A good

**theoretical framework** identifies and labels the important variables in the situation that are

relevant to the problem identified. It logically describes the interconnections among these

variables. The relationships among the independent variables, the dependent variable(s), and if

applicable, the moderating and intervening variables are elaborated.

The elaboration of the variables in the

**theoretical framework** addresses the issues of why or how

we expect certain relationships to exist, and the nature and direction of the relationships among

the variables of interest. At the end, the whole discussion can be portrayed in a schematic

diagram. There are six basic features that should be incorporated in any

**theoretical framework**.

These features are:

1. Make an inventory of variables: For developing a framework it appears essential to

identify the factors relevant to the problem under study. These factors are the empirical

realities which can be named at some abstract level called concepts. The concepts taking

more than one value are the variables. In other words the researcher makes an inventory

of relevant variables. The variables considered relevant to the study should be clearly

identified and labeled in the discussion.

2. Specify the direction of relationship: If the nature and direction of relationship can be

theorized on the basis of the findings of previous research, then there should be an

indication in the discussion as to whether the relationship should be positive or negative.

3. Give a clear explanation of why we should expect the proposed relationships to exist.

There should be clear explanation of why we would expect these relationships to exist.

The arguments could be drawn from the previous research findings. The discussions

should state how two or more variables are related to one another. This should be done

for the important relationships that are theorized to exist among the variables. It is

essential to theorize logical relationship between different variables.

4. Make an inventory of propositions: Stipulation of logical relationship between any two

variables means the formulation of a proposition. If such relationships have been

proposed between different variables, it will result in the formulation of a number of

propositions. Let us call such a collection of propositions as an inventory of propositions.

Each proposition is backed up by strong theoretical argumentation.

5. Arrange these propositions in a sequential order: one proposition generates the next

proposition, which generates the next following proposition, which in turn generates the

next following proposition, and so on. This is an axiomatic way of the derivation of

propositions. Resultantly it will provide us a sequentially arranged set of propositions

which are interlinked and interlocked with each other. Theory, if you remember, is an

interrelated set of propositions. Therefore, the present interrelated set of propositions

relevant to a particular problem is in fact a theoretical framework explaining the

pathways of logical relationships between different variables.

6. Schematic diagram of the theoretical model be given: A schematic diagram of the

theoretical framework should be given so that the reader can see and easily comprehend

the theorized relationships.

**Example:**
Research Question: Why middle class families decline in their size?

By following the guidelines discussed earlier let us develop a theoretical framework.

1. Inventory of variables: Education levels of the couples, age at marriage, working

women, rationalism, exposure to mass media of communication, accessibility to health

services, practicing of family planning practices, aspirations about the education of

children, shift to nuclear families, mobility orientation.

2. Specify the direction of relationship: Higher the education higher the age at marriage.

Higher the education of women greater the chances of their being career women. Higher

the education more the rationalism. Higher the education more selective the exposure to

mass media of communication. Higher the education more the accessibility to health

services. Higher the education more the practicing of family planning practices. Higher

the education of the parents the higher their aspirations about the education of their

children. Higher the education of the couple greater thee chances of shifting to nuclear

families. Higher the education of the couples the higher their mobility orientation.

3. Give a clear explanation of why we should expect the proposed relationships to exist.

For example higher the education higher the age at marriage. One could build up the

argument like this: For purposes of getting high levels of education the youngsters spend

about 16 years of their life in educational institutions. Let us say they complete their

education at the age of 22 years. After completing education they spend 2-3 years for

establishing themselves in their careers. During this period continue deferring their

marriage. By the time they decide about their marriage they are about 25 years.

Compare this age at marriage with the age at marriage of 16 years. Obviously with this

higher age at marriage there is a reduction in the reproductive period of women.

Similarly we can develop logic in support of other proposed relationships.

4. Make an inventory of propositions. The

**proposed relationships** under item 2 about

could be the examples of propositions.

5. Arrange these propositions in a sequential order. These propositions can be arranged

sequentially.