Unstructured interviews on stress
The following is a sample Paper 3 that looks at unstructured interviews. Below you will first find the stimulus piece, followed by the static questions. A copy of the mock paper is included to give students as an in-class assessment.
Potential answers are included in the hidden boxes below.
Bond & Peterson (2001) conducted research into the link between stress and unhealthy behaviour. The researchers conducted a number of unstructured interviews as a pilot study with both men and women aged between 30 and 50 in a small town in the Mid-West of the USA. The major textile industry of the area had closed three years earlier resulting in substantial unemployment for women.
The interviewers chose a purposive sample (N=30) with 15 males and 15 females who had lost their jobs. In order to be in the study, the participant had to have worked at the company for at least ten years and have at least one child living at home. The interviews were conducted over a period of four weeks by five interviewers that had been trained in advance. The participants were asked to elaborate on coping strategies following the news that they had lost their jobs.
The interviews were audiotape recorded.
The interview transcripts were then subjected to inductive content analysis to find ways of coping. The researchers found that some of the participants indicated positive feelings about having more time with their families and that the amount of daily stress had diminished.
Some participants reported stress and problems with identity as a consequence of losing their jobs and some of them coped with stress through unhealthy behaviours such as consumption of high-calorie food, alcohol, and other drugs. Some of the women experiencing stress were more likely to report symptoms related to hypertension, anxiety, depression and they were also more likely to report weight gains. Women especially reported feeling the effects of stress on their physical health more than men. Women also reported that they found good support talking to other women about the situation whereas men did not report talking about their problems to others. Men were more likely to engage in physical activities such as playing football or hunting with their friends. They also reported that they had an increase in alcohol intake following the loss of work.
1a. Identify the method used and outline two characteristics of the method.
1b. Describe the sampling method used in the study.
1c. Suggest an alternative research method giving one reason for your choice.
2. Describe the ethical considerations that were applied in the study and explain if further ethical considerations could be applied.
3. To what extent could the results of this study be generalized?