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An Analysis of the Ecological Theory of Research
Participation Applied to a Sample of Young
Adult Males

By: Lisa M. Soler, RN and Adriana Ramirez | Mentor: Dr. Michael J. Rovito


Longitudinal research studies are consistently affected by attrition, which can undermine the validity and quality of the study results. Current practice has been to accept and compensate for participants' failure to complete the study, as opposed to making efforts to prevent such drop off prior to the study. The Ecological Theory of Research Participation (ETRP) describes factors within a study that contribute to attrition. Further, the model presents a participant-centered approach, composed of four layers, which provide strategies to incorporate into a study's design as preventative measures against attrition. This model prepares researchers to anticipate the reasons why attrition occurs and to take action to limit it and its effects. In this study the ETRP of previous research conducted by the authors is evaluated in regard to its explanatory efficacy. While promising in its current state, the model can be further developed to produce a more effective method of managing attrition.

KEYWORDS: attrition, Ecological Theory of Research Participation, testicular self-examination, behavioral studies

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