There is no way to judge the qualify of the adolescent life in terms of good and bad. It is a very special time of our life that no good experience is
guaranteeing promising, and no bad experience hinders. That is the reason why I would like to use the term “responsible” to describe a more favorable adolescent, from a grown generation’s perspective. I will specifically define what I mean by “responsible” in later paragraph.
The data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health provides a wide range of variables that would be interesting to examine what are some factors that have positive or negative influence over the development of an adolescent.
The adolescent is the phase of life that connects the childhood to the independence. Therefore, it is considered successful, unless things happened against one’s will and would have negative impacts in later life. For example, experience of violence, unwanted pregnancy, or inadequate academic performance and so forth.
I hypothesize that the possession of the strong self control ability (or self-discipline) can actually refrain one from making these adolescent mistakes, thus having a more responsible adolescent.
In fact, self-discpline is considered a factor that is even more important than IQ in predicting academic performance in one research which subject is adolescents (Duckworth, Sellgman, 2005). I believe that students exhibit good academic performances are ones that have good self-discpline. Therefore, this information can be used to trace those students who have good self-discipline from the respondents.
First, I will be observing whether these students have relatively fewer counts of adolescent mistakes. One study suggests that students have higher educational goals and achievements delay the first time of sexual intercourse. (Schvaneveldt, et al, 2001) Therefore, I am very curios to see whether the similar correlations exist with other irresponsible behaviors.
If the relationships indeed exist, I will be continue to examine is there any difference exists with their experience with parent. The variables of interests are whether staying with biological parents, years stayed with biological parents, quality time spent together, existence of irresponsible parental behavior such as physical abuse, drug, and alcohol abuse etc.
Although overall efforts of parents are important, but it would be interesting to identify whether father and mother contribute in the same weight in terms of ability to control one self. The parental discipline and nurturance are two of the most heavily referenced constructs in the parenting research literature (Locke, Printz, 2002). I have always doubted that fathers contribute more in terms of self-discpline as a command and order figure. Therefore, I suspect that those who exhibit a good self-discipline enjoy relatively stronger bonds with their fathers. Given today’s children are growing up in a more tolerant and forgiving educational environment, I argue that discipline is something more rare compare to the nurturance aspects of the family education.
In my initial scanning of the codebook documents, discovered that 1) students had very loose attitude regarding their school works (Academics and Education section), and 2) less fathers seemed to be participating with after school life of students (Relations with Parents section). Identification of irresponsible adolescent behaviors are possible by looking into 1) Motivations to Engage in Risky Behaviors, 2) Delinquency Scale, 3) Fighting and Violence, 4) Suicide, and 5) Physical Development/Pregnancy History.
- Duckworth, Sellgman, 2005, Self-Discpline Outdoes IQ in Predicting Academic Performance of Adolescents, Psychological Science, December 2005 (Link: http://pss.sagepub.com/content/16/12/939.short)
- Locke, Printz, 2002, Measurement of Parental Discipline and Nurturance, Clinical Psychology Review, July 2002, pp.895-929 (Link: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0272735802001332)
- Schvaneveldt, Miller, Berry, and Lee, 2001, Academic Goals, Achievement, and Age at First Sexual Intercourse: Longitudinal, Bidirectional Influences, Adolescence, Winter 2001, 767-87 (Link: http://search.proquest.com/openview/9695cd8d6ae26aff3959402848c6c7a6/1?pq-origsite=gscholar)