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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Dani Moffit, MA, MPE, ATC (Temple University College of Health Professioins)
Description: Last updated in 2004, this is a concise, user friendly book written specifically for students in health, physical education, exercise science, and recreation (HPER). Structured more notably for a semester-based course, it provides basic introductory information needed for a student to move forward in the research realm of academia.
Purpose: The purpose is to enhance readers' abilities to conduct research and allow practitioners to be able to use research in their professional work. This book is necessary in HPER as it provides key references specific for an area that is often underrepresented in published work. As a reference and guide, this book meets the author's objectives.
Audience: This book is written for both students and professionals in the disciplines of HPER. The authors have taken the general discipline of research and provided specific examples and instances of its use in the areas of interest within HPER. The authors are experts in this area, which helps them to better describe a rather dry subject.
Features: Each chapter includes key concepts and objectives to introduce the content, as well as learning activities that reinforce what is covered. The section on statistics emphasizes interpretation, rather than actual mathematical skills. Computers can make the computations, but for researchers, the understanding of the results is what is necessary. This section also includes problems with solutions for independent practice. A nice inclusion is the chapter on ethics in human subject research, a topic with which students are often not familiar. This helps understanding of the process required to begin an initial study, and the importance of this quality control. Another valuable feature for new researchers is the "Checklist for Evaluating Research," which encourages careful review of research and helps one discern what determines good and poor research.
Assessment: This is an excellent book to have as a reference. It does not belabor any one area, but focuses on the important aspects of each topic and is to the point in each subject. For those who are being introduced to research for the first time, it provides an overview that is specific and thorough, including examples pertinent to HPER. For those who struggle with statistics, this is a basic primer on the need for concepts which will help build a research design. It is comparable to existing introductory research texts in this area.