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Discussion: Correlations
Does caffeine cause cancer? Is autism caused by childhood immunizations? What is the relationship between eating sugary sweets at night and weight gain? It is often helpful to determine and explore relationships between variables. This is especially important in health care, a field dedicated to providing quality care for patients and improving health outcomes. Examining relationships between variables forms the basis for correlational statistics.

In this Discussion, you identify a health care or nursing practice problem that can be explored with correlational statistics and formulate a research question for exploring that problem. You also develop a null and alternate hypothesis, determine the variables related to the study, and predict relationships between the variables based on what you know of correlational statistics.

To prepare:

Review this week’s Learning Resources and the “Correlation” tutorial focusing on the types of research questions that can be answered using a correlational statistic.
Brainstorm a number of health care delivery or nursing practice problems that could be explored using correlational statistics. Then, select one problem on which to focus for this Discussion.
Formulate a research question to address the problem and that would lead you to employ correlational statistics.
Develop a null hypothesis and alternate hypotheses.
Ask yourself: What is the expected direction of the relationship?
By Day 3
Post a cohesive response that addresses the following:

Identify your selected problem in the first line of your posting and post your research question.
Post a null hypothesis and alternate hypotheses for your research question and identify the dependent and independent variables that would be associated with the research study.
Provide your prediction for the expected relationship (positive or negative) between the variables. Why do you think that sort of relationship will exist? What other factors might affect the outcome?

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