Childhood Obesity

Analysis of Contemporary Social Issue Part 1-Preliminary Problem Analysis

Problem Analysis Overview: The problem analysis (4-5 pages) is a critical aspect of understanding the policy process. Legislation is typically introduced to address a perceived problem. Without a clear understanding of the problem and how it is being defined (there are often competing definitions), it is impossible to come to any sound conclusions about how well a particular policy may respond to it. Your problem analysis should include the following information, related to the problem stream in Kingdon’s Agenda-Setting Model:

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  • Problem Definition (Approximately 1.5 pages): Identify the problem/condition that you will focus on. Be careful not to be too broad in choosing a problem. Using evidence from research, report on the size and scope of the problem. This section focuses on the quantitative dimensions of the problem. In other words, how many people are affected, how they are affected, and who (demographics of the problem), specifically, is most affected. You should also examine trends that have affected the underlying problem, such as population shifts, economic changes, social trends, international developments, etc. Additionally, report on common variations within the problem category (For example, if your social problem is child abuse, there are several important subcategories, such as sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and physical abuse).
  • Consequences (Approximately 1 page): Report on the key consequences of the problem, according to the research and literature. How are people directly impacted by the problem? What are possible indirect impacts? This section helps explain why the social condition you are writing about is actually a problem.
  • Causes (Approximately 1 page): Report on the most common causal explanations for the existence of the problem that are being reported in the research and literature. There may be more than one causal explanation, so feel free to describe the ones that seem most salient, based on your research.
  • Problem Framing (Approximately .5 page): Lastly, briefly describe any commonly occurring competing definitions of the problem. This section is important, as it will help provide the context for different policy solutions being offered to address your chosen problem.Your paper should be written in APA style and cite at least 6 scholarly sources (e.g. peer reviewed articles, government reports, policy think-tank analyses, etc.). You may use more than 6 sources, including newspaper articles, magazine articles, etc. (in most cases, avoid citing Blogs and less formal online sources). You do not need to write an abstract, but you should have a title page and references section.

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