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Capstone Ethics Paper

May 31, 2022


Ethical Consideration in Doctoral Project Plan Report

Background of Doctoral Project Plan Report The capstone project’s focus is on enhancing the Aagency’s ability to assist domestic violence victims in developing self-sufficiency in financial literacy to maintain financial stability. The project focuses on developing a training protocol to help the agency and how the agency better service victims with helping them maintain financial stability long after the abuse is over. The agency is a dual program that focuses on investigating the issues of violence and assault by exploring gender, family violence, and sexual assault. I will be addressing the financial impediments experienced by women and their role in restricting their freedom, especially those abused by their intimate partners. Of the major reasons considered, fFinancial instability is explained to be one of the greatest reasons why women experience limited choices after gaining their freedom from leaving their abusers. Generally, economic instability is used to bind women and their abusers. The long-term effect is that such women will need assistance maintaining a long-term financial dependency of the victim. The agency comes into play when it helps obtain housing for abused women obtain short-term housing, but long-term housing and financial stability is harder to maintain. The agencyand critically assesses the problem to see how they can develop a solution or idea that can change it. Comment by Lyndon, Amy E: Maybe you should also specify that the agency is a domestic violence shelter?

The capstone project topic is needed because issues such as financial literacy training are necessary to help the surveyors of domestic violence to gain financial independence. But the Agency has been a deficiency in the empirical evidence on the proposed interventions. Thus the capstone project fills the gap by examining the impact of improving the financial literacy of the domestic violence victims. Importantly, in the project, I will create training that will help the victims to understand the importance of being financially stable and learning how to manuver through life in hopes of staying that way. I employed descriptive research using a survey design and used both quantitative and quantitative analysis. Further, the project provides the approach used in terms of sample and design, and risk assessment is described together with ethical considerations for the sample. This paper will review how I will ethically deal with the agency staff while conducting interviews and participating/interacting with the victims while providing financial literacy training.

Research Ethics

According to Israel and& Hay (2006), the application of fundamental ethical principles to research activities, such as the design and implementation of research, the use of resources and research outputs, respect for society and others, and scientific misconduct and research regulation, is what research ethics is all about. Some commonly known concepts of research ethics principles include integrity, openness, objectivity, honesty, confidentiality, respect for intellectual property, and responsible publication. Ethical standards in research help ensure that researchers are held legally liable and promote important values in joint projects (Banks et al., 2013). The most crucial reason for research ethics is that the ethical norms promote the research aims, such as error avoidance. Research ethics explains how the participants will be protected in the interview, and safety and privacy must be paramount. Comment by Lyndon, Amy E: Narrative citations use and, not the ampersand/&. Fix throughout.

Review of the Main Principles of Ethics

The main principles used in research are justice, respect for persons, and beneficence, as stipulated in the Belmont Rreport (National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research, 1979). The paper highlights the ethical concepts that the Commission selected as basic ethical principles throughout its discussions (Adashi et al., 2018). The first basic principle is respect for persons, incorporating two ethical convictions. The beliefs include that a person with limited autonomy should be protected and that persons should be considered self-sufficient. Thus, the respect for persons principle is divided into a moral obligation to protect persons who have lost their autonomy and a moral obligation to acknowledge autonomy (Mele, 2009). Respecting autonomy is giving weight to the autonomous person’s considered opinions and choices and, at the same time avoiding going against their actions unless they affect other individuals. In some cases, human beings are not capable of self-determination. When dealing with the staff of the agency, my potential for self-determination matures throughout an individual’s life, and some people lose it due to disease or mental incapacity (Mele 2009). I understand that sSome people will require considerable protection, including banning them from potentially harmful activities that would compromise their health. As a result, the respect I will accord to the Havens victims will be based on the likelihood of benefit vs the risk of harm. Regarding research involving human subjects, such as dealing with the agency victims, I will be respectful to individuals because this necessitates that the participants participate voluntarily and with sufficient information to have positive interactions. Comment by Lyndon, Amy E: This is the citation for The Belmont Report. Comment by Lyndon, Amy E: Put a comma between the author name and date in parenthetical citations. Fix throughout. Comment by Lyndon, Amy E: You will not have any participants because you’re not doing any research or gathering any data. If you want to talk about how you’ll incorporate the idea of respect for persons in your training protocol, this would be the place for it. But NOT as research, participants, study, etc.

