The purpose of the research study is to see if juveniles being employed affects delinquency and substance abuse amongst youth. The problem is that there seems to be a direct correlation between substance abuse and the intensity of work schedules while teens are attending school. The questions that are to be researched are why are youth who spend long hours at work more likely to be delinquent? What is the connection between those teens who work long hours and those who do not and how does it influence delinquency and substance abuse? The design of the study “includes the who, what, when, where, why, and how of an investigation” (Hagan, 2010, Ch. 3). The who for this study is U.S. students in eighth, tenth, and twelfth grades. The sample excludes students who dropped out or graduated during the survey period. Some of the students have jobs, and some do not. Those who do not were asked if they could work, what would be the ideal amount of hours they would want to work each week.
The amount of hours teens work while in school is the what for the study. The when is 1996, 1997, 1998, and 1999. During these years, the same students were surveyed to see how their circumstances had changed between eighth and twelfth grades. The where is the United States. The researchers are surveying random students in the eighth, tenth, and twelfth grades across the country. The why is to see if employment negatively impacts juveniles and contributes towards delinquency and substance abuse. The how is the way in which the study is designed so that the hypothesis can be addressed and the results will in some way resolve the research problem (Hagan, 2010, Ch. 3). The study is designed in a way to track students across a certain age range while also surveying them multiple times through a set time period to track any changes to working while in school. Delinquency and substance abuse are common amongst teens, but some teens may be more likely to commit delinquent acts and abuse substances than others.
This is a problem for researchers because it is not known if working many hours each week, in addition to attending school, causes students to be pulled away from social interactions with their peers, which contributes towards delinquency and substance abuse. An operational definition for delinquency and substance abuse is a self-report measure. During a self-report measure, the participants in the study give their own report of the way something makes them feel. In this case, it would be the number of hours worked or the numbers of hours unemployed teens would prefer to work while attending school. There is room for presentational bias because those being surveyed may not tell the truth about their actions. Inductive logic is a way to determine a theory or theories that may explain the results of the data. This study shows inductive logic in the results because the results determined that deviance was associated with those juveniles who do work, and not those who preferred to work. “Delinquency, marijuana use, and heavy drinking were significantly higher for adolescents who spent long hours on the job compared with adolescents who were jobless but preferred moderate hours of work” (Staff, Osgood, & Schulenberg, 2010, page 17).
Deductive logic gives absolute proof of something. It begins with a premise that is assumed to be true, and the researcher infers what would be true if the premise is true. They are sometimes known as “if…then” statements. Deductive logic is shown in the results because the researchers assume that if a student works while in school, then they are more likely to be delinquent and abuse alcohol and drugs. This research study is quantitative because it puts the results of the surveys into numerical values that are expressed by charts. Quantitative research uses surveys and questionnaires to compile the data, which is what researchers used for this study. The researcher was not part of the investigation. It was all done by students across the United States. The methodology for this study is use surveys and questionnaires to ask students in the eighth, tenth, and twelfth grades over a four year span about their work history, alcohol usage, and drug usage.
The population is all students in the eighth, tenth, and twelfth grades. The sampling method is to use students who remain in school throughout the survey period, and to exclude those who drop out or graduate. The findings of the study were those who were unemployed, but wished they could work were the teens with the highest rates of delinquency and substance abuse. The researchers believe this is caused by a desire for the teens to feel like they are adults. They also believe this is because the students who wanted to work had loose ties between family and school. The author’s conclusions are that working does not necessarily contribute to higher delinquency and substance abuse rates. Neither does not working.
Those who desire to work, but are unable to do so because they are too young, have no experience, cannot drive, or lack the necessary skills to perform a job properly are the juveniles who are the most likely to engage in delinquent acts, alcohol abuse, and subject abuse. The study could have been done differently by asking questions in a more anonymous way. Instead of asking surveys and sending questionnaires out, the students could be asked to voluntarily complete the survey. This could be done by using something like a voting booth. It is quick and easy. No one else would see the results, and it is completely anonymous. It also should not be limited to only students in the eighth, tenth, and twelfth grades.
Hagan, F. E. (2010). Research methods in criminal justice and criminology (8th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Staff, J., Osgood, D. W., & Schulenberg, J. E. (2010, November). Explaining the Relationship between Employment and Juvenile Delinquency. Crime and Delinquency.
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