Adolescence is a crucial stage in the development of an individual. It is at this period that psychological and emotional issues arise even at times to the point of creating depressive and disruptive behavior problems in adolescents. One of the many factors that affect the development of an adolescent is the social status he or she possesses. In the case of adolescents, this social status is determined primarily in the school environment.
A recent study by Oldehinkel and associates, examines the relationships of the different variables of social status of adolescents with that of depressive problems. The study concluded that depressive problems are primarily affected by two domains of social status which are achievement-related and affection-related social status. With the results of the studies, it is further recommended that what information that has been obtained be used for future studies that will endeavor to solve the dilemma of social status on adolescents.
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In praise of the study, the researchers have made a novel contribution to psychology through the use of a wide scope and delimitation of the subject matter. Article Review: Being Admired or Being Liked Adolescence has been widely known as one of the most complicated as well the most interesting stage in the development of an individual. It is at this stage that one’s unique identity is discovered and developed. Thus, adolescents experience a variety of challenges usually related to their psychological and emotional health.
In the research study made by Oldehinkel and associates entitled “Being Admired or Being Liked: Classroom Social Status and Depressive Problems in Early Adolescent Girls and Boys”, the relationships and connections of different aspects of social status of adolescents with that of depressive problems in the classroom environment were analyzed and discussed. Hypothesis and Purpose of the Study Oldehinkel and comrades cited many studies not only on animals but on humans as well concerning the long-known association of low social status with depressive problems (2007).
Social status has been defined in two ways, that is, through achievements and affections. In terms of achievements, the element of competition is present whereas in terms of affection, acceptance into a social group is crucial (Oldehinkel, 2007). Although both are considered measurements of social status, they are completely different from each other. In the study by Oldehinkel, the importance of these two definitions of social status was studied in line with depressive problems of adolescent boys and girls (2007).
The study primarily focused on the adolescence stage since this period is interestingly considered as a crucial point where depressive problems are frequently encountered. Achievement-related and affection-related social statuses were primarily analyzed in the study. These two views of social status are usually factors that affect the arousal of depressive problems in individuals. In previous studies, the relationships of gender difference to the two definitions of social status have been greatly examined.
Such studies show that males tend to be affected more by achievement-related social status while females tend to be affected more of affection-related status (Oldehinkel, 2007). In connection to recent and previous studies, the study constructed by Oldehinkel and associates was a concoction of all the studies. Its very purpose is to examine the relationship between early adolescent’s depressive problems and social status in the classroom environment (Oldehinkel, 2007).
The major hypothesis tested by the researchers is that low peer status in the achievement-related domain is most significant for depressive problems in boys, while in girls, depressive problems are more strongly associated with low peer status in the affection-related domain (Oldehinkel, 2007). A secondary hypothesis is also formulated where researchers infer that high social status in a particular area will compensate for the individual’s depression problems and low status in another particular area (Oldehinkel, 2007).
Methodology of the Study Sample Participants Participants were recruited initially by employing the Tracking Adolescents’ Individual Lives Survey or TRAILS, which is a study on preadolescents whose aim is to track and explain the development of the participants (Oldehinkel, 2007, p. 419). The participants were selected in two stages. A request to give names and addresses of all inhabitants born in a particular year range is made to five municipalities, urban and rural alike, in the North of the Netherlands (Oldehinkel, 2007).
In this step, 3483 names were listed (Oldehinkel, 2007). In addition, the researchers also approached primary schools of the same municipalities this time, to request participation in TRAILS. In order for children to be eligible, their schools should approve participation requests. A second wave of the TRAILS became the sample population of the study. All in all, the total number of the participants who were eligible and accepted to be part of the study, excluding the parents and the schools, is 1046 (Oldehinkel, 2007).
In addition to these participants, schools having the TRAILS participants were requested to partake in peer information and nominations to determine the social status of the participating adolescents. Furthermore, the parents of the participating adolescents also became part of the information gathering. Measure Employed for Data Collection For the affection-related and achievement-related status, the information was obtained from the peer nominations from the participating schools. Questionnaires were formulated; six of which are affection-related such as “Which classmates do you like?
