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PSY224 Research Scientific Investigation

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PSY224 Research Scientific Investigation

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Course Code: PSY 224
University: Southern New Hampshire University

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Country: United States


The hypothesis should be logical and appropriate to the topic you want to research.
Genetic testing on individuals with schizophrenia and cognitive disabilities enables genetic psychologists to accurately predict whether a child is going to have similar disabilities. 
Explain where your hypothesis fits in the context of the literature review

Discuss specific examples from relevant literature that support your hypothesis.

Explain the research design and method you selected, and justify why they are appropriate for your research.

Discuss the research participants that will be involved in your study, including how they will be selected and how many will be used.


Genetic testing or DNA testing refers to the procedure that encompasses the determination of genetic diagnosis and bloodline, in relation to inherited disease vulnerabilities. Schizophrenia is a complex disease that frequently appears in late life. Although researchers have not outlined the genetic reasons, greater than 80% schizophrenia onset are regarded to have a genetic cause (Ripke et al., 2014). The estimates usually vary due to the problems that are faced in separating the environmental and genetic influences. Research evidences have further shown that presence of a first-degree relative with the condition is a major risk factor, besides monozygotic twins. This assignment will focus on suggesting a proposal for schizophrenia genetic testing.
Summary of articles-
The inherited architecture of schizophrenia is compound and varied. Furthermore, it involves a range of rare and common allelic variants. Childhood onset schizophrenia (COS) is defined as rare AOS variant with superior familial aggregation of the disorder (Asarnow & Forsyth, 2013). This establishes the need of utilizing genetic testing for diagnosis of the condition. The article also elaborated on the prenatal complications that are found among mothers diagnosed with schizophrenia, besides an upsurge in the risks of bearing children having the same mental disorder. Another study that aimed to determine the extent of correlation between cognition and schizophrenia suggested that community functioning and cognition were positively correlated among schizophrenia patients and the genetic effects that they shared. Thus, identification of genetic variants was considered useful for recognizing individual differences (Kuo et al., 2018).
Research hypothesis-
Genetic testing on persons with schizophrenia and cognitive incapacities allow genetic psychologists to precisely predict whether a kid is going to have comparable disabilities. The hypothesis has been derived following a thorough study of literature that established the need to conduct further genetic testing, with the aim of assessing the truthfulness behind its accuracy, as stated by doctors. There is mounting evidence for the fact that schizophrenia is an extremely heritable disorder. The literature review conducted in the preceding module helped in gaining an understanding on the correlation between cognition and schizophrenia. The hypothesis was formulated following the identification of the need for conducting an appropriate genetic testing in order to assess the accuracy of the truthfulness of the procedure, as claimed by doctors.
The research will be based on a quantitative archival design. Quantitative research basically comprises of design of a project which practices quantitative research methods. The primary feature of this research design is that quantitative research designs aim at determining how many people act, think, or feel in a precise way. Quantitative projects comprise of great sample sizes, focused on the amount of responses, as opposite to attainment of an emotional insight that is the purpose of qualitative researches (Creswell & Creswell, 2017). Hence, the proposal is grounded on quantitative design owing to the fact that it will allow for a broader study and will create provisions for greater accuracy and objectivity of the results. The research will also be able to summarize the data collected from genetic testing that will help in supporting the generalized hypothesis about the phenomenon (schizophrenia) that is currently being investigated.
Data collection-

Sampling frame- This refers to the device or the source material from which sample for a research will be drawn. The research proposal intends to enlist an estimated 1200 mothers who have children with schizophrenia or cognitive deficits. They will also be selected based on the presence of close relatives from North America. When it comes to quantitative studies, the sampling frame forms a major consideration in quantitative research. Recruitment of 1200 mothers will allow better determination of the average data values for the genetic testing and will also avoid presence of any errors during the testing (Button et al., 2013).
Instrument- Medical records and neuroimaging will be used for determining the relation between genetic factors and other variables such as, onset of child, family history, complication associated with pregnancy, and mental health status. Genetic testing will facilitate the changes that are present in the chromosome and/or genes related to schizophrenia. Neuroimaging techniques will also be used since they comprise of techniques that produce an image of the function, structure, and pharmacology of the nervous system in a direct or indirect manner. Determination of the occurrence and genetic relevance of schizophrenia will require close relatives of the recruited mothers. Women aged beyond 50 years will not be enlisted due to their increased susceptibility to disorder risks. There will be no racial or sexual preferences. All participant information shall be kept confidential and they will be provided with the opportunity to withdraw from the study at any point of time (Ross et al., 2013).
Protection of participants- Only the researchers will have access to the data obtained following conduction of genetic testing among the participants. The data will be safeguarded in a secure folder in a computer that will not be accessible to unauthorized people. While there will be no major adverse effects on the patients, they might feel stressed and anxious. They will also be kept anonymous, with the aim of maintaining patient confidentiality.

The quantitative data that establish an alliance of schizophrenia related genes and presence of neurological indicators that are diagnostic of the disease will help in establishing the hypothesis that genetic testing will predict children with disabilities. Owing to the fact that the evidences presented in the previous sections have clearly confirmed presence of a link between cognition and schizophrenia, conducting a genetic test of the mothers to children with cognitive disability and/or schizophrenia will help in confirming the same.
Research finding-
The expected results of the study are that mothers with schizophrenia affected children having cognitive deficits might show chromosomal abnormalities, when compared to the general population. This will help in establishing relation between genetic testing and concordance rates for schizophrenia. Dissemination of research findings to target audience will be conducted via the use of podcasts, blogs, posters, conferences, and booklets.
Further research-
This must aim at assessing the underlying factors that govern first onset of schizophrenia before adolescence. Knowing the individual genotypes might also act as a potential treatment modality in future. Future research also needs to assess the efficacy and safety of cognitive remediation for treating different symptoms of schizophrenia among children. It is utmost essential to improve cognitive remediation practices that can be implemented in community settings for enhancement of health and wellbeing of the target population. 
Asarnow, R., & Forsyth, J. (2013). Genetics of Childhood-onset Schizophrenia. (4), doi:10.1016/j.chc.2013.06.004.
Button, K. S., Ioannidis, J. P., Mokrysz, C., Nosek, B. A., Flint, J., Robinson, E. S., & Munafò, M. R. (2013). Power failure: why small sample size undermines the reliability of neuroscience. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 14(5), 365. https://doi.org/10.1038/nrn3475
Creswell, J. W., & Creswell, J. D. (2017). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. Sage publications. Retrieved from https://www.ceil-conicet.gov.ar/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Creswell-Cap-10.pdf
Kuo, S. S., Almasy, L., Gur, R. C., Prasad, K., Roalf, D. R., Gur, R. E., & … Pogue-Geile, M. F. (2018). Cognition and community functioning in schizophrenia: The nature of the relationship. Journal Of Abnormal Psychology, 127(2), 216-227. doi:10.1037/abn0000326
Ripke, S., Neale, B. M., Corvin, A., Walters, J. T., Farh, K. H., Holmans, P. A., … & Pers, T. H. (2014). Biological insights from 108 schizophrenia-associated genetic loci. Nature, 511(7510), 421. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature13595
Ross, L. F., Saal, H. M., David, K. L., & Anderson, R. R. (2013). Technical report: ethical and policy issues in genetic testing and screening of children. Genetics in Medicine, 15(3), 234. https://doi.org/10.1038/gim.2012.176

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