Thursday, March 29, 2012

Research Paper on Dating Violence

Research Paper on Dating Violence

The study that is described in the study is about analyzing of the violence in adolescents’ relationships. During the study, structural equation model that is based upon social cognitive theory was involved, as well as notions of self-efficacy, attitudes and alternative conflict strategies.

Speaking about historical context of the study, it is necessary to mention that social cognitive theory is involved for about ten years to investigate aggression occurrence in children and adolescents. In accordance with the theory, there should be several steps to get social behavioral response from the group of study- starting from attention and interpretation of contextual cues and ending with the assessment and analysis of outcomes. There were different strategies used in the study that were taking into consideration individual’s abilities and self-efficacy, expected outcomes from the sample and internal standards, including moral attitudes and values.

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The aim of the study was to reduce adolescents dating violence occurrence by formulating and choosing behavioral strategies, the choice of which would have been based upon achieved results. It might include provision of adolescents with necessary information about violent behavior and further their encouragement to formulate behavioral strategies and not violence. The adolescents should receive the proper knowledge about violent behavior so that they are able to analyze and respond adequately. The phenomenon of the study was in the fact that many adolescents were not in the relationships yet, and those who were dating, were predominantly relying and copying skills and behavior choices the same as they did during friendship. But still they were developing some new patterns of romantic behaviors and attitudes towards dating violence were chosen to be better predictors of behavior.

Survey was used to collect data and chosen students were to complete some particular measures. The survey was anonymous; the investigator was reading questions loudly. The research was done in the following subjects: knowledge (three scores were calculated from 14 questions), self-efficacy (four questions included rating confident about particular skills, different kinds of questions for students of different grades), relationship violence and other behavioral strategies (nine physical violence items were involved) and attitudes toward dating violence (form of ATDVS was used).

The sample of the study included primarily 324 participants 7 to 9 Grade students, out of which only 290 were tested because of the missing data: 88 were from Grade 7, 88 from Grade 8 and 114 from the Grade 9, 48% of them were already dating ( average duration was 7,5 months for dating and 4,5 years for friendships).

As to the received results, 34% of participants who were dating reported at least one incident in the scale of physical violence, for friendships the rate was 43%. The study results also varied by gender (girls were better at applied knowledge test and were less accepting to male and female violence occurrence in dating. Measures of efficacy and physical violence showed that girls that were not in the relationships had higher levels of self-efficacy, the highest level of violence showed boys towards their friends. Interesting fact that dating girls expressed more physical violence, than boys in the relationships. Implementation of structural equation model approach showed that students who were more knowledgeable about the relationships used more reasoning-based strategies, possessed higher self-efficacy and were more disapproving dating violence.

To my opinion the theory was properly chosen and used in the study, social cognitive theory implies getting knowledge about individuals by means of their observation in their common social experiences. Observation method would provide the most accurate data for analysis and assist in getting accurate results and make proper conclusions. Use of this theory and choosing the proper age, sex and necessary study variables will make the research successfully fulfilled.

Speaking about the comparable alternative, I would propose to use propaganda theory as the mean of shaping perceptions of adolescents and their attitudes towards dating violence. This kind of theory is not broadly used nowadays, but in some cases it can be very valuable. Media is a powerful tool in influencing people’s minds, and particular social commercials on TV, social advertisement and anti-violence calls will diminish occurrence of dating violence among adolescents. Of course, this theory cannot be properly used for conducting a survey, but it can serve as a powerful preventive and redirect tool. Information diffusion theory, magic bullet theory and theory of public opinion formation can also be used, but will not be as effective as needed, as each theory implementation has its own target group and before implementation it is helpful to set goals and only then search for the best match.
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