Capella University Cyberbullying and Pornography Research Plan

Capella University Cyberbullying and Pornography Research Plan

Capella University Cyberbullying and Pornography Research Plan


Use the quantitative research question you developed in u03d2 as the basis for this assignment.

Quantitative research question.

What is the number of teenagers who have been influenced by the internet to engage in cyberbullying and watching pornography?



Refer to your APA Manual to guide the development of this assignment. Use the Quantitative Research Plan Template to complete this assignment. Complete this outline as a narrative. Capella University Cyberbullying and Pornography Research Plan

Include the following section:

  1. Introduction (1–2 pages).
    1. Statement of the problem.
    2. Significance of the problem.
    3. Variables.
  2. Theory (Align the theoretical framework with the methodology) (1–2 pages).
  3. Ethical considerations (1 page).
  4. Design and Methods (1–2 pages).
    1. Sampling, data gathering methods.
  5. Reflection (1 page).
    1. What was learning experience completing the assignment?
    2. What challenges might you have completing each section?
    3. What was easy/hard? How likely are you to select this approach?

Note: Your instructor may also use the Writing Feedback Tool to provide feedback on your writing in this assignment and in other assignments within this course. In the tool, click on the linked resources for helpful writing information.

Example assignment: You may use the assignment example, linked in the Resources, to give you an idea of what a Proficient or higher rating on the scoring guide would look like.

Additional Requirements
  • Length: 5–8 pages, not including title and reference page.
  • Font: New Times Roman, 12 point, double-spaced.
  • Communication: Write with logic, flow, organization, structure, and in the scholarly lexicon of the profession.
  • APA: Use correct APA style, format, mechanics, transitions, and proper organization and structure.
  • References: 5–7.


attachment_1Quantitative Research Plan Outline

Learner’s Name

Capella University

Fundamentals of Social Science Research

Quantitative Research Plan Outline

November, 2017


Quantitative Research Plan Outline

The presence of peers is considered natural, healthy, and important for the growth and development of children and adolescents. Peers can be a source of motivation for children and adolescents to learn new skills, develop new creative interests, and excel in sports and studies (American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry [AACAP], 2012). According to the findings of a study conducted by Uzezi and Deya (2017), the presence of a peer group can create a positive influence on students and bring about an improvement in their academic performance. However, peers can also have a negative influence that can lead to delinquent behavior in students, such as skipping classes, being dishonest, and indulging in substance abuse (AACAP, 2012). This study will explore the impact that negative peer pressure has on the academic grades of high school students.

In this research, the following two variables will be considered: (a) the degree of peer pressure experienced by students (independent variable) and (b) the academic grades of the students facing peer pressure (dependent variable). The relationship between these variables will be studied and analyzed using a quantitative research approach. Conclusions will be drawn based on the analysis.

Knowledge may be gained from the proposed study regarding (a) the extent of peer pressure that exists in high school peer groups, (b) the extent of negative impact the students experience owing to such peer pressure, and (c) the extent to which such negative impacts affect their academic grades. Moreover, the study findings might enable health care professionals, parents, and teachers to become aware of the implications of negative effects of peer pressure on students. Further, they might spread this awareness in their communities. Capella University Cyberbullying and Pornography Research Plan

Consequently, health care professionals, parents, and teachers can help students facing negative peer pressure by (a) conducting counseling sessions, (b) introducing them to new peer groups that exert a positive influence, and (c) motivating them to strive for improved academic performance through competition (Uzezi & Deya, 2017). Considering the benefits that can be derived from the findings of the proposed study, this study can contribute significantly to addressing the impact of negative peer pressure on high school students.

Research Design and Method

To study the research problem, information will be collected about high school students’ academic grades and the instances of peer pressure they experience. The information obtained will be used to analyze the extent of negative peer pressure faced by students and study the trend of their academic performance. The researchers will determine if a relationship exists between the instances of negative peer pressure and academic performance and will draw conclusions about the research problem.

The target population for this research will be high school students in the age group of 14–17 years. Considering the heterogeneous nature of the target population random sampling will be used to select a sample. This is an attempt to ensure that there is representation of different genders, age groups, ethnicities, economic statuses, and academic performance levels. The questionnaire method will be used to collect data from the sample group. Using the questionnaire method will be advantageous for this research for the following reasons:

  • Administering a questionnaire will help obtain structured responses, and this method will require less time and effort compared to the interview method.
  • Peer pressure and academic performance are sensitive topics for high school students to discuss face-to-face. Students might be more comfortable if they are allowed to write down their responses instead of discussing them with the interviewer.
  • Responses in the questionnaire will be free of the bias that might inadvertently be introduced while conducting an interview.

The questionnaire will use the Likert scale, which will require students to rate the level of peer pressure they face on a scale of 0–5, where “0” represents “no peer pressure” and “5” represents “high peer pressure.” The students will be asked to rate themselves on the peer pressure scale regarding activities they consider to be sources of diversion from their academic pursuits. These activities include smoking, drinking, substance abuse, skipping classes, and lying to parents. The students will also need to disclose their academic grades for the past two years along with other personal information that might be required for the research.

A correlational research design uses statistical analysis to study the relationship between variables (Center for Innovation in Research and Teaching, n.d.). This research design will be used to establish a correlation between academic grades and the level of peer pressure faced by the students. Responses where the students show an average rating of 4 and above will be considered because these indicate a high level of peer pressure. The correlation between the academic grades of the chosen respondents and their rated levels of peer pressure will be examined to draw conclusions about the research problem.

