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To Investigate Smoking in the Context of Poverty and Motherhood

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The purpose of the study was to investigate smoking in the context of poverty and motherhood (Hilary, G. 1987). There has been an emphasis on epidemiological studies on women smoking behaviour with little attention on smoking, poverty and motherhood. Smoking is multidimensional and has many implications on the way a mother brings up her children, creating a bond to hold the family together. Smoking while in poverty proves a luxury expense which gives poverty a new dimension. Previous researches on women and smoking have dwelled more on the extremes (beginning and ending smoking) with little regard of the implications of continuous smoking. It is the continuity which has several harmful manifestations.

To Investigate Smoking in the Context of Poverty and Motherhood

Literature Review

It is often necessary for the investigator to perform a literature review to influence, justify and clarify specific behaviour in the study. This is also the case if the results and other statements formulated by the researcher are to be accepted by readers. To Mason (1996), without a literature review, a research report lacks an integral part that is supposed to allow the researcher to cite reputable scholars on the same topic. Furthermore, to Mason, the literature review asserts faith that the writer is not the first to consider the issue, others before. Newham (1997 ) argues that, without literature review, any research paper is full of the thoughts and views of the author, and it is tough to persuade anyone otherwise. In this article, the researcher gave the research article the requisite basis for a large number of correct citations.

Study Approach

They used both qualitative and quantitative study designs. To collect the details, interviews and questionnaires were used. The combination of the two techniques gives the investigator some advantages. Qualitative methods produce verbal and not numerical knowledge that is evaluated utilising the practice of holistic analysis suggested for qualitative research designs. Inductive reasoning involved in qualitative study studies provides more flexibility for the researcher to explore more knowledge and explanations.

Also, since qualitative data collection instruments are flexible and can accommodate urgent changes/refinement in cases of new research ideas, the researcher chose to continue with the qualitative approach. This implies that the research climate in the course of implementing the research design is not affected. Data collected using the methods of qualitative data collection is very rich and has justified explanations that elicit viable contexts of study. In addition to giving the researcher the ability to connect and get a feeling of the participants in their terminology, a qualitative approach leads to a more objective sense that can not be provided by numerical data analysis. The results obtained from such methods benefit from the fact that the data is primary and unstructured and can, therefore, be twisted by the researcher to suit the context, providing a better interpretation.

On the other hand, quantitative methods produce observable data and are motivated by a formulated hypothesis that is empirically determined by the collected data collection. Research statements and problems are described in concrete terms and not general opinions in quantitative research design and the independent variable, and the dependent variable is clearly stated. Quantitative methods give rise to an observable and rational way of assessing casual results efficiently. Data collected using such methods are said to be accurate and legitimate because, before actual data collection, there are constraints imposed. Such information sets safeguards in place and guarantees scientific objectivity.

To express problems, the researcher uses a correct and accurate approach. Any risk of a biassed report is eliminated by incorporating the benefits of the two methods. Considering a select sample representing other races, data accuracy is assured, allowing the results to be generalised to match the entire population. If the research is to achieve its aspirations, the generalizability of the findings is critical.


The investigator used interviews, questionnaires and dairies to use them. Questionnaires require the answers to be reviewed to ensure that general comments are explained. Also, by analysing the external actions of the respondents by changing the lines of enquiry, the researcher can improve the accuracy of the results. On the other hand, questionnaires gather data that is structured and thus, easy to interpret. Again, within a short time, the study will collect so much data from a vast number of participants.

However, to standardise the information arising from the interviews, it would have been advisable to use focused group discussions. Based group discussions are a qualitative research technique in which, compared to that of a research instrument (e.g. a questionnaire), the researcher gets more information. As in this case, the groupings can be classified in terms of women’s socio-economic status to create a favourable atmosphere for ideas to come out. In such debates, the proposals of other participants serve as catalysts and induce others to offer more.

