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  • 1. Research Plan overview
    Issues around Women Choosing to Have Children Later on in Life
    Cassandra Wijesuriya 0807252
  • 2. Topic of choice:
    Issues around Women Choosing to Have Children Later on in Life
    • Research question
    What are the underlying factors affecting the age of women who give birth in New Zealand?
  • 3. Why I chose my topic and research question
    Personal observation has made me question why is it that women are having children at an older age? There must be certain factors causing this.
    Issues around birth and pregnancy have always been of interest to me so I felt this was an appropirate area to explore.
    My research question aims to dig deeper to find out what issues affect the age that women are choosing to give birth in New Zealand.
    I felt that research needs to be done so that health practitioners are aware of the issues that women have around this so that they are able to offer services to suit their needs (for example: couples counselling, family counselling, cultural support, spiritual support etc.
  • 4. Qualitative and Quantitative
  • 5. How Rigour is protected in Qualitative research
    In Qualitative research, rigour is protected by Auditability, Fittingness, Creditablity and Transferability (Chiovitti & Piran, 2003).
    Auditability: An example of auditability is the researcher keeps a journal tracking all the subjective decisions made with rationale. All decisions are documented throughout the research process.
    Fittingness: Fittingness in qualitative research is how well the findings relates to literature and research on the phenomenon. In qualitative research it is important to read other research on the topic when the themes emerge to show fittingness.
    Creditability: How accurately the researchers interpretations capture the participants experiences. An example of credibility being protected is the researcher spends one hour with participants and then provides them a summary of the interpretation from the interviews for them to comment on.
    Transferability: Being able to use the findings for other situations in a similar context in qualitative research demonstrates transferability.
  • 6. Why I chose the specific methodology and methods?
    Why qualitative methodology?
    I wanted to find out what factors are affecting the age women are choosing to give birth in New Zealand and to deeply explore these issues. Qualitative research is an appropriate methodology because it is used to gain insight into people's attitudes, behaviours, value systems, concerns, motivations, aspirations, culture or lifestyles. Qualitative does not rely on statistics or numbers but more on information from in-depth interviews and content analysis (QSR International Pty Ltd, 2007). This methodology is appropriate because by gaining insight into the women’s views and issues I am able to come to a sound conclusion on deeper factors that affect the age that women give birth in New Zealand.
    Why purposive sampling?
    Qualitative research requires a small and purposeful sample so that the data collected is of quality more than quantity and also for completeness (Streubert and Carpenter, 1999). For the purposes of the study, multiple perspectives need to be taken into account from women that are in different age groups, cultures and ethnicities so that the results portray a wide range of views and factors affecting the age of women who give birth in New Zealand. To achieve this, purposive sampling will be used. Purposive sampling involves selecting individuals who represent the desired population. This method of sampling is non-probability and requires the researcher to consciously select the individuals to participate in the research (Burns & Grove, 2001).
  • 7. Ethical Issues
    This research plan must be submitted to the New Zealand Health and Disability Ethics Committees, specifically the Northern X and Y Committees which is responsible for matters in Auckland (New Zealand Health and Disability Ethics Committees, 2007). All research involving human participants must be presented to the New Zealand Health and Disability Ethics Committee (Auckland District Health Board, 2006). Research must also be approved by the Research Review Committeeas they are responsible for any research that is carried out in the ADHB (ADHB, 2006).
    The ethical issues of protection from harm, voluntary informed consent and confidentiality and privacy need to be considered in regards to the research. Considering and acknowledging ethics before commencing research protects the researcher, participants and any other third parties (Tolich, 2001).  
    Protecting confidentiality and privacy ensures that individuals will not be identified by any of the information they provide at any point in time, also that the information they provide will be kept safely in a confidential and private place; verbally and physically (Tolich, 2001).
    The ethical issue of protection from harm must be considered as the research must not result the participants with any ill effects (Tolich, 2001). According to Eckstein (2003) it is also the researchers’ responsibility to ensure that the participants are neither mentally nor physically harmed during the course of the research. To address this ethical issue, possible participants that report feeling unwell, are injured or severely ill will not be eligible to participate in the study.  
