Sei sulla pagina 1di 28

To what extent does Christianity influence the behavioural patterns of 6th form students at the Glenmuir High School?

Name: Rochelle Edwards School: Glenmuir High School Registration Number: 1000390672 Territory: Jamaica Year of Exam: 2013
1

Acknowledgement

The completion of this Caribbean studies project could not have been done properly without support from a number of people. Firstly, I would like to thank God for sparing my life and guiding me through this project with ease. I would like to thank my parents for always being at my side and helping me whenever I was in need. Lastly, special thanks to my Caribbean Studies teacher Mrs. Wolfe who stuck behind me and gave me the motivation to succeed as she made proper provision in giving all of the students help and tips on completing this project with a view to achieve full marks.

Table of Contents Chapter Page

Introduction and Purpose of Research 4 Literature Review.. 6 Data Collection Sources..9 Presentation and Interpretation of Findings...10 Discussion of Findings22 Conclusion/Limitation/Recommendations....24 Bibliography....25 Appendices ..26

Introduction and Purpose of Research

Research Statement
To what extent does Christianity influence the behavioural patterns of 6th form students at the Glenmuir High School? Sub problems 1. What percentage of the 6th form population are Christians? 2. In what ways does Christianity influence the behavioural patterns of the students? 3. What other factors influence the behavioural patterns of these students?

Background The 6th form community at the Glenmuir High School is made up of over 250 young adults most of whom have some belief in the Christian faith or parts of it. These beliefs can be shown in the formation of clubs such as the Inter-school Christian Fellowship (ISCF) of which a majority of its members are 6th formers. This research is aimed at finding out to what extent does Christianity or religious beliefs influence the behavioural patterns of these 6th formers. The researcher chose this topic because it is very appealing and the findings are bound to be very debatable and can be related to from a universal point of view.

The researcher assures that the education value of this investigation will be copious and will bring great awareness to the features of the Christian faith along with the impacts on not just the 6th formers at Glenmuir but youths in general. Delimitations In doing this research, the researcher will focus this study on the 6th formers at the Glenmuir High School in Clarendon. The researcher will collect data from 20 students for this research. The main area of focus for this research will be on Christianity and its effect on these students behaviours. It will be carried out over a two month period between January and February 2013.

Definition of Key Terms Behavioural patterns - A response of an individual or group to an action, environment, person, or stimulus. Christianity - The religion based on the person and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, or its beliefs and practices.

Literature Review
According to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Christianity is one of the worlds major monotheistic religions. Christians believe in Jesus Christ and follow his teachings. The definition shows that the fundamentals of Christianity are centred on the teachings of Jesus Christ. Around the world, matters of faith vary greatly, with no one thing sacred to everyone on earth. Because religion deals with ideas that transcend everyday experience, neither common sense nor any scientific discipline can verify or disprove religious doctrine. Religion is a matter of faith. Religion encourages people to look hopefully to a better world to come, minimizing the social problems of their world. A link exists between religious beliefs and societal benefit. But is there a link between religion and adolescent behaviour, such as sex, delinquency, and the media's effect on adolescents? Several decades of social scientific studies have shown that religion is often a factor in the lives of American adolescents, influencing their attitudes and behaviours in ways that are commonly viewed as positive and constructive (Smith, 2003). This shows that indeed religion or in this case Christianity will have an effect on choices the 6th formers at Glenmuir High School make especially for baptised Christians. Some adolescents will look into the teachings of Christianity before making a drastic decision as some of the features of Christianity are highlighted in everyday society in the form of moral values. A study conducted at Fordham University established a relationship between the strength of a college freshman's religious faith and sexual experimentation (Zaleski & Schiaffino, 2000). The study found that students who strongly identify with religious teachings and traditions were less likely to engage in sexual activity

Jennifer Elliott in here Yahoo article states Adolescence is a time when everything is questioned, including culture and religion. There are so many influences on adolescents today, television, music, movies, the internet, that it is hard to believe that religion can make that much of a difference. This sentiment is very true as teenagers tend to gravitate towards these things nowadays rather than religion. We can also often see where nowadays where religion and popular culture seem to be entwined and how religion is portrayed nowadays will have an effect on how Christianity affects the 6th form population at Glenmuir. The article also continues to say Religion has become more marketable in the past few years In bookstores, the Religion section grows larger. Publishing companies are producing brightly-coloured bibles as opposed to the traditional black leather. As long as religion and its purpose are not misrepresented, the popularity of religiosity will continue to grow.

