Variables in a Research Study and Data Collection

Table of Contents


The method used in research determines the credibility of the results obtained and if the study can be used in other studies. Any research involves alteration of variables to elicit a significant result. The following research paper analyzes the variables and methods used in one study. The research paper selected is “Health Empowerment among immigrant women in transnational marriages in Taiwan” by Yung-Mei et al. (2014). In this study, the researchers evaluated theory-based interventions that are useful in the promotion of health empowerment among married migrant women in Taiwan (Yung-Mei et al. (2014).


The variables in this research include the theory-based interventions that constituted the independent variable. The dependent variables in the research include self-worth, psychological resilience, social networks, and health literacy (Yung-Mei et al. (2014). According to Miles and Huberman, (2013), the dependent variable changes in response to the alterations made to the independent variables. Yung-Mei et al. (2014) evaluated the effect that theory-based interventions had on the independent variables mentioned. They concluded that participatory action research was useful in increasing the social health, health literacy, psychological health, and well-being of these women (Yung-Mei et al., 2014).

The methodology utilized in the study is action research and interviewing. The justification for the participatory action research (PAR) used in this research is that the method has a critical theory basis and is useful in transforming individuals and societies (Reason & Bradbury, 2008). The researchers also selected the bottom-up approach in the PAR methodology. This methodology is appropriate and effective, especially in the research on empowerment of individuals that are oppressed or marginalized such as the population of women in the research (Minkler & Wallerstein, 2010).

Tapp and Dulin (2010) state that this methodology bridges the gap between knowledge and daily activities. According to most studies, the PAR methodology is dependent on the participants who solve their problems in a guided manner. In this research, the PAR was further divided into planning, acting, and reviewing cycles. In the first cycle, the health concerns of the women were established from literature and identified for assessment (Yang & Wang, 2014). Of the 87 respondents invited into the research, 68 completed the workshops that were developed.

Aside from the use of the PAR methodology for empowerment, the researchers also utilized interviews. The interviews took place over a month with the respondents answering questions about the interventions. The main methods utilized were individual in-depth interviews and participatory observation. Using these qualitative methods, the researchers collected data relevant to the final study (Miles & Huberman, 2013). In addition, a member of the research took notes in the participatory study in each of the eight workshops. Some of the components of this data collection included observations, setting arrangements, and group dynamics (Kreps & Sparks, 2008). Another individual in the research conducted the interviews with an appropriate interview guide. These interviews were recorded for the entire 60-90 minutes that the interviews took place. The following is a list of the tasks in data collection.

  • Identification of specific health concerns
  • Development of intervention
  • Recruitment of participants
  • Development of curriculum
  • Data generation


In conclusion, the participatory studies and interviews utilized in the research were relevant to the study. These methods enabled the researchers to make adequate conclusions that would be generalized in any society. In addition, the methods were easy to use and utilize in obtaining the desired results. The results of the data collection were useful in guiding the eventual conclusion and recommendations. In addition, the researchers utilized the data to obtain relevant results for their future studies.


Kreps, G. L., & Sparks, L. (2008). Meeting the health literacy needs of immigrant populations. Patient Education and Counseling, 71(3), 328–332.

Miles, M. B., & Huberman, A. M. (2013). Qualitative data analysis: A methods sourcebook (2nd Ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Minkler, M., & Wallerstein, N. (2010). Community-based participatory research for health: From process to outcomes. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons.

Reason, P., & Bradbury, H. (Eds.). (2008). The handbook of action research: Participative inquiry and practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Tapp, H., & Dulin, M. (2010). The science of primary health-care improvement: Potential and use of community-based participatory research by practice-based research networks for translation of research into practice. Experimental Biology and Medicine, 235(3), 290–299.

Yung-Mei, Y., Hsiu-Hung, W., Fang-Hsin, L., Miao-Ling, L., & Pei-Chao, L. (2015). Health empowerment among immigrant women in transnational marriages in Taiwan. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 47(1), 135-142.

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