The basic principle of beneficence requires that a person’s well-being be secured, not just protecting them from harm and respecting their decisions. The principle covers the act of charity or kindness that go beyond obligations (Anabo et al., 2019). Therefore, beneficence is taken as an obligation and has three general roles of the action: Do no harm, maximize the advantages, and minimize the risks. To avoid injury, I will learn what is dangerous when interacting with the patients and understand how the victims might get harmed. Because these principles extend from specific research initiatives to the entire research enterprise, they impact investigators and society (Meng & Qian, 2021). When it comes to scientific research, I will ensure that the community members know the long-term benefits and risks that may arise while interacting with them. Children’s research is an example of where the principle is applicable; thus, for the agency victims of lower age avoidance of harm that previously accepted ordinary activities might cause. Comment by Lyndon, Amy E: Some of this information applies, but make sure you specify that this is NOT in a research context, but as people who will be receiving the training. In fact, it’s best to talk about how you might construct training protocols to reinforce the that these individuals will receive the maximum benefit of the training (NOT in the context of a study or as participants in a study).

The third basic principle is justice, which examines if the research is fair in its distribution. In research, injustice arises when a person’s right to a benefit is denied for no good reason. According to Anabo et al. (2019), the principle of justice indicates that equals should be treated equally. The principle requires clarification as to who is unequal and who is equal. The formulas used to distribute costs and rewards should be distributed; the formulas are that each person should receive an equal share, that each person should receive according to societal contribution, that each person should receive according to the effort put in, and that each person should receive according to individual merit, and that each person should receive according to individual need. For a long time, concepts of justice have been important in human subjects research. The principle of justice is in line with my dealing and interaction with the agency victims and staff because the chosen population of the research are likely to benefit in the near future from my provision of financial literacy. Comment by Lyndon, Amy E: Can you explain what this means? It’s quite ambiguous/general. Comment by Lyndon, Amy E: A large part of justice is also not doing research on only one group and applying it to another. Historical examples include doing research on men and applying it to women; having poor Black men participate in research because they can be exploited, etc.

Ethical considerations

In my capstone project, I will apply ethical considerations concerning the victims in the agency as I maintain privacy and confidentiality policies already in place by the agency. Having the agency to deal with victims and survivors is paramount for me to observe ethics correctly (Meng & Qian, 2021). I will observe various ethical consideration principles in protecting the participants women undergoing the financial literacy training and use different strategies to ensure that each of the principles is maximized so that I can achieve the highest level of ethical considerations. These principles, their description, and how I will mitigate the risks involved are explained below.

Informed consent- in ensuring that I respect the victims as I collect information, I will allow them to choose whether to be interviewed or included in the survey. Providing this opportunity will depend on whether the informed consent is satisfied (Meng & Qian, 2021). In such a sense, I will ensure that the Havens victim’s participants have entered voluntarily and have information concerning what it means for them to participate. I will explain every detail to the participant on the capstone project goal and why I could use them in the survey. For participants who will give their consent at this point, I will interact with them; for those who will be reluctant to join, I will have them my consideration when developing the training protocols. To ensure that I have a maximum number of participants to interact with to meet the project’s goal, I will offer a critical explanation of the clinical investigation, expected duration of interview, procedure to be used, and explain the benefits and risks discomforts. I will explain to them about their confidentiality and future benefits of participating in the project, and before the activity, I will develop a risk monitoring plan as postulated by (Josephson & Smale, 2021). I will ensure that the documentation consent, competency, decision capacity, and disclosure are observed to mitigate participants’ risk. Comment by Lyndon, Amy E: I don’t understand how this keeps popping up, as you aren’t doing a study with interviews or surveys. I know the instructions talk about it, but you know you’re not doing it. Take everything about informed consent, participants in research, etc. out. Talk about the practical matters of how you’ll develop the training to be inclusive of different types of experiences – maybe consider whether materials should also be offered in Spanish (as one hypothetical example), or something about the creation of your service project, which is NOT data/research.

