Critique Of Research Report

Words: 2875
Pages: 12

Critique of Research Report: Howlett, N., Kirk, E., and Pine, K. (2011). Does ‘Wanting the Best’ create more stress? The link between baby sign classes and maternal anxiety. Infant and Child Development.

This assignment will critically review Howlett, Kirk and Pine’s (2011) study, which aims to investigate whether attendance of gesturing classes affects parental stress. Howlett et al., (2011) attempt to examine claims, advertised by commercial products, that believe attending gesturing classes can improve child-parent communications, thus reducing parental stress. Participants gave demographic information and completed a Parenting Stress Index (PSI) questionnaire. ANCOVA was used to look at whether attending gesturing classes
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Furthermore, there are limited findings provided relating to the negative aspects of gesturing. Considering the paper is directed towards whether these classes affect parental stress, more research should be discussed in relation to the disapproval of gesturing classes, to support findings in the article.
In addition, the article has included different research examples to support their view that parental stress can inhibit parent-child relationships, however there is no development in argument of how or why these stresses occur. To rectify, in ensuring clarity, more detail should be provided whereby these examples should be put in context with direct reference to the research question.
Moreover, unjustified claims have been used in an attempt to sustain argument; for example, Howlett et al., (2011) highlight ‘‘advertising claims that baby sign will reduce parental frustration and stress have little empirical foundation’. As this statement is not explained, it may seem misleading and as an ineffective use of argument. There is also no valid reference provided. In improving the structure and validity of their argument, authors should use evidence from influential papers to provide further detail in supporting their claims.
The direction of study also appears ambiguous as authors switch between terms when stating the aim of the research. It is unclear whether authors are focusing on gesturing affecting stress or gesturing reducing stress.