A Study of the Breakfast Club

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Barber, B. L., Eccles, J. S., & Stone, M. R. (2001). Whatever happened to the Jock, the Brain, and the Princess? Young adult pathways linked to adolescent activity involvement and social identity. Journal of Adolescent Research, 16, 429-455. Purpose of the Study

The study by Barber, Eccles, and Stone (2001) had two purposes. The first was to determine whether deviant behaviors changed due to gender over time. The second was to ascertain the continuing risks linked with recreational activities and social identity choices developed during adolescence. Recreational activities and social identity were expected to attribute to deviant type behaviors at later ages. Social identity and certain behaviors were predicted because typically identity guides a person’s behaviors. Sample

The participants involved 900 students in the 10th (wave 5) and 12th (wave 6) grade, as well as 2 (wave 7) and 6 (wave 8) years after graduation. These students came from the study originally performed in Michigan that focused on adolescent life change, a long term investigation that started during their sixth grade year. The majority of the students came from white, working or middle class households (Barber et al., 2001). Methods and procedures

Barber et al (2001) interviewed participants eight times during this study in the following grades: 6th, 10th, 12th, 2 and 6 years after graduation. Instruments used for the study included surveys distributed to the students dealing with subjects such as identity groups, involvement in activities, drug and alcohol use, academic result, job characteristics, mental changes, family demographics, and learning ability.

Each member of the wave 6 portion of the study was asked to choose a character from the movie the Breakfast Club in which they recognized characteristics from their own lives: the Princess, the Jock, the Basket Case, the Nerd, or the Criminal. They were told to base their choice on personality rather than the character’s sex...
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