# Content Analysis

Conduct a content analysis on the data provided through the Riverbend City scenario by identifying one theme in the data. Discuss the theme. Provide quotes from the data as examples of the theme.

Riverbend City ® Activity

Conducting Data Analysis

Introduction

Welcome back to your virtual internship at the Riverbend Community Action Center! So far, you have been introduced to your overarching project of using data analytics to help RCAC evaluate the effectiveness of their Ruby Lake Teen Homelessness Task Force and figured out how to store the data using the appropriate data models. Now it’s time to learn how to actually analyze the data that’s been stored.

It’s time for another meeting with your mentor, Brenda.

Mentor Talk

Riverbend City Community Action Center: Mentor’s Office

Check in with with your mentor, Brenda.

All right, welcome back! I hope you’re finding our talks useful. Today’s session definitely should be… we’re going to be talking nuts and bolts here.

At this point, we’ve got the data stored in an organized way so that we can find what we need. Now it’s time to do some actual data analysis using statistics. The results of the statistical analysis are what we need to understand what’s happening, based on the data, and make some recommendations.

Today we’re going to walk through how to do one statistical analysis, an Independent Samples T-Test, using MicroSoft Excel. You can do these types of analyses with programs like SPSS and SAS, but since we already invested in buying the MS Office suite, and Excel can run these calculations too, we just use Excel. Using Excel takes some practice, but keep at it! It’s not that complicated once you get used to the program.

You know one of the main reasons teens can end up homeless is because they’re having a lot of problems with their parents. So when the teens first come to us for services, one of the measures we give them in their intake packet is a Parental Rejection Scale. The final score on the scale is a number that can range from 0 (no sense of rejection from parents) to 100 (total rejection by parents). This gives us a sense of how much of an issue this may be for the teenager.

I’m sure you also know that there’s research out there that says LGBT teens are more likely to run away from home—or get kicked out of their homes—because they feel rejected by their parents. We want to see if that’s the case here at the RCAC or not. So we randomly selected the Parental Rejection Scale scores of 30 LGBT teens and 30 heterosexual teens who’ve come for services over the past year.

Remember, an Independent Samples T-Test compares the means of two different groups. Here, we have two independent groups: one group of LGBT teens and one group of heterosexual teens. We have the score for each group. Once we tell Excel to run the t-test, it will do all the rest for us.

You can see that there are two columns here: one labeled LGBT and one labeled Heterosexual. In each column you can see there are lists of numbers. Those numbers are each teen’s score on the Parental Rejection Scale. So the first LGBT teen provided a score of 79; 79 out of 100 suggests this teen felt pretty rejected by their parent. For the first Heterosexual teen, that person reported a score of 76; 76 out of 100 suggests that teen also felt pretty rejected by their parent.

Looking down the columns of scores, they don’t look all that different, do they? Well, this is why we do statistical analyses: we don’t know if there’s a statistically significant difference until we do the analysis! We can’t just trust our first impressions.

Now, we’re going to start telling Excel to run an Independent Samples T-Test. Remember that you don’t have to calculate the means of the group yourself: Excel will do all of that. All you have to give Excel is the raw data (in this case, the scores on the test) in the correct columns.

Here’s something to remember: if you tried opening up your Excel and don’t have the Data Analysis options available, then you need to install the Analysis ToolPak. This is available as a free add-in in Excel: I’ll give you some instructions later on how to do that.

Now, let’s run this t-test!

Go up to the top menu and click on “Data.”

Look to the left under the Data menu and click on Data Analysis.

You’ll see that we have two options for an Independent Samples T-Test:

· t-test assuming equal variances, and

· t-test assuming unequal variances.

We have to know up front if the variances in our two groups (LGBT teens and heterosexual teens) are the same or different. In other words, is the range in scores (in other words, the variance) for the LGBT teens similar to the range in scores of the heterosexual teens or not?

Luckily, Excel will calculate that for us, too!

If you scroll up through the list of data analyses, there’s an option for “F-test Two Sample for Variances.” Select that option and click OK.

A new box comes up, asking you for input. Variable 1 range is going to be the scores for the LGBT teens. You don’t have to input each and every value for all thirty teens! Instead, just highlight the first value in the LGBT column (row #2), hold the Shift key, and scroll down to the final value in the same column (row #31).

Make sure you DO NOT highlight the first row, with the LGBT in it: that’s not a numerical value!

The column should now be highlighted. Now MS Excel inputs those values. You should see the Variable 1 box now has values in it.

Go to the Variable 2 box and input the values from the Heterosexual column, just like you did for the LGBT teens.

Then click OK.