Research Ethics 

There are certain norms which every researcher should adhere to if the findings are to meet the required threshold. Such examples include honesty, fairness, integrity, justice, beneficence, non-discrimination, among others. A researcher is required to inform participants about the objectives of the study. He/she should strive to ensure that all participants have an understanding of what is expected of them. The information about the survey assists them in making informed consents about their participation. According to ethical practices, research should never force/coerce the participants into participating.

Ethics further dictates that the researchers should conduct himself/herself with dignity and ensure fairness in the spread-out of the research benefits. The element of beneficence requires that the participants are dully informed of the research benefits and risk and that the researcher should always aim at minimising harms/risks and maximising benefits.  

  It is also advisable to ensure that participants are accorded the necessary respect in addition to being treated with an essential dignity. The aspect of confidentiality of the information is critical and should be made known to them. The participants should be sure that information/data collected from them will be used for the sole purpose of the research study and not for any other purpose. In this research work, the researcher is dealing with vulnerable groups, and discrimination may arise. The researcher had to ensure that vulnerability does not cause selection bias thus affecting the research outcome. All these are important issues which should have been captured and taken into consideration in the entire research process but which have not been documented as having been put into consideration. 


Sampling was done using stratified sampling, where the population of women was categorised into categories using their socio-economic status as the criteria to order. The sampling frame was informed by a household survey which was taking place at that time. This ensured that the structure was complete and had no repetitions, omissions and redundancy. In any research work, the validity and reliability of the findings are hinged on the frame used. Mostly, researchers should strive to eliminate repetitions, omissions and redundancy, which in this case was not a problem as the structure was being used for another study.

To have reliable data which is bias-free, several restrictions were placed on the participants. Further, the researcher included other members from other races for control and to attain heterogeneity, thus enabling the findings to be generalised easily. After stratifying the women, random samples from each category was selected. Random selection of participants accords all in that category an equal chance of being selected. This means that selection bias is eliminated.    

Stratification of a population ensures the homogeneity of responses, thus reducing the within-group errors hence raising the confidence level of the findings. To attain natural stratification, other factors of stratification should have been considered. These include age, marital status, level of education, among others. This is so because pertinent issues are different according to age, class, education and vulnerability. For instance, the aged may fail to give information while the youths are around. Working history should be another factor since ideas are also different according to the work environment. 

The researcher should have considered a sample of 10-12 participants for the focused group discussions and should have a qualified facilitator to convene the meeting to control the outcomes. The groups should have participants of the same, say, age group, to capture more issues from them. Further, if the research findings are to be generalised, women from other races should have been considered as participants. A large sample would increase the confidence interval of the parameters. Snowball sampling procedure is one of the methods used to get a large selection. The available participants would identify their friends/family members/peers who smoke and recruit them for the study. Samples determined using snowball sampling are advantageous in that, they have an assured response rate only that the responses are almost the same since referrals mean that the participants have nearly the same traits.     

Data Collection

The researcher employed the use of interviews, questionnaires, dairies and profiles. The questionnaires were self-administered and were mean to standardise the data collected using the interviews. Interviews are a useful data collection tool since they allow the researcher to probe the answers to ensure that general comments are clarified. Further, the researcher increases the accuracy of the data by examining the outward behaviour of the respondents by modifying the lines of enquiry. Questionnaires, on the other hand, collect information which is standardised and thus easy to analyse. Again, the research can gather so much information from a large group of participants within a short time.

Focused group discussions which are qualitative approach ensures that the researcher gets more information as compared to that from a research tool (e.g. a questionnaire). The groupings can be categorised like in this case in terms of socio-economic status of the women to create a conducive environment for ideas to come out. In such discussions, other participants’ views act like catalysts and trigger others to give more.

Data Analysis

Since both qualitative and quantitative design methods were used, the researcher analysed the data holistically and by tabulations. Tables like charts are easy to understand. However, the researcher should have considered the use of other tests like Chi-square test to test relationships between smoking and other factors of investigation. The findings are represented understandably while the recommendations are worth the research work.

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