    It is vital for the participants to be informed about the purpose and nature of the research as well as being fully informed of what they are required to do (Westen, Burton, Kowalski, 2006). An informed consentform will be given to participants to read over and sign before any research is conducted. In addition to this, the purpose of the research will be verbally discussed with the participants and any questions will be answered. Participants will be assured that the research is completely anonymous, confidential and that they have the right to refuse or withdraw. The participants must be willing to do the research and must not be coerced or forced, the participation must be voluntary (Westen et., al 2006).   
  • 8. Cultural Issues
    When conducting research in New Zealand it is important for the research to respect and include the three main principles included in the Treaty of Waitangi which are participation, protection and partnership (Hudson & Russell, 2008). 
    New Zealand is a multicultural nation and it is important to acknowledge this and respect and value the knowledge, cultural beliefs, norms, languages and values that are reported during the research process. It is vital for the researcher to approach the different cultural groups and ethnicities in a culturally safe way respecting their traditions and preferences.
    According to the voluntary participation principle, participants must not be forced or coerced into participating in the study; the participants must be willing to participate. Participants will be informed of their rights, and of the right to refuse participation and withdraw from the research at any time (Hudson & Russell, 2008). If there are any cultural differences, values or beliefs between the researcher and the participant it is important that the researcher is careful to put their own beliefs, values and differences aside and not judge the participant at all (Marshall & Batten, 2003).
    It is important for the researcher to be literate and aware of the many different cultural value and belief systems. It is proven that culturally literate researchers have a higher chance of practicing in an ethical way (Marshall & Batten, 2003).  
  • 9. How I would analyse the data
    Data will be analyised by the method of THEMATIC ANALYSIS.
    Thematic analysis identifies the common themes and ideas that emerge from the data by counting the recurrence of particular words with the same meaning, looking for repetition of words and observing forcefulness in the way an idea was written or said (for example, changes in tone of voice and volume or words written in caps lock, underlined or circled) (Owen, 1984). The reason why thematic analysis will be used is so that each interaction with the participant and each written statement can be thoroughly analysed so that the main themes are able to be identified; and from these main themes the factors that affect the age of women giving birth in New Zealand will be able to be identified
  • 10. The implications for practice of my study
    If the research is carried out it will provide the deeper underlying factors that affect the age that women give birth in New Zealand. This knowledge will be beneficial to health professionals as they will be more aware of these issues affecting women and be able to offer appropriate community support services to these women to suit their needs.
  • 11. References
    Chiovitti, R & Piran, N. (2003). Rigour and Grounded theory research. Retrieved 17 May 2010 from 
    Owen, W. (1984). Interpretive themes in relational communication. Quarterly Journal of Speech, 70, 274- 287.
    Marshall, A., & Batten, S. (2003). Ethical Issues in Cross-Cultural Research. Retrieved 19 May 2010 from
    Hudson, M., & Russell, K. (2008).The Treaty of Waitangi and Research Ethics in Aotearoa. Retrieved 19 May 2010 from
     Auckland District Health Board. (2006). Research- approval policy. Retrieved 14 May 2010 from http://adhbintranet/ADHB_Policies_and_Procedures/Policies/ADHB_Board/Staff/research_a pplication_&_approval.htm
    Tolich, M. (2001). Research Ethics in Aotearoa New Zealand. Auckland: Pearson Education. 
    Westen, D., Burton, L., and Kowalski, R. (2006) Psychology: Australian and New Zealand edition. Milton, Queensland: John Wiley and Sons Australia, Ltd. 
    New Zealand Health and Disability Ethics Committees. 2007. What Research Requires Ethical Review. Retrieved 11 May 2010 from whatresearch?Open&m_id=4.1 
    QSR International Pty Ltd. (2007). What is Qualitative Research? Retrieved 1 May 2010 from
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