An important goal of Epidemiology is to examine patterns of health and health-related behaviours in populations. This assignment applies these principles through analysing and interpreting data regarding alcohol use in high school students. Understanding patterns of alcohol use facilitates Health Promotion interventions that allow young people to make informed choices and to minimise their health risks, as well as reducing risks to the broader community. Your task in this assignment is to analyse the data provided and to create a research poster to educate high school teachers at a conference event about health behaviours in young people.
The data for this assignment is taken from a real national survey of youth risk behaviour, but has been modified significantly for the purposes of this assignment. It is from one year’s data collection of a repeated cross-sectional survey that collects data from a representative sample of high school students from years 9 to 12. You MUST USE the dataset provided here. The use of any other dataset will be considered to be an indicator of contract cheating.
The poster must be A3 size. A quick Google search on ‘research posters’ will show the many forms a poster can take. The aim of a research poster is to tell the audience about the research and who did it, why it’s important, how you did your analysis, what you found and what that means. Research posters are a part of almost all scientific conferences and people will usually only have a few minutes to focus on each poster – make sure you get all of that information across in the most efficient and eye-catching way possible. You want people to want to read it, and to get the message easily.
Be guided by the content in weeks 1-3 of the course for how to present graphs and tables properly. Also make sure you follow the rubric. Your poster should include both tables and graphs (at least one of each). It’s up to you to choose whether a table or a graph (or just describing the answer as text) is best for each question.
You can create the poster in Word, PowerPoint or an equivalent program, but you must submit an electronic copy that is A3 size. Note you can only use one side of the page. Your final poster must be in pdf or ppt (but NOT doc) format. Scanned text or images are NOT accepted formats as these cannot be marked online. [Please also see the important note below about the statistical output that you also need to include]
The target audience for your poster is secondary school teachers attending a conference on student health. Therefore, your language and tone need to be appropriate for this audience – formal academic English, though not with too much technical jargon.
The analysis should address the following questions:
What percentage of the cohort have used alcohol?
Of those students who have consumed alcohol, at what age did males and females commence consumption?
What are the percentages of alcohol use by age?
Describe the relationship between binge drinking over the preceding 30 days and age?
Which grade level is the most likely to have consumed 8 or more drinks at one time (within the preceding 30 days)? [***Note, there was a typo in this question – it should have read “9 or more drinks at one time”. Student’s won’t be marked down however if they attempt to answer the original question***]
Your poster must include:
At least one table (you can have more if you think that’s the best way of presenting results to the above questions)
At least one graph (you can have more if you think that’s the best way of presenting results to the above questions)
A minimum of 250 words (maximum) text describing why the topic is important, details about the study and interpretation of the results. No conclusion is necessary.
You must also provide:
All of your statistical analysis output (.spv file including syntax) from SPSS that you conducted for the poster. Failure to include this output will result in a mark of zero for this assessment. Please make sure your output file includes all data transformations (e.g. filters), descriiptive statistics, and other steps you conducted for your poster. However, please do not include any information in your output file that is not relevant to the data presented on your poster. You will be marked down for this!
A marking rubric is provided below. The assignment is out of a total of 60 marks and is worth 40% of the marks for this subject.
Your role is to discover the ‘story’ in the data and then present it in a way that catches the attention of, and is easily digestible for, a non-researcher. You will need to choose what you want to emphasise in the poster and how to do that. There is no single ‘right’ approach; there will be many ways to do a good assignment. But, correctness and clarity are important.
This assessment is worth 40% of the total grade for the unit.