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Assignment:
Annotation of a Qualitative Research Article

Submit: Annotation of a Qualitative Research Article

This week, you will submit the annotation of a qualitative research article on a topic of your interest. This annotation is a precursor to the annotated bibliography assignment due in Week 10. 

An annotation consists of three separate paragraphs that cover three respective components: summary, analysis, and application. These three components convey the relevance and value of the source. As such, an annotation demonstrates your critical thinking about, and authority on, the source topic. This week’s annotation is a precursor to the annotated bibliography assignment due in Week 10.

An annotated bibliography is a document containing selected sources accompanied by a respective annotation of each source. In preparation for your own future research, an annotated bibliography provides a background for understanding a portion of the existing literature on a particular topic. It is also a useful first step in gathering sources in preparation for writing a subsequent literature review as part of a dissertation. 

Please review the assignment instructions below and click on the underlined works for information about how to craft each component of an annotation. 

It is recommended that you use the grading rubric as a self-evaluation tool before submitting your assignment.

By Day 7

· Annotate one qualitative research article from a peer-reviewed journal on a topic of your interest.

· Provide the reference list entry for this article in APA Style followed by a three-paragraph annotation that includes: 

o A summary

o An analysis

o An application as illustrated in this example

· Format your annotation in Times New Roman, 12-point font, double-spaced. A separate References list page is not needed for this assignment.

·  

·  

· Sample paper to assist with assignment

Thomée, S., Dellve, L., Härenstam, A., & Hagberg, M. (2010). Perceived connections between information and communication technology use and mental symptoms among young adults-a qualitative study. BMC Public Health, 10(1), 66.

Summary

The topic of the qualitative study by Thomée, Dellve, Härenstam & Hagberg (2010) is “Perceived connections between information and communication technology use and mental symptoms among young adults”. The authors of this study were aimed on discovering a possible link between the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) and unhealthy mental conditions, including major depressive disorder (MDD), stress, and sleep disorders. This study doesn’t have a theoretical basis, because it is focused on creating a theory of how ICT may cause unhealthy mental conditions (Thomée et al., 2010).  Some previous studies have identified that frequent use of the internet, email, messengers, and computers, is associated with unhealthy mental conditions, however causal mechanisms were not identified (Thomée et al., 2010). Hence, the authors of this study conducted a semi-structured interview with 32 young adults who reported high ICT. Participants were divided into 2 groups. The first group consisted of 28 high computer users, while the second group consisted of 20 high mobile phone users (Thomée et al., 2010). 

The semi-structured interviews were conducted by the main author of the research. The author used qualitative interviews, which means that participants were asked open questions about connection between ICT and unhealthy mental conditions. In addition, the participant’s mental condition was assessed by a physician (Thomée et al., 2010). The data acquired during the interviews was analyzed with a qualitative content analysis. These researchers created the model based on the analyzed data. The model presented possible paths for associations between ICT use and mental symptoms. It was found that the main cause of negative mental conditions is high quantitative use of computers and smartphones (Thomée et al., 2010). Participants who used computers for a long periods of time reported that they were stuck in different unproductive activities such as web surfing and playing games. As a result, they had a feeling of the wasted time. Some participants also claimed that high use of ICT leads to feeling of loneliness (Thomée et al., 2010). In addition, long use of computers may have impact on physiological health. 

In both groups, several people have reported perceived connection between high ICT use and different mental symptoms, including depression. Some of the participants had stress and sleep disturbances that are also associated with MDD. Six men and six women were diagnosed with a various psychiatric disorders. Four participants were diagnosed with a mild depression, while two participants were diagnosed with a moderate depression (Thomée et al., 2010). 

The authors claimed that physiological problems foster the depression. Participants with long periods spent using mobile devices reported similar problems. It can be explained by the fact that not responding to SMS or calls may cause a feeling of guilt (Thomée et al., 2010). The researchers also claimed that another possible factor causing depression is that people prefer to tell bad news via SMS than face to face. In addition, it was mentioned that certain technological factors like electromagnetic radiation may affect mental condition (Thomée et al., 2010). It is important to mention that some participants claimed that ICT is not a primary cause of depression and that depression should be associated with a working activities that are often done with a help of computers. The authors note that some studies have found a direct connection between high psychological demands at work and risks of MDD development (Thomée et al., 2010). 

