The relationship between cognitive development and decision-making regarding adolescent sexual activity: Instrument development and validation
Dr. Mary E. Auterman, PhD, RN
- Sigma Affiliation
- Zeta Zeta
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The purpose of the study was to develop and validate an instrument which measures decision making in situations which may lead to sexual activity in adolescents, and the impact of cognitive development on that process. Several potential intervening variables were identified. Piaget's theory of cognitive development provided the theoretical basis for the study (Inhelder & Piaget, 1958). The study consisted of three phases: (1) development of the instruments to measure decision, the intervening variables, and cognitive development, (2) pilot testing the instruments, and (3) a construct validity study. Subjects for the construct validity study were 98 students from one midwestern high school. The adolescent subjects responded to a series of the decision making vignettes, the affective variable questionnaire, and a permutation task of cognitive level of development. Two scores were calculated for the decision making variable: the number of relevant responses and a cognitive score for the responses to each item. The affective variables were measured on a 5-point Likert-type scale. Four scores were calculated on the permutation task. Factor analysis was used to validate the scales within the instruments. The data were analyzed for internal consistency reliability. One-way analysis of variance with planned comparisons, and multivariate analysis of variance were used to test the hypothesis. Four hypotheses were proposed: (1) 9th grade subjects would score significantly lower on the cognitive task than 11th or 12th grade subjects, (2) Ninth grade students would score lower than 11th or 12th grade students on the decision making tool, (3) Scores on the decision making instrument would not differ on the basis of gender, (4) Students who demonstrate formal operations on the cognitive tool will score significantly higher on the decision making tool than those who are at the concrete operations or transitional level. The findings did not support the hypotheses, however, trends in scores were in the predicted direction with the exception of scores for students from one of the classes. Significant class and gender differences were present related to some of the affective variables. The affective variables of perception of parents' beliefs about sexual activity and peer pressure were significant intervening variables in decision making.
This dissertation has also been disseminated through the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. Dissertation/thesis number: 8822131; ProQuest document ID: 303696887. The author still retains copyright.
This item has not gone through this repository's peer-review process, but has been accepted by the indicated university or college in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the specified degree.
|None: Degree-based Submission
|Adolescent Sexual Activity;
Decision Making--In Adolescence;
Reliability and Validity;
Human Development--In Adolescence;
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