Article Critique

9 September 2016

The association between suicidal ideation, friendships with delinquents, and social/parental connectedness in high-risk youth is poorly understood (Logan, Crosby, & Hamburger, 2011). The participants include 2,598 pre/early adolescents, but no further information is described regarding the individuals.

The results are included: After adjusting for demographic and mental distress factors, suicidal ideation was positively associated with having delinquent friends; yet, after factoring in substance abuse and mental distress, this was negative for males (Logan, Crosby, & Hamburger). Furthermore, after adjusting for all factors (demographic, mental distress, illicit substance abuse, and peer/date violence victimization), suicidal ideation was negatively associated with school and parental connectedness, but a higher association did exist for females (Logan, Crosby, & Hamburger).

Article Critique Essay Example

The significance levels are not reported. Future research is touched on in the conclusion; potential benefits may exist in increasing school connectedness and improving parenting strategies, especially for females, as well as the improving the violence and substance-abuse prevention strategies, especially for males, connected with delinquent peers (Logan, Crosby, & Hamburger). After reading the entire article and re-reading the abstract, it remains clear and provides a good relevant description of the problem under study.

The purpose is also clear. The specific hypothesis is not clearly stated, however. The research questions are not clearly stated, but can be interpreted. The review is objective and unbiased, but does not contain any alternative viewpoints. Methods The participants are identified: English-speaking students enrolled in grades 7, 9, 11, and 12 at all 16 public schools within a school district (ranking among the 25 nationally highest in poverty, highest 15 in single-parent families, highest 10 in serious crime rates, and the highest 35 in unemployment rate).

The number of the entire population is not stated here, but that only data from grades 7 and 9 are used in the study; (3,314 in 7th grade and 2,598 in 9th grade). The participants were selected for the study by voluntarily completing an anonymous self-administered 174-item questionnaire. 78% participated and each student received a $5 gift card for returning the parental permission form and another $5 gift card after completing the survey (Logan, Crosby, & Hamburger).

There is no mention of approval from the Institutional Review Board. The variables of interest included the following: friendships with delinquents, parental caring and supervision, social support, school connectedness, and number of perceived close friends. Each of the aforementioned variables were further divided as well. The outcome variable, suicidal ideation, was dichotomized: did or did not seriously consider attempting suicide within the 12 months prior to completing the survey.

Three analyses were conducted: (1) basic descriptive analyses to characterize the population (including logistic regression to assess crude associations between each characteristic and the outcome variable; associations were reported via odds ratio); (2) logistic regression to determine the associations of each connectedness variable with the outcome variable, adjusting for potential confounding factors; and (3) interaction terms were added to each model-building step that adjusted for demographic actors between the main variables and the outcome variable by sex (Logan, Crosby, & Hamburger, 2011). Enough information to replicate the design is not provided, nor is the data analysis plan. Results Descriptive results are reported in a table, including demographics. A lot of information from the tables is not described in the text, but the tables can be interpreted stand alone.

The results are written in plain English: 17% had seriously considered suicide within the previous year; 71% had delinquent friends; 66% experienced peer or date abuse within the previous year; 53% experienced mental distress within the previous 30 days; 12% drank alcohol within the previous year; 10% used illicit drugs within the previous year; 80% felt connected to school; 70% felt they had moderate to high levels of social support; and 63% felt they had parents who cared about them and supervised their activities.

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