Teenagers want to finish their studies and leave home

Jun 18, 2010
The girls placed more importance on goals related to education and interpersonal-family aspects. Credit: Alena Navarro

Two researchers from the University of Santiago de Compostela (USC) have studied the relationship between teenagers' goals and antisocial behaviour. The results show that the principal goal of young people is to finish their studies and leave home. The most antisocial among them place greater importance on popularity with others.

"The goals that place most importance on are to do with leaving home, work and education, in other words they are related to finishing their studies and academic achievements", Laura López Romero, co-author of the study with Estrella Romero and a researcher at the USC, tells SINC.

"Antisocial goals are to deceive, steal or bypass rules and laws, but not as a means to an end, rather as an end in themselves. In other words, taking part in this kind of behaviour is a goal in itself for adolescents, because it allows them to achieve social recognition and to establish an identity and antisocial reputation, which gives them a certain level of popularity with others", says López Romero.

The objective of the study, which has been published recently in the Spanish Journal of Psychology, was to study how teenagers' goals were structured, and the between these and antisocial behaviour. It was based on questionnaires handed out to a sample of 488 participants, aged between 12 and 18, at six public schools in Galicia.

The students had to state the importance they placed on each goal, using a scale of six options. "Then we analyzed the young people's involvement in antisocial behaviour", the expert points out. The study is based on these data. The researchers also studied the role of gender in the relationship between goals and .

The conditioning of gender roles

Out of the teenagers interviewed, 233 were boys (47.8 %) and 254 were girls (52.2%). "We observed very classic differences between the two groups. The girls placed more importance on goals related to education and interpersonal-family aspects, while the boys set targets that were more antisocial or related to sporting achievements", explains López Romero.

The only factor without any difference between the two was their goal of leaving home. "Both groups were the same in terms of their aspirations about gaining autonomy and freedom", says the expert.

Explore further: Intervention program helps prevent high-school dropouts

Provided by FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology

3.5 /5 (2 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Why can't some people give up cocaine?

Nov 19, 2009

Drug dependency is a recurrent but treatable kind of addiction. However, not all people who are drug dependent progress in the same way once they stop taking drugs. A new study shows that, in the case of cocaine, a high score ...

Teenagers use violence to boost their social standing

Dec 22, 2009

A new study looks in depth at the social relationships between male and female teenagers, relational violence, and psycho-social adjustment factors such as loneliness, self-esteem and satisfaction with life. ...

Earlier, later puberty may trigger aggression in boys

May 03, 2010

Puberty that arrives earlier or later in adolescent boys relative to their peers can trigger chemicals that are related to antisocial behavior, according to researchers, whose findings have key implications for parents with ...

Recommended for you

Intervention program helps prevent high-school dropouts

16 hours ago

New research findings from a team of prevention scientists at Arizona State University demonstrates that a family-focused intervention program for middle-school Mexican American children leads to fewer drop-out rates and ...

Bilingualism over the lifespan

17 hours ago

It's a scene that plays out every day in Montreal. On the bus, in schools, in the office and at home, conversations weave seamlessly back and forth between French and English, or one of the many other languages represented ...

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Skultch
5 / 5 (1) Jun 18, 2010
I don't think I would use the word "antisocial" to describe the teen boys behavior. Sure, from the perspective of the parents and faculty it is, but not necessarily from the boy's perspective. I would use the phrase narrowly, selfishly, or misguided social. At best, antisocial is too vague a word to use in this context. The usage here suggests that it is in the boys' best interest to be positively social with his parents' generation. I disagree with that assumption from the perspective of mental development and individual growth. Boys need to learn how to be independent men in a community of PEERS. Perhaps something was lost in the translation from Spanish.
Bob_B
not rated yet Jun 18, 2010
It has been reported the brain and it's structures are still growing at the ages discussed. Growing and learning, hmmm, any connection?