Survey By: Herman Gill
Did you know that each day, more than 3,200 people under 18 smoke their first cigarette, and approximately 2,100 youth and young adults become daily smokers? Proven by my recent research survey, a disturbing correlation between cigarette use and academic achievement has been found. Young adolescents have lower school averages because of the contribution of tobacco in their systems. The more tobacco in the child’s system, the lower their school average was. Tobacco use by young adults causes abnormality in cells developing cancer, opens a window to addiction, and is proven to negatively influence their academic results. Academic results are one of the most important things in an adolescent’s life, because it shapes their future. In our grade twelve human development class one of the main focuses were the theories of cognitive development. Biological theories are the most applicable in the case of tobacco affecting a child’s academic achievement. The prefrontal areas of the cortex of the brain start growing rapidly in adolescence. The PFC is the absolute last part of the brain that develops. It is responsible for cognitive processes such as planning, impulse control, and decision making. After researching my question about tobacco use affecting academic results and analyzing my survey results, I found a correlation: The more an adolescent smokes cigarettes, cuts class to smoke and some other factors, the lower their school average is. To get to this conclusion, a great deal of planning was required to make an effective survey.
Before I started designing my survey I had to think of my objectives, goals and determine my resources. First I wrote a clear statement of the purpose and goals of my survey, mainly answering my initial question. Next I defined the population which was about 100 students and I determined my method of data collection. As for my resources, I planned to hand out paper copies and later, enter them into a survey software for analyzation. Since this was a school assignment, resources like paper were provided. Surveys given to young adults must be short and to the point and they should only ask questions that help determine the answer to the main research question. I decided that my survey would be roughly twenty questions long and it would have to apply to everyone in the school. When writing the questions I knew that some students smoked and majority did not. I created a survey where non-smokers would only respond to the survey up to a certain point. The first nine questions were general questions about their age, physical health, school average, and relationships that they have with others who smoke. The remainder of the questions only applied to smokers, so if they did not smoke then they handed the survey in to me. The next ten questions asked if they feel smoking has affected them negatively and general questions about their habit.
When collecting data, there will always be errors in your findings, because not everyone will answer all of the questions on your survey. Failure from non-response would be something to consider, if my survey was only designed for non-smokers and vice-versa. Also, collecting all the paper copies was a hassle when I had to sort them, to enter them into the survey software. One thing I could have done to make it less difficult could be to staple the completed surveys together, so the incomplete ones would be more accessible. After I sorted all of my data, I entered them into my survey software called Jotform, which helped me find trends in the population’s responses to my survey.
I found very interesting trends in the data I collected, because of the diversity among these young adult’s morals, social interactions, and different levels of intelligence. The most interesting correlation I found was that the students who smoked cigarettes, had a lower school average. The alarming aspect of the survey was that