Two objectives can be drawn from the research. First, it examines the distribution of misperception of peer delinquency among large group of Dutch adolescent. Second, it assesses the potential factors related to the misperception of peer delinquency. Based on these research objectives the hypothesis designed for the research study was as under:
(H1) There will be variation in respondent's misperception of their peer delinquent behavior.
(H2) Misperception of the peer delinquency is likely to occur with individuals having less self-control and is involved in delinquency than the individuals with high self-control and less involve delinquency.
(H3) Misperception of peer delinquency will happen more in the social group where individuals spend less time with their peers and spend less time together as compared to the individuals who spend more time together and are networked strongly with each member.
Hypothesis 4: (H4) Individuals in the network that are dense and individuals located in more central positions in their peer friendship network will be less likely to misperceive the delinquency of their peers as compared with individuals in less dense networks and individuals occupying less central positions in their peer network.
Independent and Dependent Variables
There are many variables in the research that are built on further analysis of the subset variables. Misperception of peer delinquency is reported to dependent on two factors. First on a direct indicator provided by the respondent's peer themselves and second on indirect reported by respondent. A direct measure of peer delinquency was established by using social network method of research data collection. In this method respondents were given list of all students in their school of same grade and were asked to identify students whom they associate the most. Nominated peers were asked in self-reported survey about various delinquent behaviors. Questions were structured as, how often any of these offenses have been committed by them in last year:
1. stolen small items that may have valued below 5 Euros
2. make an attempt to steal
3. robbed anyone
4. Physically harm any person badly.
Conventional method of criminology was applied for researching on indirect measure of peer delinquency. Respondents were asked conventional questions like, how many of their friends have been involved in robbery, theft or even stealing small items of value below 5 Euros and have ever harm anyone badly. The other parameter of the hypothesis researched and testing is self-control which depends on three sub-sets namely impulsivity, risk-seeking and anger. In assessing self-reported delinquency respondents were asked if they have committed any of the above mentioned crimes and frequency of its occurrence.
The variable time spend with peers was based on social interaction of the respondents. The items used under this category were:
1. After school students usually go home or stay away from home.
2. How often the time is spending with friends after school?
3. How much week days times spend with friends?
4. How often they meet with their friends in weekends?
5. How long with friends during weekends?
Control-variables is included in the study to overcome with the problem of bias in regression estimates that arise when peer nominations have friends outside their immediate school settings. Friends outside of school are as a control variable in the analysis. The parameters of the dependent and independent variables can collectively be listed as:
3. Parents foreign born
4. Friends outside school
5. Time with friends
6. Network average time with friends
7. Network density
8. Self-reported delinquency
10. Misperception of peer delinquency
The previous study conducted on the literature have shown that using direct measure of delinquency have applied the sent-and-receive network. The sent network is more suitable as it is more focused on perceptions of behaviors. The direct measure of peer delinquency shows the average number of delinquent acts by each individual in the respondents peer group.
Through research it is found that the typical measure of peer delinquency depends on respondent's perceptions of their peer's behavior. This will lead to respondents imputing their own behavior onto their peers. To outwit the problem associated with perceptual measures of peer behavior, researchers have found alternative methods of respondent's identification of their peers and concentrated their efforts on directly obtaining information from those individuals. The resultant method was termed as "social network method" or the "direct method."
The direct method has win over the perceptual method in collecting the information for per delinquency. The direct methods used in the research indicates that the effect of peer delinquency on self-reported delinquency is not of much significance as it is used in perceptual methods and perceptual methods of measuring peer behavior also bias the effect of competing theoretical variable identified as "self-control."
Research has also focused on social-networking methodologies because there were many questions which created doubts and raised many questions about peer behavior in assessing delinquency. There are certain elements of perceptual measures of peer behavior that can result in misperception and might bias the perceived peer behavior. Therefore, it is quite possible that social network forms and an individual position in the network can influence the peer behavior and eventually gives accurate measure of peer's behavior. The population sample selected for the purpose of study to examine the distribution of peer delinquency among large Dutch adolescent group. However, there are limited researches that can evidence the adolescents do misreport their peer involvement in delinquency. The sample size constitutes 1,978 students from 12 schools having total population of 2,370 students. Age group of the sample population ranged between 1 to 18 years. Respondents age 13 and 15 years dominate 32% and 25% respectively of the total population size. Respondents were living in medium sized cities located nearby.
Research Findings and its Generalization
In criminology peer influence on an individual's delinquent behavior is of great importance. from the research study it is analyzed that according to the hypothesis structure there are some individuals who misestimate peer behavior having misperception values near to zero for hypothesis 1. For the hypothesis 2 respondents with less self-control and respondents reporting more delinquency have greater misperception. The findings of hypothesis 3 suggest that the amount of time spend with the peers was not related to the misperceptions. It was found that the amount of time peers spend together in the same network was positively related to misperception.
Alternative hypothesis or findings which can be aroused from the study was when youth spend more time together there is more chances that they discuss these topics and reinforce influential perception of delinquency.
The findings of 4th hypothesis suggest that network density was associated with misperception in a way that more density is linked to less misperception but it didn't support underreporting of peer delinquency.
The findings of this research design can't be generalized because the theoretical construct like peer delinquency measured via perceptions could be biased by individual characteristics and characteristics of an individual specific to peer network. Therefore, the findings are critical to the development of criminology which is based on data drawn from survey information. Future researchers have to be careful while interpreting the effect of variables that are measured as respondents of perception especially in the case of peer delinquencies. For this specification and limitation of finding on individualistic approach inhibits it to be generalized.
Research Design and Data Presentation
The research is presented with construction of various models presented in sequence and representing the findings in a regression analysis form. The data from the survey was presented in a table against each parameter or variable sof the research design which makes the analysis of the data simplified because sample size of the population is quite large and predicting the findings of this large group of sample can be a troublesome task. Using regression statement was appropriate choice in data analysis. Standard deviation of each variable was calculated to show how much the data deviates from the mean value and to what degree it's linked with the research question and testing of multiple hypotheses.
The data is bifurcated into absolute value scores model 1 and untransformed score model 2 through which it is presented in the regression equation. Graphical representation of the data and findings is also made through the regression line and normal distribution which shows how much the data deviates from the mean value. This is important for the research analysis because it tells the relevance of factor being considered in the research. The more data deviates the lesser would be its relevance and flatter would be its curve from the normal distribution. Measurement strategy for misperception in cross-sectional analysis also holds importance to great extend because its interlinked the time of occurrence of these variables and the frequency of occurrence of these variable before and after the research have actually being conducted. The presentation of data is made in a design which is suitable for the research methodology and literature review of the findings.
The research findings have widened the horizon of…