A Critical Evaluation of the Article: Nonresident Fathers and Children’s Well – Being: A Meta – Analysis

A Critical Evaluation of the Article: Nonresident Fathers and Children’s Well – Being: A Meta – Analysis

For some reason, children who come from broken homes or single parent families are often pitied or worse, stereotyped to be rule-breakers - A Critical Evaluation of the Article: Nonresident Fathers and Children’s Well – Being: A Meta – Analysis introduction. Although this misconception may have a grain of truth to it, it is still unfair for children from single parent families to be thought of this way. However, one cannot attest the importance of having a family that children can always come home to. In the same light, the importance of a father’s permanence in the family also plays a role in the child’s well-being. This is exactly what the authors, Paul Amato and Joan Gilbreth, tried to establish in the study aptly entitled, Nonresident Father and Chidlren’s Well-Being: A Meta-Analysis. Using meta-analysis, non-resident fathers and its effects of their children was studied. Non-resident factors may have a number of effects to their children, however, the study decided to focus only on children’s well-being based on the fathers’ financial support, frequency of contact between fathers and children, feelings of closeness, and authoritative parenting. The last two factors were found to be positively associated with the children’s performance in school, but are negatively associated with the children’s ability to externalize or internalize problems. The introduction included all the vital elements which readers would like to know about the study, delivered in an appropriate and highly understandable manner. Even readers with no background on research or psychology would immediately understand the study’s purpose and also its implications. The well-chosen words gave a clear notion of the problems, the study’s purpose and also its significance. The introduction clearly stated what the study focused on, specifically how non-resident fathers affect their children. A generalized outcome was also included in the study, including the method which the authors utilized through the course of their study.

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The hypothesis is also clearly stated. The study intended to find out what, aside from monetary assistance, are the contributions non-resident father have on their children. From the main hypothesis, the authors decided to branch out to see specifically how payment of child support, frequency or contact, feelings of closeness, and authoritative parenting affect the children’s well-being in general. All these factors have been well considered as evidenced by the different citations seen in the literature review. Indeed, it can be said that the authors have carefully thought of these variables in order to make a significant contribution about non-resident fathers and their effects to their children.

The literature review is arranged systematically and comprehensively. Each variable is well supported by the assumptions and findings of different researchers and their researches made prior to the study. The literature review then provides a firm foundation on which the authors’ hypotheses and assumptions are founded. One can also see that the authors used sources which are quite current. Reading the literature review would give readers a clear picture of the problem, including the studies made which affect the results of the study. It also clarifies certain points which may have perhaps urged the authors to pursue the said topic.

From the title itself, one can clearly see what type of approach the researches used in the study. Meta-Analysis was used to clearly understand the results of existing researches and survey results obtained through computerized data bases. In order to make the study more reliable, the authors decided to use three computerized data bases, Sociofile, Psychlit, and the Family Studies database. They also decided on using only scholarly published researches to support their assumptions. They also established stringent criteria as to what researches and dissertations to be used. After they have carefully chosen which studies to include, the researches then conducted different significance tests to compare the effect sizes of the studies; they also conducted major analyses twice. Both tedious procedures yielded insignificant differences between the classified groups. Based on the outcome of the tests the researches conducted, one can say then that the data they used is reliable and sufficient.

Just as in any research or study, one cannot help but wonder how reliable or how valid the study itself is. In the case if the said study, the question posted may even be heightened due to the procedure that the researches used. However, the earlier discussion can then account for the reliability and validity of the study. The authors took properly took on extra precautions to make sure that the reliability and validity of their study would remain intact. They deliberately included only published researches and dissertations and employed stringent criteria in choosing what particular studies to include. The authors also conducted different tests to test the significant differences between the researches they have chosen.

The methods used, including the tools the researches used provide readers and those who would like to either replicate or further study the topic sufficient information. The pieces of information included in the article would then give would-be researches a chance to replicate the said study. The procedures stated in the article are comprehensive and the operational definitions of the variables included in the study are all well stated. This makes the study quite easy to follow and to understand. A discussion on the different instruments used also provide readers with a clear picture of the study – how the researches went about the entire process and how they dealt with the information they obtained. This also gave the researches the implications of their study.

The product-moment correlation was used to measure the effect size in the different studies the researches used for their study. The product-moment correlation is an effective tool in analyzing the differences between studies and was appropriate for the study. Effect sizes were also established then transformed, as recommended by previous studies. This is another appropriate method of eliciting more reliable and more credible results. Although there may be other statistical tests available that can measure the differences between effects, the tools the researches used obtained satisfactory results and are appropriate for the study.

The findings obtained from the study are again thoroughly discussed and well explained. The research findings are well supported by the literature review. All these then, which may sound highly technical and even rather academic, are thoroughly discussed to show its implications and practical significance. Indeed, non-residential fathers affect their children in a number of ways, the study, using the different materials subjected to stringent statistical measures, came out with a number of results that may help families and different government and non-government agencies to come up with practical and realistic ways of optimizing the benefits of non-residential fathering. Increased awareness programs may be established to make sure that the results of the study can be put into effective and practical use. The study was able to address a number of factors missing from previous studies related to the topic. The conclusions highly support the literature which come from previous studies and work as one in maximizing the potential and the benefits children may get from non-residential fathers. Actual or potential bias has been recognized from the beginning of the study, especially when one considers the type of method the researchers used, this, however, was properly addressed by the researches right from the start to be able to yield practical and realistic results that can help non-residential fathers and their children alike. All in all, one can say that the authors carefully and painstakingly thought about the topic, and tried their best to make sure that the results are reliable and credible. Most importantly, the implications of the study have been clearly made known to its readers.


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