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Sociology 15 (Erin): Sample Topics & Searches

Research Methods in Sociology

#1

Does family socioeconomic status affect major selection?

Which search is more effective?  Why do you think that is the case?

Search Sample #1

"major choice" AND ("family influence" OR parental influence")

Search Sample #2

(decision OR choice) AND major AND socioeconomic

#2

How do living arrangements (living on or off campus), affect students' awareness of current events?

Does this refer to events on campus or current events in general?  If on campus, how might these events be described e.g. activities, programs, Student Life programming etc.

Which search is more effective?  Why do you think that is the case?

Sample Search #1:

("living off campus" OR "living on campus") AND (knowledge OR awareness) AND ("current events" OR politic*)

Sample Search #2:

student* AND (college OR universit*) AND (knowledge OR awareness) AND ("current events" OR politic*)

#3

How does a student's level of religiosity affect his or her plans for marriage?

Other takes on this may have to do with attittudes toward marriage (e.g. traditional), what matters in mate selection, desire for marriage, views re: permissiveness, premarital sex, cohabitation, or interracial marriage etc.

Which search is more effective?  Why do you think that is the case?

Sample Search #1

(religiosity OR "religious traditions" OR faith) AND marriage AND (college or universi*) AND student* AND (view OR attitude OR influence)

Sample Search #2

religiosity AND attitude PRE/2 marriage

Sample Search #3

(religiosity OR religious OR faith) AND "attitudes toward marriage" AND student* OR "young adult*")

#4

How do attitudes toward Greek life vary by first generation and continuing generation students?
You will likely have to search for literature on Greek fraternities and sororities and then also literature about first generation and continuing generation students.  You may find it interesting to look at the role of fraternities in retention or the notion of them as a support system for certain groups of students.  How and who do they recruit?

Which search is more effective?  Why do you think that is the case?

Sample #1

(acceptance OR view* OR perception*) AND ("Greek life" OR fraternity OR sorority) AND student*

Sample #2

"student attitudes" AND (fraternities OR sororities)

#5

Does Facebook usage impact the academic success of college students?

Which search is more effective?  Why do you think that is the case?

Sample Search #1

("college student*" OR "university student*") AND (GPA OR grades OR "academic achievement") AND "Facebook usage" OR "social networking"

Sample Search #2

("college student*" OR "university student*") AND( "educational achievement" OR "academic success" OR "academic achievement") AND Facebook AND (usage OR "time spent")

#1

Does mode of transportation affect attendance of college classes?

It looks as though this question will need to be approach by looking at literature re: tranportation to college and also literature on college/class attendance.  There may be literature on what influences this attendance.  Also consider looking at information on commuter campuses and what this may or may not saw about the campus population and their attendance patterns. Do issues such as the reliability of the transportation taken, cost, convenience, and the distance of the commute come into play?  You could look at literature for class attendance that already reaches beyond colleges/universities.

Search Sample #1

transportation AND "college students" AND (attendance or absen*)

Search Sample #2

("class attendance" or "lecture attendance") AND commut*

#2

Do college students access health care at different rates in college based on their socioeconomic status?

Which search is more effective?  Why do you think that is the case?

Sample Search #1:

"college students" and visit and ("health center" OR hospital OR doctor OR clinic)

Sample Search #2:

("health services" OR "medical visit*") AND student* AND college* AND (decision OR choice)

added SU "college students" as a way to narrow

* much of this seems to be about mental and psychological health services

Sample Search #3

("health services" OR "medical visit*") AND student* AND college* AND (decision OR choice) AND (income OR ses OR socioeconomic)

added SU "college students" as a way to narrow

Sample Search #4

help-seeking PRE/2 (health OR medical) AND student* AND college* AND (decision OR choice) AND (income OR ses OR socioeconomic)

#3

Does a student's current or prior pet ownership predict the student's level of sociability?

There is definitely literature on pet ownership and impact on well-being, quality of life, positive consequences, physical activity levels, mental health, social support, longevity, resilience, empathy  etc. There may also be differences between social interaction while accompanied with a pet versus owning a pet or having owned a pet.  Does owning a pet say anything about one's personality?  Is there a difference between cat owners and dog (canine) owners?

Which search is more effective?  Why do you think that is the case?

Sample Search #1

"pet ownership" AND sociab*

Sample Search #2

"pet ownership" AND impact* AND owner

See Pet ownership, social interest, and sociability (short report)

The Role of Pets in Preadolescent Psychosocial Development -- is more about develping autonomy, and a high self-concept and self-esteem (more so than sociability)

Children with Pets Do Not Show Higher Emplathy: A Challenge to Current Views

 

 

#4

How does the use of drugs and alcohol correlate with academic performance?  

