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This paper describes the nature and characteristics of the dating relationships of adolescent females, including any of their experiences of abuse. A grounded theory approach was used with 22 theoretically sampled female adolescents ages 15— Several important themes emerged: Seven stages of dating consistently described the relationships of female adolescents. A circle consisting of two interacting same sex peer groups provided structure for each teen as they navigated the dating course.
The circle was the central factor affecting a female adolescent's potential for risk or harm in dating relationships. Teens defined abuse as an act where the intention is to hurt. Having once succumbed to sexual pressure, teens felt unable to refuse sex in subsequent situations. Eriksons dangers of online dating awareness of both the stages of dating and the dynamics of the circle will assist health care providers to plan and implement interventions in the female adolescent population. According to Erikson, intimacy is achieved when the adolescent has developed the capacity to commit to a concrete affiliation and abide by the commitment, even if this means sacrifice and compromise [ 1 ].
Paul and White [ 2 ] describe three stages in the development of intimate relationships in late adolescence. These are: stage one, the self-focused stage in which the adolescent is concerned only with the relationship's effect on self; stage two, in which the focus becomes the role; and stage three, individuated connectedness. Elkind [ 3 ] described teens as becoming in love with love; their notion of love is idealistic and when the ideal doesn't match up to reality their early romantic encounters can be a shock.
Ideally, accomplishment of these stages le to healthy dating relationships. The purpose of this study was to explore the nature and characteristics of adolescent females' dating relationships, including any experiences of abuse.
Much research on violence against women has been focused on the areas of marital violence, cohabitation, and violence in pregnancy. Research about dating couples has focused primarily on college age students with samples from colleges and universities. Interpersonal violence is occurring within adolescent dating relationships similar in form to that in adult relationships and constitutes a social problem worth investigation [ 4 - 11 ]. Differences in prevalence rates reported depend on the severity of the form of violence measured physical versus verbalage of sample, and means of collecting the information interview, self-report, etc.
Findings from one study suggest an increased prevalence of dating violence in twelfth-grade compared to female adolescents in grades 9—12 [ 12 ]. Emotional and verbal abuse are reported more often than physical abuse in the adolescent population [ 9 ]. One study reported an increased Eriksons dangers of online dating of actual physical violence compared to verbal threats of violence in adolescent relationships. Suggesting, physical violence is more prevalent than threatened violence and that there might not be a great amount of warning for physical violence occurring in the adolescent population [ 4 ].
Researchers have reported forms of physical violence in adolescent relationships that include behaviors such as punching, physical beatings, and threats with a deadly weapon [ 45 ]. Having multiple partners in an 18 month period [ 9 ], dating an older boy [ 415 ], and lack of academic affiliation [ 16 ] have all been associated with increased amounts of violence. Increased of sexual intercourse partners [ 17 ], sexual favors, rejection, intoxication [ 4 ] or an association with peer-drinking [ 18 ], breakdown in conflict resolution [ 19 ], and jealousy [ 20 ] have also been suggested as both contributors to, and in one study justifications [ 21 ] of dating violence.
In a sample of public high school students, females experiencing severe dating violence reported suicide ideation or attempts, but didn't test lower on life-satisfaction measures [ 26 ]. This suggests that teens might view these acts and their response as a normal part of teen life.
Research suggests that teens may have difficulty identifying violence when it occurs within their own lives. Teens report knowing of a violent relationship much more than they report being in a violent relationship [ 23 ]. Teens may not define violent acts involving themselves as abuse or violence. Teens will often deny a violent relationship and then report in survey format numerous examples of events defined by the researchers as violent [ 8 ].
In one qualitative study, disagreement existed as to the definition of certain events as violent or non-violent [ 21 ]. Incidences of adolescent dating violence vary between studies, but all studies support the existence of this phenomenon within adolescent dating relationships similar in form to adult relationships. A concerning proportion that report violence also report staying in the violent relationship.
However, evidence suggests that teens report knowing of a violent relationship more often than being in a violent relationship. This may reflect victims' denial or conflicting views of what constitutes violence in a dating relationship. Thus, it is necessary to study what teens define as abuse or violence in a dating relationship. Furthermore, it becomes necessary to include teens not involved in violent relationships in order to describe their views of this violence. Teens outside the violent relationship may have views different from those living with abusive situations. Straus and Corbin's [ 27 ] grounded theory approach was used to generate substantive theory about adolescent females' dating relationships.
Grounded theory methods are based on symbolic interactionism. There exist three main premises or assumptions about symbolic interactionism. These are: humans act toward things based on the meanings they ascribe to those things: meaning given to a particular thing event, person, act is a result of social interaction; and meanings are created, evaluated, and modified via an interpretative process particular to the person and are used by individuals in dealing with their encounters.
