Issues related to designing and conducting school health education research
Investigators interested in conducting school health research face many important challenges. First, an appropriate research course for school health must be charted so the most important research issues are addressed in a systematic way. Second, there is a continuing need to develop scientifically sound research methods that can be used in the school setting. Third, there is the immediate need to identify ways of overcoming the usual problems encountered in the conduct of school health research. This paper focuses on the third challenge, via an analysis of the research design and measurement issues that most frequently confront school health researchers. The research design issues addressed include randomization of experimental units to treatments and selection of the appropriate statistical unit of analysis. The measurement issues addressed included use of existing versus newly developed instruments, use of norm-referenced versus criterion-referenced instruments, use of self-report techniques, and appropriate use of affective instruments. Following an analysis of the issues a series of relevant questions are posed.