A major influence on how the followers of the Christian faith live their lives is The Ten Commandments, British Baptist preacher Charles Spurgeon once said of The Ten Commandments I find sometimes profitable to myself to read the Ten Commandments and to think over my sins against each one of them. What a list it is, and how it humbles you in the dust to think it over. What Mr. Spurgeon was showing is how important these commandments are to Christians. In order to really follow those commandments, persons have to really adjust their personal and social lives in accordance to them. Do the 6th formers at Glenmuir do that? Then there is the argument about moral values, Credong.org in its article titled Influence of Religion on Daily Life states that the laws and social customs that exist in society are almost all based on religious teachings. There is no doubt that growing up, parents have taught their

children what is deemed socially acceptable behaviour using the teachings of Christianity to help them. Again, another article published by Credong.org entitled Why Society Needs Religion explains the importance of religion in general in society. Reasons given were: it regulates behaviour, it teaches self sufficiency, the fact that society is largely based on the idea or cooperation which is also taught by religion and lastly, religion gives society something to believe in. An article on the site Barna.org entitled Faith Has a Limited Effect on Most Peoples Behaviour states that Notional Christians people who say they are Christian but have never made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ represent almost half of all people attending Christian churches in the U.S. In total, they are about one-third of the adult population. The study also indicated that even though the Bible and churches encourage fasting for religious reasons, the people most likely to engage in religious fasts are adherents of non-Christian faiths. In fact, the non-Christian people of faith are twice as likely as Christians to engage in fasting.

Data Collection Sources


So as to carry out this research the researcher will utilize information from several data collection sources. The type of research to be carried out is applied research and it will be descriptive in nature. The presentation of data will be done using both the qualitative and quantitative methods. The research instrument that will be utilized is the questionnaire. This instrument will be used as it provides a quick, efficient and cheap method of data collection as well as allows larger numbers of information to be collected that can be easily sorted, summarized and analysed. The twenty questionnaires were issued on February 2, 2013. The researcher will also employ the use of secondary sources which includes books and websites. This is to ensure that the researcher is well acquainted with studies of similar subjects done by others. The researcher will then present the finding using illustrative methods such as graphs and charts. The sampling method that will be utilized by the researcher is known as stratified random sampling where the objective 6th form population will be broken down into the subsets of teens who had a strong Christian background and those who did not. Individuals were randomly chosen from those subsets. This method was utilized as it provided the researcher with the most competent manner in which to obtain the necessary information. Twenty individuals will be used to collect this information. They will be chosen as this allows the researcher to make assumptions that can be generalized to the entire target population.

Presentation and Analysis of Data


Presentation of Findings
Question 2: Are you a baptised Christian?

Yes No

12

Figure 1 Figure 1 show that eight of the twenty respondents which amounts to 40% were baptised Christians and 60% or the remaining 12 were not.

10

Question 4: How often do you go to church?

12

10

0 Rarely Often Occasionally Holidays

Figure 2 Figure 2 is a column graph showing the response to question 4 How often do you go to church? The answers shows that two of the respondents said rarely, twelve declared often, four said occasionally and two said they attended church only on holidays.

11

Question 7: What Christian clubs are you a part of?

None

Alpha

ISCF

10

Figure 3 Figure 3 shows the responses to the question What Christian clubs are you a part of? Ten of the respondents said that they were a part of the ISCF body; two said they were a part of the Alphas and the other eight were not a part of any Christian clubs.

