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Pressures experienced by adolescents Kowal, Daniel Joseph


The purpose of this study was to examine the types of pressures adolescents experience. The factors of age and/or gender were also investigated in order to determine any possible effects upon adolescent experienced pressures. The researcher believed that findings from such a study could be useful to high school counsellors in both planning future Guidance programs for adolescents as well as aiding in individual counselling sessions with their adolescent clients. Using a cluster-sampling technique, 505 adolescents were selected from a Vancouver high school. Subjects were chosen with consideration to the factors of age and gender. The researcher designed an open-form measurement instrument intended to gather adolescent responses to the three greatest pressures they had experienced during the previous four months. Following a pilot of the instrument, which was to aid in determining construct validity, the survey was administered to the sample over an eight day testing period. With the initial help of an assistant, responses were content analyzed and initial categories constructed. All responses were coded and assigned a frequency score to one of eleven mutually exclusive categories. The chi-square "Goodness of Fit" test for significant difference between or among groups was then applied. Results of the statistical analysis indicated that the factors of age and/or gender are related to certain types of pressures experienced by adolescents. Future Pressure was found to be a significant pressure experienced by older age adolescents. Regardless of gender, age appears to be an important factor related to who will experience Future Pressure. Female adolescents experience greater Family Pressure than do males. Whether within the same age group or within a total female and. a total male population comparison, this result remains consistent. Younger age adolescents also indicate greater gender differences compared with older age adolescents. Younger age female adolescents are more likely to experience greater Family Pressure and Peer Pressure while young male adolescents are more likely to experience greater Situational Pressure. In conclusion, it appears that significant gender differences found in this study tend to support the notion that differences in the rate of physical growth as well as learned sexual stereotypes are significant factors in determining such differences.

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