The Relationship Of Number Of Hours Of Studying To Students Grade Point Average. Sample Assignment

Assignment 1

Topic:  The relationship of number of hours of studying to students Grade Point Average.

Importance of the Problem:

            It is an accepted fact that the amount of time spent studying is directly related to one’s academic performance in class. Most parents and teachers advocate that student spend enough time studying in order to do well on their courses and master their lessons (Rau & Durand, 2000) It is also a reality that students nowadays debate on how much time should be spent on studying for maximum learning. Students often feel that spending too much time studying takes the fun out of school and leaves them with little time for their social life. Likewise, they also agree that spending very little time studying would be detrimental to their studies. Unfortunately, experts do not agree on how much time students should spend studying to optimize their learning and study period. Another issue to consider is the quality of the method used by the student to study his or her lessons, some students read, some take notes or make outlines and others discuss their lessons with other students (Schuman, Walsh, Olson & Etheridge, 1985). Each student has his or her own learning style and the way a student studies is dictated by his or her learning style. Considering that the act of studying necessitates some form of cognitive processing for efficient retention and recall, it is assumed that hours spent studying is associated with the student’s academic performance as indicated by his or her grade point average (GPA).

            This study would determine how many hours a student should spend studying for maximum learning that would translate to higher grade point average. The importance of the study lies on its practical use for students so that they would be able to know what study schedule is the most effective and they could design their own studying program taking into account the number of hours they should devote to studying.

Descriptive Research Question:

What is the relationship between the number of hours spent studying and student’s grade point average?

Variables:

The independent variable of this study would be the student’s grade point average while the dependent variable is the number of hours spent studying.

Research Hypothesis:

Ho: There is no relationship between the number of hours spent studying by a student to his/her grade point average.

Ha: There is a relationship between the number of hours spent studying by a student to his/her grade point average.

Assignment 2

RQ: What is the relationship between the number of hours spent studying and student’s grade point average?

Stinebrickner, T. & Stinebrickner, R. (2007). The causal effect of studying on academic performance. National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper,  No. 13341.

Anand, V. (2007). A study of time management: The correlation between video game usage and academic performance markers . CyberPsychology & Behavior, 10(4): 552-559.

The lack of academic research on the effect of studying on academic performance had been reported by Stinebrickner and Stinebrickner (2007). Accordingly, the lack of studies that test causality between the time spent studying and academic performance is due to the inability of previous researchers to include the variable in their studies and that it was considered to be biased by too many factors such as ability, memory and personal circumstances that studying it would be methodologically limited. Theoretically, time spent studying has been viewed as a human capital production that students begin to expend when they start college and not before it. As such, it should be studied as an important resource that can be harnessed to increase and improve student performance. The study by Stinebrickner and Stinebrickner (2007) had found that students who increase their study time by an hour a day translates into an increase in grade point average by as much as 1.76 points. Thus, they concluded that studying have positive effects on a student’s overall academic performance. This is the first study that tried to establish the causality of the amount of time spent on studying to academic performance, thus it provided a useful background for the present study establishing that time spent studying directly influences academic performance. The methodology used by Stinebrickner and Stinebrickner (2007) is complex; it involves establishing the exogeneity of the factors that might affect the causal relationship of studying to academic average and was unique to the study since the research setting had a more controlled and rigid atmosphere than most colleges that made the experiment possible. Prior to the study, the researchers had gathered longitudinal data about student’s academic and personal life in the campus and used the said data to build a model of the typical college student’s habits and behavior.

Anand (2007) used the correlational method to find out how playing video games affected the SAT scores and GPA of students, although the study mainly focused on playing video games, the time spent on video games diminished the time spent on studying, thus the longer a student played video games the less time he/she has time for studying and vice versa. Anand (2007) found evidence that playing video games were detrimental to a student’s academic performance and SAT scores, on the other hand, she claimed that cause and effect is difficult to establish since the values suggests dependency only. However, when she tested whether time spent studying was related to SAT scores and GPA, the results indicated no significant relationship, indicating that time spent studying has a weak relationship to academic performance. The study used a survey in determining the hours spent by the students playing video games while their SAT and GPA was gathered from their school records. Theoretically, Anand (2007) presumed that playing video games was addictive and like any other addiction can take the attention away from normal functioning such as studying and going to school.

In the present study, time spent studying is theoretically defined as a human capital that students tap into in support of their learning and school work. This would mean that students cannot possibly exist or survive their college life without some form of studying. Thus, it is directly related to the academic performance of students, but since it is very difficult to replicate the study by Stinebrickner and Stinebrickner (2007) due to the issues of confounding variables, this study will adopt the methodology used by Anand (2007). Since it has been established by Stinebrickner and Stinebrickner (2007) that time spent studying can cause an increase in GPA, then some form of relationship do exist. In this study, the objective is to find out how many hours should a student spend studying before an increase in GPA is manifested.

Assignment 3

RQ: What is the relationship between the number of hours spent studying and student’s grade point average?

Conceptual definition of dependent variable (time spent studying)

Students devote their time and effort studying their lessons, conceptually the intent and effort directed to studying is also studying, however, the attention and effort cannot be expended without considering the time that the student uses for studying. Thus studying is a complex activity that requires time, attention and effort (Hill, 1991).