12

Question 8: What are your views on devotion?

20 18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 It is necessary It is unnecessary

Figure 4 Figure 4 displays the respondents views on devotion. Eighteen of the respondents said devotion is necessary and the other two thought it was unnecessary.

13

Question 10: How does the Christian belief affect your academic performance?

12

10

0 Work harder for success

Honour the efforts of your parents

Proper time management

Figure 5 Figure 5 shows the results to question 10 which asked the effect the Christian belief has on the respondents academic performance? Eight persons said that the belief allows them to work harder for success; ten said it makes them honour the efforts of their parents and two stated that it helped them to practise proper time management.

14

Question 11: What are some of the activities that your church does not support?

12

10

0 Wearing pants Going to parties Having intimate sexual relationships outside marriage All of the above

Figure 6 Figure 6 displays the answers to question 11. Nine persons stated that their church forbids all of the named activities while the other nine stated that their church only forbade having intimate sexual relationship outside of marriage.

15

Question 14: Would you prefer going to a party or prayer meeting?

Party Prayer Meeting

Figure 7 Figure 7 represents which past time the respondents preferred. Eleven of them would rather go to a party, this number includes four of the teens who said that they were baptised Christians. The other nine stated that they would rather go to a prayer meeting.

16

Question 16: In what ways do your friends influence you?

Having intimate relationships Becoming a better person Listening to secular music

10

12

Figure 8 Figure 8 shows the type of influence the respondents friends have on them. Three persons said that their friends influence them into having intimate sexual relationships; twelve said their friends influenced them into becoming better persons and five stated that their friends influenced them into listening to secular music.

17

Question 19: Do you obey all the rules of the school?

Yes 25%

No 75%

Figure 9 In response to question 18 as shown in figure 9, a minority of 25% stated that they followed all the rules of the school while the significant 75% stated that they did not. It should also be noted that of the 25%, only two of the baptised Christian were included.

18

Analysis of Findings
The 6th form population at the Glenmuir High School has both nominal and baptised Christians. The researcher asked the question Are you a baptised Christian? as opposed to Are you a Christian? because as long as a person believes in the Christian faith generally they would classify themselves as Christians. Hence, the researcher wanted to observe the differences in behaviours between the two groups. It is shown in Figure 1 that eight of the twenty respondents which amounts to 40% were baptised Christians and 60% or the remaining 12 were not. This piece of information would give rise to assumptions that Christianity would have an effect on the behavioural patterns of a lesser number of 6th formers but saying that would suggest that nominal Christians were less of a believer than baptised Christians. Is this a fair assumption? When asked how often they went to church, two of the respondents said rarely, twelve declared often, four said occasionally and two said they attended church only on holidays. It is necessary to state that all half of the respondents who said they were baptised Christian stated that they attended church occasionally. It is arguable that one doesnt have to attend church regularly to be a good Christian but a majority of the things that these 6th formers learn about the Christian faith will have to come from the church and so, what is learnt will be reflected in their behavioural patterns. Why do you go to church? A majority of the 6th formers gave the reason that they wanted to be closer to God and this was the best way of doing so while a few stated that they didnt have a choice as their parents forced them to go. These are mostly the teens who said that they came from a strong Christian home. So it can be said that from the use of the word force that some of these 6th formers are just expected to follow their parents religious beliefs rather than formulate a religious knowledge on their own.
19