Which search is more effective?  Why do you think that is the case?

Sample #1

(cannabis OR marijuana OR pot OR "drug use") AND ("college student*" OR "university student*" OR "undergraduate student*") AND ("academic performance" OR gpa OR grades OR "grade point average" OR "academic success")

Sample #2

("college student*" OR "undergraduate student*" SU) AND (drinking OR drugs AB) AND ("academic achievement" OR "academic success" OR "academic performance")

#5

Do family expectations affect major selection and do these expectation different based on the student's gender?

Which search is more effective?  Why do you think that is the case?

Search Sample #1

"major choice" AND ("family influence" or parental influence") AND (gender OR male OR female OR son OR daughter)

Search Sample #2

(decision OR choice) AND major AND ("family influence" or parental influence")

Topic 1

Is there a relationship between consistency of sleep schedule and academic performance?

Terminology

student* OR undergraduate*

universit* OR college* OR "higher education"

"college student*" OR "university student*"

gpa OR grades OR “grade point average” OR “academic performance” OR “academic success” OR “academic achievement” OR “educational achievement”

sleep (variations could include sleep consistency, sleep patterns, sleep habits, sleep quality, etc.)

 

Example Search

"college student*" OR "university student*"

AND

GPA OR grades OR "academic achievement"

AND

sleep

 

Sample Articles

Sleep Quality and Academic Performance in University Students: A Wake-Up Call for College Psychologists
http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=53921269&site=ehost-live

The relationship between sleep length and grade-point average among college students
http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=4397214&site=ehost-live

Topic 2

Do the political preferences of UC Merced students affect whether they support the use of the death penalty?

Terminology

student* OR undergraduate*

universit* OR college* OR "higher education"

"college student*" OR "university student*"

"death penalty" OR "capital punishment"

"political preference" OR "political party" OR "political view"

attitude* OR view

 

Example Searches

#1

"college student*" OR "university student*"

AND

"death penalty" OR "capital punishment"


#2

"death penalty" OR "capital punishment"

AND

democrat* OR republican

AND

attitude* or view

 

Possible Articles

Attitude Toward Capital Punishment is Related to Capital and non-Capital Sentencing.
http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=23452912&site=ehost-live

Eiser J, Ross M. Partisan language, immediacy, and attitude changes.
http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=12078158&site=ehost-live

The Impact of Information on Death Penalty Support, Revisited.
http://cad.sagepub.com/content/57/4/572

Topic 3

Do family expectations affect Latina decisions to go to post-graduate school?


Terminology

latina OR chicana OR hispanic

gender

"family expectations" OR "parental expectations"

"higher education" OR postgrad* OR "doctorate degree" OR "masters degree"

 

Example search

#1

hispanic

AND

gender

AND

expectations

AND

"higher education"

#2

latina OR chicana

AND

family OR parent*

AND

postgrad* OR "doctorate degree" OR "masters degree"

 

Sample Articles

High School Course-Taking and Post-Secondary Institutional Selectivity
http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=49260880&site=ehost-live

Understanding the Decision to Enroll in Graduate School: Sex and Racial/Ethnic Group Differences
http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=14091106&site=ehost-live

Beyond Survival in the Ivory Tower: Black and Brown Women's Living Narratives
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10665680701588174

Topic 4

Does a student's major have an effect on his or her willingness to date interracially?

Note for this topic, you may need to piece together literature on attitudes towards interracial relationships and also on how some aspect of a student's choice of major influence or is otherwise related to an individual's attitudes.


Terminology

behaviors OR behaviors OR practices   (An example of a specific behavior would be "mate selection.")

"interracial dating" OR "interracial marriage" OR intermarriage OR "interracial contact" OR "interacial interaction" OR "interracial sex" OR miscegenation

minorities OR "minority groups"

ethnic* OR race

major OR "area of study" OR "academic discipline"

college OR university

 

Example Searches

#1

attitude*

AND

"interracial dating"

AND

college OR university

AND

major

#2

factor* OR predictor*

AND

attitude*

AND

"interracial relationship*" OR "interracial dating"

 

Sample Articles

Family Socioeconomic Status, Parental Involvement, And College Major Choices--Gender, Race/Ethnic, And Nativity Patterns
http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=32544871&site=ehost-live

Historical Analysis Of College Campus Interracial Dating
http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=34262666&site=ehost-live

Topic 5

Does a college student's family medical history affect his or her approach and attitudes about eating?


