Create two sampling structures


It is impossible to study the entirety of any particular population. However, researchers can collect data for their studies from a sample of a particular population. There are two methods of sampling available for researchers: probability sampling and nonprobability sampling. This week, you examine the terminology used for the sampling aspect of research as well as best practices for its implementation. Then you critique a research study’s use of sampling in order to further understand the relationship between sampling, causality, and generalizability.

Learning Objectives

Students will:
  • Create two sampling structures
  • Evaluate strengths and limitations of two sampling methods
  • Analyze samples in a case study
  • Analyze generalizability in a case study
  • Evaluate method and methodology used in a research study

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Learning Resources

Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.

Required Readings

Yegidis, B. L., Weinbach, R. W., & Myers, L. L.  (2018). Research methods for social workers (8th ed.). New York, NY:  Pearson.
Chapter 9, “Sampling Issues and Options” (pp. 202-222)

Optional Resources

Plummer, S.-B., Makris, S., & Brocksen S. M. (Eds.). (2014).Social work case studies: Foundation year. Baltimore, MD: Laureate International Universities Publishing. [Vital Source e-reader].
Social Work Research: Program Evaluation

Discussion 1: Sampling Structures

Probability and nonprobability are the two general categories of sampling. Probability sampling uses random selection, whereas nonprobability sampling does not. For example, if you wanted to study the effects of divorce on the psychological development of adolescents, you could gather a population of a certain number of adolescents whose parents were divorced. Then, out of that population, you could randomly select 25 of those people. If you wanted to use nonprobability sampling, you would choose specific people who had met predetermined criteria. For this Discussion, consider how samples would be chosen for both probability and nonprobability sampling structures.

By Day 3

Post your explanation of the following:

  • Using your research problem and the refined question you developed in Week 4, develop two sampling structures: probability and nonprobability.
  • Explain who would be included in each sample and how each sample would be selected.
  • Be specific about the sampling structures you chose, evaluating both strengths and limitations of each.

Please use the resources to support your answer.

By Day 5

Respond to a colleague’s post by suggesting an alternative sampling structure for their research question as well as an alternate way of selecting the sample. Please use the resources to support your answer.

Discussion 2: Generalizing Study Results

Generalizability is the extent to which research findings from your sample population can be applicable to a larger population. There are many best practices for ensuring generalizability. Two of those are making sure the sample is as much like the population as possible and making sure that the sample size is large enough to mitigate the chance of differences within the population. For this Discussion, read the case study titled “Social Work Research: Program Evaluation” and consider how the particular study results can be generalizable.

By Day 5

Post your explanation of who the sample is. Also explain steps researchers took to ensure generalizability. Be sure to discuss how the study results could possibly be generalizable. Please use the resources to support your answer.

By Day 7

Respond to a colleague’s post by suggesting two alternative ways that the study results could be generalizable. Please use the resources to support your answer.

Assignment: Research Design and Sampling

Using the empirical research article that your instructor approved in the Week 5 assignment, ask yourself: “Is this a quantitative research article or a qualitative research article?” Remember, in quantitative research, the emphasis is on measuring social phenomenon because it is assumed that everything can be observed, measured, and quantified. On the other hand, in qualitative research, it is assumed that social phenomenon cannot be easily reduced and broken down into concepts that can be measured and quantified. Instead, there may be different meanings to phenomenon and experiences. Often in qualitative research, researchers use interviews, focus groups and observations to gather data and then report their findings using words and quotations.

Consider how these different methods affect the sampling design and recruitment strategy, and ask yourself how the recruitment of research participants will affect the findings.

For this Assignment, submit a 3-4 page paper. Complete the following:

  • Read your selected empirical research article, and identify whether the study is a quantitative or qualitative study. Justify the reasons why you believe it is a quantitative or qualitative study. (Your instructor will indicate to you if you are correct in identifying the research design. This will point you to whether you will use the “Quantitative Article and Review Critique” or the “Qualitative Article and Review Critique” guidelines for the final assignment in week 10.)
  • Using the empirical research article, focus on the sampling method in the study and begin to evaluate the sampling method by answering the following:
    • Describe the sampling methods in your own words (paraphrase, do not quote from the article).
    • Describe the generalizability or the transferability of the research finding based on the sampling method.
    • Discuss the limitations the article identified with the sample and how those limitations affect the reliability or credibility.
    • Explain one recommendation you would make to improve the sampling plan of the study that would address these limitations in future research.