On the Excel spreadsheet (it might go to a different sheet or put the values in the original sheet, depending on your version of Excel), you’ll see the results of the F-Test. If the results come up and the columns go missing, look at the bottom of the Excel sheet and see if you’re on Sheet 1 (where the scores are) or on Sheet 2. If you’re on Sheet 2, your scores are on Sheet 1.

Look at the row with the “P(F<=f).” If the value for that is less than .05, then we assume that variances are NOT equal. This means we would run an Independent Samples T-Test assuming unequal variances.

However, our p = 0.49. This is more than p = .05, so we can assume our variances are equal.

We will run the Independent Samples T-Test assuming equal variances.

Now that we have that settled, let’s run the t-test.

Go back to the sheet with our LGBT and Heterosexual columns (look at the sheets at the bottom of the screen and go back to Sheet 1).

Select Data Analysis.

Select Independent Samples T-Test assuming equal variances.

Just like you did for the F-test, highlight the LGBT column values for Variable 1 Range.

Do the same thing for Variable 2 with the Heterosexual column.

Click OK.

OK, then! Let’s take a look at the results.

The mean tells you the average of each group. For LGBT teens, the mean parental rejection score was 83.37. For heterosexual teens, the mean parental rejection score was 79.53. This means that both groups felt rejected by their parents, but the LGBT teens felt more rejected compared to their heterosexual counterparts.

The t-value is 2.47. What does that mean? What you need to know is whether or not that t-value is statistically significant (i.e., is the difference between the means of the two groups statistically significant?).

This is where significance testing is key. That is determined by the p-value; this is significance testing. Look at the P (two-tailed) value. Typically values below .05 are typically considered significant (.10 and .01 are other common significant levels). In this case, the p-value is 0.02, which is below .05, so the difference between the two groups is statistically significant.

OK. I hope that made sense. I know it was a lot of steps to absorb, but I promise, this gets easy the more you do it. And it’s a very, very powerful tool to have in your toolbox.

Data for Analysis

 LGBT Heterosexual 79 76 83 72 91 77 88 71 84 68 72 81 81 93 72 77 80 71 84 82 93 74 84 79 87 82 90 86 82 81 85 83 77 74 86 81 80 91 84 79 79 80 73 78 95 82 86 78 91 84 82 81 78 77 84 89 92 87 79 72

You have an email from your CAC Mentor, Brenda.

Subject: Content Analysis

From: Brenda Campbell, CAC Mentor

I hope the t-test discussion made sense! There’s another type of analysis that I wanted to run by you… My meeting schedule’s too crazy for us to talk about it face to face, but I tried to put it together as a step-by-step guide.

These days, people are very concerned with statistical analysis, like the t-test, because the data is considered more objective. And data can tell us a lot about what is happening generally for a large group of people, so there’s no question it’s useful. We know from our t-test results that LGBT teens perceive significantly higher levels of parental rejection than heterosexual teens, but we also know that both groups of teens perceive high levels of parental rejection. That’s general information that tells us this is a problem.

But when you’re designing programs, you need to know more about the details of people’s experiences. We can’t get that with statistical analyses. We can get that with content analyses. “Content analyses” simply refers to the analysis of data that is not numerical. Qualitative researchers at the doctoral level do detailed content analyses: we’re not going to do anything as detailed as what they do.

In addition to giving measures for the teens to complete, we had a focus group of teens where we asked them specifically about their experiences with their parents.

Let’s look at part of a transcript of a focus group of teen clients who were involved in sex trafficking. The two questions we have here asked them about how they got along with their parents and how they ended up leaving home. (You can download the transcript if you’d like.) Now, what most people do with this type of data is simply summarize it. That’s not making good use of this data. We want to analyze it more systematically, which is what a content analysis is.

We’re going to do the content analysis in five basic steps:

1. First, we’re going to identify key words and phrases that seem important.

2. Second, we’ll just make a list of the highlighted phrases. At this point, we’re moving away from summary to actually treating what was said as data.

3. The third step is to consider which phrases seem to mean the same thing: refer to the same concept.

4. The fourth step is identifying themes. “Themes” is another word for “concept”: we say the concepts are themes.

5. Finally, let’s analyze those themes and see what deeper information we can extract.

OK! Let’s walk through this: Qualitative Analysis of Focus Group

The purpose of a content analysis is to go beyond simply summarizing what the respondents said. The point of a content analysis is to find deeper meaning through a systematic analysis: that deeper meaning is typically discussed in terms of identifying themes. Here are the steps to a basic content analysis.

STEP ONE: Identify key words/phrases that seem important.

Some words are highlighted.

Transcript of Focus Group of Teen Clients Involved in Sex Trafficking

FIRST QUESTION: How do you get along with your parents?

