Introduction

Criminologists for decades have conducted
research in the respective topic of criminology within the criminal justice
system. As many issues arise within the criminal justice system researchers
rely on tools such a quantitative and qualitative research designed to conduct
research in order to understand thesis or hypothesis questions such as: why
mass incarceration keeps increasing or other perspectives as what risk factors
contribute to juvenile delinquency as some examples. In order to answer questions
like this, researchers conduct research designs to determine what method would
best suit their research. In many cases quantitative is often more structure
and is used to measure attitudes, behaviours, and performance instruments. It examines
the problem or helps to develop ideas or hypotheses for potential quantitative
research (FoodRisc, 2016). This research method is also beneficial for
longitudinal studies that take several of weeks, months, or years. On the other
hand, qualitative research is often use to uncover trends among the variables
and gives an opportunity to dig deeper into the issue, where it helps
criminologists gather reliable and valid data in the field of criminal justice
system. It provides insight to an issue or helps develop tactics for
improvements in any investigation being researched. However, in the case of
qualitative research it is often use to “capture
life as participants experience it, rather than in categories predetermined by
the researcher” (NetIndustries, 2018). Usually there are various research
designs that researcher use for example, explanatory research question,
inductive reasoning, an orientation to social context, and human subjectivity. According
to Encyclopedia of Crime and Justice (2016)
mentions how research questions or hypotheses typically fall in four categories
such as: descriptive, exploratory, explanatory, and evaluative (Encyclopedia of
Crime and Justice, 2016, para. 1).

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In descriptive research it tries to examine and explain the social phenomena
under investigation. Exploratory research examines to identify the issues
behind actions and individual’s behaviors. Explanatory research tends to
identify the cause and effects of a social phenomenon. Lastly, in evaluation
research the purpose is to examine the effect of an intervention on an
individual behavior. In addition to the four research designs there not always
interlink with one another, but they are useful to gain a deeper understanding
of the question being asked or being examine. Among
these research designs there are various ways a researcher can conduct their
research by using participant’s observation, content analysis, intensive
interviewing, and focus groups. By using such designs it will help the research
gain valid and reliable statistics in order to answer their hypotheses research
question.

In addition, in this
research paper the researcher will compare and contrast quantitative and
qualitative research. The researcher will be examining how juvenile risk
factors affect juveniles delinquency and if family and peers affect their
criminal activity through a regression analysis among quantitative research, in
addition the researcher will also examine and conduct content analysis in the
respective subject in order to understand juveniles motivation to delinquency. By
examining the two research methods and designs it will help researchers, policy
makers, and society understand why juveniles tend to commit crimes and why they
are more prone to delinquent behaviors, than other juveniles among their
community. By investigating the respective topic it will allow better tactics to
be implemented in resources among urban communities or where it is needed in
order to decrease juvenile’s involvement with delinquent behaviours.

 There are many advantages in using quantitative
research and qualitative research methods. By using quantitative and
qualitative research combining both methodologies reduces the personal biases
of the researcher in an investigation (CIRT, n.d., para.4). By reducing
personal bias in an investigation it will increase the validity and reliability
among the investigation, so that it can obtain accurate and precise results or
as close to respond their hypothesis question. Nonetheless, the investigator or
researcher is able to use all the tools available to them through quantitative
and qualitative in order to create comprehensive data; this will enhance the
broader perspective of the overall issue that is being examined by the
researcher. The use of both methods allows for participants to express
themselves and ensures that the findings are well grounded. In addition, the
strength in using quantitative research is that quantitative can be used to
help gather qualitative information such as data” (LUMS Effective Learning, 2016). Quantitative and
qualitative research in many circumstance are helpful to one another because
one can facilitate the other and vice versa. In most qualitative and quantitative
research some elements of quantification is necessary as well as some of the
discussion elements from qualitative issues in order for researchers to conduct
reliable research in order to confirm their hypotheses or understand why their
hypotheses is not reliable. In qualitative research the researcher produces
more in depth description of subjects or participants emotion, feeling’s,
opinions, and experiences (Rahman, Md., 2016). This is a greatly advantage
because qualitative approach is designed to capture a deeper insight on the
respective topic with specific setting to understand human experiences and
interpreted those techniques as best as possible.

