Tuesday, October 29, 2013

URSP Student Ariel Smith Researches Pathways to Young Adulthood Status Attainment

      The transition from adolescence into adulthood sparked my interest due to its prevalence in my own life. As I learn more about the variables effecting a successful transition, I find myself comparing the results to my own upbringing and personality traits. This not only makes the process of gathering research interesting, but also reflective. Although the specific research of adolescent development isn’t necessarily applicable to my future, the knowledge I am gaining of the process of research will certainly be applicable to in any aspect of life.

     In any field of study I choose to pursue, research skills will be valuable. Being able to sort through the mass of information made readily available from the internet is a very necessary skill in our technology-based society today. Even more importantly, being able to apply the information discovered is a highly valuable skill to have in any career I may choose. Each week so far I have been practicing the skill of determining relevant and reliable information. Using The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health’s database and Proquest, I read, list supporting and contrasting clauses, and also find gaps relevant to my research. Pooling this information helps justify and support my research. At the end of the week, I meet with my mentor, Professor Mahatmya and two peers also researching social science topics. We discuss the progress we’ve made and point out additional information needed to actually perform our research.

      This week, I was able to create a visual representation of the variables I’m researching, the paths they take, and the overall topic I hope to conclude about. Specifically, the graph helps show the extent of an adolescent’s family education, expectations, and familial warmth on the internal processes of aspirations, school engagement, and cognitive personality and how it ultimately leads to educational attainment and different personal perceptions of this attainment while transitioning into adulthood. Overall, this research is not only an experience I look forward to participating in, but also it adds to the current knowledge on the subject of adolescent development.