Correlational Design: Measuring Impact of Variables on Each Other - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1707 Words
Date:  2023-03-24


Correlational design is a type of non casual (non-experimental) research, which involves the determination of possible relationship between two or more variables. The design is ideal of for measuring phenomena that would be otherwise unethical or impractical to experiment in social sciences unlike in the experimental designs, correlational design only seeks to identify the relationship of variables have on each other as opposed to determining the cause of a phenomena. Additionally, this type of design is more common in education as it creates a foundation for further studies to improve the efficiency of educational systems. In this case, researchers utilize their understanding to assess the statistical correlation between two closely related variables, such as academic performance and study hours to identify how a change in one affects the other without the influence of extraneous factors (Day et al., 2016). Variables such as emotional intelligence, psychological empowerment, cultural bias, spirituality, and resilience can be best explored through correlational design since experimentation may be unethical, invalidating a research's results.

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According to Blom-Hansen, Morton, & Serritzlew, (2015), the three types of correlational design include positive, negative, and null correlation. Positive correlation between variables is possible when decrease or an increase in one variable corresponds to a similar effect on the other. A negative correlation is one in which an increase in one variable corresponds to a decrease in the other and vice versa. Notably no correlation means that two or more variables are not statistically correlated in such a way that an increase in one might not necessarily have an effect on the other.

Correlational research is ideal for this study since it seeks to identify the relationship between school administrators and teachers support toward LGBTQ youth in their schools. In this case, design will allow researchers to identify what variables have an effect on the level of support directed towards LGBTQ students in most high schools across the nation. Firstly, the study will evaluate the relationship between cultural bias and level of LGBTQ support systems in selected schools across the country. Secondly, the design will assist in the identification of the relationship between improved cultural awareness and support for LGBTQ persons. Noticeably, the design is crucial for this inquiry since it minimizes unethical tendencies, which may arise if a casual design is employed to investigate the phenomena.

Applied or Basic Research

Noticeably, this quantitative research design represents a basic research. According to Marx & Kettrey (2016), basic research aims at improving existing scientific knowledge and inform future theories. It seeks to identify the behavior of specific variables and does not intend to provide any solutions for the problems. Marx & Kettrey (2016) adds that, while basic research does not seek to treat a phenomenon, it provides a foundation for future applied studies on real-world events. In this case, this research only aims at identifying the relationship between cultural bias and educator's support for LGBTQ youth to fill the gaps in existing literature concerning the issue. However, in the future, other researchers may utilize its research findings to explore methods to solve the existing problem such as increasing teachers support for LGBTQ students in high schools and colleges.

Population of Study

The population of study consists of high school administrators and teachers in the United States. Notably, high school administrators are responsible for the day to day running of educational facilities in the country. Therefore, there involved in formulation of school policies, which affect the culture and conduct of all stakeholders including donors and sponsors. As a result, they form a vital element in determining the plight of LGBTQ youth in various high schools countrywide. Notably, before the US supreme Court legalized same sex marriages in 2010, the issue of homosexuality remained suppressed in the education system. Many states opted to not engage in such discourses due to their conservative values. However, as change is inevitable, educators can no longer ignore gender and sexual diversity in their institutions.

Moreover, some high school principals and teachers may hold diverse opinions towards the issue of sexual diversity based on their geographic locations, religious, or moral beliefs. Asa result, there are schools that have developed support systems for LGBTQ students such as GSAs, while others do not have or opt to ignore the needs, subject to their cultural awareness and diversity levels (Marx & Kettrey, 2016). The opinions affect their influence on policy making and key decision-making processes in schools. Therefore, identifying how the relationship between their level of cultural awareness and support for LGBTQ youth may provide adequate knowledge for further research on how to solve the problem in the near future.

Sample of Study

A convenient sample of 200 participants will take part in the study. The participants will be recruited from various public and private high schools in the country. Researchers will issue email notifications to high school administrators in different states via emails. The participants are expected to open the internal links attached to their emails and sign consent forms if they wish to participate in the study. The first 200 participants to confirm their participation will be chosen as the sample of study to represent the entire population.

The participants will be divided into two categories, which include those from institutions with established support for LGBTQ support (group A) and those without (group B). Group A represents schools with developed LGBTQ support structures, which will provide the data on the correlation between improved support systems and cultural awareness. On the other hand, Group B will consist of educators form high schools with undeveloped or without LGBTQ support systems. The group will provide data on the correlation between cultural awareness and reduced support for LGBTQ youths.