In the case of quantitative research the
advantages are likely to be generalized and used among a larger population to
seek different perspectives among the respective topic being research. However,
when using both methods each of the research method in quantitative and
qualitative demonstrate well-grounded testing and assessments when conducting
research in any research project.

Disadvantages

On another note there are many
disadvantages that comes with using quantitative and qualitative research
method. In qualitative research some of the limitation are that the research
approach often leaves out sensitive research and focuses mainly on the meanings
and experiences (Rahman, Md., 2016). With this said qualitative research can
leave out very important aspect of the research process and involve
generalizability within the respective research being investigated. Another,
disadvantage within qualitative research is that as researchers conduct or
collect their data they become very involve especially if their using
participants, which can cause biased views and affect their data to side with
their point of view. With the quality of data being affected it can cause the
research being investigated to have a weak reliability and validity. Yet,
qualitative research can be very lengthy and time consuming since many of the
data collected is through observations or interviewing participants, which can
in the long run disconnect the researcher from their intended objectivity of
their hypothesis. Lastly, qualitative as previously mentioned uses often
participants in the case of an interview or focus group having the research
present can affect or influence how participant respond, therefore can affect
the validity of the data conducted. However, in quantitative research there are
also many issues that come up while conducting this type of research. For
example, in quantitative research the sample size is best if it is a large size
sample however, the disadvantage in a big sample size has to do with gathering
participants, so that the data collected can generate accurate correspondences
sometimes individuals tend to be reluctant to be part of a research project due
to being time consuming. Another disadvantage in quantitative research is  that it can take a financial toll on the
researcher since their having to use a big sample size. Having a big sample
size means printing more questionnaire, transportations fees, and possibly
having rewards for participants who participated in their research, which will
encourage others to want to participate. With this said quantitative research
can be very costly especially if the researcher has no other support other than
him helping out. Lastly, quantitative study requires broad statistical analysis,
which can be difficult to accomplish if the researcher has no prior knowledge
in statistics (Datt, S. & Datt, S., 2016). When conducting quantitative
research it is best if the researcher knows what there doing before hand so
that there statistical analysis are not compromise in the long run. As the
researcher examines qualitative and quantitative research and explores their
advantages and disadvantages it is very necessary to conduct research using
either method. This allows individuals and policymaker to be updated on they
types of resources needed in order to have what are tactic that can help reduce
delinquent behaviors or even to understand what risk factors affect individuals
to conduct delinquent behaviors. Therefore, in spite of comparing and
contrasting both methods in the study of criminology quantitative and
qualitative are very beneficial in order to understand deviance and crime.

Quantitative and
Qualitative research

As the researcher has examined quantitative and qualitative research
we will be specifically focusing on content analysis, which can be used for
both research methods. In qualitative research, Cole (1988) mentions, “content
analysis is a method of analysing written, verbal or visual communication
messages” (Elo, S. & Kyngas, H., 2008). This is a perfect example how
content analysis is a beneficial method that allows newspaper, magazines,
documents, and articles to be examine in order to identify the phenomenon of a
investigation. In content analysis researchers are able to test theoretical
issues in order to understand the data that was created for their respective
topic. According to Krippendorff (1980) mentions how content analysis can be
replicable and valid when looking at their data, causing to provide knowledge,
new perceptive, and represent the fact that make a phenomena relevant (Elo, S.

& Kyngas, H., 2008). It is important when conducting content analysis to
think about how one can add to the current study in order to build onto the
phenomena being research. There are two approaches one can analyze their data,
which can be determined by the purpose of the study. Inductive and deductive
tactics are used to determine if a study can be moved from specific to general,
and general to being specific. Inductive states, “inductive data moves from the
specific to the general, so that particular instances are observed and then
combined into a larger whole or general statement” (Chinn & Kramer 1999).

