Agency XYZ offers a 12–week parenting education program that aims to improve childrearing competence and nurturing empathy among parents who report difficulty in caring for their young children (re: 2–5 years old). Classes are convened once a week on Wednesday evenings from 7:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m. Enrollment is capped at 15 parents per each 12–week session. Once parents complete and return the Informed Consent, they are enrolled in the program on a “first–come, first–served” basis. Prior to the start of the first class, parents are pre–tested on their levels of childrearing competence and nurturing empathy. Upon conclusion of the 12th class, parents are post–tested on their levels of childrearing competence and nurturing empathy. You have been asked to evaluate the (potential) progress parents have made in their levels of childrearing competence or nurturing empathy from pre– to post–test. The following Research question would guide the project: How does a parenting education program influence the parents’ level of childrearing competence? The IV is the parenting education program and the DV is the parents level of childrearing competence.

1. Based on the research question, state a testable hypothesis. Identify an instrument you could use to operationalize/measure the DV. Provide a reference to an article in which this instrument was used. Explain/provide a rationale for your choice of instrument.

2. Consider the research design that is implied in the scenario and answer the following: (a) identify two strengths and two weakness pertaining to the internal and external validity of the study; (b) discuss how the strengths support and weaknesses hinder the causal influence that the parenting education program improves parents’ levels of childrearing competence and nurturing empathy; and (c) address how the generalizability (for external validity) and causal influence (for internal validity) could be improved in regards to future applications of this program.

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