Operational Definition of time spent studying

In this study, time spent studying will be measured in terms of the hours that the student uses to study his or her lessons. Time is spatial, it can be accurately measured from none to an hour to 6 hours, and moreover, it can easily be quantified depending on what time the student starts studying and when he/she finishes for a particular day.

Levels of Measurement

This study will ask students to make a study journal, wherein they will record the time they started studying a certain subject and when they finished studying. The study journal will be for a period of 15 days which will provide the necessary data to identify the studying period of student participants. The number of hours spent studying for the whole period will then be averaged for each student providing a more stable value of their time spent studying than if the students were simply asked in a survey to indicate the amount of time they studied for the past week (Stinebrickner & Stinebrickner, 2004).  Since number of hours can have an absolute zero, the number of hours is a ratio and can be analyzed using parametric tests of significance (Babbie, 2004).

Conceptual definition of independent variable (academic performance)

Academic performance is the totality of the student’s effort and learning that is given to the student after a specified period of time and based on his/her performance on required tasks and learning assignments. Academic performance however is far from being a simple concept; it is complex and subjective at best since standards of performance differ from each person, teacher or institution (Rivkin, Hanushek & Kain, 2005). When a student fails in a subject, academic performance is low, and when a student has high grades in all his courses, academic performance is high. Academic performance as a conceptual construct is assigned values that will indicate whether there is high, low or no learning at all. However, it is difficult to definitely say that no learning has occurred since measurement and assessment of learning varies and are also laden with validity and reliability issues (Hill, 1991).

Operational definition of academic performance

In this study academic performance will be measured using the grade point average of students at the end of the semester. Grade point average refers to the value derived after computing the arithmetic mean of course grades of the students at the end of the semester.

Levels of Measurement

In this study the GPA will be computed as follows: if students take 5 courses, the course grades will be multiplied into the number of units the course is credited for, the resulting value will then be summed and divided into the number of units earned for the 5 courses. The resulting value is then the grade point average. Grade point average is an interval measure since its values are arranged according to a definite scale with a meaningful difference say between 80 and 70 (Babbie, 2004). Most GPA’s are in letter form but for this study, the GPA will be in number form. The course grades for each student participant will be gathered from their school records with the permission of the student and the school.

Assignment 4

My research aims to measure the relationship of number of hours spent studying to the grade point average of students.

Questionnaire (To be distributed to a class of college freshmen)

Cover Letter (To be printed in the first page of the questionnaire)

Dear Students,

            In order to determine the relationship of time spent studying to your academic performance, I would like to solicit your participation to provide me with the needed data that would help me test my research hypothesis. Please complete the following time diary for a period of 15 days and indicate your activities for a given hour. After 15 days, I will be retrieving the time diaries. No personally identifiable data will be asked of you except for the number of courses you are taking now, the number of units to be earned and your course major. All information will be kept confidential. If you do not wish to participate in this study, please return the form immediately.

Please indicate your course major. (This is an open question, the scale is nominal/categorical as the answer is a specific course that will be used to categorize students according to their course majors, no problem of isomorphism since the question and answer imply the same information-course major)

How many courses are you taking this semester? (This is an open question, the scale is ratio, no problem of isomorphism as the response will indicate the number of courses the students are currently taking.)

Please complete the time diary below. Indicate for each hour your activities; you may use brackets to indicate prolonged activity. Be as detailed as possible in describing your activities. (This is an instruction that will guide students in how to complete the time diary, the objective is to determine how many hours students study in a day, the number of hours is ratio, no problem with isomorphism as only the number of hours spent studying will be used in the study).

Example of Time Diary

Time Period

What were you doing?

6:00 AM

7:00 AM

8:00 AM

9:00 AM

10:00 AM

11:00 AM

12:00 Noon

1:00 PM

2:00 PM

3:00 PM

4:00 PM

5:00 PM

6:00 PM

7:00 PM

8:00 PM

9:00 PM

10:00 PM

11:00 PM

12:00 MN

1:00 AM

2:00 AM

3:00 AM

4:00 AM

5:00 AM

References

Anand, V. (2007). A study of time management: The correlation between video game usage and academic performance markers . CyberPsychology & Behavior, 10(4): 552-559.

Babbie, E. (2004). The Practice of Social Research, 10th ed. Boston: Wadsworth, Thomson Learning Inc.

Hill, L. (1991). Effort and Reward in College: A Replication of Some Puzzling Findings.” In James W. Neuliep (ed), Replication Research in the Social Science. Newbury Park, CA: Sage, pp. 139-56.

Rau, W. & Durand, A. (2000). The academic ethic and college grades: Does hard work help students to ‘make the grade’? Sociology of Education, 73:19-38.

Rivkin, S., Hanushek, E. & Kain, J. (2005). Teachers, school, and academic achievement. Econometrica, 73(2), 417-458.

Schuman, H., Walsh, E., Olson, C. & Etheridge, B. (1985). Effort and reward: The assumption that college grades are affected by the quantity of study. Social Forces, 63:945-66.

Stinebrickner, T. & Stinebrickner, R. (2004). Time-use and college outcomes.  Journal of Econometrics, 121(1-2), 243-269.

