Inthe article, theeffects of Social connections on self rated mental and physicalhealth among the internal migrant and local adolescents in Shanghai,China,the authors carried out the study in Pudong new area of Shanghai,where there was a high population of immigrants therefore,representing diverse occupations and backgrounds. It is noted that inthe year 2004 Shanghai was the largest host for internal migrants inChina. As a result of this the author chose to use the random datacollection method. The authors also argue that the suburban schoolsin this city usually serve the children of the general population(Mao & Zhao, 2009). This is in contrast to those schools locatedin the city that particularly cater for the gifted children and thoseconsidered elite, thus enhancing his logic for the choice of datacollection method.
Accordingto the article, the authors randomly selected three regular middleschools from Suburban districts of Pudong new area. He then randomlychose four classes in each grade and administered anonymous selfadministered questionnaires thus the design. The questionnaires wereissued from grades 6-8 to ensure respondents have total comprehensionof what is required. The questionnaires administered had the sameinstructions and were all collected after class sessions.
Theauthor argues that there is a noticeably poor physical and mentalhealth among migrant adolescents. This is as a result of poor socialconnections, significant disparities in the social cohesion, peerassociations as well as family cohesion. This is evident when acomparison is made with their local peers.
Inthe article, socialdisconnectedness,perceived isolation, and health among older adults,the authors take a different approach employing individual interviewsas the method of data collection (Cornwell& Waite, 2009).This is because an interview allows the author to reach deeper depthsof meaning. This cannot be achieved through any other technique. Itis also a flexible way and allows an individual to be understood fromthe perspective of the particular context.
Inaddition, the authors also used Focus Groups as another method ofdata collection. This technique is also relatively effective as itminimizes the interviewer’s influence on the data. It also ensuresthe accuracy of reflection of social reality in comparison to othertechniques.
Thedesign used in the second article is that the researcher organizedthe focus group discussion so that it was facilitated by a moderator(Cornwell& Waite, 2009).The researcher also had an observer in place to act as theco-moderator. The role of the observer was to concentrate on thegroup dynamics as well as support the moderator.
Theauthors of the second article argue that it is more likely for olderadults to encounter health complications if social support andcompanionship is significantly absent (Cornwell& Waite, 2009).Social connectedness plus the perception of available support usuallybuffer the deleterious stress exposure effects. The author arguesthat individuals who are socially connected may receive formidablesupport from co-residents and network members.
Inconclusion, the research findings in both articles come to theconclusion that social cohesion is an absolutely important factor inthe psychological as well as the physical well being of anindividual. It is therefore very critical that interpersonal systemsbe strengthened. Social cohesion and positive connectedness are verysignificant and protective factors that enhance mental health. Forthis to be achieved there is an urgent need for knowledge on the sideof those responsible in the community so that a deeper understandingof the integration difficulties is reached.
Cornwell,E. Y. & Waite, J.L. (2009). Social Disconnectedness, PerceivedIsolation, and Health among Older Adults Journalof Health and Social Behavior March 50: 31-48.
Mao,Z. & Zhao, X. (2012). Theeffects of social connections on self-rated physical and mentalhealth among internal migrant and local adolescents in Shanghai,China. BioMed Central Ltd, doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-97.