A Methodological Analysis of Chaplaincy Research: 2000-2009
The present article presents a comprehensive review and analysis of quantitative research conducted in the United States on chaplaincy and closely related topics published between 2000 and 2009. A combined search strategy identified 49 quantitative studies in 13 journals. The analysis focuses on the methodological sophistication of the studies, compared to earlier research on chaplaincy and pastoral care. Cross-sectional surveys of convenience samples still dominate the field, but sample sizes have increased somewhat over the past three decades. Reporting of the validity and reliability of measures continues to be low, although reporting of response rates has improved. Improvements in the use of inferential statistics and statistical controls were also observed, compared to previous research. The authors conclude that more experimental research is needed on chaplaincy, along with an increased use of hypothesis testing, regardless of the research designs that are used.