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College Students: Analyzing Relationships

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College Students: Analyzing Relationships


Relationships are considered one of the most important aspects of life and are thought to be the key in living life to its fullest. People write movies, songs, and plays about it, and it seems to surround us everywhere we go. There are many dynamic environmental factors that contribute to the status of a relationship and many are also personal. So, to analyze these factors, our class of researchers looked at 5 main categories of life to determine how each affected our relationships with friends, family, and significant others.

We came to the conclusion of researching relationships due to the popularity and curiosity about relationships, and the simple fact that everyone is going to be in some sort of relationship at any point in their life. There is no avoiding having friends, being part of a family, or searching for that person you want to fall in love with. Other topics included family, politics, health, and education, but every one of the researchers opted to study the topic on relationships so we could accumulate the most interesting data and possibly associate the conclusions to our own relationships.

As a narrower set of study, I set out to prove two hypotheses. Our population involves men and women and gender differences are considered to be the most obvious reason why relationships are so difficult, so I hypothesize that there is a difference in the way the two genders determine how long before they are committed to another person. I have noticed during my years at Sacramento City College that many of the students have children, and I wondered how having children affected their relationships. So I hypothesize that the more children a person has, the more stress it would put on their relationships.

By using this data collected, we can further understand Sacramento City College students, their relationships, and apply these results to other community college students.


To begin our research project, a topic was narrowed down from dozens of generalized ideas. Relationships became our main focus. After having a general idea of what to study, we concluded that 5 areas relating to relationships would give us the most valid data: health, communication and social networking, family, commitment, and lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender affiliations (LGBT).

Separating the class of researchers into five groups, each group had a few days to come up with numerous questions relating their subcategory to relationships. These questions would contribute to the survey that would eventually be our final product. With the assistance of a more experienced researcher, we narrowed down our questions and appropriately structured them to eliminate any ambiguity the subjects would encounter while participating in the survey.

Once our final survey was complete, small groups went out to different parts of the school to administer three surveys each to students of different ethnicities, genders, and ages to gain an appropriate sample, similar to the diverse population.

Inputting all of the collected data gave us numerous pages of descriptive statistics. Using the services of the computer software, SPSS, we used chi square and correlation equations to translate the data to find out whether or not there were positive correlations or significant relationships.


Our sample size contained 89 participants with the youngest participant being 16 years old, and the oldest being 42 years old. Our mean sample age was calculated to be 22.56 years old, with a standard deviation of 6.140. This is consistent with a college student in their senior year. Of our 89 participants of different ages and races, 62.9% of them were not in a committed relationship of any kind. 22.5% considered themselves in a relationship, 7.9% are married, and only 3.4% of them are divorced. It was discovered that 79.8% of the sample were straight individuals, while 6.7% considered themselves homosexual, and 5.6% considered themselves to be bisexual. There was a small percentage of 5.6% who wrote down that they classify themselves as "other".

There was a mean of .38 children with a standard deviation of .914, meaning that many either had 0-2 children. When asked how long before one considers themselves in a committed relationship, 36.0% said 6 months to 1 year, and 30.3% said 6 months or less. 21.3% thinks they are committed when in a relationship for 1-2 years, and 2.2% said they are not in a committed relationship until after 5 years or more with a person.

Other interesting questions with unexpected results are those that have indefinite answers. The questions with the scaled answers usually give

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