Mixed Method Exploration

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Substance use during pregnancy is a phenomenon that fosters much controversy specifically in terms of treatment (Lester, Andreozzi & Appiah, 2004). Substance abuse counselors need to attend to counselor variables to secure the best level of care and present the problems. It is important to realize that evidence-based treatment options in the field of drug abuse during pregnancy are limited since trials are difficult and cannot be conducted in this area (Fischer, 2007, p.1). It is this light that this paper will explore the peer-reviewed article by Castro and Coe (2007) that uses an integrative mixed method analysis to examine the beliefs associated with alcohol and drug use among young adult women in U.S and Mexico border communities. A brief summary of the article highlights an integrative mixed method approach. The analysis was done through a software package TextSmart and qualitative text analysis (Atlas TI).

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Response 1

According to Creswell (2003), a mixed method approach is a methodology for conducting research that involves mixing both quantitative and qualitative data in a single study. In the article by Castro and Coe (2007), the authors explain that mixed method studies typically use qualitative and quantitative methods and the study presents a paradigm for an integrative mixed-method approach. Additionally, the article indicates that face-to-face interviews (quantitative research) were conducted at homes together with qualitative open-ended questions and interviews (qualitative research). Furthermore, there was also a tested and translated survey for participants who spoke either Spanish or English that was analyzed through a software package; which is an ideal solution for quantitative research.

Response 2

According to Creswell (2003), research design is the overall strategy that integrates the components of the study. The research design that was encompassed in the study by Castro and Coe (2007) was cross-method correlations. The approach examined thematic and scaled variables through a logistic regression analysis. Additionally, the study also encompassed a mixed-method design to obtain a greater understanding of the multiple elements or aspects such as traditionalism. This research also uses the descriptive research design. This is because it explains the importance of avoiding drugs and alcohol during pregnancy and the need for counseling and therapeutic approaches to the clients. The descriptive design is efficient because it gives accurate information. Furthermore, it also ensures that the findings are arranged logically and systematically.

Response 3

The qualitative research questions used in this study consisted of three open-ended questions that were presented to every respondent. The questions prompted personal responses that reflect the participant's belief in drug use during pregnancy. The study participants were 77 women who were located at the U.S-Mexico border and were eligible for the interviews. The first question was, does drinking alcohol during pregnancy cause a woman's baby to be born unhealthy? What is your personal belief and perception on drug abuse among pregnant women? What do you think is the right way to act and what should family members do to mitigate these lifestyle adverse effects? Qualitative research is research that involves having a research design which helps in investigating phenomena in its natural setting. The research design of this study focused on answering the questions when, why, how, where, and who. Therefore, for future research regarding this topic, two research questions that may be used are; how are alcohol and drug use detrimental to young pregnant women, and why should counseling skills be adopted as an intervention or measure to control the prolonged drug use in pregnant women?

Response 4

The quantitative research design, on the other hand, uses an approach that is quite different from the qualitative research. The approach that is used in the quantitative research design majorly entails examining of phenomena through the use of empirical methods. The quantitative research questions used in the study by Castro and Coe (2007) included two questions that were presented on a Likert scale. The two items for this outcome measure were as follows; if a woman uses drugs like cocaine and heroin while pregnant, would this cause the defect to the baby. The question was answered on a 4-point belief dimension. 1=no, 2=perhaps not, 3=perhaps yes, 4=yes. The second prompt or question was a composite index for alcohol use behavior that sought to know how often drug use was during pregnancy. In this light, the proposed research questions I may integrate into my future research report would be; to what extent does drug use impede pregnancy development among young women? And if prolonged substance abuse persists in a pregnant woman, what are some of the possible counseling and integrative therapies that can be recommended to the patient to cope with the problem?

Response 5

Yes, the research could have been conducted using only qualitative or quantitative methods, however, as Creswell (2003) indicates, the mixed method approach has come of age to include both the quantitative and qualitative methods that fall short of major approaches that are used today in the human and social sciences. From a personal perspective, the qualitative research approach does not involve manipulating the variables in any way to influence the outcome of the research and could also have been the choice of research method for the study. However, Castro and Coe (2007) explain that it is relatively weak in the analysis methods hence the need for an integrative methodology.

Response 6

The advantage of using the mixed method to the research was the findings that the thematic variables depicted significant effects beyond those of measured variables. For example, Castro and Coe (2007) indicate that the findings showed that there was strong behavior involving avoidance of substance use that was not captured by the rural lifestyle cultural scale. Therefore, from a methodological perspective, the mixed-method research underpins to identify the specific effects of protective factors or risk factors in the use of drugs, tobacco, and alcohol in health-related behaviors.


Castro, F., & Coe, K. (2007). Traditions and alcohol use: A mixed-methods analysis. Cultural Diversity And Ethnic Minority Psychology, 13(4), 269-284. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/1099-9809.13.4.269

Creswell, J. (2003). Research design. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications.

Fischer, G. (2007). Review of the literature on pregnancy and psychosocially assisted pharmacotherapy of opioid dependence. The Medical University of Vienna. Retrieved 8 March 2016, from http://www.who.int/substance_abuse/activities/pregnancy.pdf

Lester, B., Andreozzi, L., & Appiah, L. (2004). Substance use during pregnancy: time for policy to catch up with research. Harm Reduction Journal, 1(1), 5. http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1477-7517-1-5

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