• Article: Mears, S. L., Yaffe, J., & Harris, N. J. (2009). Evaluation of wraparound services for se

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?

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

The study is mixed-method, applying both qualitative and quantitative methods.  Qualitative methods comprise data that is non-numerical with the target to comprehend concepts, experiences, and opinions. In the study, qualitative interviews were employed with the subjects and control groups in an attempt to gain an in-depth understanding of the problem of the research. On the other hand, quantitative methods involve collecting and analyzing numerical data to form patterns, mean and logical predictions. A quantitative measure of restrictiveness of the children’s living situations across 25 settings was amongst the quantitative tests performed.

Research Problem

The research problem involves the fact that children and adolescents with severe emotional disturbance have for a while not had adequate service and the idea that wraparound technique could define a difference from the traditionally applied technics to children and adolescents with severe emotional disturbance and their families. This problem is precise and well-defined as it introduces the societal application of the results, the variables, and a means to take note of the change from traditional technique to wraparound methods.

Research Question

The research question is whether significant differences can be observed between youth outcomes receiving wraparound approach with youth receiving traditional child welfare case management. The hypothesis is that significant improvements can be observed with wraparound techniques.



The research applies a quasi-experimental design of group research where there are three non-equivalent groups to compare. One group comprised adolescents in state foster care custody; the other group also comprised adolescents but in parental custody. Both these two groups received wraparound and were assigned to wraparound facilitators. The last group was adolescents in a traditional foster care management system. Randomization was not present in the research, which limited generalization beyond the study. Lack of randomized control group design compromised the results obtained from the research making the methodology half effective.

Sample Population

A total sample of 126 participants was used in this research, all of who were adolescents diagnosed with severe emotional disturbance. The subjects were either in foster care or parental care. Gender was not considered, but the age of all the participants was below the age of 18; the SED diagnosis must have impaired the subject’s functionality in school, family, or school. Probability was applied to the period considered after diagnosis, where it was either one year after or one-year anticipation into the future. Sampling was not randomized, which was not appropriate and limited the research’s effectiveness and outcomes. Randomization would have been instrumental in the production of substantial evidence and research effectiveness.

Concerns Related to the Reliability of Measurement

The first concern is that the study participants were not randomly selected, which resulted in the limitation of generalizing the findings beyond the research. Lack of randomization within the groups also presented limitations in the internal validity of the research. Secondly, the control group under the traditional child welfare services comparison group was small, resulting in a lower statistical power of data collected.

Potential Threats to Internal Validity

Firstly is the measurement artifacts where bias could have been possible and introduced by service providers for data collection. Not all data were collected by independent collectors making it the potential to bias. Secondly, there was missing data, which resulted in limited conclusions. Data from the 6-month follow-up from the data collection file was missing leading the research into uncertainty. Thirdly, as already pointed out, lack of randomization presented a challenge to internal validity in terms of gender, ethnicity, race, and age.

Conclusion of the Study

The hypothesis proved to be true when the results indicated that the youth presented with wraparound made an improvement, suggesting a reduction in impairment during the program. The subjects under wraparound also portrayed functional improvement in comparison to those on traditional methods. This generally proves that wraparound is more effective in treatment.

Personal Opinion

This research greatly contributes to social work knowledge in a variety of ways when it comes to understanding children with SED. Applications and further developments of the study could point towards partnership between health practitioners and social workers to provide a method and means to encourage more rigorous evaluation and wraparound applications to benefit the kids who need the treatment. Further research with randomized sampling could also offer more generalized data for more in-depth and broader applications globally.


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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