The subjects who participated in the study were comprised of youths from 11 to 17 years. But the researchers did not select the subject of the study through their sampling criteria but they used the data of the National Youth Survey to draw conclusions for their research.
The most notable and interesting finding of the study is that an ‘interactive relationship’ was found between age and ‘delinquent peer associations’ for some of the offenses and the relationship was found absent for the remaining offenses (Field & Mears, 2002, p.26). Another interesting and informative finding which the study brought forth was that a ‘relatively clear evidence’ was found for ‘drug-related offending’as the influence of ‘delinquent peers’ was strong on older youth for such offenses (Field & Mears, 2002, p.26).
Critique of the article A Closer Look at the Age, Peers, and Delinquency Relationship
Strengths and Limitations of the research
The major weakness of the study, A Closer Look at the Age, Peers, and Delinquency Relationship, is that the researcher analyze the data from the National Youth Survey only because they claim that as ‘considerable methodological attention’ is given to the National Youth Survey and also because of the ‘general agreement as to their reliability and validity’ (Field & Mears, 2002, p.22). The researchers assume that the readers or the population of the study would believe their pronounced claim regarding the validity of the data of the National Youth Survey. But they do not provide sufficient evidence to prove the reliability of the data to be used. This major weakness puts a question mark on the validity of the findings. The researchers could have collected the data through primary sources such as to employ a clearly stated sampling criteria to choose the sample that must be representative of the population.
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