Developmental And Single-Subject Designs

Developmental And Single-Subject Designs

A relevant research topic on the issue would be seeking to understand why some children would show delayed growths in intellectual abilities in comparison to their peers. In such studies, there is the application of two major research designs namely longitudinal and the cross-sectional studies. While on one hand cross-sectional design is a method of comparing the performance of different age groups, longitudinal mode of research seeks to measure the performance of an individual as they progress in life (Shaffer, 2009). To understand the reason as to why certain individual children indicate slower intellectual growth compared to their peers the best method to use would be the longitudinal design. This given the fact that the design will allow the testing of such individuals alongside their peers to determine factors that could affect such differences, it would be the better design.

Considering that different education systems are possible causes, it would be appropriate to ensure that such factors that might alter the outcome are constant among the test subjects. Some practical issues need addressing in the research designs. They include the fact that any system will involve both environmental and biological parameters that will affect the similarities and differences observed in different individuals their age group notwithstanding. Another issue is the common presumption that longitudinal designs always offer accurate results in comparison to the cross-sectional designs (Shaffer, 2009). Cross-sectional design studies indicate that there are cohort differences confounded in the research. Such cohort differences emanate from distinct life contexts and experiences in life. However, given that the best method of understanding the performance of individual over a period is longitudinal, generational cohort differences will not be a major challenge to the hypothetical research process.

Single-subject research is an array of research methods applicable the analysis of behaviors using experiments. Moreover, it is also important in the application of behavioral analysis not only to humans but also to non-human beings. Principal methods contained in the single-subject include alternating treatments, multiple baseline, reversal, and changing criterion (Gast, 2009). Moreover, in the research of verbal behavior the most popular design is the multi-probe research method. Analysis of behavior is normally inductive, data driven, and finally averse to the hypothetico-deductive research. Sustained attention has been a problem in children and studies indicate that it affects the performance trends of youngsters. Children with sustained concentration will perform better in comparison to their counterparts that cannot pay attention for elongated periods. Improving such a condition would be of interest in a bid to improve the attention condition of such clients. The usage of single-subject research will be useful in the determination of the effectiveness of the treatment.

In the single design, there will be the need to indentify the individual participant but an extra participant would also be important (Gast, 2009). The next step will be the description of the setting, the participant, and process. Definition of the dependent variables is also important in the process of the single-subject study. Such variables have to be measurable and possible to define. Moreover, behavioral mechanisms, practice, and intervention define the independent variable in single subject research. Finally, there will be a baseline, which is important in the comparison of the child performance before and after the intervention. Baseline method would be the most appropriate in this study given the need for the comparison the kid’s attention before and after the intervention.


Shaffer, D. R. (2009).Developmental Psychology: Childhood and Adolescence. Stamford: Cengage Learning.

Gast D. L. (2009) .Single Subject Research Methodology in Behavioral Sciences. New York: Taylor & Francis.