The use of incentives, which were aimed at motivating the participants to fully engage and commit themselves to the study, is a potential problem to the study. Giving awards to the participants could have motivated uncooperative students to participate in the study and they later withdrew. The study was supposed to be voluntary and hence, the participants were not supposed to be rewarded.
Collection of data from a small population is another problem in the study. This is because the use of a small sample size in the study increases its biasness. Also, during data collection the participants’ strengths, resources, life goal, and developmental tasks were not taken into consideration. Lack of taking these factors into consideration was a potential problem which could have resulted into a biased outcome. For instance, the participants’ resources ought to have been considered because some of the young parents have money to take their children to child care centre and thus, they do not miss attending school.
Some aspects of the study that might have provided an opportunity for experimental bias include:
- The use of a small sample size
- The two groups used in the study were unequal in size since four members of the comparison group withdrew. Use of a small sample size reduces the confidence that the statistical results obtained would have when a larger sample is used.
- Another limitation which might led to bias is lack of a follow up measure to determine the degree to which the positive effects of the intervention would improve school attendance and consequently better grades.
- Generalizing the findings of the study could have also contributed to biasness in the study.
To reduce bias, the study should have been conducted using a large sample group. Also, generalization of the outcome should be avoided since the study was specific in nature. The research problem did consider the importance of diversity in this study. For instance, the group leaders were 26 and 34 years old. One of those leaders was white while the other was Hispanic. There was no exclusion in selection of the participants, since all pregnant and parenting mothers were invited to participate in the study.
Generally, the methods used in the study were ethical, but there are some aspects which are sensitive in nature. For example, we are told that the students’ school attendance and grade average outcomes were measured with the data obtained from their school records. Obtaining the students school record without their consent is sensitive and unethical. This could be remedied by seeking permission or consulting each individual student before using their school records in the study. According to the author, the practical significance of this program evaluation is important. For the young mothers to succeed in schools they have to undergo a behavioral change which would reflect on their attendance level and their average grade.
According to the author, social workers should ensure that they provide the best possible service to all students by developing and implementing interventions that are effective in schools and the community. Based on the findings of the study the conclusions and implications are reasonable. The evaluation is relevant in selecting, conducting, and demonstrating efficacy of social work interventions with pregnant and parenting adolescents.