Stinebrickner, T. & Stinebrickner, R. (2007). The causal effect of studying on academic performance. National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper,  No. 13341.

 

Relational Maintenance

Introduction

How can partners be able to sustain their relationship? This is a question that bothers a lot of couples in strong relationships, considering the number of break ups that are apparent in the world today. The good news is that it is possible for couples to maintain their relationship by understating relational maintenance and the theories that relate to relational maintenance. Relational maintenance focuses on the daily processes that play part in maintaining a lasting relationship. For a long time, scholars interested in understanding interpersonal relationships have studied the area of relational maintenance. The term relational maintenance is defined differently by different scholars. Dindia and Canary (1993) came up with four basic definitions of the term. The term is at the most basic level used to refer to various behaviors common in partners in their efforts to maintain their relationship. Basically, scholars examine relational endurance or stability. At another level, the term is used to stand for the engagement in acts that assist in sustaining the quality of an association. This means that it is not enough to be together in a stable relationship (Baxter, 1988). The quality of the relationship must also be put into consideration. This is the reason why relational maintenance scholars look at other aspects of a relationship like love, contentment and trust.

There is yet another definition of the term where it is used to refer to maintaining the status quo of the relationship. This is taken to mean the acts that are involved in maintaining particular states or stages in the relationship. These states or stages are for example, maintaining the current level of closeness. The last definition is derived from the meaning of the term maintenance as repair. The definition involves the examination of how individuals handle problems in their relationship. The last definition is derived from the meaning of maintenance as dialectal tensions that take place naturally in every relationship. For instance, studies have been carried out to investigate how individuals handle their desire for connection while at the same time striving to maintain their individuality. All the definitions of relational maintenance refer to behaviors and actions that operate in different ways to ensure that close relationships are kept steady, fulfilling in a particular stage, and in repair regardless of the pressures that occur naturally in relationships (Stafford and Canary, 1991). This explanation highlights studies that have investigated relational maintenance in reference to each of the given definitions.

This paper seeks to establish which among interdependence theory and dialectics theory, as they apply to relational maintenance, is superior. There are various sections in the paper handling various aspects of the topic. The two theories are discussed in relation to relational maintenance. There is a section on comparison of the two theories, leading to the discussion of the theory that is superior among the two in relation to relational maintenance. There is a summary of the whole paper as a conclusion.

Interdependence theory

The foundation of this theory is the argument that individuals adapt their interactive character in reaction to the ways they perceive patterns of rewards in social situations. The theory argues that results in the relationship depend upon the rewards and costs that are experienced by the partners. The theory puts forward a suggestion that the results are assessed in relation to the prospects that people hold out for what they perceive. The prospects or expectations are referred to as the comparison level. Therefore, the difference between what is actually experienced and what was expected is the measure of the relational satisfaction. Where the results measure up or goes beyond the comparison level, then the person is satisfied. Where the results fall below the comparison level, then the person is dissatisfied. The theory puts forward another argument that satisfaction in itself cannot be used as the basis for relational steadiness. According to Baxter (1988), together with satisfaction, the stability can be evaluated by considering options to relationship.

The measure of this is the comparison level for alternatives. From this measure, if the results match or go beyond alternatives, then there will be stability in the relationship. On the other hand, if the result falls below the expected alternatives, then there is likelihood for the relationship to be unstable. A study by Stanford and Canary (1991) found out that it is possible for maintenance approaches to serve as rewards to the members of the relationship. In this case, the theory would envisage that matching or exceeding expectations for maintenance actions (comparison level) would raise satisfaction in the relationship. From the same study, it was argued that maintenance actions act as both inputs and outputs in calculating equity. This means that maintenance actions that the partners are involved in acts as the rewards, whereas the actions that the individual engage in acts like the costs. There is sense in the argument that insight on the partner’s utilization of maintenance actions act rewarding (Canary & Stafford, 2001).

In a research conducted by Rusbult, Drigotas and Verette (1994) to analyze equity and satisfaction, analyzed in terms of independence theory, over two hundred couples were investigated. The couples fulfilled the procedures of equity, satisfaction and maintenance approaches like honesty, assurance, positivity, sharing, and socialization. The results from the research revealed that satisfaction is always high for partners where they perceive their associations to be equitable. This is followed by over benefited individuals, followed by under benefited individuals (Rusbult, Drigotas & Verette, 1994). This is as per the curvilinear association that is predicted by the equity approach. Additionally, wife-defined equity predicts both spouses’ maintenance behaviors in a similar upturned curvilinear association.

The perceived curvilinear pattern held only for women-defined equity factions was seen to follow perceived curvilinear trends. Another factor that emanated from the research was the equity structure. This is because it was determined that under benefited husbands revealed very low levels of three out of the five maintenance strategies, than the over benefited husbands. The amalgamation of equity and satisfaction in wives was a stronger predictor of relational maintenance than any of the two components in isolation. Relational satisfaction is determined by use of maintenance strategies as well as differences between expected and perceived utilization of maintenance behaviors. However, the use of maintenance strategies is stronger in predicting satisfaction (Canary & Stafford, 2001).

The interdependence theory is well explained in this research. The research is however not all inclusive because the group considered is the married group. There is no consideration on the unmarried couples at their various intimacy levels. Otherwise all the constructs in the study are well presented, providing adequate results to reach to the conclusions put forward in support of the theory.

