«Hanging Out with Friends» Essay Sample

Hanging Out with Friends

Purpose of the Study

The aim of this research conducted by Siennick and Osgood (2012) is to determine the factors that influence adolescents while choosing friends and the qualities of each friend in the group contributing to unstructured and unsupervised socializing. The characteristics of each individual are compared to the quality characteristics of the study targeted adolescent to determine whether this plays a role when an adolescent chooses with whom he or she will spend a free time. This method is a different direction from the previous researches done that attributed adolescent behavior to lack of parental monitoring, social-economic background, and basic family history of the youth.

The Author’s Hypotheses

This research was done to test and prove the following hypotheses. Adolescents will choose to spend their free time with friends who are more similar to risk to demonstrate that those who are of more risk will prefer to hang out with the more at risk ones. The hypothesis suggested that adolescents choose to spend time with their friends who are riskier to those who are less risky as they may get attracted to that lifestyle. This assumption was aimed at suggesting that adolescents would love to hang out with friends who are at risk during their free time while participating in unproductive activities. Adolescents will most likely interact and spend their unsupervised time with friends that are always available than with those who are not available. Gender and difference in how the adolescents were raised are also factors that contribute to how adolescents spend their time.

Description of the Participants in the Study

A survey done has involved students from different district schools in the collection of data. The subjects were from sixth grade and continued to participate in the study until ninth one. This effort ensured that the sample size was relatively equal throughout the research for the purpose of accuracy. A collection of data in different years made sure that the accurate information of the respondents was recorded and analyzed, and the respondents were to name friends within their grade. To ensure diversity, the students were of different race and from various social-economic backgrounds. For instance, there was no criterion such as children from the wealthy or financially unstable families.

Type of the Research Design and Methods Used

The research design used is a longitudinal descriptive design that helped in the gathering of data from the same respondents over a period. This way has made it easy to track changes that have occurred over time and may influence aolescents’ behaviors and relationships as well as the results of the study. The research was performed by conducting surveys done in different time frame. Likert scale was used for collecting data based on the subjects’ attitudes towards various issues.

Construct Measured

The study concentrated on many issues constructed to prove the hypothesis such as a risk due to friends. It was measured using risk orientation scale, methods that parents use to administer discipline, performance grade, and level of bonding of the student, both at school and home. How available are their friends? This issue was measured using a type of family structure the friend belongs to, level of their friends parental monitoring and knowledge of their activities, and level of friendship completion. The degree of similarity between two friends is measured by finding out the risk similarity between them and their overall contrast as the pair of friends. Also, a gender was seen as the factor that significantly contributes to adolescents behaviors.

Reliability of the Measures

The measures used are reliable, and the reason is that they helped to support or disapprove the hypotheses stated at the beginning of the study. The analysis and result assisted in making a conclusion of what factors contribute and increase unsupervised and unstructured adolescent behavior.

Conclusion of the Study

In the research, the first hypothesis, which stated that adolescents favor at-risk friends, lost grounds after it was determined that poor grades were a factor that influenced unstructured and unsupervised behavior in the age group. However, it was not the case on risk orientation and week bonds since these factors did not correlate with unsupervised activities. The second hypothesis partially gained support after it was concluded that the respondents did not hang out with friends who are at more similar risk. The results showed that respondents spent most of their time with friends who had shared the same bond. The third hypothesis stated that adolescents spend unstructured and unsupervised socializing with friends who are always available. This assumption was supported by the result that respondents hang out with friends whose parents know little about their activities and friends who do not compete.

Strengths of the Study

This study was carried out under a longitudinal time frame and over a large sample of a population that made it possible to gather enough data from the respondents on unstructured and unsupervised activities they were engaged in. This time frame made it possible to gather accurate information based on tthe change in the behavior of the subjects over the period. The study also helped to determine various factors that contribute to unstructured and unsupervised socializing in adolescents and how these issues can be prevented. This information filled the knowledge gap left out from previous research.

Weakness of the Study

The study does not examine how respondents of different grade level contribute to unsupervised and unstructured adolescent activities. Despite previous researchers, this development did suggest that the above factor was influential to adolescents’ behavior. The data for this study was sampled from teens that live in the rural areas in their early years. These findings may be different for older adolescents or those residing in the urban areas, therefore, cannot be generalized. The research also did not address where friends spend their time when they meet, neither the other people present when these activities are happening and which activities they perform together.

Research Question

What is the relationship between depression and antisocial behavior in adolescents?

Importance of This Research Question

Adolescents are in a development period of their lives that is faced with some challenges as they try to form different social relationships while discovering a way to define themselves and find out who they are. During this crucial stage of their life, they may experience rejection, either from their peers or family, which affects their psychological status making them depressed and antisocial. It is, therefore, important to carry out research to determine whether depression contributes to antisocial behavior in adolescents.

Teens who are depressed will most likely choose friends who are of similar depression level and influence each other increasing their depression symptoms (Giletta et al., 2011). Best friends are liable to change behaviors of the others, which may also influence their depression status. Individuals without best friends suffer from a high level of rejection sensitivity as compared to those with mutual best friends. It is, therefore, important to a sensitive rejection adolescent to maintain their mutual best friends. Otherwise, they may suffer from depression. Internalizing behaviors play a crucial role in the formation of friendships among teens. This development happens mostly with females: they can form groups to discuss their problems while the male relationships are based on external behaviors. Depression in adolescents contributes to the specific formation of friendship levels. Once depressed, youth can become antisocial, which adds to unproductive activities.

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