Data Collection

A Modern Homonegativity Scale will be utilized to evaluate the participant's attitudes and opinions towards gay men and women in their environment (Gavlas, 2018). The measuring instrument consists of 5- point Likert scale that measures modern prejudice towards gay and lesbian persons as opposed to traditional factors such as moral and religious beliefs. The twelve-item tool assesses homonegativism subject to the beliefs that gay and lesbian persons exaggerate their plight in the society, which make it difficult for them to integrate with other persons (Gavlas, 2018).

The tool will be issued to the participants via email, and its intentions communicated amicably. The instrument will be administered online or via face to face. The participants are required to answer all items in the questionnaire by ticking against their favorite answers. Noticeably, collection of participants demographics will be avoided to minimize bias.

Validity and Reliability

Validity is the measure of how accurate an experiment's results are to allow generalizability (Velickovic, 2015). Researchers will not collect any demographic information that may lead to bias during the analysis of the results. Additionally, other extraneous variables will be controlled to ensure that other factors do not affect the results, rendering them inaccurate (Velickovic, 2015). Additionally, participants will be randomly assigned to the two cohorts to improve validity of the results. Improved computer data software such as ANOVA and SPSS will be utilized to minimize analysis errors. Reliability refers to the ability of a study to produce the same results in multiple tests (Blom-Hansen et al., 2015). Data reliability in this study will be improved by using a parallel measurement tool to collect data concerning educator's opinion and attitude towards LGBTQ youth.

Ethical Treatment

Unethical practices can render a research invalid; therefore, researchers are obligated to ensure that they maintain high ethical standards (Blom-Hansen et al., 2015). The research will observe ethical standards through various methods. Firstly, researchers will obtain a consent to carry out he research from relevant authorities from the department of education. Additionally, they will disclose to the participants the full essence of the study and how the collected data will be handled. They will also assure confidentiality of the data collected by not collecting demographic information they can trace back to a specific correspondent in the research. Moreover, the research will be carried out on convenient times to avoid disrupting the school timetables.

Moreover, the research may raise ethical questions in states such as Iowa where the issue of homosexuality remains suppressed the local government. However, the study will maneuver challenges by giving the participants an option to quit the process if they feel that it contradicts their beliefs to a large extent.

Limitations of the Study

The sample of the study is minimal due to lack of enough funding to traverse the country and recruit more participants. Additionally, the study will not address the causes of gender bias and lack of LGBTQ support systems in high schools.


Gavlas, J. T., (2018). Psychometric properties of the modern homonegativity scale in the Southern United States. Walden University

Blom-Hansen, J., Morton, R., & Serritzlew, S. (2015). Experiments in public management research. International Public Management Journal, 18(2), 151-170.

Velickovic, V. M. (2015). What everyone should know about statistical correlation. Am Sci, 103, 26-29. Retrieved from

Marx, R. A., & Kettrey, H. H. (2016). Gay-straight alliances are associated with lower levels of school-based victimization of LGBTQ+ youth: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 45(7), 1269-1282. doi: 10.1007/s10964-016-0501-7

Day, J. K., Snapp, S. D., & Russell, S. T. (2016). Supportive, not punitive, practices reduce homophobic bullying and improve school connectedness. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 3(4), 416.

Kull, R. M., Greytak, E. A., Kosciw, J. G., & Villenas, C. (2016). Effectiveness of school district antibullying policies in improving LGBT youths' school climate. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 3(4), 407.

Heck, N. C., Poteat, V. P., & Goodenow, C. S. (2016). Advances in research with LGBTQ youth in schools. Psychology of sexual orientation and gender diversity, 3(4), 381.

Birkett, M., Newcomb, M. E., & Mustanski, B. (2015). Does it get better? A longitudinal analysis of psychological distress and victimization in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth. Journal of Adolescent Health, 56(3), 280-285.

Poteat, V. P., Scheer J, Chong E. (2016). Sexual orientation-based disparities in school and juvenile justice discipline: A multiple group comparison of contributing factors. Journal of Educational Psychology, 108, 229-241. doi: 10.1037/edu0000058.

Snapp, S. D., Hoenig J. M., Fields, A. Russell, S. T. (2015) Messy, Butch, and Queer LGBTQ Youth and the School-to-Prison pipeline. Journal of Adolescent Research., 30 57-82. doi: 10.1177/0743558414557625.

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