Research Synthesis Paper

The purpose of this assignment is tosummarize and synthesize findings from three peer-reviewed research articles and demonstrate your ability to apply course material to a real-world issue.

The Hypothetical Scenario

Metropolis Unified School District (MUSD) consists of 10 elementary schools, 2 middle schools, and 5 high schools. The district serves an ethnically diverse student population that is roughly 45% Hispanic/Latino, 20% White, 20% African American, 13% Asian/Pacific Islander, and 2% other. The superintendent of MUSD, Dr. Lane, is greatly concerned about the region’s teen pregnancy rates. Metropolis County’s teen pregnancy rate is higher than nationwide rates with roughly 33 pregnancies per 1,000 women aged 15-19.  Dr. Lane is seeking an intervention strategy to help with this problem.

She is considering investing $75,000 into a teen pregnancy prevention program that EITHER uses realistic infant simulators designed to give students a hands-on experience as a teen parent, OR forces all students to watch the entire first season of MTV’s 16 and Pregnant. However, in this time of deep cuts to school budgets and constraints on students’ time, she does not want to invest significant money or energy into an intervention strategy unless there is research-based evidence showing it is actually effective.

Your Task

Your task is to evaluate the research on its effectiveness, and write a letter to the MUSD superintendent, arguing whether or not spending money on this strategy would be a good or bad investment.  More specifically, you will summarize and synthesize the findings from three scholarly articles:

MTV’s 16 and Pregnant Articles

Aubrey, J. S., Behm-Morawitz, E., & Kim, K. (2014). Understanding the effects of MTV’s 16 and Pregnant on adolescent girls’ beliefs, attitudes, and behavioral intentions toward pregnancy. Journal of Health Communication, 19, 1145-1160.

Kearney, M. S., & Levine, P. B. (2015). Media influences on social outcomes: The impact of MTV’s 16 and Pregnant on teen childbearing. American Economic Review, 105, 3597-3632.

Wright, P. J., Randall, A. K., & Arroyo, A. (2013). Father-daughter communication about sex moderates the association between exposure to MTV’s 16 and Pregnant/Teen Mom and female students’ pregnancy-risk behavior. Sexuality and Culture, 17, 50-66.

  • Begin your letter with an address and a greeting.
  • Then, in one or two paragraphs, write an introduction that provides a description of the intervention strategy and an explanation of why this strategy is good in theory. End your introduction with a clear thesis statement, stating whether the infant simulator/Sixteen and Pregnant strategy is a good or bad investment for MUSD.
    • Note: A thesis statement alerts the reader to the structure and content of your paper. Your thesis should be more substantive than simply stating, “BTIO is a good/bad investment.” Rather, the statement should hint at the major points you will raise in your paper and indicate whyastrategy is a good/bad investment.
  • In the next three to four paragraphs, make three or four very strong points to support your thesis. Present the points in the same order as you hinted at these ideas in your thesis. Begin each paragraph with a topic sentence, followed by relevant evidence, support, and examples.
    • In this section, you will summarize and synthesize research presented in the three assigned articles to back each point up.
    • In this section, I expect to see (1) a clear and accurate summary of the research, written in your own words; (2) critical details of the studies themselves (e.g., sample characteristics, study design, specific findings); (3) links drawn across the different research studies (e.g., compare and contrast); and (4) comments on the quality of the research when relevant (e.g., strengths and limitations).
    • Use the article analysis worksheets you’ve already completed to build a case for your thesis. Be sure to address the feedback I’ve provided on those worksheets and to cite your sources in APA style.
  • In the final one or two paragraphs of your letter, explain how you would improve the proposed infant simulator or Sixteen and Pregnant strategy to make it as effective as possible for the MUSD. Give at least three concrete and logical suggestions that are supported by class material covered in CAS 325B this semester.
  • End your letter with your name, signature, and contact information (e.g., email), and include an APA style reference page.
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