The Effectiveness of LGBT Couple Counseling in Enhancing the Wellbeing of Gay People in the United States.


In America, gay rights have come a long way since its legalization in 2015. With gay rights making a bid advance in the United States, more people of similar gender have come out to eliminate the stereotype that their relationships are always superficial. Instead, they present their relationships to be identical to those of the heterosexual people with the ability to remain committed and loving (Gonsiorek, 2014). Again, they are faced with similar challenges which include household chores, financial conflicts, family, as well as parenting. Despite the Supreme Court ruling that allowed equality and protection for the LGBT people in the United States, gay people continue to face discrimination in terms of housing, imprisonment, jobs and even parenting.

According to the new Gallup estimate, American adults identified as either lesbians, gay, bisexual or transgender totaling to 4.5 % of the entire population. This is approximately 11 million citizens. With the legalization, the number continues to rise wherein 2016 they comprised 4.1% and 3.6% in 2012. Despite the legalization and acceptance of gay people in the United States, they continue to suffer and live under fear of exploitation and discrimination on issues such as crimes and segregation (Curry, 2017). In America, 5% of the total hate crime committed is as a result of sexual orientation while 2% are due to individual gender identity. The society has not yet come to terms with accepting them as usual and part of the population thus making them quite a vulnerable group.

People identifying as lesbians, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and asexual considers social stigma as the primary source of stress and anxiety in their lives. Thus, they tend to seek therapy from qualified therapists who can help them overcome the challenges (Blondeel et al., 2018). In that case, the LGBT people tend to be afraid and feel threatened for the expected reaction from the society especially in matters concerning their relationships and marriage. The common challenges among gay couples have led to the rise in the use of LGBT couple counseling before the wedding.

Research Objectives

General Objective

The general objective of the study will be to establish the effectiveness of LGBT couples counseling in enhancing the wellbeing of gay people in the United States.

Specific Objective

The specific objectives of the project will entail:

1. To establish how self-confidence from couple counseling enhances the well-being of gay people in the United States.

2. To determine the effects of couple counseling for improving the relationship between gay couples in the United States.

3. To establish how couple counseling promotes acceptance thus enhancing the wellbeing of gay people in the United States.

Research Questions

1. How does self-acceptance gained through couple counseling enhances the wellbeing of gay people in the United States?

2. What are the effects of couple counseling on strengthening the relationship between gay people in the United States?

3. How does LGBT couple counseling promote acceptance among gay people in the United States?

The significance of the Study

The study is considered important because it will give insight into the various challenges that the LGBT people in America face. Again, it will elaborate on the role of the social workers in ensuring equality and protection of the gay community. Besides, the findings of the research can be used to establish policies meant to enhance inclusion in America as well as provide the basis for conducting further studies on the issues affecting the LGBT people at large.

Limitations of the Study

Among the challenges that are likely to be faced during the study include limited time and budget for the research. The review will be extensive thus requiring enough time and money to cater to the entire research process. Additionally, LGBT people may not be willing to take part in the study as they fear discrimination and victimization. As a result, it might be difficult to access relevant and reliable information for the research.

Literature Review

Concept Definition


The term LGBT is an acronym for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender. It is a word used to describe the people of other sexual orientation and gender identity other than the heterosexual. A lesbian refers to a woman who is sexually and emotionally attracted to fellow women. Gay is the male with sexual attraction towards fellow men. However, in some instances, the word gay is used to refer to lesbians, gay, and bisexuals all together. For Bisexuals, they are attracted to people of both sexes while transgender refers to people whose inner identity contradicts with the role associated with the portrayed gender.

Challenges Faced by LGBT People

Besides the rapidly growing cultural acceptance of diverse sexual and romantic orientation together with gender identification, LGBT people are also faced with oppression, discrimination, and marginalization. Prolonged cases of bias can result in stigma, depression, and stress cases. Research shows that LGBT people have a high chance of becoming suicidal and self-harm especially when they experience discrimination based on their sexual and gender identity (Graham et al., 2011). Besides, students associated with the grouping are said to have a high rate of experiencing bullying, social rejection, as well as a sexual assault which can lead to chronic stress among the victims (Higa et al., 2014).