Terminology


"college student*" OR "university student*"

"eating habits" OR "food habits" OR nutrition OR diet

"family medical history" OR "family history"

family eating habits

family history

lifestyle* OR behavior

 

Example Searches

#1

"eating habit*" OR nutrition

AND

family history

#2

"college student*" OR "university student*"

AND

"eating habits" OR "food habits" OR nutrition

AND

family

 

Sample Articles

Prevalence of Hyperinsulinemia Associated With Body Mass Index, Genetic Predisposition, and Lifestyle in College Freshmen Students
http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=69699547&site=ehost-live

Eating behaviors of children in the context of their family environment
http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=51436962&site=ehost-live

Parental disorders, childhood abuse, and binge eating in a large community sample
http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=72678528&site=ehost-live

The Relationship between Eating Attitudes, Body Image and Perceived Family -of -Origin Climate among College Athletes
http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=69684285&site=ehost-live

Topic 6

Does socio-demographic background affect individuals' understanding of force in sexual situations?


Terminology

rape OR "sexual assault" OR "sex crimes"

definition OR perception OR attitude*

age OR teen*

"class year" (or try specifics e.g. freshm*n OR "first year")

gender differences

"college student*" OR "university student*"

sociodemographic OR socioeconomic OR "social class" 

 

Example Searches

#1

gender differences

AND

"college student*" OR "university student*"

AND

"sexual assault" OR rape

AND

definition OR perception

#2

"sexual assault" OR rape

AND

definition OR perception OR attitude*

AND

socioeconomic OR "social class"

 

Possible Articles

Rape Myth Acceptance and Sociodemographic Characteristics: A Multidimensional Analysis
http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=9709252668&site=ehost-live

Famous or Infamous? The Influence of Celebrity Status and Race on Perceptions of Responsibility for Rape
http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=5210143&site=ehost-live

“You Owe Me”: Effects of Date Cost, Who Pays, Participant Gender, and Rape Myth Beliefs on Perceptions of Rape
http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=58013966&site=ehost-live

Male Definitions of Sexual Assault: The Role of the Perpetrator's Gender. Individual Differences Research
http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=20228710&site=ehost-live

Topic 1

Is there a relationship between hours of Facebook usage and academic success among college level students?

Terminology

student* OR undergraduate*

universit* OR college* OR "higher education"

"college student*" OR "university student*"

gpa OR grades OR “grade point average” OR “academic performance” OR “academic success” OR “academic achievement” OR “educational achievement”

usage OR time OR "time spent"

Example Searches

#1

"college student*" OR "university student*"

AND

GPA OR grades OR "academic achievement"

AND

"Facebook usage" OR "social networking"

#2

"college student*" OR "university student*"

AND

"educational achievement" OR "academic success" OR "academic achievement"

AND

Facebook

AND

usage OR "time spent"

#3

student*

AND

facebook (TI)

AND

success OR achievement

limited to Scholarly Journals; and Articles

 

Sample Article

Rouis, S., Limayem, M., & Salehi-Sangari, E. (2011). Impact of facebook usage on students' academic achievement: Role of self-regulation and trust. Electronic Journal of Research in Educational Psychology, 9(3), 961-994. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1011399124?accountid=14515

Topic 2

How do political attitudes affect community involvement?

Who is your group?  How can political attitudes be defined?  What other ways might community involvement be expressed?  Could this be rephrased as what political attitudes may predict community involvement/citizenship/volunteerism?

Terminology

student* OR undergraduate*

universit* OR college* OR "higher education"

"college student*" OR "university student*"

"political preference" OR "political party" OR "political view" OR "political attitudes*" OR "political beliefs" OR "political identity"

Republican OR Democrat* OR liberal OR conservative

attitude* OR view

"community involvement" OR volunteer* OR "community participation" OR "community engagement" OR "community activity" OR citizenship OR "social responsibility" OR "civic engagement"

 "predictors of volunteerism"

Example Searches

 

#1


"political attitude*"

AND

volunteerism

#2

"political attitudes" SU

AND

"community involvement"

#3

"college student*" OR "university student*"

AND


attitude* OR view

AND

"community involvment" OR volunteer*


#4

"community involvment" OR volunteer*

AND

democrat* OR republican

AND

attitude* or view

#5

"community involvement" OR "community participation" OR "comunity engagement")

AND

"political attitudes" OR "political identity" OR "political behaivor"

AND

"college students" OR "undergraduate students"

 

Topic 3

Are members of Greek Organization more prone to engage in sexual exploration than non-Greek members?