Eighteen of the respondents said devotion is necessary and the other two thought it was unnecessary. Devotion is just one of the means used at Glenmuir High School to get closer to God and it is believed that the closer one is to God then the more satisfactory that persons behaviour will be. The fact that two persons saw devotion as being unnecessary does not exactly mean that their behaviour will be any different from the others. A majority of the baptised Christians also stated that they would classify their closest friends as unsaved so apparently the fact that they are baptised does not mean that they only tend to form friendship with other Baptised Christians. This reveals that one of the other factors that would influence the behavioural patterns of the 6th form students would be their friends and to an extent, whether or not these friends are baptised will also determine the type of influence A majority of the baptised Christians also stated that they listen to Dancehall music but it has no effect on them. So we see that them being Saved does not have a significant difference between their activities and those of the unsaved. Again it can be said that friends might a great influence in this as it is noticed that those who answered yes to listening to dancehall music also stated that this is one of the ways in which their friends influenced them. Three persons also said that their friends influence them into having intimate sexual relationships. Despite being a baptised Christian or not there are certain activities and behaviours which most teenagers are bound to partake in that are termed adolescent. It is similar to the popular saying Boys will be boys. As shown in Figure 7 a majority of the 6th formers would rather go to a party, this number includes four of the teens who said that they were baptised Christians. The other nine stated that they would rather go to a prayer meeting. There are times when teenagers will be teenagers no matter how much of a Christian they are, its in their nature.

20

Finally one could look at the results to the question Do you obey all the rules of the school? Only a minority of 25% stated that they followed all the rules of the school while the significant 75% stated that they did not. It should also be noted that of the 25%, only two of the baptised Christian were included. At Glenmuir there are many rules and with the 6th formers being adolescents most of the 6th formers are bound to break at least one of the rule, it might be intentionally or accidentally. As teenagers it must be understood that Christianity in itself does not detain you from breaking rules or behaving unscrupulously but it is the amount of faith you have in Christianity, or any other religion that regulates how one behaves.

21

Discussion of Findings
Adolescence is a time when everything is questioned, including culture and religion. There are so many influences on adolescents today, television, music, movies, the internet, that it is hard to believe that religion can make that much of a difference. It is indeed shown that at the Glenmuir High School Christianity was not the only thing affecting the behaviour of the 6th formers. The research shows that the impact of friends play a major influence on how most of the respondents behaved the influence varied from both positive to negative. As one would imagine, a lot of the 6th formers at the Glenmuir High School are not particularly religious but they do engage in religious activities such as conducting and having respect for devotion. Most of the respondents thought that devotion was necessary because they wanted God to be a part of every aspect of their lives especially academically.

A lot of respondents thought that following the Ten Commandments was a very important thing in living a fulfilling Christian life. There were a few who admitted to not following these commandments each day especially in the sexual aspects of their lives as some of these respondents stated that this is one aspect of their lives in which their friends influence them. It is also seen where 75% of respondents also said that they do not obey all the rules of the school. As said before, persons have to really adjust their personal and social lives in accordance to these commandments. It is clear that some 6th formers try to do this but it is not always achievable. The researcher does see in the findings that a majority of the respondents were notional Christians who do engage in fasting. What difference does it make? Would a saved Christian person get a better treatment in the afterlife than the Notional Christian even if they both have

22

the same behavioural patterns? Is it fair to say that those 6th formers who are baptised Christians behave better than the others? Not in all cases. As said before, laws and social customs that exist in society are almost all based on religious teachings, the majority of the respondents disclosed that they do attend Sunday/Sabbath school and in these lessons are teachings of morality and correct social behaviours. Parents and teachers alike have instilled in these set of teens qualities that are morally right which is brought out by the teaching ideologies such as turning the other cheek and of bible sayings such as Do to others as you would have them do to you. (NIV, Luke 6:31). As for the belief that religion especially Christianity regulates behaviour, it is popular belief that religion is one of the reason even if distant, for many of the wars that have been fought in this our era. However, despite these sentiments it is also very agreeable that it does regulate behaviour. Just try to think of a world without religion. What would people believe in? What would give the society hope? It is my own belief that religion will play an eternal part in adolescents' lives. As teens are burdened with the choices of right or wrong, good or bad, yes or no, we must believe that their basis for decision-making comes from somewhere. Whether it is from societal standards, parental guidance, or spiritual upbringing, the teen will do what is right for them in any specific situation.