Dialectics theory

This theory was established for the first time as an alternative observation of relational maintenance. The main concern of this theory is the tensions and disagreements that arise in close relationships. The tensions are usually viewed as the dynamic interplay of contradicting behaviors as they come up in relationships (Baxter & Montgomery, 1996). The disagreements are the conflicts that exist in interpenetrated opposites. Therefore the theory refers to an association of opposites as the associates of the relationship strive to accommodate the two sides of opposing poles. The theory also sees relational maintenance as the common, continuous efforts to cope with dialectal pressures. The theory presents an argument that relationships are not static, but dynamic. As a result the people in the relationship are always involved in the management of contrasting tendencies in their efforts to answer the question of how interactions function in the middle of the members of the relationship being held together while at the same time being pushed away from each other. This theory maintains the argument that relationships cannot be in place devoid of the interaction between its opposing parts (Baxter, 1988).

According to this theory, the members of the relationship are said to face three kinds of contradictions (Baxter & Montgomery, 1996). The first kind of contradiction is the autonomy against connectedness. This contradiction is referred to as “primary axigence of relating” (Baxter & Simon 1993, p.227). From their research, they discovered that it is important for partners to have time to understand and relate to the requirements and wants of each other in order to maintain status quo in the relationship. The focus of this contradiction is where the partners have their own independence while at the same time having sufficient connection in the relationship. The implication of this contradiction is that the partners should strike a balance in the relationship. They should not spend a lot of time together at the expense of their individuality, or spend a lot of time away from each other at the expense of the commitment to the relationship (Baxter & Montgomery, 1996).

The second one is openness against closedness. The argument under this contradiction is based on the tension faced by the individuals in the things they should or should not say to each other. There is always a crisis in relationships in deciding what information and how much should be given to the other partner. This tension is mostly experienced before marriage in determining what and how much the other partner deserves to find out (Baxter & Montgomery, 1996).

The last contradiction is predictability against novelty. In this contradiction, the key is the balance between the certainty and the uncertainty in the relationship. In a successful relationship, it is important to balance the predictability and novelty. Failure to achieve this can result in the partners becoming emotionally knocked out or unstable relationship wise (Baxter & Montgomery, 1996).

According to Simon and Baxter (1993), proper approaches to enhancing predictability have not been thoroughly researched for they are not sufficiently provided in relationship writings. Nevertheless, they provide some strategies that have proven operational like celebrating events, surprises and finding ways to reduce boredom. The first kind of contradiction is the tension that takes place as a result of the pressure between wanting to bond and wanting to maintain independence. The second contradiction is the tension that comes up as a result of the desire to be involved in self-disclosure while at the same time wanting to retain privacy. The last contradiction is the tension between finding behaviors that offer stability against the need for impulsiveness. The changes between each of these contradictions are a natural and essential part of every relationship. Therefore, in order to manage a relationship, it is important for the individuals in the relationship to find ways of managing these contradictions.

According to Baxter (1988), there are four principles that can be employed in managing the tensions. The first one is selection.  This means that they need to find ways of selecting one of the poles over the other, for example, selection of independence over connectedness. The second principle in the management of the tensions is separation. The separation can be carried out through either cyclic alternation, or topical segmentation. The third principle is neutralization. This can be done through either moderation or disqualification. The last principle is reframing. This is otherwise referred to as redefining the problem in dialectal reasoning. Reframing of the tension is carried out to ensure that the tension no longer operates as a contradiction. From a research done by Baxter (1990), it was discovered that the most commonly employed principles in the management of tensions are separation by topical segmentation and separation by cyclic option. This means that separation is the most common principle in managing tensions in relationships. From the same research, Baxter discovered that more refined and probably more suitable approaches such as reframing have been underutilized. The conclusion from this study is the evidence that partners do not essentially understand the fluctuations of tensions in relationships and this is the reason why they fail to handle them efficiently (Rusbult, Drigotas & Verette, 1994).

Simon and Baxter carried out a research to test three hypothesis related to the contradictions. The first hypothesis was that “there will be a stronger positive correlation between perceived partner enactment of the connection-enhancing maintenance strategy and participant satisfaction in the autonomy-dominated dialectical moment as opposed to the connection-dominated moment” (Baxter & Simon, 1993, p. 231).  The other hypothesis that they wanted to prove was that “there will be a stronger positive correlation between perceived partner enactment of the novelty-enhancing maintenance strategy and participant satisfaction in the predictability-dominated moment as opposed to the novelty-dominated moment” (Baxter & Simon, 1993, p. 231). The last hypothesis was that “there will be a stronger positive correlation between perceived partner enactment of the closedness-enhancing maintenance strategy and participant satisfaction in the openness-dominated dialectical moment as opposed to the closedness-dominated moment” (Baxter & Simon, 1993, p. 232). In this study questionnaires were distributed to different intimate and married couples. Four hundred questionnaires were given to two hundred couples. The questionnaires were to be completed independently. Due to a number of reasons the number of couples that were investigated went down to one 162. From the research it was discovered that partner association was better in the autonomy-dominated circumstances as compared to the connection-dominated circumstances. These results were in line with the first hypothesis (Rusbult, Drigotas & Verette, 1994).  The results also reveled the fact that intimate efforts were better under the circumstances of extreme predictability that extreme novelty. These results supported the second hypothesis. Statistical analysis of the data in the study provided evidence for the last hypothesis. Nevertheless, the results revealed the fact that it is unproductive to avoid the other person in circumstances of extreme closeness. In analysis of their data, the researchers argue that all maintenance approaches seem to work in particular ways to propel the association towards dialectal balance. The data from the study provides support for this argument. The primary objective of this study was to evaluate the satisfaction of the partners in relationships based on the maintenance approaches under the three contradictions (Rusbult, Drigotas & Verette, 1994).

