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Teenagers Drinking in Ireland

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    The research problem I undertook was ‘teenagers drinking in Ireland’ the choice for the research question was if the Icelands’ ways of approaching teenagers drinking alcohol work in Ireland. The aims of the research proposal is to state the findings, and question why the results may be so, analyze what quantitative methods may work best as regards to finding and collecting the data, to give an in-depth explaination to each research definition and finally to evaluate the use of my paradigm, methodology and data analysis and consider any implications. I feel that this topic is vital for me as I am studying social care, as I must investigate why teenagers form certain attitudes towards drinking and how vulnerable they may be. This may also be essential when regarding the literature as Ireland is said to be reported the ‘third highest rate of teenage drunkenness in Europe’ Allwright et al., (2010). I must propose further research into the area, as alcohol can increase behaviours such as abusing drugs, deviant behaviours , sexual risk and suicide. A ‘Life-history theory’ also confirms that risky drinking is more prevalent when raised in an unstable and precarious environment, the behaviour is also more commonly known in young men. Chow et. Al., (2002) For the remainder of the proposal I will outline the research methodology (paradigm), methods, ethical issues, a conclusion and a bibliography.

    I used quantitative research for my research methodology. The rationale for using this approach is that it represents a simplicity of reality which is common for most individuals (Newman et al., 1998), and it tests theories for confirmation. I chose a quantitative paradigm over the qualititative as I believe that qualitative methods can evolve into ethical issues with regards to procedure and carrying out resesarch e.g. interviews, and observations, as is that qualitative research is mainly subjective, as it only focuses on one subject or case for an extended period of time which may usually be theories and thinking. A quantity can be defined as an amount, number, or a load. Quantitative research is when this is measured by using statistics, numerical or mathematical methods. The key principles I will further mention are sampling, ethics, a quantitative-based questionnaire, how to design a questionnaire and data analysis. Some of the key merits may include that it is objective, factual and non-biased, gathers large samples, has a no non-sense approach, the book ‘Basic Research Methods: An Entry to Social Science Research’ define this as ‘detailed rules that encourage care but are complex; providing an intellectual discipline that encourages accuracy, and careful attention’ Guthire et al., (2010).

    My sampling approach with regards to quantitative research will be random sampling. Firstly a sample frame must be created, then a set of numbers must be selected for the sample, bias must be avoided when choosing individuals to sample, it is important to use a steady method without any substitutes, I must assess and confirm any findings, I must ensure that there is some level anonymity in my findings but I also must consider the gender and age of the individual, and to deliver the research I will do so online for time-efficiency. This method may be otherwise known as simple-random sampling, where a set of numbers chosen at random are generated to a portion of numbers to be included in the sample, it is also one of the more simple and efficient and is key for more complex methods. Random sampling looks for a set response from individuals on a larger scale; as defined by From ‘Doing a Successful Research Project using Qualitative or Quantitative Methods’ it’s defined as ‘an equal chance that anyone in the population can be included in the sample’ Brett et al., (2010).

    Data Collection Method: Questionnaire

    As for my data collection method, I chose a questionnaire as it can be used as a quantitative method when including closed response questions such as; multiple choice questions, this can include no long winded answers, quick and efficient choices and the ability to gather details accurately; checklist responses that contain numerous choices respondents can select, categorical responses that have restricted answers (e.g. ‘Yes/No’, ‘True/False’) for example in ‘A telephone survey of parental attitudes and behaviours regarding teenage drinking’ parents were asked if they had offered their teenager a drink Allwright et al., (2010), a very effective method for clarity and objectivity, and lastly the likert scale where participants respond to a statement if they ‘strongly agree, agree, are undecided, disagree, or strongly disagree’. The rationale for using closed response questionnaires would be that they collect categorical and numerical data. As for advantages, they take in answers that are coherent, objective and factual and that people may be more attracted to answer short answers. Some of the disadvantages may include that the development can be time consuming, it can restrict expression, can create indecisiveness and a likely-hood in non-response which can result in bias.

    Data Analysis

    My proposed approach for data analysis was S.P.S.S. (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences), a grid that inputs data and processes the information given. This can store files and data on your computer, views missing data, as well as analyse and prepares data. It can also prevent from making mistakes or even forgetting information McCormick et. al., (2015). My rationale for my chosen data analysis is that it’s suitable for projects of all sizes and levels of complexity, and can help you and your organization find new opportunities, improve efficiency and minimize risk. Data analysis can also contain the results of findings this can include with accordance to ‘A telephone survey of parental attitudes and behaviours regarding teenage drinking’ where only 11% of parents asked if their child wanted alcohol, and 90% of parents had rejected the given statement that it would be alright for another parent to offer alcohol to a teenager Allwright et al., (2010).

    As regards to ethical issues, some of which may be carrying out an observation of underage teenagers, when using informed consent it’s vital that I must outline clearly any details in our research, understand information given and allow permission to withdraw. The book ‘Doing Your Research Project : A Guide for First-time Researchers’ states that it’s vital that the participant is highly aware and has knowledge of the purpose of the research and recognize their rights Bell et al., (2014). Anonymity can be identified if the researcher mentions an organization even codes and symbols on questionnaires are held in complete disregard for the formation of confidentiality. Participants may also have to sign a protocol form as well as a review by the ethics committee. It’s also vital that the researcher contacts their institution and department when disseminating online.

    To conclude this proposal, I would like to highlight the key issues: Alcohol consumption seems to be one of the growing concerns for adolescence today, I found that supporting my evidence through quantitative research that many parents wouldn’t agree with allowing their teenager drink, the statistics and numerical data gave insight to this, the quantitative method of a questionnaire is much more ethical than more qualitative methods such as observation and interviews, the use of random sampling ensures anonymity without bias, the importance of analysing data for implanting new ideas and changes and the importance of ethics with regard to those underage. As a student studying social care, I feel that it is valid that the young people of today must engage in healthier activities, such as sports clubs, or anything that requires their interests, as well as standing against peer pressure.

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