Introduction closeness, increase their social competence, and build

Introduction

Background of the study

Adolescence
is a stage of a young person following the onset of puberty and develops to
adulthood.  In this developmental stage,
a young man passes through different changes in physical, thought, emotional
and social aspects of owns life (Starsburger, 2005). It is also a period in
which their relationship with friends become deepens identity to oneself and
understanding self-image become grown, intellectual ability to make a choice
and searching for new knowledge (Kaplan and sadock, 2007).  

Physically,
adolescents show increased rate of growth in height and weight. It also
involves marked sexual hormonal changes

Conformity
or normative social influence is the change in a person’s behavior or manner to
what they think others will like and accept and avoid those behaviors that they
think others will not like and accept. This kind of conformity depends on the
primary need of human being to be loved and gain acceptance and avoiding
rejection (Zimbardo, , 1991).

Peer
pressure is any kind of pressure applied by peoples of the same age group. It
is also encouraging and giving support to another person to participate in a
particular kind of behavior. In other words it is a narrow concept of
expectations that come from a peer group towards an individual to act in a
specific way without considering the interest and desire of the person. This
pressure can be applied directly and indirectly to an individual (Kiren, 2003) (Sim,
& Koh, 2003). At the time of adolescence, peer association becomes more
important than ever. It helps to develop their closeness, increase their social
competence, and build up their self concept and identity by interacting with
significant others (Klarin, 2006).

As
it was identified by Clasen and Brow, peer pressure have five domains that
adolescents are challenged to confront with, those are family, school like
academic and non academic activities peer like hanging out with friends when
they have free time, peer customs like dressing style, and misconducts or bad
behaviors (Clasen and Brown (1985).

1.2 Statement of the problem

Current  researches 
say that it is not important  to
observe the conformity of a person  but
rather we can ask what peoples would do if they are faced with some conditions
that they have to conform then we can measure their answer(Parks, Sanna, &
Berel, 2001).

Lashbrook
studied that sometimes adolescents use conformity to get away from frightening circumstance.
He also found that adolescents will face negative emotions like isolation,
failure, haplessness, embarrassment and other when they think they are being
pressured by their peers (lashbrook, 2000).

This
conformity is most of the time proceeded by positive reinforcement like
appreciation, respected status and membership to the peer group. Those
adolescents which disagree to conform will be punished with isolation. In
contrast adolescents who are obsessed with high status and care about what
others think about them are always scared of being left out from the group, but
those who don’t conform will be challenged by rejection that will bring anxiety
(Leary, 1990).

The
developmental stage of adolescents is filled with peer influence. At this stage
adolescents try to achieve their autonomy in many aspects, wants to experience
freedom. But to achieve their friends recognition and approval they will
conform even if they don’t like or believe in it. But when they grow up to
adulthood peer group approval and conformity will not be as important as they
were in adolescence (Brown et al.,1986).

Majority
of researches about sexual attitude have been done on adults or college students,
not much is done on not much is done on younger adolescents who are at risk of
making up their own mind about the correct and in correct sexual relation and
activities. This same study states that sexual attitude of teens who are in there
early sexual development and are interested in sexual materials they will try
to meet their interest, by doing so they will start to seek other material that
will arouse their sexual feelings (Malamuth , 2005). Other
experimental findings with adolescents said that male’s attitude and action is
influenced by experiencing sexual videos, movies and pictures than females (Ward,
2003).

It
has also been studied that adolescent’s parents opinion and attitude toward sex
is different for the gender of their children they are talking to. Most of the
time moms talk to their daughter than they talk to their sons about sexual
attitude. Similarly lots of females talk to their moms than males does about
parental attitude towards sex (Cosby & Miller,
2002).

1.3 Research
question

This
research ask questions like: is there an association between normative
conformity and peer pressure towards sexual attitude? Does the level of
conformity differ as the grade level of the students increase from grade 9 to
grade 12? What is the degree of peer pressure among high school students? Is
there any difference in sexual attitude of the students from one grade to
another? Is there a significant difference between boys and girls on their
sexual attitude?

2. Methodology

2.1. Research Design

A
quantitative descriptive approach and a correlational design will be used to
address basic research questions of the study. The researcher used this
quantitative design because description is used to
describe and summarize demographic characteristics of target population
numerically in terms of frequency, table, mean and soon.

Correlational study design will be used to discover the
relationship between conformity and peer pressure towards sexual attitude. The
researcher used this design because it helps to see whether there is a
relationship between variables: conformity and peer pressure. This design also
discovers the degree of relationship among two variables. This
study tries to determine the relationships that occur between conformity and
peer pressure among adolescent students in El-Bethel Academy.