 Heterosexual female (age 15): My mother and me- we nearly kill each other if we’re around each other for too long. Like, she’s always gettin’ on me about somethin’. ‘Do your homework. Why you failin’ everything? You need to get a job to pay for all that s— you want.’ (Shrugs) So I got a job- on the streets. Turnin’ tricks pays a lot better than frying fries. Transgender female (age 16): My mother don’t know what to say to me. My dad- when I see him. (Shakes her head) He says I’m confused. My mom says I’m just messed up. It don’t matter what I do- I make good grades, don’t get into trouble, follow my mom’s rules, but- as long as I like girls, they aren’t gonna be happy. It got to the point- I couldn’t stay there; it was just too tense. Lesbian female teen (age 16): Same here: my mom don’t know what to do with me. My dad- he’s just- he’s disgusted. When he found that skirt in my room, he lost his s—, physically pushed me down the stairs and out the door. I fell out the door on my back ‘cause I didn’t want to hit him- he’s my dad, but-he was through, through with me. Gay male teen (age 15): I was hanging on with my friend- well, my parents thought he was just my boy, but he was more than that- and we were fooling around one day after school- nothing serious, just kissing and stuff- but my mom came home early and caught us. I’ve never seen her like that. She was hollering and her eyes were about to bulge out of her head. She told me to get out of her house. My dad- I went to spend the night at my friend’s house, but I saw my parents the next day- he said that my little brothers might get confused if they saw me, so it was better for me not to be around there, like, all the time. Transgender male (age 17): (Nods in gay teen’s direction) My mom thought the same thing: she said my little sister and little brothers would get confused being around me with me wearing baggy pants and getting a buzzcut and stuff. She said I was almost grown but they were still little, so she- she had to- they have to be her priority. (Eyes look teary). Heterosexual male (age 15): I think my parents are, like- they want to be prison guards or something, they’re just so strict. They want me to do chores all the time, and then the studying- they act like I’m supposed to be studying 24/7. I’m not ever supposed to play games or watch TV or text or do anything except chores and schoolwork. I don’t get into trouble and my grades are okay, but they won’t get off me. I just couldn’t take it anymore.

SECOND QUESTION; How did you end up leaving home?

 Heterosexual male: I left. I was walking home from the bus stop and ran into this guy- this guy that I knew, I’d seen him around, and he told me that he knew how I could make some serious cash, easy. My parents won’t even give me an allowance. I figured, why not? Lesbian female teen: (Nodded) I left too. The tension was just too much. I knew someone who knew this lady who helped kids make money, and even let us stay at her place. I didn’t realize what she’d make me do to stay there, but I ran away on my own. Gay male teen: My parents told me I had to go. Heterosexual female: I was up out of there. I couldn’t take it no more. Transgender male: My mom said it would be too- too confusing for my little sister and brothers if I was around, so I had to stay somewhere else. Transgender female: My dad kicked me out. Literally.

STEP TWO: List the highlighted phrases.

Like I said above, here we’re moving away from summary to actually treating what was said as data.

· We nearly kill each other.

· She’s always getting on me.

· Mother don’t know what to say to me.

· He says I’m confused.

· Mom says I’m just messed up.

· They aren’t gonna be happy.

· I couldn’t stay there.

· Too tense.

· He’s disgusted.

· He lost his s—.

· Physically pushed me.

· He was through…with me.

· She was hollering.

· She told me to get out.

· It was better for me not to be around there.

· They (the younger siblings) have to be her priority.

· They’re just so strict.

· They won’t get off me.

· I just couldn’t take it.

· I left.

· I left.

· Parents told me I had to go.

· I was up out of there.

· I had to stay somewhere else.

· My dad kicked me out.

STEP THREE: Consider which phrases seem to refer to the same concept.

For example, in terms of their parents’ reactions to them, some teens indicated they rejected their parents’ authority, while other kids indicated their parents rejected them. Some teens described running away; others described being kicked out. Making a chart with relevant phrases (you don’t need to use every phrase as long as you know that each phrase you’ve identified fits into one of these concepts) can help to see this:

 Concept: Phrases: · We nearly kill each other. · She’s always getting on me. · They aren’t gonna be happy. · · Mother don’t know what to say to me. · [Dad] says I’m confused. · Mom says I’m just messed up. · · I couldn’t stay there. · Too tense. · I left. · I was up out of there. · · My dad kicked me out. · I had to stay somewhere else.

STEP FOUR: Identify themes.

In a content analysis, the concepts are usually referred to as “themes.” We made a chart where we grouped phrases that seemed to go together; now I’m going to go in and identify the concepts that seem relevant. For instance, in the chart we put together, it looks like some teens referred to problems between the parents and the teens. I’ve labeled that theme “Mutual tension between parents and teens.”