Protection and privacy- in applying the protection principle, I will ensure that the means I use will not frighten, embarrass, harm, or offend the participants. I will ensure that the risk of harm is not greater than their normal life. Privacy is the person’s interest to control access to others and themselves. I will only use participants who chose to volunteer and ensure that I will not force the participants to give or reveal any information forcefully. Additionally, I will mitigate the risk of privacy by coding the participants as A and B so that their information will not be revealed and will aid in increasing the probability of getting honest answers from the victims in my project. To reduce the risk of privacy issues, I will ensure that all the identities are confidential during the interview process and the subsequent reports by being careful that the information published has inadequate information that can lead to the identification of the participants. Josephson & Smale (2021) postulate having control over the participant information will maximize my training protocols and mitigate the risk of privacy and protection.

Confidentiality- having gained the researcher’s consent and assured them of the protection and privacy, the participant will willingly give their responses depending on my literacy training deliverables. Therefore, I will ensure that the information given concerning each participant, which I should not disclose to other persons. The principle of confidentiality is in line with privacy, thus making a mileage success in the principle of protection and privacy. The principle of confidentiality becomes easy to follow (Fleming & Zegwaard, 2018). Some confidentiality risks that I will address include stigmatization, social embarrassment, and economic and social status damage such as losing health insurance and employment. Understanding that breach of confidentiality undermines credibility and trust enjoyed in research, I will ensure that any information such as names, places of residence, and birthdates remains confidential during the interview process and post-studies.

The anonymity of individuals and organizations- in providing anonymity of the information collected as I deal with the Havens staff and interact with Havens victims, I shall make certain that the information I obtain from the participants does not contain any personally identifiable information, such as email addresses, addresses, or names. I shall ensure that my training of the victims on financial literacy does not link the individual responses with their research identities (Hunter et al., 2018). Anonymity helps protect the participant’s privacy and assures them that the information they reveal cannot be used to identify them. The information collected will be secured through password-protected files to reduce the anonymity risk. The voluntary consent accredits a sign of agreement on the issue of anonymity to the participant. Throughout my research, the information collected from participants requires no personal or identifying information.

Transparency: In research, individuals have different interests, and some interests might compete with each other. Transparency implies that one should not conceal information from others interested in knowing the information as a researcher (Parkinson 2022). I will ensure that in my provision of financial literacy and underlying claims are available for other members to evaluate. Additionally, I will mitigate the risk of doubt about the provision of financial literacy training by reporting the results, informing the participants, and sharing my experiences. Conflicts of interest are when other personal considerations may compromise the investigator’s professional judgment. As I interact with the victims in my capstone approach, my research has no conflict of interest. It is intended for the mentioned gap in sexual assault and family violence victims. In mitigating the conflict of interest in the project, I will adopt a conflict of interest policy, promote a culture of disclosure and maintain a register of interest. Also, some of the participants might have interests that conflict with the training protocol. To avoid the risk of them listening to information that favours their interest, each section of the training protocol was set to invoke the individual desires within the project (Parkinson 2022).

Bias in research ethics deals with the act of the researcher influencing the investigation process either knowingly or unknowingly (Parkinson 2022). Conformity bias can be present in respondents who behave like those around them rather than using their judgment. People are seen to be more comfortable mimicking others. As I interact with the victims, I will ensure the participant is not biased by ensuring that all identified participants receive the same training, especially in my case, women who have had family violence cases and have financial constraints, and find it difficult to obtain financial stability. All participants will be selected by the agency staff which helps eliminate bias. Targeting all participants needs gives more courage that the interviews will not have conformity bias within it implying that research outcomes will be valid. In this interaction and interview, I have no conflict of interest; thus, I will encourage one interview outcome. To avoid interview bias, both genders are to understand the need for financial literacy from the root level rather than using women who are victims of assault. Lastly, to ensure no bias, the research training protocols were evaluated to ensure that the statements were not biased.