After going through and analyzing this research, I support the information and conclusions reached by the two researchers. From personal observations and literature review, the hypothesis proposed by the researcher is logical and properly supported by factual data. The results provided and the way that the data is analyzed to draw the conclusions is clear and understandable. The problem however comes out in the fact that the results are generalized for couples without proper distinctions between the married and those dating and in various stages (Baxter, 1988).

Comparison between the two theories

There is theoretical proof that the two theories hold as far as relational maintenance is concerned. The two are true and apply to relational maintenance. The two theories are also applicable to interpersonal relationship. The two theories seek to establish satisfaction in relationship. In the dialectics theory, satisfaction is derived from striking the balance between the opposite poles. These are the maintenance behaviors that need to be satisfied in order to ensure the stability of the relationship. In the interdependence theory, satisfaction is reached through meeting or exceeding the comparison level. In analyzing partners’ satisfaction according to the two theories, various maintenance strategies and approaches are borne in mind. The two theories therefore identify the part played by management strategies and approaches in satisfaction and stability of relationships (Baxter & Montgomery, 1996).

There are however a number of differences between the two theories. The dialectics theory differs from the interdependence theory because the interdependence theory views changes as an irregularity instead of an internal construct. Dialectics theory focuses on the changes themselves where it recognizes the fact that the changes have to occur because they are part of the relationship. The interdependence theory considers the changes though not as part of the relationship. The interdependence theory focuses on the basic level of relationship which is the interpersonal relationship. Dialectics theory on the other hand focuses on the tensions and contradictions that take place between people who are already in the relationship (Stafford & Canary, 1991). The factors that are considered by the two theories as affecting satisfaction in the relationship are different. While the two theories consider maintenance behaviors as crucial in determining satisfaction, interdependence model goes further to look at the perceived expectations being additional factors that determine satisfaction. The interdependence theory puts forward a suggestion that the outcomes in relationships are assessed in relation to the prospects that people hold out for what they perceive. The attention on the tensions as argued by the dialectics theory fails to take into consideration all the other factors. It seems from this theory that the tensions that act as the behaviors that affect every relationship are not only basic, but also the only factors that affect the stability of any relationship. The maintenance strategies identified by the two theories are different. The behaviors that are identified by the dialectics theory are taken as contradictions or tensions that come into play in every intimate relationship. In the interdependence theory the behaviors that are considered include honesty, assurance, positivity, sharing, and socialization (Stafford & Canary, 1991).

Discussion

The most superior of the two theories is the interdependence theory. This does not mean that the dialectics theory does not apply in relational maintenance. The interdependence theory takes into consideration the fact that human experience is naturally social. Most of person’s traits have originated from interpersonal relations. It is also a fact that most of the strong norms have their origins in interdependence experiences where the norms offer the means to adapt to different situations. In order to perfectly understand human behavior, it is very important that the nature and understanding of interpersonal interaction is obtained. This means that interdependence theory plays the most basic part in relationships. This is the reason why the basic elements of interpersonal relationships are analyzed using the interdependence theory. It is also because it is an inclusive theory of interpersonal processes. Most of the theories in this field persist on adopting a within-person viewpoint, providing an analysis of people’s character from personal-level biological factors, individual characteristics, or cognitive experiences. This theory is the remedy to the actor-based bias (Stafford & Canary, 1991).

It is only interdependence theory that recognizes the most crucial characteristics of interpersonal experiences through a thorough evaluation of situation framework. The reason behind this is the acknowledgement that it is in the interpersonal reality that motives are triggered, toward the orientation of cognition and around the unfolding of interactions. When two individuals are entering into a relationship, they have things that they expect from the relationship. This is what the theory refers to as perceived expectations. Unlike the dialectics theory, the interdependence theory takes into consideration the perceived expectations in the measurement of the satisfaction of the partners. In short, it means that the interdependent theory takes into account more factors that come into play in relational maintenance than the dialectics theory. Where expectations are not met, no matter how a person is able to conquer the tensions and disagreements in a relationship, he or she cannot be satisfied. Meeting expectations is thus very crucial in determining the level of satisfaction in a relationship (Stafford & Canary, 1991).

This theory takes another step to investigate the alternatives. Together with satisfaction, the stability can be evaluated by considering alternatives to relationship. From this measure, if the results match or go beyond alternatives, then there will be stability in the relationship. This means that stability in a relationship is not something that is affected by only one factor as many of the other theories may claim. It is an element that is affected by many other factors, satisfaction and the need to analyze alternatives included. People in a relationship might be satisfied because their expectations are met, but that does not mean that their relationship is stable. This is the reason why the interdependence theory is superior to the dialectics theory (Rusbult, Drigotas & Verette, 1994).

