Conducting Health Research: Principles, Process, and Methods presents an integrated and practical introduction to the principles and strategies for planning, implementing, reporting, and assessing health sciences research. Comprehensive in its breadth and depth, with an accessible writing style, this text prepares students in public health and related fields to be adept researchers and consumers of health research. Through real-world examples and step-by-step guidance, Frederick J. Kviz provides students with the skills they need to: identify and evaluate research strengths and limitations as practitioners; to actually perform the various core aspects of research; and to choose among alternative methods when making decisions about health practice, policy, and future research needs.

Research Design Validity

Research Design Validity

Research Design Validity

A wooden scale with four shiny balls arranged in a pile on the scale plate on the left and one large shiny ball of a different color on the scale plate on the right. The scale tips toward the large ball on the right.

Learning Objectives

After studying Chapter 5, the reader should be able to:

  • Distinguish between observational and causal research design approaches
  • Distinguish between internal and external validity of research designs
  • Identify threats to internal validity and apply strategies to address them
  • Identify threats to external validity and apply strategies to address them
  • Apply guidelines for balancing priorities for emphasizing internal versus external validity


The factors that influence research design validity vary according to the research question and whether an observational or causal approach is employed. Choosing or developing the optimal design involves addressing a design’s internal and external validity. It is essential to understand how each type of validity may be threatened and how a design may be developed to address those threats. The ultimate research design ...

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