This approach is beneficial when the researcher has to start formulating their
data into categories because it allows categories to be created so that the
researcher can interpret their data into their specific category in order to help
understand or generate knowledge in the respective topic. However, in deductive
approach it is often used to retest existing data or theories but in a new
context. This method is used if a researcher wishes to contribute to the
existing research but using different approaches to get the same result as
previous. In deductive the researcher testes concept, models, or hypothesis to
create codes that will then be created into categories so that the content
being analyze fit the respective topic being investigated. Moreover, it is up
to the researcher to chose what approach is more beneficial for their study in
or to produce their goal in accomplishing to answer their intended hypotheses. The
trustworthiness of content analysis allows readers to have a clear understanding
of the research being investigated. Therefore, analyzing the data in sufficient
detail allows an increase in validity and reliability among the research and
helps the readers understand how the analysis was carried out and its strengths
and limitations a research can have. Using content analysis in qualitative
research can be very beneficial to researcher, however there are limitations to
this method for example, when analyzing the data, if one does not accurately analyze
the data correctly the reliability and validity of the research can be
compromised causing to have different results then the intent one in order to
answer the respective hypothesis question being researched. Although, many
researchers use content analysis it is deniable to say that content analysis is
not beneficial to research it is very important and it is not limited to only
be use for one research method it can be used in quantitative research and help
expand on many context.

As the researcher keeps examining content analysis in quantitative
research content analysis is a procedure often use to examine letters,
speeches, and articles in order to understand the different messages behind the
material being examined. Just like in qualitative research content analysis has
the same process in quantitative research, the only difference is the way the
researcher constructs his or her coding scheme, and how well and detail the
researcher goes in order to identify there trend for the specific topic being
research. Quantitative content analysis is often used to make comparison. When
conducting content analysis the researcher examines categories, which are
phrases, themes, or words, then there coded where the researcher put part of
the text in the category that helps identify the category. Another benefit of
quantitative content analysis is that it helps identify common research
deficiencies and therefore serves as a starting point for improving practices
or informing policymakers. Also many researchers who conduct quantitative
research tend to use computer software like SPSS to analyze their data and code
their variable into specific categories. For example if you use logistic
regression in a quantitative research in many computer software content
analysis can be helpful in order to obtain details about the variables that
help with the research that is being investigated. Content analysis helps build
themes and categories in order to for to obtain the outcome that is needed. In quantitative
research content analysis it is very helpful when having to find themes and
patterns in syntax within a research project this allows the separations of
categories to be analyze. However, there are many limitations to content
analysis in quantitative research because if one does not have knowledge of statistics
it can be very hard to identify different themes in ones data in order to
create variable valuable enough to be part of your research that is being
investigated. Another limitation is that it is important for the research to obtain
reliability and validity to it is important that the content being analyze is accurate
so that the research being investigated maintains reliable, if the researcher
does not maintain unbiased then that is where they can compromise the research
reliability and validity. Also quantitative research is so complex that it
takes a very long time to conduct therefore the limitation with this is that a
researcher might believe that this methods is very time consuming and lengthy
which can then take a toll on the research project being investigated. Also in
quantitative research the researcher always has to keep in mind that the data
might give a false impression of consistency, with that said relies heavily on
content analysis to ensure that false impressions does not happen among the
research. However, as the research examine both qualitative and quantitative
content analysis both use this method to obtain there research analysis by
doing so it is important to maintain unbiased in the process in order to have a
positive out come when analyzing the data. Both method designs are important to
the contribution of research because it help analyze previous research and
build upon it in order to have new content on the respective topic. This allows
individuals and policymaker to be updated on the different types of resources
needed in order to have essential tactics that can help reduce delinquent
behaviors or even to understand what risk factors affect individuals whom
conduct delinquent behaviors. Content analysis has been used over decades to
help researcher define their research and give precession on their data
analysis. With this said hopefully content analysis continues to be used in
order to create valid and reliable research especially within the criminal
justice system so that new tactic are implemented in order to reduce crime or
deviance. Therefore, in spite of comparing and contrasting both research methods
in the study of criminology quantitative and qualitative are very beneficial in
order to understand deviance and crime.  

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