Types of Descriptive Research
Generally, descriptive studies are of several types, These are (1) case studies, (2) surveys, (3) developmental studies, (4) follow-up studies, (5) documentary analyses, (6) trend analyses, (7) and correlational studies.
If your study intends to get reliable Information about the similarities of children at various ages, how they differ at age levels, and how they grow and develop, then your design may be a developmental study. Such design will require you to develop a considerable period of time in studying psychological, intellectual, and emotional growth of children. Some examples of developmental studies are those which deal with the physical plant, curriculum, and teaching methods and their effects on the characteristics of learners. Developmental studies may investigate progression along a number of dimensions such as intellectual, physical, emotional, or social development. The participants under study may be a relatively heterogenous or composed of different group or a narrowly defined homogeneous or composed of same group.
TWO METHODS OF DEVELOPMENTAL STUDIES:
1. The Longitudinal Method. In this method, you study the same sample of participants over an extended period of time. For example, If you study the development of mathematical concepts among elementary pupils, the mathematical skills of first graders will be measured annually until they reach grade six. Hence, your assessment will focus on how these skills develop over that period of six years. The initial achievement of the same group remains constant and whatever differences you find between two grade levels can be inferred as changes in mathematical skills related to the growth of the participants.
SEVERAL DIFFICULTIES IN USING LONGITUDINAL METHOD:
a) Since your study extends over a long period of time, it will require you more money, more time and more effort. b) It may be very difficult for you to keep up with the participants; and their cooperation with you may be difficult for you to maintain for an extended period of time. c) Another difficulty you meet in this method concerns the nature of the subjects you take as samples. Suppose you are not able to draw good samples and now you have been studying them for a number of years, what will you do? Or suppose you have chosen the wrong variables for investigation inadvertently or negligently, can you introduce new variables now? This method is seldom used because of the foregoing difficulties but the Child and Youth Research Center (CYRC) (1963) conducted a longitudinal study among selected 170 Filipino infants in their first year of life in Metro Manila. This longitudinal study aimed to obtain sequential developmental patterns on all aspects of development of the Filipino child: physical, mental, motor, adaptive, language, emotional, social and aesthetic-creative. Specifically, this study tried to: (1) establish patterns of growth in terms of the different body parts of children according to age and sex, specifically those of height and weight in relation to socio-economic status (SES); (2) determine illness patterns based on age (months), system involved, SES; and influence of illness on height and weight; (3) determine the nutritional status of the subjects by age level according to dietary rating and type of feeding, and the influence of these on height, weight and...