Research Design on Correlation Between Sports and the Level of IQ in Autistic Children

5 pages
1304 words
Middlebury College
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Terms and Assumptions

The research will employ various terms and assumptions due to the broadness in its integration between sports and a medical disorder. Terms of the methodology will include autism spectrum disorder, physical exercise, intelligence quotient, cognitive, and behavior. The primary assumption is that the population sample does not suffer from another disorder except autism to ensure competence in the validity and reliability of the results. Theoretical assumptions will also be made to ensure that supporting theories from the literature review have served the rightful purpose. Doctors will be involved in the study to monitor any improvements among the children.

Research Design

A research design is the plan and structure of investigation that aims at obtaining answers to research questions. The research design that will be used in this study will be experimental research design. Experimental research design refers to an experiment where researcher manipulates one variable and control the rest of the variables. The research design controls group, the subject which has been assigned randomly groups and the researcher test one effect at a time. This design will be adopted since it can either be qualitative or quantitative (Creswell, 2013). It this case, the research will involve an interpretive approach to the sports benefits in autistic children and their IQ. The qualitative data will include part of the behavioral analysis that will be collected from the children concerning their response to sports. The research design will present the researcher with a correlation between sports and the level of IQ in autistic children. This aspect will also be employed to compare previous research results, literature, and theories.

Population and Sample

A target population is a theoretically available group to whom a researcher generalizes the result. (Creswell,2013). The actual target population will be 60 individuals who will comprise a large group of autistic students who will willingly take part in the research. Given that the participants will be autistic children, permissions from their parents and guardians will be acquired. On the other hand, a sample is a portion of the population by the researcher to take part in the study as a representative of the research population. A random sample will be adopted so that every individual member of the population will have a known, non-zero chance of being selected as part of the sample (Teddlie & Yu,2007). The sample will include thirty autistic children from the age of five to ten. The sample number will ensure competent and reliable results by reducing errors, costs, and that doctors can easily monitor them.


Data is defined as recorded factual material frequently reserved by and accepted in the scientific community as essential to authenticate research findings. The specific data that will be recorded during the study will be if sporting activities have helped children with autism behavior to improve their ability to acquire skills and knowledge or not. The children will participate in various activities, and this is where research data will come from. Some of this activities will include, jogging /running, trampoline exercise and water-based exercise such as swimming.

The data will be collected for six months to provide enough time for the comparison of IQ levels and ways that the sports have had cognitive and behavioral impacts on the children. However, during the six month period, testing will be contacted every month so that the results can be compared on a monthly basis ensure competency and accuracy of the results.

Data Collection

Data collection is a process of gathering and measuring information on a variable of interest in a manner that is systematic and well established to enable the researcher to get the answer for the given research question(Creswell, 2013). Collection of the data will be in parts to ensure that the change in IQ has been caused by the physical exercises. The instruments used in collecting the data will provide data is gathered from all variables. The data would be accumulated monthly through IQ tests on the children to record any changes within the six-month period. Doctors will also help in the collection process to ensure that the samples health does not deteriorate. Spreadsheets, field notes and test responses would be used to collect the data.

Data Collection Instruments

Data collection instruments refer to the devices used in the collection of data such as questionnaires(Creswell, 2013). The instruments will include structured questionnaires, observations, and tests. A structured questionnaire containing both open-ended and close-ended questions will be used to collect primary data that will assist the researcher to get reliable information by seeking the opinion from doctors regarding the research question. The questionnaires will also be provided to autistic students who will be required to respond to various questions raised. The observer, on the other hand, will attend various field activities accompanied by children with autism disorder and they will be required to fill in observation forms after and after that, they will assess the children level of acquiring skills. Lastly, the IQ tests will be used to note changes in the autistic students intelligence.

Reliability and Validity of the Instruments

Validity is a way of evaluating the quality of the measurement procedure used to collect data during research (Thyer, 2010).Reliability emphasizes on the consistency; hence, ensuring that each instrument serves its intended purpose in the study. In the research, reliability will be checked through the observer reliability to make sure that consistent data had been recorded. Validity is an indication of how sound your research is. Validity shows to which extent a tool is performing as it was designed to measure. In this research, validity will be ensured through the content validity procedure whereby the instrument used in the observation process has been verified and validated through prior research (Picardi & Masick, 2013). It would be advisable to adopt a test developer who will go through the instruments and check their validity. Reliability can be compared to and contrasted with that of the prior researchers that have implemented similar research designs.

Reliability and Validity of the Methodology

The methodologys reliability will be measured by comparing it to other research approaches on similar studies (Picardi & Masick, 2013). New researchers in the same type of study should have similar results to ensure enhanced reliability and validity. The use of similar variables, instruments, and samples means that research should have almost similar results (Smith, 2013). Notably, the research should also not deviate from the theoretical facts supporting the study in the literature review. Validity of the methodology will rely on the whole research including the data collection and analysis procedure that helps in coming up with the results

Data Analysis

In this research, data analysis will take place by correlating data from the three instruments and factoring in any deviations or errors that occurred during the research period. In the long-run, the data will relate to the impact of the physical activities to the autistic childs IQ. The analysis will take place both monthly and after the six-month period to identify a trend on each variable in the research.

Limitations of the Study

Limitations will include the presence of personal behavioral differences that could affect the samples reaction to sports and other physical activities. Secondly, acquiring a sample will limit the study because not all parents will permit their autistic children to try sports rather than other working medications. Thirdly, additional economic and physical resources will be required to collect data for each child within the study period.



Creswell, J. W. (2013). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approach. Sage publications.

Teddlie, C., & Yu, F. (2007). Mixed methods sampling: A typology with examples. Journal of mixed methods research, 1(1), 77-100.

Picardi, C., & Masick, K. (2013). Research methods. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

Smith, J. (2013). Qualitative Psychology: A Practical Guide to Research Methods (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Tracy, S. (2012). Qualitative research methods. New York: John Wiley & Sons.


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