1 to adulthood. In this developmental stage, a

1 Introduction

1.1 Background of the study

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Adolescence
is a stage of a young person following the starting of puberty and movement to
adulthood.  In this developmental stage,
a young man passes through different changes in physical, thought, emotional
and social aspects of owns life (Starsburger, 2005). It is also a period in
which their relationship with friends becomes important identity to the
adolescent and understanding self-image will grow so as their mental ability to
make a choice and searching for new knowledge (Kaplan and sadock, 2007).  Physically, adolescents show increased rate
of growth in height and weight. It also involves marked sexual hormonal
changes.

Conformity
or normative social influence is the change in a person’s behavior or manner to
what they think others will like and accept and avoid those behaviors that they
think others will not like and accept. This kind of conformity depends on the
primary need of human being to be loved and gain acceptance and avoiding
rejection (Zimbardo, , 1991).

By
referring the glossary of American psychological association’s words in
psychology (2012), conformity refers to the tendency or inclination of peoples
to have same kind of idea, view or opinion, and action or conduct like that
of  groups members they would like to
match with. The line judgment experiment of Asch which was conducted in 1955
proved that large number of people will stick to the groups answer even though
what they absorb by themselves is completely contrasts the groups answer
(Fiske, 2010).

Peer
pressure is any kind of pressure applied by peoples of the same age group. It
is also encouraging and giving support to another person to participate in a
particular kind of behavior. In other words it is a narrow concept of
expectations that come from a peer group towards an individual to act in a
specific way without considering the interest and desire of the person. This
pressure can be applied directly and indirectly to an individual (Kiren, 2003) (Sim,
& Koh, 2003). At the time of adolescence, peer association becomes more
important than ever. It helps to develop their closeness, increase their social
competence, and build up their self concept and identity by interacting with
significant others (Klarin, 2006).

As
it was identified by Clasen and Brow, peer pressure have five domains that
adolescents are challenged to confront with, those are family, school like
academic and non academic activities peer like hanging out with friends when
they have free time, peer customs like dressing style, and misconducts or bad
behaviors (Clasen and Brown (1985).

1.2 Statement of the problem

Current
researchers say that it is not important to observe the conformity of a person but
rather we can ask what peoples would do if they are faced with some conditions
that they have to conform then we can measure their answer (Parks, Sanna, &
Berel, 2001).

Lashbrook
studied that sometimes adolescents use conformity to get away from frightening circumstance.
He also found that adolescents will face negative emotions like isolation,
failure, haplessness, embarrassment and other when they think they are being
pressured by their peers (lashbrook, 2000).

This
conformity is most of the time proceeded by positive reinforcement like
appreciation, respected status and membership to the peer group. Those
adolescents which disagree to conform will be punished with isolation. In
contrast adolescents who are obsessed with high status and care about what
others think about them are always scared of being left out from the group, but
those who don’t conform will be challenged by rejection that will bring anxiety
(Leary, 1990).

The
developmental stage of adolescents is filled with peer influence. At this stage
adolescents try to achieve their autonomy in many aspects, wants to experience
freedom. But to achieve their friends recognition and approval they will
conform even if they don’t like or believe in it. But when they grow up to
adulthood peer group approval and conformity will not be as important as they
were in adolescence (Brown et al.,1986).

Majority
of researches about sexual attitude have been done on adults or college students,
not much is done on not much is done on younger adolescents who are at risk of
making up their own mind about the correct and in correct sexual relation and
activities. This same study states that sexual attitude of teens who are in
there early sexual development and are interested in sexual materials they will
try to meet their interest, by doing so they will start to seek other material
that will arouse their sexual feelings (Malamuth &Huppin, 2005). Other
experimental findings with adolescents said that male’s attitude and action is
influenced by experiencing sexual videos, movies and pictures than females (Ward,
2003).

It
has also been studied that adolescent’s parents’ opinion and attitude toward
sex is different for the gender of their children they are talking to. Most of
the time moms talk to their daughter than they talk to their sons about sexual
attitude. Similarly lots of females talk to their moms than males does about
parental attitude towards sex (Cosby & Miller,
2002).

So in this research the student researcher will try to find if
there is a significant relationship

1.3 Research
question

This
research ask questions like: is there an association between normative
conformity and peer pressure towards sexual attitude? Does the level of
conformity differ as the grade level of the students increase from grade 9 to
grade 12? What is the degree of peer pressure among high school students? Is
there any difference in sexual attitude of the students from one grade to
another? Is there a significant difference between boys and girls on their
sexual attitude?

2. Methodology

2.1. Research Design

A
quantitative descriptive approach and a correlational design will be used to
address basic research questions of the study. The researcher used this
quantitative design because description is used to
describe and summarize demographic characteristics of target population
numerically in terms of frequency, table, mean and so on.

Correlational study design will be used to discover the
relationship between normative conformity and peer pressure towards sexual
attitude. The student researcher will use this design because it helps to see
whether there is a relationship between variables: normative conformity and
peer pressure. This design also discovers the degree of relationship among two
variables. This study tries to determine the relationships that occur between
normative conformity and peer pressure among adolescent students in El-Bethel
Academy.