Analysis

The research question is well framed because it addresses a specific problem, and significant because it the problem it addresses is significant (Burkholder et al., 2016). Due to the rapid development of ICTs, it is important to conduct studies focused on discovering potentially negative impacts of computers and smartphones. The authors have provided a brief description of previous articles, hence relation of the research question to existing body of knowledge is quite strong (Thomée et al., 2010). According to some previous studies, 75% of 16-24-year-old Swedes used internet every day and more than 90% had computers. Another study described by the authors claim that ICTs provided both opportunities and risks, including negative impact on physiological and psychological condition (Thomée et al., 2010). Moreover, emailing and chatting were associated with depression and created symptoms that directly lead to MDD.  According to the APA (2013), stress, sleep disorders, loneliness, apathy, guilt, and depression are all criteria that can be used in diagnosing MDD in patients. These were all symptoms described by participants in this study (Thomée et al., 2010). Therefore, this article makes a significant contribution to an existing body of knowledge by providing detailed information about high ICT use and depression. 

The authors didn’t use any theory while conducting their research; instead these researchers derived their theory from the results of their research. This means that they used the inductive method (de Vaus, 2001). The research was aimed on interpreting answers to open-ended questions. All stages of the research were described in detail and in scientific language (Thomée et al., 2010). The research methods used in this qualitative study were therefore appropriate. The first method used was observation with a help of semi-structured interviews. The second method was interpretation that was made by coding of information acquired during the interviews and creating a model. Hence, the authors have used all methods appropriate to answer the research question (Thomée et al., 2010). 

It is also worth noting that the sample size used was not very big, but the amount of participants is enough for a qualitative study. It is possible that the study results were influenced by bias, because analysis and interviews were made by the main author (Thomée et al., 2010). Moreover, there are also some limitations presented in this study. Participants belonged to high achieving academic programs and their socio-economic status was not considered (Thomée et al., 2010). These specific issues pose some threats to generalization of the results. 

Finally, there were inclusion criteria used for participants. Only those who reported about high computer or mobile phone exposure and had at least two of the following symptoms: depression, stress, and sleep disturbances could become participants (Thomée et al., 2010). Here, there was a self-reporting, self-selecting sample of participants. Because almost all people in modern society use smartphones and computers, and only participants who claim to suffer from certain symptoms were considered, there would appear to be a link that might not be causal. Similarly, however, any variable could be used in the place of ICTs and might result in similar findings, regardless of the actual causation. Therefore, to insure more accurate results, it would be more effective to conduct research on people with high ICT use, and analyze how many of these people have symptoms of MDD, depression, stress, sleep disorders, or other unhealthy mental conditions.

Application

This article addresses a meaningful gap in the other sources in this field, because it is focused on researching influence of modern technologies on mental condition. As discussed in the article, there are numerous problems directly and indirectly associated with smartphone and computer use (Thomée et al., 2010). Thus, the article fills a gap in the literature, because it is aimed on discovering connection between depression, sleep disorders, stress and ICT’s. The impact of ICT’s can be quite significant, because they can be used to avoid social interactions or even cause a psychological addiction. Modern technologies reduce the amount of real life communication, and this lack of communication may be related to high rates of MDD among young adult population (Thomée et al., 2010). Furthermore, communication over the internet is far different from real life communication, and the main difference is anonymity. People tend to act antisocially when they are protected by anonymity (Grigg, 2010). This can, of course lead to additional symptoms of depression, as antisocial behavior towards others, or anonymous cyberbullying, can affect the mental condition of the target.  

It can be claimed that this article informs future researches on depression by providing a valuable information about how ICT’s can contribute to the development of MDD and other related symptoms such as sleep disorders and stress. As mentioned above, MDD is often associated with sleep disorders and other unhealthy conditions, so it should be considered as a complex problem (APA, 2013). In addition, the qualitative methods used in this article can be applied to find out what factors participants perceive as the most contributing to development of their MDD. Hence, qualitative interviews can be potentially helpful for identifying the major causes of MDD. Methods used in this research can also be applied to codify the qualitative interviews and create a model describing relation between different factors and MDD.

References:

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Burkholder, G. J., Cox, K. A., & Crawford, L. M. (2016). The scholar-practitioner’s guide to research design. Baltimore, MD: Laureate Publishing.

de Vaus, D. A. (2001). Research design in social research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Grigg, D. W. (2010). Cyber-aggression: definition and concept of cyberbullying. Australian Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 20(02), 143-156.

Thomée, S., Dellve, L., Härenstam, A., & Hagberg, M. (2010). Perceived connections between information and communication technology use and mental symptoms among young adults-a qualitative study. BMC Public Health, 10(1), 66.

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