23

Conclusion, Limitations, Recommendations


It is fair to say that Christianity does influence the behavioural patterns of the 6th formers at the Glenmuir High School even if it is to a small extent and some more than others. The researcher sees that the larger percentage of 6th formers are indeed Christians (both saved and notional included) and their religious beliefs do play a small part in how they act and think but the researcher is led to believe than somehow the influence can become greater and more positive if the students decide to take their religious beliefs more seriously. The researcher also sees where other things such as the roles of friends and music play an equal part in influencing these behavioural patterns. The behaviour of the students vary from good to bad although it can be said that there is no one person whos behaviour seem to be directly influenced by Christianity.

Limitations
A majority of the respondents did not properly answer the open ended questions or did not attempt to answer them at all. Some of the respondents misplaced their questionnaires and the researcher had to reprint them. The respondents took a longer time to answer the questionnaires than was expected.

Recommendations
Upon observing the data acquired from this research, the researcher recommends the following: 1. That more persons get involved in Christian clubs. 2. That the 6th formers try to find insight from Christianity by educating themselves more.
24

Bibliography
1. Smith, C. (2003) Theorizing Religious Effects Among American Adolescents

2. Elliott, J (2005). How Does Religion Affect the Lives of Adolescents? Retrieved February 20, 2013, from Yahoo Voices website: http://voices.yahoo.com/how-does- religion-affect-lives-adolescents11697.html?cat=72
3. Hemmingway, P. (2007). Faith Has a Limited Effect On Most Peoples Behaviour. Retrieved February 20, 2013, from Barna Group website: http://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/5-barna-update/188-faith-has-a-limited-effect-onmost-peoples-behavior.

4. Pritchett, R. (2008) Influence of Religion on Daily Life Retrieved February 21, 2013 from Credong website: http://www.credong.org 5. Salmon, T. (2008I Why Society Needs Religion Retrieved February 21, 2013, from Credong website: http://www.credong.org 6. Wellman, J. (2011). In Charles Spurgeon on the Ten Commandments. Retrieved February 20, 2013, from Everyday Christian website: http://www.everydaychristian.com/blogs/post/10304.

25

Questionnaire

Gender

Male ( )

Female ( )

1. Do you come from a strong Christian home? Yes ( ) No ( )

2. Are you a baptised Christian? Yes ( ) No ( )

3. What denomination do you belong to? Baptist ( ) Seventh Day Adventist ( ) Methodist ( ) Jehovahs Witness

( ) Pentecostal ( )

other ______________

4. How often do you attend church? Rarely ( ) Often ( ) Occasionally ( ) Holidays ( )

5. Why do you go to church? ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________

6. Do you attend Sunday/ Sabbath School? Yes ( ) No ( )

7. What Christian clubs are you a part of? ISCF ( ) Alpha ( ) None ( )

8. What are your views on devotion?

26

It is necessary ( ) State why

It is unnecessary ( )

________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ 9. Do you engage in fasting? Yes ( ) No ( )

10. How does the Christian belief affect your academic performance? Work harder for success ( ) Proper time management ( ) Honour the efforts of your parents ( ) other _______________________

11. What are some of the activities that your church does not support? Wearing pants ( ) Going to parties ( ) Having intimate sexual relationships outside of marriage ( ) All of the above ( ) 12. Do you partake in any of the forbidden activities? I yes, which? _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ 13. In what aspect of your life do you obey the Christian doctrine most? Social ( ) Sexual ( ) Moral ( )

14. Would you prefer going to a party or prayer meeting? Party ( ) Prayer Meeting ( )

15. How would you classify your closest friends?

27

Unsaved ( )

Christians ( )

God fearing ( )

Other ( )

16. In what ways do your friends influence you? Having intimate relationships ( ) Becoming a better person ( ) Listening to secular music ( ) Other ______________________ 17. What type of music do you listen to? Gospel ( ) ___________ 18. Are you influenced in any way by the music? Yes ( ) No ( ) Reggae ( ) R&B ( ) Dancehall ( ) Other

19. Do you obey all the rules of the school? Yes ( ) No ( )

28