Lytle et al. (2014) argues that in more than 37 states, LGBT people are discriminated against obtaining health insurance. The prevalence of discrimination has adverse effects on gay people. Often, they feel pressured to fit in the conventional ideas of the community of either being a male or a female (Curry, 2017). Based on their difference from the normal genders, they hide and stay segregated from the rest of the people to avoid being ridiculed, intimidated, and at times even sexually abused. The increased pressure can lead to the development of mental instability such as stress and depression that they need the guidance and advice of the social worker to manage and overcome. Besides obtaining the support and help in dealing with the toxic and harmful response from society, gay couples also seek to see counselors to understand their gender roles and stage disparities.

LGBT Couple Counseling

Kelley (2015) states that like other persons, LGBT people seek counseling for help while faced with many of the same challenges that affect the heterosexual individuals such as anxiety, depression, grief, and even couple therapy. They seek therapeutic assistance as a way of dealing with the stigma of mental health issues and the LGBT orientation.

In most cases, therapists address multiple issues that the gay people need to take into consideration especially in the case where they have chosen to become public. They give them directions and counsel on how to overcome the current challenges in society as a result of their orientation. The counseling sessions help to prepare the couple on dealing with the worst that the community can give ranging from discrimination to being abused and victimized.

1. Self-Confidence

During the counseling sessions, therapists are in a position to explore the issues of the couple and address the challenges effectively. This involves acting as the advocates for the marginalized group and encouraging them on the importance of accepting themselves as they are. Maintaining awareness increases the knowledge of the LGBT people both on their rights and privileges as the law in the nation provides them. The counselor often advises them to step out instead of confining themselves in the closets thus increasing their vulnerability.

2. Excellent Relationships

Engaging in constant communication and sharing experience between the gay people opens their minds and increase their interest in understanding one another. Counseling promotes positivity and enthusiasm where they learn to approach things and situations in life with optimism (Henry, 2013). This is not only for the social relation but also for the couple relationship where they learn to understand and support one another throughout the relationship.

3. Social Acceptance

Often, social workers engage in creating awareness beyond the LGBT community. According to research, the people around gay people are the primary source of adverse reactions that result in rejection and developing suicidal ideas. Therefore, the counselor advises the couple on the best behaviors to depict to ensure that they attract little rejection from society.


From the review, most of the studies conducted about the LGBT community are associated with the challenges that they face despite the legalization and protection under the law. However, a few studies have been undertaken about establishing the usefulness and effectiveness of the couple therapy and counseling in dealing with the challenges in the community. Objectively, the research will be conducted to determine how couple counseling improve the life of LGBT individuals in the United States. As a result, it will provide the answers to the research questions that relate to enhancing their confidence, deal with social rejection, as well as promote their relationship.


The study will contain both the independent and dependent variables. The independent refers to the variable that can stand on its own (couple counseling) while the dependent needs and id influenced by the independent one (wellbeing of the LGBT people).

Independent Variables (Effective Couple Counseling) Improved Well-being 


Social acceptance


Blondeel, K., de Vasconcelos, S., García-Moreno, C., Stephenson, R., Temmerman, M., & Toskin, I. (2018). World Health Assembly». Bulletin of the World Health Organization96, 29-41L.

Curry, C. (2017). “9 Battles the LGBT Community in the US Is Still Fighting, Even in 2017. The Globl Citizen. Accessed from

Gonsiorek, J. C. (2014). Introduction to the first issue of Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity.

Graham, R., Berkowitz, B., Blum, R., Bockting, W., Bradford, J., de Vries, B., & Makadon, H. (2011). The health of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people: Building a foundation for better understanding. Washington, DC: Institute of Medicine.

Henry, M. M. (2013). Coming out: Implications for self-esteem and depression in gay and lesbian individuals (Doctoral dissertation, Humboldt State University).

Higa, D., Hoppe, M. J., Lindhorst, T., Mincer, S., Beadnell, B., Morrison, D. M. … & Mountz, S. (2014). Negative and positive factors associated with the well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. Youth & Society46(5), 663-687.

Kelley, F. A. (2015). The therapy relationship with lesbian and gay clients. Psychotherapy52(1), 113.

Lee, C., Oliffe, J. L., Kelly, M. T., & Ferlatte, O. (2017). Depression and suicidality in gay men: Implications for health care providers. American journal of men’s health11(4), 910-919.