2.2. Population and Sampling

The
target population of the research is high school and preparatory students in
El-Bethel Academy, a private school in Addis Ababa which is located………. The
researcher selected this school is by observation of peer pressure and
conformity towards sexual attitude as the investigator was former student of
the school. 

There
are 487 students from grade 9-12 who are currently enrolled in 2010 E.C.
Academic calendar. Among them 313 are males and 174 are females.  To refer to all members of the students, set
of samples will be drawn from all students. The researcher will use stratified
sampling technique among different grades to represent all the students based
on their grade level. Proportional allocation will be used to each stratum. Among
each stratum, simple random sampling technique will be used to draw sample in
each grade. The researcher uses simple random sampling because each student has
equal chance to participate in the study. So, students name list will be taken
from room teacher and participants will be identified by having Kth value for
each grade level.

 

Sample
size of the participants in each grade level

GRADE

NUMBER
OF STUDENTS

SAMPLE
SIZE

Kth
value

9

131

40

3

10

122

37

3

11

133

40

3

12

101

31

3

TOTAL

487

148

 

 

2.3. Data
collection instrument

The
student researcher will use the peer pressure inventory (PPI) for measuring
peer pressure. This measurement was made, introduced and validated by Donna Rae
Calasen and B. Bradford Brown in 1985(Clasen, & Brown, 1985). Peer pressure
inventory was made to measure and evaluate the view about peer pressure in many
different areas like peer group action, bad behavior, participation in school,
attachment with family, and conformity to the peer custom. It has53 items by
which it is answered by 7-point scale showing if the adolescents are feeling
pushed to do or not to do some activities and it also shows the degree they are
being pressured. This scale is chosen because a study in the past has shown the
scale’s validity reliability and internal uniformity. The higher the scores are
in the scale the more there is participation in peer activity, bad behavior and
distractive behaviors (Brown et al, 1986).

Sexual
attitude is measured using the brief sexual attitude scale. This scale was
developed by Susan Hendrick , Clyde Hendrick ,and Dercy A. Reich in 2006. It
has 23 items answered on 5 point scale from strongly agree to strongly
disagree. It is used to measure sexual permissiveness or openness, practice,
communion or intimacy, and instrumentality or significance. The brief sexual
attitude scale is found to have a strong psychometric characteristics validity
and reliability.  (Hendrick ,Hendrick.&
Reich,2006). This scale of measurement for sexual attitude is chosen by the
student researcher because the former and mostly used sexual attitude scale of
12- item, Guttman scale, involves only 3 sexual attitude and does not measure
other parts of sexuality (Clayton,& Bokemeier,1980).

To
measure normative conformity the researcher will use the conformity scale. The
conformity scale was developed by Mehrabian, A. and Stefl, C. in 1995. It has
20 questions about the common values.it is answered by saying conformity and
nonconformity. It has questions like “Basically, my friends are the ones who
decide what we do together”; and “I often rely on, and act upon, the advice of
others.” (Mehrabian & Stefl, 1995).

2.4. Data collection procedure

Ethical
letter will be taken from Addis Ababa University department of psychology to
get permission from the school to conducting research in the study area i.e.
El-Bethel Academy. Then study participants will be informed verbally about the
purpose of research being conducted using their classroom teacher. Since
participants are under 18 years old, they will be given a formal letter to who
are voluntary to participate in the research to take to their parents to sign
on informed consent from them. The content of questionnaire will be explained,
clarified and the distributed to the students. Adequate time will be given to
complete the questionnaire and students will fill questionnaire in where other
students will not be disturbing them. Data will be only collected by the
researcher to avoid leakage of information to others. And finally the collected
data will be checked if it’s filled appropriately.

 

  2.5. Method of data
analysis

The researcher will use frequency and
percentage by using of table and charts to describe demographic variable of the
participants like age, sex and grade level. To analyze the comparison of
conformity and sexual attitude among different grade level and to see whether
there is a difference the researcher will use Analysis of variance (ANOVA)
method since the analysis method help to compare the mean of different groups. To
analyze whether there is an association between conformity and peer pressure
among adolescents the researcher will use Pearson’s correlation statistical
analysis.

2.6. Ethical consideration

Ethical
letter will be taken from the University to get permission of conducting research
in the study area. Then study participants will be informed verbally about the
purpose of research being conducted using their classroom teacher. The
researcher will also inform that the result will be shared to them after
completion of the study. Since participants are under 18 years old, they will
be given a formal letter to whom are voluntary to participate in the research
to take to their parents to sign on informed consent from them. Any
information that will lead to identify respondents will not be recorded on the
questionnaire and data will be accessed only by the researcher to keep
confidentiality.