Will literature related to other high risk behavior e.g. drinking be of assistance?


Terminology

"Greek membership" OR "fraternity membership" OR "sorority membership"

high-risk behavior OR "risk sexual behavior*"

"sexual exploration" OR sex OR "sexual activity" OR "sexual behavior*" OR "sexually active" OR "sex practices"

"sexual victimization" OR "sexual violence" OR "sexual aggression"

 

Example search

#1

membership

AND

sororit* OR fraternit* OR Greek

AND

sex*


#2

fraternities and sororities SU

AND

"sexual behavior*"

#3

"Greek membership"

AND

sex*

Sample Articles


Lottes, I. L., & Kuriloff, P. J. (1994). Sexual socialization differences by gender, greek membership, ethnicity, and religious background. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 18(2), 203-219. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/61375005?accountid=14515

Eberhardt, D., Rice, D. N., & Smith, L. (2003). Effects of greek membership on academic integrity, alcohol abuse, and risky sexual behavior at a small college. NASPA Journal, 41(1) Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/62181195?accountid=14515

 

Topic 4

How does the use of drugs and alcohol correlate with academic performance?  How does the use of drugs and alcohol correlate with overall campus involvement among college students?


Terminology

drugs OR cannabis OR marijuana OR pot

alcohol OR "alcohol consumption" OR (drinking AND alcohol)

"campus involvement" OR "campus participation" OR "club involvement" OR "student goverment" OR "extracurricular activities" OR "co-curricular activities"

universit* or college* or "higher education"

student* OR undergraduate*

"academic performance" OR gpa OR grades OR "grade point average" OR "academic success"OR "academic achievement"

Example Searches

#1

cannabis OR marijuana OR pot OR "drug use"

AND

"college student*" OR "university student*" OR "undergraduate student*"

AND

"academic performance" OR gpa OR grades OR "grade point average" OR "academic success"


#2

"college student*" OR "undergraduate student*" SU

AND

drinking OR drugs AB

AND

"academic achievement" OR "academic success" OR "academic performance"

Sample Articles


Thombs, D. L., Olds, R. S., Bondy, S. J., Winchell, J., Baliunas, D., & Rehm, J. (2009). Undergraduate drinking and academic performance: A prospective investigation with objective measures. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 70(5), 776-785. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/816388842?accountid=14515


Singleton, R. A. (2007). Collegiate alcohol consumption and academic performance. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 68(4), 548-555. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/621791398?accountid=14515

 

Topic 5

How does a parent's level of strictness (parenting style) during their child's senior year of high school influence the children's risk taking behaviors in college?


Terminology


"college student*" OR "university student*" Or "undergraduate student*"

"parenting style" OR (parent* AND strict*)

parent* AND (permissive OR authoritative OR authoritarian OR protective)

impact OR influence OR predictor

sex OR "sexual behavior" OR "sexual intercourse"

high-risk behavior OR "risk taking" OR "risk behavior*"

"safe sex" OR "protected sex"

"sexual exploration" OR sex OR "sexual activity" OR "sexual behaviors" OR "sexually active" OR "sex practices"

drugs OR cannabis OR marijuana OR pot OR "drug use" OR "drug abuse"

alcohol OR "alcohol consumption" OR (drinking AND alcohol) OR "drinking behavior*" OR "alcohol involvement"

parent child relations SU

 

Example Searches

#1

"parenting style" OR "parental influence"

AND

"college student*" OR "university student*" OR "undergraduate student*"

AND

"risk taking"


#2

parent*

AND

permissive OR authoritative OR authoritarian OR protective

AND

"college student*" OR "university student*" OR "undergraduate student*"  SU

AND

risk OR alcohol OR drug*

 

Sample Articles

Patock-Peckham, J., & Morgan-Lopez, A. (2006). College drinking behaviors: Mediational links between parenting styles, impulse control, and alcohol-related outcomes. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 20(2), 117-125. doi:10.1037/0893-164X.20.2.117

http://search.proquest.com/socialsciences/docview/614485677/13930E5195D2101B3AD/1?accountid=14515


Who has cited this article since? 
Check in Web of Science.  Conduct a Title search for the article title. College drinking behaviors: Mediational links between parenting styles, impulse control, and alcohol-related outcomes 

Look for Times Cited and a hyperlinked number.  Click on the number to view other articles which have referred to this article from 2006.  There may be other articles of interest.

Example: Brings up a title form 2012 called "Prospective Protective Effect of Parents on Peer Influences and College Alcohol Involvement".  This article has Cited References (what is in its own bibliography).

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