Theories That Can Be Used to Support the Research

Albert Bandura’s social learning theory will be used to support the research. This theory states that people learn by observation and imitation. Children and adolescents tend to observe and imitate their parents, teachers, and friends. However, they are more likely to imitate their friends, as they perceive their friends to be similar to them. The theory also states that if children and adolescents receive approval or reward for certain actions, they are likely to continue to repeat those actions in the future (as cited in McLeod, 2016).

This theory can be used to draw parallels with high school students who tend to observe and imitate their peers. Moreover, peer approval is the reward that motivates and causes continued imitation of peer behavior. Thus, Bandura’s theory can be used to analyze why students succumb to peer pressure in school. The theory can also be used to determine ways in which the impact of negative peer pressure could be mitigated.

Erik Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development can be considered as an alternative to Bandura’s theory. According to Erikson’s theory, there are eight stages of development between infancy and adulthood. In each stage, an individual faces a crisis pertaining to his or her psychological needs and social needs. The individual progresses from one stage to the next after resolving the conflict in each stage. In the process, the individual develops unique strengths that help in resolving crises in the subsequent stages, thus developing a healthy personality (as cited in McLeod, 2017).

According to Erikson (McLeod, 2017), the fifth stage of development is marked by a conflict between ego identity and role confusion. This stage is called the adolescence phase. During this phase, adolescents explore the various roles they could adopt once they become adults. Their explorations are marked by experimentation with new tastes and habits, moving away from parental control, and seeking of new social relationships (as cited in McLeod, 2017). Erikson’s theory can help explain why high school students succumb to peer pressure. The theory can also be used to discuss why students seek acceptance from new friends by adopting new behaviors that may be in conflict with the expectations of their parents.

Both Bandura and Erikson have proposed theories pertaining to the psychosocial crises faced by individuals. Either of these theories may be used to understand if strong negative peer pressure can have a negative impact on the academic performance of high school students.

Ethical Considerations

The research would involve asking high school students about their personal experiences, and this could lead to ethical issues/concerns such as obtaining informed consent and ensuring anonymity, confidentiality, and privacy (American Psychological Association, 2017). These ethical considerations are complicated by the fact that the students are minors. As a result, the researchers must be considerate not only of the students, whose school lives are being documented, but also of the parents of these students.

As high school students are minors, parental consent will also have to be obtained. Acquiring parental consent could prove to be a challenge as parents might not be willing to allow their children to participate in the study. Informing parents about the purpose and benefits of the research might convince them to give their consent; however, a possible negative outcome is that participants could be discouraged from responding honestly. They might fear that their parents will learn about their responses from the researchers. It must be clearly documented that participants were informed about the procedures of the research and its associated risks.    Researchers should ensure that anonymity and confidentiality are maintained. Anonymity implies that researchers cannot identify the participants, while confidentiality implies that researchers can identify the participants but cannot disclose their identities (Bell, 2014). It will be unethical if the difference in the meaning of these terms is not explained to the participants before obtaining their consent. Therefore, before administering the questionnaire, these terms will need to be explained to the participants. Further, they should be given a structured questionnaire that does not require them to disclose more than what is required for the study.

To ensure the privacy of the student participants, the researchers will avoid (a) using a public place, such as a school cafeteria, as a venue for administering the questionnaire; (b) asking the participants to respond to every question mandatorily; (c) using the obtained information for purposes other than the ones conveyed before getting the participants’ consent; and (d) making the information publicly available (Ruane, 2016, pp. 55–57).


Writing this assignment has been an enriching experience. The objective of this assessment was to develop an appropriate quantitative research outline plan based on the research problem. While creating the research plan, I faced difficulties with identifying and stating my research topic, searching for existing theories that support the research topic, and identifying credible websites to obtain information from.

I learned the different types of research designs and where they could be applied, the ways to mitigate ethical challenges that I faced, and the correct way to use APA Style. This knowledge acted as my strength while writing the assessment. I faced some difficulties as well while doing research for this assessment. However, with the new knowledge acquired during this assignment, I hope to mitigate such problems while writing similar assignments in the future. Capella University Cyberbullying and Pornography Research Plan


American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. (2012). Peer pressure. Retrieved from

American Psychological Association (2017). Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct. Retrieved from

Bell, J. (2014). Doing your research project: A guide for first-time researchers. Retrieved from

Center for Innovation in Research and Teaching. (n.d.). Quantitative approaches. Retrieved from

McLeod, S. (2016). Bandura – Social learning theory. Retrieved from

McLeod, S. (2017). Erik Erikson. Retrieved from

Ruane, J. M. (2016). Introducing social research methods: Essentials for getting the edge. Retrieved from’s%20privacy&f=false

Uzezi, J. G., & Deya, G. D. (2017). Relationship between peer group influence and students’ academic achievement in chemistry at secondary school level. American Journal of Educational Research, 5(4), 350–356. Retrieved from





Quantitative Research Plan


Review of the Literature

The theory, who used it, and it applicability.

The theory I will use is_____ (theory name)


It was developed by ______ (origin, source, developer of the theory), and it was used to study ____ (topic where one finds the theory applies).


Problem Statement

The purpose of this study is to test the theory of _________________that _________________ (compares? relates?) the ___________  (independent variable, variable of interest) to _________________________ (dependent variable), controlling for _______________________ (control variables) for___________________ (participants) at _________________________ (the research site). The independent variable(s)/ one of the variables of interest _____________________ will be

generally defined as _______________________ (provide a general definition). The dependent variable(s)/ other variable of interest will be generally defined as _____________________ (provide a general definition), and the control and intervening variables(s), _________________ (identify the control and intervening variables) will be statistically controlled in this study.


Research Question(s)


Identification of Variables





Setting (where will the study take place)


Procedures (In the procedures section, the details necessary to replicate the study are outlined).


Data Analysis