”, whereas, achievement-related questions such as “Who are good at sports? ” numbered three (Oldehinkel, 2007, p. 420). Proportion of nominations was used to determine the degree of peer status. Information for the participants’ depressive problems was obtained through the help of the adolescents’ parents. Questionnaires were again employed for this type of data gathering. The particular questionnaire used is the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) which is a commonly utilized questionnaire for child and adolescent psychiatric research (Oldehinkel, 2007, p.
420). In addition to the data collected from the parents, self-reports from participating adolescents were also gathered through the use of the questionnaire Youth Self-Report, the counterpart of CBCL (Oldehinkel, 2007, p. 420). Statistical Analysis Statistical methods to test the hypothesis and the relationships between the different groups of information were employed. These include means of and correlations of the different variables, means of t-tests and z-tests (Oldehinkel, 2007, p. 421). Furthermore, linear regression analyses were also done.
To better compare the different variables to social status, the researchers constructed a system of four combined status groups. In this system, low and high (1) refers to adolescents with a low status in an area and a high status on another area, only low (2) refers to adolescents having a low status in one area and no high status, only high (3) refers to adolescents having only high status and no low status and lastly, intermediate (4) refers to adolescents who are neither low nor high in status in all areas (Oldehinkel, 2007, p. 421). Results and Discussion
Results show that females have more nominations of being good learners as well as good-looking, whereas boys were nominated predominantly as good in sports. No significant gender differences were observed for affection-related status although results point out that girls are more veered to depressive problems while boys to disruptive behavior problems (Oldehinkel, 2007, p. 422). In girls, depressive problems were usually due to association to being disliked while boys’ depressive problems are correlated with being good at sports (Oldehinkel, 2007, p.
422). An interesting result obtained is that much like girls, boys’ depressive problems are highly related to the affection-related social status (Oldehinkel, 2007, p. 422). This is contrary to the previous studies that have shown that boys tend to have depressive problems caused primarily by achievement-related low social status. Interestingly, the results of the study also show that through the distribution of the participants into the four status groups systems, males and females are actually equally distributed (Oldehinkel, 2007, p. 423).
This is significant since it exhibits that there are no substantial gender differences when it comes to social or peer status. Going back to the hypotheses formulated by Oldehinkel and associates, both hypotheses are supported by the results in the general scope although in the individual status groups, some trends vary. Nevertheless, the results show that girls’ depressive problems tend to be affected by affection-related low social status while boys’ depressive problems are more likely to be caused by achievement-related low social status.
Furthermore, data shows that the adolescents’ high social status in one domain tends to counteract the effect of a low social status in another domain, thus, lessening the instances of depressive problems. Generally, there is gender difference between achievement and affection-related social status. However, no significant gender difference is evident on the sports-related domain. This illustrates that girls are also excelling in sports which is contrary to traditional belief that sports is particularly related to males (Oldehinkel, 2007, p. 425).
This may be explained by the growing trend in society regarding gender equality. Comments and Recommendations What the researchers have discovered is novel. Although there have been many previous studies that tackle the topic of their study, the scope and delimitation of the research study conducted by Oldehinkel and associates has a far wider domain. With its multiple variables and various measures of data analysis, the researchers obtained a great deal of information. Thus, such study is a great contribution to adolescent psychology. The sample size and the duration of the study are also remarkable.
Its relatively large sample size is a guarantee that the sample population is appropriately represented. The three years duration of the study also adds to the assurance that the data obtained from the study is reliable. The data collection was also appropriate. However, it is recommended that researchers should have cited the participating municipalities along with other communal information of the respondents. Furthermore, the methodology and statistical analysis of the study is commendable. Although some of the described procedures are complicated, the results have been presented clearly.
Lastly, and the most interesting of the research study is its open-ended conclusion wherein the researchers themselves urge the creation of future studies to further make use of the results and conclusions obtained in the study. It is quite proper that further studies be done to obtain solutions to the social status problems and depressive as well as disruptive behavior problems of adolescents. Reference Oldehinkel, J. A. , Rosmalen, J. G. M. , Veenstra, R. , Dijkstra, J. K. & Ormel, J. (2007). Being Admired or Being Liked: Classroom Social Status and Depressive Problems in Early Adolescent Girls an
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