I will specifically offer financial literacy training to the vulnerable population without inquiring much from them. The vulnerable population includes economically disadvantaged individuals with diminished capacity, children, prisoners, ill individuals, and racial minorities (Arifin 2018). The population was excluded from the project because of the difficulty of obtaining informed consent due to situational circumstances. Population considerations consider women who have economic stability due to the abuser effects, which the long-term effect is the need for maintaining the long-term housing and financial stability. This population was ethically considered for the research because the agency deals with it. I will look at the financial impediments experienced by women and their role in restricting their freedom, especially those abused by their intimate partners. Of the major reasons considered, financial instability is explained to be one of the greatest reasons why women experience limited choices after gaining their freedom. Generally, economic instability is used to bind women and their abusers. The long-term effect is that such women will need assistance maintaining a long-term shelter. The population was chosen because the agency deals with family violence and sexual assault by exploring gender, violence, and sexual assault.

Conclusion

The agency is a vital nonprofit organization that helps maintain women who experience family violence and sexual assault. Such women encounter challenges of financial impediments, which results in them living through domestic violent situations, but the agency comes into play to help with this major issue. In understanding this problem and interacting with the victims of assault and family violence, this paper has shown that ethical consideration is important. Past studies have shown that research ethics has three basic principles that every researcher should consider in the research process: justice, beneficence, and respect for persons. Of the three principles, the most important principle where all other principles of ethical consideration lie is that of respect for persons. The book has shown that it is important to have informed consent before conducting the interviews and dealing with the participants.

A researcher should explain the need for the research and explain both risks and benefits to the participants so that other principles of ethical consideration can be easily applicable and the research findings can be valid. Principles like bias, transparency, privacy protection, the anonymity of individuals, and conflicts of interests all depend on the participants’ informed consent. Practically, I will ensure that I follow the research ethics so that the results I will get will enable me to make valid conclusions concerning the agency’s strategy for women who had suffered from family violence and sexual assault earlier in life. From analysis, my DPP ethically aligns with the Belmont report and the ethical considerations principles in dealing with the Haven staff while conducting interviews and participating/interacting with the victims while providing financial literacy training.

References

Adashi, E. Y., Walters, L. B., & Menikoff, J. A. (2018). The Belmont Report at 40: reckoning with time. American Journal of Public Health, 108(10), 1345-1348.

Anabo, I. F., Elexpuru-Albizuri, I., & Villardón-Gallego, L. (2019). Revisiting the Belmont Report’s ethical principles in internet-mediated research: Perspectives from disciplinary associations in the social sciences. Ethics and Information Technology, 21(2), 137-149.

Arifin, S. R. M. (2018). Ethical considerations in qualitative study. International Journal of Care Scholars, 1(2), 30-33.

Fleming, J., & Zegwaard, K. E. (2018). Methodologies, Methods and Ethical Considerations for Conducting Research in Work-Integrated Learning. International Journal of Work-Integrated Learning, 19(3), 205-213.

Hunter, R. F., Gough, A., O’Kane, N., McKeown, G., Fitzpatrick, A., Walker, T., … & Kee, F. (2018). Ethical issues in social media research for public health. American Journal of Public Health, 108(3), 343-348.

Israel, M., & Hay, I. (2006). Research ethics for social scientists. Sage.

Josephson, A., & Smale, M. (2021). What do you mean by “informed consent”? Ethics in economic development research. Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, 43(4), 1305-1329.

Melé, D. (2009). Integrating personalism into virtue-based business ethics: The personalist and the common good principles. Journal of Business ethics, 88(1), 227-244.

Meng, Q., & Qian, X. (2021). Ethics: Informed Consent, Patient Privacy. Clinical Molecular Diagnostics, 39-44.

Parkinson, S. E. (2022). (Dis) courtesy Bias: “Methodological Cognates,” Data Validity, and Ethics in Violence-Adjacent Research. Comparative Political Studies, 55(3), 420-450.

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