A study of three groups of adolescents from different ethnic backgrounds: Attitudes towards certain authority figures.

  • Trevor St George Thompson

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


AIMS OF THE STUDY I. To investigate the attitudes of three groups of adolescents from different ethnic backgrounds viz. Asian, English and West Indian, towards certain authority-figures in Bristol - parents, school teachers and police-officers. II. To determine whether Asian and West Indian adolescents are positive or negative in their attitudes towards these authority- figures. III. To account for any differences in attitudes between the groups' evaluations/ratings of the eight authority-figures. METHODOLOGY There are two main parts to the current study. The first stage involves the elicitation of personal constructs from 200 adolescents - girls and boys 15-16 years. These adolescents completed the Role Title Grids which consisted of the authority- figures. Personal constructs describing them were elicited. Five independent judges selected personal constructs which they considered to be representative of the three groups. These were used in constructing the rating grid or scale. The second stage of the investigation was the administration of the rating grid to two hundred and seventy-one (271) adolescents in five (5) comprehensive schools in Bristol. RESULTS I. Descriptive statistics were used in Stage 1 of the analysis of the data to establish trends and differences between the groups. Means and standard deviations were computed which indicated that there were differences between the groups for the authority-figures - headmaster/deputy head, female/male teacher and policeman/policewoman. II. Two by two 'Analysis of Variance' was undertaken in order to find out how significant these differences were. The "F ratios" obtained showed that the differences between Asian and English, as well as Asian and West Indian were significant at the .05 level of significance. III. The "One Tailed 't' test" was used to identify which group(s) these differences could be associated with - in respect of authority-figures. The results showed that the differences could be associated with the West Indian and English groups. IV. Cross-tabulation and (x2) Chi Square statistics were used to establish the frequency with which each group use personal construct(s) in evaluating or rating authority-figures. The results show that Asians responded 'favourable' to the attitude constructs in the evaluation of all the eights authority figures. whereas the West Indians and English responded 'unfavourable' to six of the authority figures.
Date of Award1983
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath

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