2.2. Population and Sampling

The
target population of the research is high school and preparatory students in
El-Bethel Academy; it is a private school in Addis Ababa which is located in
Nifas silk sub city. The student researcher selected this school is by
observation of peer pressure and conformity towards sexual attitude as the
investigator was former student of the school. 

There
are 487 students from grade 9-12 who are currently enrolled in 2010 E.C.
Academic calendar. Among them 313 are males and 174 are females.  To refer to all members of the students, set
of samples will be drawn from all students. The researcher will use stratified
sampling technique among different grades to represent all the students based
on their grade level. Proportional allocation will be used to each stratum.
Among each stratum, simple random sampling technique will be used to draw
sample in each grade. The researcher uses simple random sampling because each
student has equal chance to participate in the study. So, students name list
will be taken from room teacher and participants will be identified by having Kth
value for each grade level.

Sample
size of the participants in each grade level

GRADE

NUMBER
OF STUDENTS

SAMPLE
SIZE

Kth
value

9

131

40

3

10

122

37

3

11

133

40

3

12

101

31

3

TOTAL

487

148

 

(Source:
El- bethel Academy registrar office)

2.3. Data
collection instrument

The
student researcher will use the peer pressure inventory (PPI) for measuring
peer pressure. This measurement was made, introduced and validated by Donna Rae
Calasen and B. Bradford Brown in 1985 (Clasen, & Brown, 1985). Peer
pressure inventory was made to measure and evaluate the view about peer
pressure in many different areas like peer group action, bad behavior,
participation in school, attachment with family, and conformity to the peer
custom. It has53 items by which it is answered by 7-point scale showing if the
adolescents are feeling pushed to do or not to do some activities and it also
shows the degree they are being pressured. This scale is chosen because a study
in the past has shown the scale’s validity reliability and internal uniformity.
The higher the scores are in the scale the more there is participation in peer
activity, bad behavior and distractive behaviors (Brown et al, 1986).

Sexual
attitude is measured using the brief sexual attitude scale. This scale was
developed by Susan Hendrick , Clyde Hendrick ,and Dercy A. Reich in 2006. It
has 23 items answered on 5 point scale from strongly agree to strongly
disagree. It is used to measure sexual permissiveness or openness, practice,
communion or intimacy, and instrumentality or significance. The brief sexual
attitude scale is found to have a strong psychometric characteristics validity
and reliability.  (Hendrick ,Hendrick.&
Reich,2006). This scale of measurement for sexual attitude is chosen by the
student researcher because the former and mostly used sexual attitude scale of
12- item, Guttman scale, involves only 3 sexual attitudes and does not measure
other parts of sexuality (Clayton, & Bokemeier, 1980).

To
measure normative conformity the researcher will use the conformity scale. The
conformity scale was developed by Mehrabian, A. and Stefl, C. in 1995. It has
20 questions about the common values. It is answered by saying conformity and
nonconformity. It has questions like “Basically, my friends are the ones who
decide what we do together”; and “I often rely on, and act upon, the advice of
others.” (Mehrabian & Stefl, 1995).

2.4. Data collection procedure

Ethical
letter will be taken from Addis Ababa University department of psychology to
get permission from the school that the student researcher is conducting
research, El-Bethel Academy. Then study participants will be informed verbally
about the purpose of research being conducted using their classroom teacher.
Since participants are under 18 years, the student researcher will prepare a
formal letter for the parents of the students and they will be given the formal
letter by telling the students to take the letter to their parents to sign on
informed consent which will indicate that they are voluntary and will allow
their children to participate in the research. The content of questionnaire
will be explained, clarified and the distributed to the students. Enough time
will be given to complete the questionnaire and students will fill
questionnaire in where other students will not be disturbing them. Data will be
only collected by the researcher to avoid leakage of information to others. And
finally the collected data will be checked if it’s filled appropriately.

2.5. Method of data analysis

The researcher will use frequency and
percentage by using of table and charts to describe demographic variable of the
participants like age, sex and grade level. To analyze the comparison of
conformity and sexual attitude among different grade level and to see whether
there is a difference the student researcher will use Analysis of variance
(ANOVA) method since the analysis method help to compare the mean of different
groups. To analyze whether there is an association between normative conformity
and peer pressure among adolescents toward sexual attitude the researcher will
use Pearson’s correlation statistical analysis.

2.6. Ethical consideration

As
mentioned above ethical letter will be taken from the University to get
permission of conducting research in the study area. Then study participants
will be informed verbally about the purpose of research being conducted, what
will be done with record materials, and how their data will be used using
their classroom teacher. The researcher will also inform that the result of the
research will be shared to them after completion of the study. Since
participants are under 18 years old, they will be given a formal letter to who
are voluntary to participate in the research to take to their parents to sign
on informed consent for them.

The
student researcher will inform all the participants in the research that it is
forbidden to write any information that will lead to the identification of the
respondents or reveal the identity of the participants

 The confidential
records of the participants will be kept in a secure Area where it is only
access able for the student researcher. The student researcher will inform all
the participants to participate by their own free will and without any
threatening force. And that it is possible to withdraw their participation at
any time.

 

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