To begin, my research question would be “Does legal and/or familial intervention affect addiction recovery outcomes over time?” My hypothesis would be that legal and/or familial intervention does affect addiction recovery outcomes over time.
My theoretical variables are legal intervention, familial intervention, and the outcome of an addiction recovery program. The next challenge is to operationalize these variables. Data collection would be done through surveys. For legal intervention, participants would be asked if they were compelled to enter treatment as a legal consequence. For familial intervention, participants would be asked if friends and/or family members demanded the participant enter treatment. Our neutral condition would be those participants who faced neither legal compulsion or demand by friends or family members. These conditions would constitute our independent variables.
Our dependent variable would be participants continued sobriety and/or participation in a treatment program, such as rehabilitation services or something like a 12-step program. Participants would be asked how long they have been engaged in treatment as well as how long they have remained sober. A longitudinal study tracking continued participation as well as drop-out rates would be especially helpful. This data could be analyzed in relation to our independent variables.
As for ethical issues, we must be mindful of the sensitivity of this research. Addiction can be a highly emotional topic. Informed consent would be crucial. Participants should be informed of the purpose of this research, and careful measures should be implemented to protect participant confidentiality.
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