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Help choosing statistical test

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  • #36839

    McNabb
    Participant

    I am working to evaluate an animal assisted therapy program for kids in special education by doing case studies and I need some help. Here’s what I have: A child has 2 goals that are measured in the classroom and in the program. Each goal is measured by the percentage of time per day they achieve this goal. I would like to compare the differences in behavior statistically between what the child achieves in the classroom and in the program.(e.g., compare goal 1 in the classroom to goal 1 in the program). Would I do a paired t-test or some type of ANOVA or am I way off? Thanks so much!

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    #107240

    Robert Butler
    Participant

      Based on you description, a paired t-test would be appropriate.   The t-test is robust with respect to non-normality but as a matter of course you should plot your data (side-by-side boxplots and normal plots) to make sure your data isn’t wildly non-normal.  You sound like you are in the medical field so just finding a singificant difference with respect to a t-test won’t be enough.  Before you publish or attempt to apply your findings you will have to answer questions about test power.  There may also be issues surrounding repeated sampling – i.e. is each child going to be going to be measured only once – once in the classroom and once in the program or are you going to repeat the same measures on the same child over time.  If your scheme is the latter then a simple paired t-test won’t be appropriate because of the correlation structure of the data. If you are in a medical setting, contact your medical center biostatistician and discuss your protocol with him/her before you go out to gather data. There is a very good chance that he/she will be able to provide valuable feedback with respect to issues surrounding your data gathering and data analysis efforts. 

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