Lowering the Drinking Age to 18 Years of Age

In many countries, including the US, the legal minimum age for drinking is 21. However, people under the age of 21 engage in alcohol drinking in different circumstances. In places where the law enforcement bodies are serious about their job, many young people below the age of 21 have had to face jail terms and other forms of punishment after being found drinking alcohol. In other cases, young people below the age of 21 have faced severe consequences such as expulsion and suspension from school, punishment by parents, and derision by friends and community members simply because they were caught drinking alcohol.

Based on these observations, the researcher deems it necessary lowering drinking age to 18 years of age. The researcher will use quantitative research as opposed to qualitative research. The reason for this is that quantitative research allows a researcher to collect absolute data in unbiased manner where the variables to be measured are known unlike in qualitative research where the research is allowed to introduce own bias in order to determine what to measure. Moreover, quantitative research is appropriate in this study because the research will be able to evaluate existence of casual relationship between the independent and dependent variables. It is expected that the relationship between the independent variables and dependent variables will be positive as opposed to negative relationship. Positive relationship occurs when change in dependent variables cause change in the independent variables whereas negative relationship occurs when change in dependent variables do not cause change in the independent variables.

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In this study, the researcher will identify the drinking patterns of people under the age of 21 in order to evaluate whether a substantial number of under-21 engage in drinking. For this reason, descriptive study will be more appropriate than explanatory study. The hypothesis of the study will be “lowering the legal minimum age of drinking to 18 years of age is important.” The research will use both direct and indirect study to prove the hypothesis. The study will entail conducting direct observations as well as using existing data from law enforcers and schools about the number of individuals under the age of 21 engaged in drinking. Apart from observations, the researcher will use structured and semi-structured interview to collect data for the study. Structured interview will entail asking predetermined questions to the participants where semi-structured interview involves using an open method of asking questions to the participants (through two-way communication). The researcher is looking forward to use the study to demystify the sticky theory that people have about drinking at the age of 18. To achieve effectiveness, the researcher will select an appropriate sample size from the selected population. This will be a homogeneous representation of the population of the study.

The researcher will provide a literary review of different works by different scholars concerning the subject. Such approach will involve providing the views, opinions, findings, and facts about the subject as presented by different authors. Thereafter, the researcher will analyze the data collected. The empirical findings (results of the study) will form a basis of accepting or rejecting the hypothesis of the study. Since the research is qualitative, the researcher will easily evaluate the validity and reliability of the data used as well as the results of the study through subjective measurement. To ensure that the data used in the study is valid, the research will employ statistical control. It entails removing discrepancies in dependent variables caused by unrelated sources through introducing assumptions or changing the research question. Physical control will not be possible in this study because it is not an experimental research. Nonetheless, the researcher will remain open to serendipity findings in the study. Serendipity findings are pleasant surprises, which occur without employing efforts to find them.

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