The paradigm of symbolic interactionism is presented here in order to Eriksons dangers of online dating an overlaying construct to support the use of grounded theory in the study of adolescent dating violence. Using this construct, intimacy and abuse are viewed as existing as a result of symbolic interactions within the context of the individual in society.
By applying symbolic interactionism to the concept of adolescent dating, intimacy and abuse might exist as a result of Eriksons dangers of online dating interactions within the context of the individual in society. Both the perpetration and acceptance of abuse might exist in the adolescent dating relationship as a result of skewed perceptions in acquiring the knowledge and skills needed to develop and form healthy intimate relationships.
Grounded theory method generally begins with a question or area of study without any preformed concepts or connections. The method's aim is not only to generate theory, but also to generate theory that is grounded in the data.
According to Strauss and Corbin [ 27 ], grounded theory is comprised of three main processes. These are description, conceptual ordering, and theorizing. During description, the researcher attempts to clarify an event or experience as perceived by the subject, in this case the adolescent. Conceptual ordering consists of organizing the data along common dimensions that become evident through data collection. Finally, theorizing consists of developing the concepts from the conceptual ordering process and relating them to each other in order to provide a theory that will explain or predict phenomena [ 27 ].
Older teens were deliberately selected because they had an increased ability to self reflect on their dating experiences. To be eligible for the study, adolescents were females who had at least one dating experience. Adolescent females who were married or parents were not eligible for inclusion in the study. The sampling procedures consisted of two phases as described by Strauss and Corbin [ 27 ]. In the open sampling phase, study participants were included in the study if they met the criteria and were willing to be interviewed. During this stage flyers were distributed for participant recruitment.
In the second stage, relational sampling, participants were chosen based on concepts that emerged from analysis of earlier interviews. In later interviews, teens dating older boys and or teens in relationships lasting more than six months were purposively sampled. Sample size was determined when theoretical saturation had been reached no new themes or concepts emerged during the interview. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews one hour in length. I personally conducted the interviews in a private setting during the students' study hall.
These interviews were conducted with a four teen pilot group and guided by eight ly piloted questions to elicit information about each teen's dating experiences and observations of her friends dating experiences. These teens were introduced to the questions and their answers were evaluated for content. The content was analyzed as to whether following the interview guide led to data addressing the research aims. Use of the interview guide provided ample relevant data and pilot study participants commented on the clarity of the questions and suggested changes.
One example from the interview guide was, "Tell me about you dating experiences: what is dating like for you? The study proposal was reviewed and approved by the Boston College institutional review board.
A letter of approval was obtained from school principals at both participating high schools. Confidentiality was maintained in both collection and reporting of the Eriksons dangers of online dating all names used in this article are fictitious. Written consent was obtained from each participating teen and her parent or legal guardian. Data collection, analysis, and interpretation occurred concurrently using a grounded theory approach.
Analysis adhered to the methods of Strauss and Corbin [ 27 ]. Field notes of observations, emergingrelationships or theories were recorded manually during interviews, followed by a review of the audiotape recordings and field notes before subsequent interviews. I clarified concepts formed from interview data and converged responses from participants.
Relational statements, grounded in the data, were connected using memos created during data analysis. became saturated and concepts were fully defined. As emerged and evolved from the data, relationships between the were investigated via systematic comparison. Theoretical and operational notes directed the next step in the research process to finalize the theory [ 27 ]. To ensure the credibility of the research process and findings all coded transcripts were sent to two researchers for review.
Memos were created by grouping 2 or 3 coded interviews together. Memos included notes taken during the interviews. These memos were used for creating diagrams throughout the entire research process. Memos were dated, referenced to the data source they were derived from, and included concept headings. Memos evolved as the research progressed. All memos were collapsed by codes beginning to resemble each other during organization and sorting. All of the reported were derived inductively from the interviews.
These female adolescent participants overwhelmingly agreed on seven stages of dating: group meeting, talking and exchanging, couple-group dating, dating outside the group, re-entering the group as a couple, breaking up, and reintroducing the self into the group. Stage one, group meeting, existed when one same-sex peer group began to interact socially with an opposite sex same-sex peer group. These same-sex interacting peer groups constitute the Circle. The majority of participants reported meeting and dating exclusively within these Circles. In the second stage, talking and exchanging, the two got acquainted with each other outside the Circle.
During these exchanges the two shared time, contact, and information independent of the Circle. When successful, the couple advanced to the third stage of dating couple-group dating. In the couple-group dating stage, couples went on more formal dates with other couples within their Circle. Physical contact was limited. In stage four, dating outside the group, the couple went out independent of the group. During this time, they experienced an increased amount of closeness physical or emotionaland an increased amount of shared time, contact, and information as compared to stage two.
In stage five, re-entering the group as a couple, the two were reintroduced into the Circle as a couple.Eriksons dangers of online dating
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Chapter Psychosocial Development in Early Adulthood