Analyzing data is a very important aspect of conducting a research; therefore it requires proper and knowledgeable development of research variables. The research data that is collected needs to be analyzed through analytical and logical thinking of evaluating the data collected. Research variables are termed as “measurable attribute that changes or varies across the experiment whether comparing results between multiple groups, multiple people or even when using a single person in an experiment conducted over time,” (Perez, 2020) therefore analyzing these variables provides a better understanding of the research conducted. This paper will analyze methods and measurements used in Sherman’s article on “Crime and Juvenile Delinquency” to measure the variables. The paper will then provide the variables that I would incorporate when conducting my research, and the scale of measurement I will implement.
The article on “Crime and Juvenile Delinquency” elaborates more by giving evidence on how changes in crime and other dysfunctional behaviors could be used as measurement variables. Sherman implements quantitative analysis skills to determine the connection between violent crime and welfare reform. Quantitative analysis of data relies on statistical results and findings, which is what Sherman utilizes by relying on data from Uniform Crime Reporting System and National Crime victimization. Sherman mentions that “it is misleading to compare homicide rates across cities or to look at national homicide rates without disaggregating them by the factors that are most strongly correlated with their existence.” (Sherman, 2006) When measuring data and comparing them to specific variable e.g. neighborhoods certain factors should be considered such as age, race and income although Sherman believes that “the effects of those characteristics are magnified by location and space.” (Sherman, 2006)
The article measure variables such as crime in relation to welfare, police crime reports having information related to: victims involved in homicide by both age and weapon used, arrests made for all offenses by race and age, as well as the number in total of violent crime in poverty stricken neighborhoods, and Drug abuse cases within high schools compared to juvenile incidents. Measurement of homicidal rate was done among a specific number of people living in a specific town, whereby it is mentioned that “homicide rate in Baltimore is about 40 per 100,000. In the rest of Maryland, the homicide rate is lower than it is in Australia-about 1.2 per I00, 000.” (Sherman, 2006) Determining the variable related to homicide so as to measure the occurrence of juvenile cases on poor neighborhoods Sherman advises the use of crime records. Police crime records are organized in a manner that they record the location of the crime and the address thus making it possible to know which neighborhoods have high crime rate and compare that to juvenile delinquency.
Data from hospitals can also be used to show the level of crime around some neighborhoods. NEISS surveys only the emergency department so data from that section can help in the process. Victimization survey data was also measured by the National Crime Victimization Survey which was estimated according to the victim and offender’s age and income characteristics. Research is also done on other dysfunctional behaviors which are measured in terms of alcohol use and sexual activity. These factors, however, are termed as estimates and can’t be used to measure behaviors regarding poor neighborhoods (Sherman, 2006). Therefore comparing them to police records will provide more information regarding specific neighborhoods rather than using census tract information.
Applying the knowledge I acquired from class on research analysis in order to determine the best methods used to study I decided to rely also on Quantitative analysis. Therefore I will use behavioral study as a technique for analyzing the connection between various variables that cause and also affect the rate of juvenile delinquency. Studying behaviors requires a combination of both correlation and descriptive study for better and elaborate results. Correlation study will applied on the variables chosen for the study and allow us to be able to compare and contrast if there is a cause and effect relationship between them. Descriptive study on the other hand will be implemented in order to provide a description of the data and its relation to the study and the data characteristics. Implementing these techniques will provide more information and relation in terms of age, race, habit e.t.c that will have been accurately analyzed. The four major variables I will implement in my study will be education level, juvenile delinquent behavior, age, socioeconomic status and education level.
Analyzing these variables will provide specific data, thus I will start with age which is a variable that can be measured both as a numeric and a quantitative value. Therefore putting the age brackets according to the influence will help determine which group is more influenced. They can be categorized as either age specific offenders or repeat offenders therefore allowing us to determine if someone around 12-18 will still have the characters after 18-21. Determining the victim’s socioeconomic status will allow us to determine the neighborhood surrounding the victims. Therefore socioeconomic status will be measured according to the range of income the people averagely earn in neighborhoods with juvenile cases or even just the juvenile’s parents income level.
Juvenile delinquent behavior will be measured as non-violent and violent behavior which makes it a dummy variable. Categorizing the people chosen for the study will depend on age, race and also income level, with some categories consisting of both violent and non-violent behaviors as one. The ages will be measure according to a whole year and not rounding them up, because juvenile delinquency is a dummy variable thus it will be also measured as 1 or 0. These measurements to be used will be fully reliable to a category or dependent. Education level will be last variable that will be measured to check the progress of the teens growing up in juvenile environments. Education level is a numerical value that contains quantity and value, keeping in mind the grade already completed. Because age is a common variable among all the variables used in education it will be concentrated on the adults. The research will be conducted on those who went to college and those who managed to complete high school.
Categorizing the data will based on alphabetical representation whereby A will represent high school graduates who are still in college. B and C will represent those in college but have managed to complete 2 or 3 years in college. Lastly D and E will represent those who have finished till 4 years of their study in campus, but they still didn’t manage to acquire a degree and E for those with a degree. Because education level is measured in wholly, then when studying a person currently in 3rd year then they shall be ranked as 2 years for purpose of this study will be ranked as B. This process will be followed for all the studies even the ones who have finished 4 years but haven’t received a degree yet due to various delays or process is ranked at the lower level.
Juvenile delinquency study requires proper operational definition of variables in order for the findings to connect and provide a trend that can be used to treat cases and also prevent cases of juvenile delinquency. Therefore other categories can also be considered for study such as interaction between family members, participation in religious and social activities and also participation in games. Implementing these techniques will provide a platform for prevention and treatment of juvenile cases in poor neighborhoods. The findings will help us understand the relation between change in welfare reforms and crimes that influence rate of juvenile delinquency.
- Perez, E. (2020). What is Data Analysis and Its Methods? | Utreee. Retrieved 12 March 2020,
- from https://www.utreee.com/what-is-data-analysis-and-its-methods%EF%BB%BF/
- Sherman, Lawrence W. (fall, 2006). “Crime and juvenile delinquency.” Gender
- Issues, 23: 4, 60-68.