Conclusion

This paper is an investigation of which among interdependence theory and dialectics theory, as they apply to relational maintenance, is superior. The conclusions of all the researches on theories related to relational maintenance reach to a common conclusion that maintenance behaviors have an effect on satisfaction of the partners as well as the stability of the relationship. The two theories discussed are a means to the same end, which is, investigating and understanding relational maintenance. The two theories have some similarities as well as differences. The dialectics theory presents a very crucial argument concerning the contradictory behaviors that determines the stability of any relationship. This is important considering the fact that these contradictions are natural and common to all relationships. The fact that these factors are inherent in every relationship has also been proven practically through research. This is a fact that cannot be denied. However, it is important that even when trying to balance the opposing forces between the two poles, not to forget that there are other factors that play a part in maintaining a lasting relationship. This is what makes the interdependence theory superior to the dialectics theory. The interdependence theory takes into consideration a number of factors that affects the stability of relationships. Although the interdependence theory does not present change as a part of the relationship, this theory is superior in the understanding of the stability of relationships.  According to Simon and Baxter (1993), proper approaches to enhancing predictability have not been thoroughly researched for they are not sufficiently provided in relationship writings. It is important that more research is carried out to find out other factors and how they may affect relationships. There are many other factors left out and should be thoroughly researched.

References:

Baxter, L. A. (1988). A Dialectical Perspective on Communication Strategies in Relationship

 Interventions, ed. S. Duck. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Baxter, L. A. (1990). “Dialectical Contradictions in Relationship Development.” Journal of

Social and Personal Relationships 7:69–88.

Baxter, L., & Simon, E. (1993). “Relationship Maintenance Strategies and Dialectical

Contradictions in Personal Relationships.” Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 10, 225-242.

Baxter, L. A. & Montgomery, B. M. (1996) Relating: Dialogues and dialectics, New York:

Guilford Press, ISBN 1-57230-099-X

Canary, D. J., and Stafford, L. (2001). Equity in the Preservation of Personal Relationships. In

Maintenance and the Enhancement of Close Relationships, ed. J. Harvey and A. Wenzel. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Dindia, K., and Canary, D. J. (1993). “Definitions and Theoretical Perspectives on Maintaining

Relationships.” Journal of Social and Personal Relationships 10:163–173.

Rusbult, C. E.; Drigotas, S. M.; and Verette, J. (1994). The Investment Model: An

Interdependence Analysis of Commitment Processes and Relationship Maintenance Phenomena. In Communication and Relational Maintenance, ed. D. J. Canary and L. Stafford. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.

Stafford, L., and Canary, D. J. (1991). “Maintenance Strategies and Romantic Relationship Type,

Gender and Relational Characteristics.” Journal of Social and Personal Relationships 8:217–242.

 

Relations Between Modernisation And Environmental Degradation

Introduction

            Modernization and environmental degradation has historically coincided leading to adverse environmental impacts which require great concern to solve since they result to environmental degradation. These effects affect both environment and cultural heritage of a society. Environmental degradation has been experienced worldwide as a result of ecological, political, economic and socio-cultural modernization. Environmental degradation results from dynamic interplay of socio-economic, technological and institutional activities which are facilitated by different types of modernization. Environmental changes are driven by various aspects such as; population growths, economic growth, agricultural intensification, deforestation, urbanization, industrialization and rise in energy and transportation among others. Regardless of these modernization aspects leading to environmental degradation, poverty still remains root problem of environmental degradation (Holdren, 2000, p. 124)

            Modernization is the transformation of a society from rural and agrarian condition to urban, secular and industrial society. Modernization is closely associated with industrialization. As societies become modernized, individuals increasingly become significant, gradually replacing community, family and occupational group as the basic unit of society. Economic, social and environmental factors of modernization lead to environmental degradation. Social factors which come as a result of socio-cultural modernization result in environmental degradation. Modernization leads to population increase due to improved healthcare services, good and proper nutrition and low death rate. Population is a significant source of development yet a major source of environmental degradation when it goes beyond threshold limits that can be supported (Connelly and Smith, 2003, p. 236).

The diagram above shows different types of modernization associated with environmental degradation

            Modernization can be political, ecological, economic or socio-cultural. All these types of modernization are closely related to environment problems leading to environmental degradation. Political modernization is associated with government policy on environment in which government has failed to formulate and implement environmental conservation policy. As a result, people have taken advantage of using environmental resources excessively without replacement leading to depletion. For example, deforestation has been increasing worldwide with government taking no measures to control the exploitation leading to depletion of forest resources thus degradation (Holdren, 2000, p. 127).

Ecological modernization competes with environment and economy. Ecological modernists have reinterpreted high-tech capitalism from environmental culprit to savior. With ecological modernization societies are able to develop economically and socially and at the same time conserve environment. Through technological advancement some improvements can be done to help in reducing resource consumption through increased efficiency. Some ecological modernization meets environment, society and economic line. Through ecological modernization there comes technological advancement through competition. Ecological modernization fails to conserve environment doing nothing to change impulses within capitalist economic mode of production leading to environmental degradation. Technological advancement can not alone conserve resources and protect environment but other means should be incorporated (Saurin, 1993, p. 55).

