differences were positive or negative.

Description of Methodology

The study employs a quasi-experimental design that comprises three non-equivalent comparison groups—two groups in state custody foster care and the third one in parental care. The group in state custody foster care received wraparound services with facilitators while the group in parental custody received wraparound services but were facilitated by Children’s Clinical Services’ resource coordinators. The last group received traditional foster care case management services and facilitators. Evaluations were later done using a standardized clinical and functional test that observed the measured behavior and integration of the youth into the community. The analysis part of the research compares the findings from the two groups that received wraparound with the group receiving traditional services. The hypothesis was that those under wraparound would perform better.

Study Sample Population

The study comprised 126 participants, all of who were initially diagnosed with SED and between the ages of five and eighteen. The participants were chosen under probability metrics and were either under state custody foster care or under parental custody and care. For a participant to fully match the requirements of the study group, they must have been below eighteen years and within their lifetime, be diagnosed with a mental, behavioral or emotional disorder that meets the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder (DSM-IV-TR) criteria of diagnosis. It was expected that the disorder would have limited the functioning of the subjects in the community, schools, or at home for a period of one year. An exception was made where interference was expected to occur in the future and within a period of one year. Additionally, a score of 40 or higher on the CAFAS scale was anticipated in order to meet the SED criteria. The sampling was good for the study but not fully effective because of the absence of the randomization aspect of research.

Concerns Related to the Reliability of Measurement

Study subjects were not randomly chosen, inhibiting generalizations beyond the study. In addition, the study subjects random assignment to either of the three groups, which presented a limitation to internal validity. Investigation of the groups, however, pointed to the fact that the groups were equivalent in terms of race, gender, age, and ethnicity, which promoted the confidence of the findings. The second concern was that the study group placed under the welfare services comparison groups was small than originally planned, which resulted in a low value of statistical data. While the study was a success, a future study to compare wraparound services to traditional methods of children’s welfare should comprise more study participants with a wider range in differences and selected at random.

Potential Threats to Internal Validity

The first potential threat to the internal validity of collected data, as already mentioned, was the lack of random assignment of participants to groups. The reason this promoted a threat to internal validity is that the conclusions from the study might not have reflected the situation of many at random. Secondly, the measurement artifacts presented a threat to the internal validity of the study, where bias might have occurred in using service providers for the purposes of data collection. The groups whom wraparound services were assigned to were assessed by their wraparound facilitators, who were prone to bias owing that they were marking their own work. A better method would have been independent data collectors who were only available in some cases but unavailable in others. Lastly, a threat to the internal validity of data was missing data that further limited the conclusions from an already small study group.

Conclusion of the Study

The hypothesis proved to be true. Indeed, youth receiving wraparound services made an exceptional positive change on the CAFAS assessment, pointing to a reduced level of impairment. Data from traditional modes of welfare showed little or no change in the CAFAS, leading to the conclusion that it is not as effective as wraparound. However, the research left a lot of room for further development, citing limitations in their internal data validity and the lack of randomization.

Personal Opinion

While the study might not have been perfect, I believe the findings were true, and indeed wraparound services do offer a better chance to youth suffering from SED in comparison to other modes of welfare. The data collected is instrumental in future studies that would fix the gaps left by this study. The application of the resultant findings could change the welfare of youth with SED forever and to the betterment of their health and their families’ welfare.




Article: Mears, S. L., Yaffe, J., & Harris, N. J. (2009). Evaluation of wraparound services for severely emotionally disturbed youths. Research on Social Work Practice, 19(6), 678-685.

Chapter 8 in Krysik, J. L. (2018). Research for effective social work practice (3rd Ed.). New York: Routledge.
















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