This topic of research topic was conducted using mixed methods of research in order to comprehensively understand the social phenomenon. According to G. & D. (2006), mixed methods research can be defined as a style of research that employs procedures for carrying out research that are usually applied in both qualitative and quantitative studies. This style of research is very important because it is used to build upon the strength and synergy that exists between qualitative and quantitative research methods so that a given phenomenon can be more fully understood than is possible employing either qualitative or quantitative methods alone. A mixed research method proposal must bear a written description regarding the strategy to be employed as well as a visual model, consisting of basic procedures that researchers will use in the course of implementing the strategy. There are three main mixed method inquiry strategies namely, sequential, concurrent, and transformative.
Types of mixed method strategies
In the sequential inquiry strategy the researcher attempts to elaborate on the findings of one research method with another, for instance, a researcher will start with a qualitative research method to discover the issue, followed by a qualitative research method so as the results of the study to be generalized. With concurrent inquiry strategy, the researcher gathers both qualitative and quantitative data at the same time in the course of study so as to analyze the research problem in comprehensive terms (Maxwell, 2005). Transformative inquiry strategy allows a researcher to employ a theoretical lens as a dominant perspective in a design that contains both qualitative and quantitative data. These inquiry strategies are further classified into alternative variations of mixed method inquiry strategies which include sequential explanatory strategy, sequential exploratory strategy, sequential transformative strategy, concurrent triangulation strategy, concurrent nested strategy, and concurrent transformative strategy (Denscombe, 2007).
Mixed methods research was developed to determine how computer interaction negatively affects teenagers socially. The combination of both qualitative and quantitative research targeted a population of fifty-two high school students, whose ages ranged between 15 to 17 years, thus representing teenage population. The researcher employed a sequential inquiry strategy in course of this study to collect data. She first used qualitative methods, followed by the quantitative methods. A visit was made to the place of research before the real study for the researcher to introduce herself to the concerned authority and the students concerned, as well as to obtain the background information that covers the research topic. This was important because the researcher needed to familiarize herself with the concerned individual at the place of study. After the qualitative research in the school environment, the researcher employed qualitative research methods by gathering the secondary study materials relevant to the research area so as interpret the qualitative findings (Punch, 2005).
Importance of mixed methods strategy
The researcher used sequential exploratory mixed method strategy by first applying qualitative research methods, followed by quantitative research methods. The mixed methods strategy was found beneficial because the quantitative research methods are used to interpret the findings of the qualitative findings, and therefore enable the researcher to understand the social phenomenon in comprehensive terms. An explicit theoretical perspective would be dominant since the social phenomenon needed to be understood clearly and precisely.