Teenage Independence Research Paper

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CHAPTER EIGHT – Being Independent Being independent is expressed verbally and symbolically among Greenfield teens, as independence is not given it is earned. Independence was given to those that were actively making money, driving cars and moving out of their parents’ home. The teens themselves equated independence to being respect by other adults and treated age appropriate instead of like a child. For example, Jane wrote in her journal that when her mother asked her opinion about something she felt important, that her opinion mattered, which in return gave her a feeling of independence. Teens associated independence with being able to do certain activities without permission or supervisor (Chang, 1992, p. 128). Employment was a significant marker in the meaning of independent among teens. Approximately one-third of the student population was employed during the year and working hours that ranged from 2 to 40 hours per week (Chang, 1992, p. 128). Most students approved of working during the school year, however academics was the top priority over work.…show more content…
School staff and parents advocate for activities for the teens both inside and outside school to expand their social sector by allowing them to ‘get involved’. Active involvement in both school and community is significant to the adolescent culture and carries a social value. Types of activities that students participated in were sports, band, school clubs’ organizations, community functions, part-time and full-time jobs, interactions with their peers, and family activities (Chang, 1992, p. 147). One such organization that student participated in was the 4-H club and these clubs were well received, because of the rural nature of the community. Families are a very significant part of the Greenfield teenager’s life, many of the teens stated that “that their families provided them with security and support they needed” (Change, 1992, p.
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