Free «A Research Proposal on Depression» Essay Sample

Part One

A Research Proposal on Depression

Research Question

The proposed paper will conduct a study on depression in individuals, families, and society.  This research study will revolve around three research questions. These are:

  1. What are the risk factors for depression?
  2. What are the impacts of depression on individuals and families?
  3. How can depression be prevented and its impacts controlled?

Background Information and Overview

Depression is a mental health condition affecting a vast population at some point in life. Males and females of all ages and any background are vulnerable to depression. Depression is associated with numerous burdens, which can be attested to the vast suicide numbers and sufferings endured by people (Stern, Fava, Wilens, & Rosenbaum, 2015). In the United States, it is estimated that about 17.5 million Americans suffer from some form of depression at any given time. Of this number, 9.2 million Americans are thought to have clinical depression. Clinical estimates also show that only a third of people with depression seek the necessary treatment while two-thirds do not seek any medical intervention. Additionally, burdens of depression are evident through vast economic costs. It is estimated that close to $30.4 million is used in depression-related interventions (The Washington University in St. Louis, 2006). Depression has been noted as among the leading causes of suicide in the United States. Moreover, the World Health Organization projects that depression will be the second-leading cause of “lost years of healthy life” worldwide after obesity by 2030 (The Washington University in St. Louis, 2006). These statistics show that depression is undoubtedly a toxic social concern prompting serious interventions on recognition, treatment, and prevention. Continuous intensive research is also necessary for providing a solution to the wide-ranging knowledge gap on depression. The proposed paper is relevant because it will come up with useful findings to educate individuals and the society on what treatment and prevention of depression entail.

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Goals Statement

The purpose of the proposed study is multifold. Firstly, the research will revolve around analyzing the factors that lead to the phenomenon of depression in diverse groups of people such as women, men, and children. Secondly, the research will provide factual information on the impacts of depression on individuals and families. These would support the fact that depression is a toxic social issue deserving exceptional attention and prioritization. Finally, the proposed paper will suggest various suitable interventions that can be used in controlling the impacts of depression while preventing depressive behaviors.


Research Design

The proposed study will use the descriptive and explorative research designs of cross-sectional type.

Population and Sampling Size

An initial population sample of 250 will be recruited. Investigators will then quantify the depressive symptoms and behaviors of participants using the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D). For this population, all participants that meet the minimum criteria for CES-D will be grouped into a new representative sample, which will comprise 100 participants. Among these people,  60% will be women, 25% will be men while 15% will be children.

Recruiting Procedure

In conducting this research, the participation by all subjects will be voluntary. The subject population will comprise a total number of men, women, and children.  The inclusion criteria include:

  • An age gap of between 9 and 45 years
  • A signed and informed consent by a parent for all participants aged below 18 years
  • Willingness to participate without coercion or in expectation of rewards.

Definition and Measurement of Key Variables

The proposed research will use dependent and independent variables in establishing the relationship between depression and the elements thought to be significant risk factors. The research study will take depression measured by the CES-D as the dependent variable influenced by various independent variables. The independent variables to consider include gender, income level, educational level, marital status, age, certain personality traits, family history and dynamics, and traumatic life events among others. The variables will be measured through the nominal and ordinal scales.

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Data Collection Procedures

Data for this research will be collected through three different methods. First, self-rating questionnaires will be used as the first method. All the approved participants will be given questionnaires through which they will fill in information about their experiences with depression. The participants will be given a grace period of one week to fill duly and submit the questionnaires. Second, face-to-face interviews will be effective at collecting the kind of information needed. Researchers will organize interviewers to interact with participants in discussing the personal experiences they have had in their life, and how they were able to manage them. Finally, during observations, a group of clinical officers will be deployed to study the participating population on depressive behaviors.

Data Analysis and Management

Upon receipt of the information from observation, interviews, and questionnaires, it will be coded and examined for completeness. The data will then be fed into SPSS and analyzed. Data analysis will also be conducted using T-tests and ANOVA. The achieved results will be presented in graphs, tables, and charts.

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Publishing Findings

After the research is completed and results are analyzed, the findings will be published so that they are accessible to those intending to use them. The findings of the proposed research paper will be disseminated and published through various outlets such as research reports, academic and refereed journals, working documents, as well as professional journals. They will also be published on social networking websites, printed if needed and shared through mass media.

The Timeline for the Study

The research study will be conducted within a period of three months between December 2015 and March 2016.

The Proposed Budget for the Study

It is estimated that the study will incur an estimated budget of $130,000, and this is the amount required to undertake the study as described above.

Information about the Researchers

The research team will comprise members from different professions. These will be psychologists, nurses, field experts, and medical practitioners. The group will comprise 15 researchers in total.

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