Consulting Work for Prevent Child Abuse Illinois

Over winter break I worked to analyze data from a survey for the Human Trafficking Research Lab's consulting work with Prevent Child Abuse Illinois. They asked us to take a survey they performed themselves and analyze the findings. It was most definitely a lot of work, but just like anything else I’ve done for the research lab, I found this work to be very rewarding. Basically I took the survey data and analyzed it in SPSS a statistical software program and put it into cross tabulations which calculated frequencies and percentages for all the data points. Then I wrote up the findings explaining what the data was telling us. I also coded the qualitative responses looking for overarching themes in the data and calculated those responses including interesting quotes and findings from the data.

Surprisingly, the respondents were not very familiar with many aspects of child abuse. I didn’t necessarily expect any of the respondents to be experts on the issue, but there was a good chunk of questions that most respondents just flat-out did not answer. I understand the human desire to not seem foolish when talking about something you’re not super well-versed in, but the lack of answers for our open-ended questions was disappointing as I was coding the data. We had to draw conclusions based on what some respondents were telling us as opposed to having responses from every respondent. Survey fatigue was apparent in the data as one question that had less than 200 responses even though the survey had over 2500 respondents. It was just kind of disappointing to see that in the results. 

All in all, though, this was a positive experience for me. It was my first time doing something like this on a scale this big. I was honestly kind of worried the entire time that I was doing everything wrong, but then Dr. Dean told me I did an awesome job with the data and that she was very impressed with my work. I definitely feel more confident with my position in the research lab and the work I do using research skills from class and building on those in the lab. I’m looking forward to whatever comes up next!  

Rhys Deiter


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