            Modernization comes with development; development has other major ecological crisis like construction of roads, tourism, mining and quarrying. Population growth and increasing demand on natural resources compounded by careless application of modern technology in development activities leading to environmental deterioration globally, regionally, nationally and locally. Environmental degradation like deforestation, flood hazard, soil erosion and degradation are being caused by modern practices like intensified agricultural practices, consumption of artificial products like pesticides, fertilizers and quality of ground water (Singh, 2007, p. 89).

In socio-cultural modernization, population increase impacts on environment mainly through use of natural resources and production of waste. This is associated with environmental stress like loss of biodiversity, water and air pollution and increased pressure on the available arable land leading to degradation. Poverty causes and impacts on environmental degradation. Inequality resulting from modernization fosters unsustainability since the poor who depend on natural resources more than rich lead to depletion of natural resources faster than it can be gained. As a result, degraded environment increases impoverishment process. Population growth forces people to intensify agricultural production to cater for the ever growing population. This agricultural commercialization directly contributes to deforestation and soil erosion (Holdren, 2000, p. 125).

Urbanization through socio-cultural, economic and political modernization accompanies modernization in environmental degradation. Urbanization in today’s’ world is an ongoing process which has profound effects to living conditions and health status of people. Market globalization, increased use of communication, desire for higher education and new information technologies are driving forces behind urbanization due to modernization. Rural-urban migration resulting to urban expansion increases urbanization. This has remarkable effects to natural environment. Globalization is associated with economic modernization. It implies the flow of labor, economic capital, goods and services and ideologies across national borders (Saurin, 1993, p. 46).

Modernization through urbanization results in environmental degradation. This is because lack of gainful employment opportunities in villages and ecological stress has resulted in ever increasing rural urban migration. There is emerging of large cities with expanding urban slums as a result of urban population increase. This rapid and unplanned expansion of cities is leading to degradation of urban environment. This has widened the gap between supply and demand of infrastructural services like housing, energy, transport, education, communication, recreational amenities, water supply and sewerage depleting previous environmental resources on the cities. This has resulted to growing trend in deterioration of air and water quality, waste generation, slum proliferation, undesirable changes in land use all contributing to urban poverty (Saurin, 1993, p. 47).

            The qualitative and quantitative inadequacies of existing urban infrastructure and inefficient urban and environment management systems result in environmental degradation and pollution. Transport congestion has dramatically changed with magnitude viewed as the number of sources of problems in urban environment. This has led to need of significant expansion of cities from monocentric to polycentric. With uncontrolled urbanization, environmental degradation is occurring rapidly causing housing shortage, reducing water quality, excessive air and water pollution, and problems associated with solid, liquid and hazardous wastes (Singh, 2007, p. 91).

            Through economic modernization there are various economic factors which come with modernization resulting in environmental degradation. Market failure which is non existent or those markets which are poorly functioning for environmental goods and services lead to environmental degradation. Since environmental degradation is a specific case of production of externalities and consumption, it is reflected by deviation between social and private cost. Lack of well defied rights over property is a cause of market failure. Distortions of market due to price control and subsides increases achievement of environmental goals. The pattern and level of economic development resulting from modernization affects nature of environmental problems. Agricultural intensification involves use of large and modernized machines, artificial chemicals and fertilizers. This artificial products when they get into waterways after rainfall they pollute water killing fish stocks. This affects people who depend on fishing for survival. This kind of agriculture also requires use large portions of land resulting in deforestation leading to floods (Holdren, 2000, p. 127).

Many tropical forests have been destroyed through deforestation leading to loss of natural habitats, plants ad animal’s native areas. Intensified agriculture leads to forest clearance and land reclamation to have large lands for agriculture leading to environmental degradation. Land clearance and reclamation is the most irreversible form of environmental degradation. Loss of habitat through deforestation leads to extinction of species and disappearance of indigenous groups that rely on forest resources for their survival (Singh, 2007, p. 94). Deforestation leads to soil erosion thus subject to declining fertility and desertification. This also degrades quality of water for the downstream people. It also contributes to flooding and silting of dams and rivers. Clearing of land extends coastal regions to sea with extensive damage on corals and sand mining being experienced. There is serious environmental degradation resulting from deforestation. With modernization, there is construction of modern infrastructure; infrastructural development unintentionally encourages encroachment of forests. Deforestation is also contributed by population increase, export oriented economic growth and poor government policy (Saurin, 1993, p. 52).

            Most modernized human activities lead to pollution such as; sound pollution, land pollution, water pollution and air pollution. These pollutions have been increasing at an alarming rate causing concern to existence of human beings. Modern gadgets like refrigerator are the main cause of pollution through emission of fluro carbons and vehicles emitting carbon monoxide. Carbon dioxide is increasing in the atmosphere as a result of highly polluting human activities. This has led to global warming leading to melting of glaciers and ice thus loss of fauna and flora. Environmental pollution can be attributed by rapid industrialization, urbanization, energy production, commercialization and increased number of motorized vehicles which are the main source of pollutants in urban areas. The rate of waste production has outpaced population growth (Singh, 2007, p. 101).