 Concept: Phrases: Mutual tension between parents and teens. · We nearly kill each other. · She’s always getting on me. · They aren’t gonna be happy. Parents’ negative reaction towards teens. · Mother don’t know what to say to me. · [Dad] says I’m confused. · Mom says I’m just messed up. Teens left home. · I couldn’t stay there. · Too tense. · I left. · I was up out of there. Teens were put out. · My dad kicked me out. · I had to stay somewhere else.

Other teens seemed to feel that it was their parents who rejected them. I’ve labeled that theme “Parents’ negative reactions towards teens.” The next major theme appeared to be that some teens voluntarily left home while the final theme refers to teens whose parents put them out of their home. The themes above suggests that there were two main types of tension within these families (according to the teens): tension between the parents and teens and tension that primarily came from the parents in response to the teen. In terms of how they ended up leaving home, there were the teens who ran away and the teens who were put out of the house.

STEP FIVE: Analyze concepts for deeper meaning.

At this point, we’ve distilled some repeating elements from the teens’ responses to the questions. This allows us to draw larger conclusions, and to do so with more rigor than if we’d just given the transcript a quick read. We can say, for instance, that many teens fell into a trafficking situation after leaving home, but that twice as many left of their own accord than as left because their parents forced them out. Similarly, we can conclude that among these teens, tension in the home is a repeating factor, with rough equivalence in the tension between parents and teens being either mutual or predominantly from the parents’ side.

Do you see how this analysis goes beyond simply summarizing what the teens said (like a journalist might do) to analyzing what they said to find the themes? This is what separates a content analysis from a summary. This provides information about the experiences that these teens have had that cannot be obtained from a standardized questionnaire. This is the type of content analysis that you need to conduct for your project.

Thanks for reading! I hope you find this useful.

Best,

Brenda

Transcript of Focus Group of Teen Clients Involved in Sex Trafficking

FIRST QUESTION: How do you get along with your parents?

Heterosexual female (age 15): My mother and me- we nearly kill each other if we’re around each other for too long. Like, she’s always gettin’ on me about somethin’. ‘Do your homework. Why you failin’ everything? You need to get a job to pay for all that s— you want.’ (Shrugs) So I got a job- on the streets. Turnin’ tricks pays a lot better than frying fries.

Lesbian female teen (age 16): My mother don’t know what to say to me. My dad- when I see him. (Shakes her head) He says I’m confused. My mom says I’m just messed up. It don’t matter what I do- I make good grades, don’t get into trouble, follow my mom’s rules, but- as long as I like girls, they aren’t gonna be happy. It got to the point- I couldn’t stay there; it was just too tense.

Transgender female (age 16): Same here: my mom don’t know what to do with me. My dad- he’s just- he’s disgusted. When he found that skirt in my room, he lost his s—, physically pushed me down the stairs and out the door. I fell out the door on my back ‘cause I didn’t want to hit him- he’s my dad, but- he was through, through with me.

Gay male teen (age 15): I was hanging on with my friend- well, my parents thought he was just my boy, but he was more than that- and we were fooling around one day after school- nothing serious, just kissing and stuff- but my mom came home early and caught us. I’ve never seen her like that. She was hollering and her eyes were about to bulge out of her head. She told me to get out of her house. My dad- I went to spend the night at my friend’s house, but I saw my parents the next day- he said that my little brothers might get confused if they saw me, so it was better for me not to be around there, like, all the time.

Transgender male (age 17): (Nods in gay teen’s direction) My mom thought the same thing: she said my little sister and little brothers would get confused being around me with me wearing baggy pants and getting a buzzcut and stuff. She said I was almost grown but they were still little, so she- she had to- they have to be her priority. (Eyes look teary)

Heterosexual male (age 15): I think my parents are, like- they want to be prison guards or something, they’re just so strict. They want me to do chores all the time, and then the studying- they act like I’m supposed to be studying 24/7. I’m not ever supposed to play games or watch TV or text or do anything except chores and schoolwork. I don’t get into trouble and my grades are okay, but they won’t get off me. I just couldn’t take it anymore.

SECOND QUESTION: How did you end up leaving home?

Heterosexual male: I left. I was walking home from the bus stop and ran into this guy- this guy that I knew, I’d seen him around, and he told me that he knew how I could make some serious cash, easy. My parents won’t even give me an allowance. I figured, why not?

Lesbian female teen: I left. The tension was just too much. I knew someone who knew this lady who helped kids make money, and even let us stay at her place. I didn’t realize what she’d make me do to stay there, but I ran away on my own.

Gay male teen: My parents told me I had to go.

Heterosexual female: I was up out of there. I couldn’t take it no more.

Transgender male: My mom said it would be too- too confusing for my little sister and brothers if I was around.

Transgender female: My dad kicked me out. Literally.

Conclusion

You have completed the Riverbend City: Conducting Data Analysis activity.

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