            Economic and political modernization comes along with industrialization as the main factor of development in most countries. This is exacerbated by population increase in cities resulting to urban sprawl. Industrialization and urbanization expands uncontrollably especially in less developed countries. This has a destructive effect to the environment especially on ecosystem, global diversity and wildlife habitat. Modernization leads to human technological advancement making it possible to sustain larger population by exploiting more and more natural resources. Naturally industrialization leads to environmental degradation (Singh, 2007, p. 107).

There has been environmental degradation of the urban environment and natural ecosystem due to industrial economic activities. Global modernization brings long-range structural change in environment. Modernization has played a significant role in controversial environmental debate with many issues between modernization and environmental decay. Through economic modernization there is improved industrial production leading to globalization which is related to trade causing domestic environmental effects as a result of imported goods and foreign. Environmental effects caused by production of exported goods and environmental effects resulting from transport movement are required for international trade. Global economic growth as a result of modernization creates greater environmental degradation but technological dynamism of capitalism is solving the problems (Singh, 2007, p. 112).

Environmental degradation due to modernization is making the world experience unacceptable levels of environmental damage and human suffering. People have the ability to make development sustainable ensuring that it meets present needs without compromising ability of future generation.  Everyone is affected by environmental degradation but the level depends on economic development and consumption pattern of people. Climate change is occurring as a result of modernization in which industrialization and urbanization are taking place. Climate change is growing becoming a global environmental problem. Climate change challenges people with results of modernity and consequences of the interplay between industrialism, capitalism, organization of politics and military power (Saurin, 1993, p. 58).

Ecological modernization requires principles of innovation and prevention which should be adopted to promote decoupling between environmental degradation and economic growth and seek to have solution for both environment and economy. Ecological modernization has been chosen by many nations making noticeable achievements. Since ecological modernization is an important aspect of modernization, there is a mutual benefit coupling between natural environment and modernization with ecological transformation of world modernization. Since Industrial Revolution, effects of ecological modernization to the environment have been experienced. Population size and density has increased, fossil energy production and ecological footprint have expanded. This has led to per capita forest resources and decline of biodiversity with pollution increase, per capita industrial waste water biochemical oxygen demand with increased greenhouse gas emission. Land and material productivity have increased with decrease to economy ratio. Modern organic agriculture has increased since 18th century intensifying use of chemical fertilizer in agriculture with increase in density of economy’s energy and resource (Connelly and Smith, 2003, p. 239).

Since ecological modernization degrades natural environment, it requires learning and innovation. It needs environmental friendly technology and institution innovation, ecologically-rational structural changes and mode of changes. Pollution is occurring all over the world poisoning planet’s oceans. Marine degradation is obvious in remote areas with some areas of natural environment being exposed to hazardous waste. Industries chlorofluorocarbons are produced causing ozone depletion leading to global warming which in turn leads to los of habitat, desertification, loss of corals and other precious biodiversity. Acid rain results from air pollution due to gigantic emissions from industrial operations and automobiles intensifying the problem (Saurin, 1993, p. 61).

Inappropriate use of land has resulted to environmental degradation due to soil degradation. Use of poor farming methods are often responsible for land degradation making land vulnerable to erosion which washes away soil leaving the land bare. Environmental degradation reduces ability of earth to sustain economic development, securing livable environment for human population which is doubling. This requires economic development with growth and technological change as a solution. Long-term economic and environmental improvement comprises of sustainable development. Sustainable development should be achieved through economic development and growth and be channeled to environmentally responsible directions. Setting of environmental requirements and imposing of costs on polluters can reduce environmental degradation through pollution. Resource production that supports development and use of environmentally friendly technologies moves society close to sustainability (Connelly and Smith, 2003, p. 257).

Natural environment is important and it should be conserved. Some modernized practices that degrade environment should be avoided. Ranching and commercial farming degrades soil, disrupts terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem, pollute ground and surface water. People should put efforts in developing ranching and farming systems that sustains natural environment reducing adverse agricultural production effects on environment (Singh, 2007, p. 116).

Conclusion

            Natural environment gives people life; without natural environment there would be no human civilization. Environmental degradation occurs when environment becomes less valuable. Population increase with improved standards of living has increased demand for materials reaching limits of tolerance on natural environment and irreversible degradation. Man has the ability to destroy environment making it incapable of satisfying demand of mankind. Through political, economic, socio-cultural and ecological modernization natural environment has been destroyed. Environmental degradation poses formidable challenges to poverty reduction and achievement of millennium goals. There is an alarming rate of population increase, deforestation, degradation of coastal ecosystem, pollution; depletion of available resources continues to lock the ever growing population as a result of modernization. People should cooperate and find measures of solving this problem for better society. Democracy also solves the problem of environmental degradation.

List of References

Connelly, J. & Smith, G, (2003), Politics and the environment: from theory to practice, Routledge, ISBN: 0415251451, 236

Holdren, J., (2000), “The causes of environmental degradation: population, affluence, technology and underlying sociopolitical factors are all important,” Environment, Vol. 4, No. 2, pp. 124 -134

Saurin, J. (1993), “Global environmental degradation, modernity and environmental knowledge,” Environmental politics, Vol. 2, No. 4, pp. 46-64

Singh, A. (2007), Population growth, modernization and environmental degradation, New Delhi: Radha Pub, ISBN: 8174875174

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