The title of the article is “The love of a good man?”It is about a research carried out by Andrea Leverentz on the role of romantic relationships on helping the female ex-offenders get back to their normal lives (Leverentz, 2006). It also looks at the kind of romantic relationships the female ex-offenders get into after prison. The researcher recognizes the importance of pro-social partners in the lives of ex-offenders and how they help them bond and fit in into the society. The researcher also points out to the fact that male and female offenders are attracted to different kinds of spouses after serving their jail terms.
The research question that the researcher was looking to establish was whether romantic relationships have positive or negative impacts on the lives of female ex-offenders. From the beginning of the article, the researcher understands that romantic relationships play crucial roles in the social bonding of female ex-offenders. It is also understood that the kind of romantic relationships they get into could either build them or destroy them more.
The research identifies that female of offenders have been left out in research studies involving offending population. It states that many studies on the offenders only touches on the spouses of inmate men and the role they play when their men are in prison. The female offenders have not been given enough attention during research studies on criminals. According to the article, female offenders face hard time re-uniting with their former prosocial spouses. They end up with people who are not considered prosocial and the researcher analyses the impacts of such relationships on female ex-offenders. It conceptualizes that male ex-offenders have stabilizing force from their wives or the women in their lives. It also operationalizes the fact that romantic relationships are processes and should not be regarded as fixed events
The research hypothesizes that romantic relationships are crucial in helping ex-offenders fit back into the society. Another hypothesis is that prosocial spouses makes it easier for ex-offenders to bond socially in the society and the last one is that females have hard time finding prosocial spouses after they leave prison. These hypotheses have been tested in the study and the prosocial spouses were found to help ex-offenders conform because they encourage them to engage in conventional activities.
Research Method Used
The research applied the use of interviews as the method for data collection (Codó, 2009). The study was done for a period of one year and involved interviewing a total of 49 women. All the women interviewed were ex-offenders and they all volunteered to give the information for the research study. The researcher used explanatory research to explain the role of romantic relationships for both males and females. He then gives more details on the roles of such relationships on the lives of female ex-offenders. The detailed explanations give the readers an idea on how romantic relationships mean a lot to women than to men. Male ex-offenders were found to have it easy when it comes to finding prosocial spouses who help them conform to the rules of the society despite the fact that they don’t value such relationship as females do.
The researcher used inductive technique while handling the respondents. Inductive approach is when a researcher tries to come up a new theory based on available data. The theory is arrived after all the observations have been made and a decision made. The research looked for patterns and explained the meaning of the patterns observed with the female ex-offenders. There are patterns in the romantic relationships that women get involved in after prison; most of these relationships are with spouses who are described as antisocial. This means that they cannot help the women conform to the norms of the society as they would have if they were prosocial.
This study is a longitudinal because it looks specifically on romantic relationships and how they affect a single group. The research concentrates on how relationships that women have after they have served the terms in prison affects them. The study shows that in most cases, these women are affected negatively because the only spouses they can have are the antisocial ones. This is disadvantageous to them because their male counter-parts receive support from their prosocial spouses and this gives them a reason not to engage in any behavior that might lead them back to prison. The study found out that women are looked down by the society after prison, they sometimes lack even friends to talk to and their prosocial spouses are more likely to drop them.
The research study made good use of content analysis. The researcher cited many reference books and articles that support the topic of his research. The references used are from credible sources and have helped him in driving his points home and in convincing the readers that his theory is true (Hsieh & Shannon, 2005). Using many sources for the purposes of supporting a research question makes it easy for a researcher to have full faith of the reader that he knows what he is doing .These resources have been cited to support the theories and the information that the researcher used in carrying out and concluding his research.
The questions used in the study were open-ended. The respondents were given room to respond and then expound on their answers. There instances of respondents saying that their relationship was successful because various aspects. The open-ended questions enabled the researcher to gain more information from his respondents and get their different views on the questions asked. Using these kinds of questions allows the researcher to know how the respondents feel about their romantic relationships and why they are of value to them. Open-ended questions offer more room for respondents to give their answers and they don’t limit the length of the answers given.
The independent variables in the study were the romantic relationships between ex-offenders and their spouses (Achen, 2000). The dependent variable was the success or failure of the romantic relationships and how the failures of the successes affect the lives of female ex-offenders. The success refers to how constructive the romantic relationships were in the lives of the ex-offenders and failures were the destructions caused by the romantic relationships. The study found out that the romantic relationships with prosocial spouses were more constructive not only to the female ex-offenders but also the male ex-offenders.
From the study, it is clear that both male and female ex-offenders need supportive spouses to help them pick-up their pieces of their lives back together. Their lives depend on the support they get from their spouses. When they end up with unsupportive spouse or criminals as their spouse, they are more likely to engage in illegal activities again
The level of measurements in the study refers to the lives that the female ex-offenders.in cases where they were able to find peace and settle with their families, it was considered a success. Situations where the relationship between the offenders and their spouses lead them into engaging into more destructive activities, it was considered a failure (Ritchie et al., 2013). The external validity o the study could be proved by the reliable references used by the researcher. The internal validity was ensured by the choice of the most appropriate data collection method .Interviews offer reliable method of collection data from primary sources. Primary resources give research study more credibility than the secondary resources. The generalization of the study was based from a study of few people may not be correct.
The generalization derived from the study on a handful people increases the chances of illogical reasoning from the researcher. The research arguments were all support by reliable and credible resources to back every claim in the study. The researcher has delivered most of the contents based on reduction meaning the degree of fallacy might have been higher than he would have thought. The researcher used a small research population to generalize on a theory that would affect the entire world. The fallacy comes in when a researcher gives less information to arrive at their conclusion or use a small number of respondents to generalize on a whole population
Interviews are very reliable methods of collection data. The researcher sat with all the 49 respondents and asked them questions face-to-face. Face -to -face gives a researcher the opportunity to know when a respondent is hiding information from him and when he is telling the truth. A large number of respondents would have made it possible for the researcher to come up with a logical generalized idea. Generalization helped to save time but it needs to be accurate to the research question. By using large number of respondents, he could see the pattern from their response and use it to come up with an idea about the experience of the female ex-offenders.
This study is ethical because it obeyed all the principles of ethical research studies. It does not mention names of the respondents; all the respondents are volunteers who gave their responses out of their free-will (Etherington, 2007). The ethical nature of the study also comes about as a result of their intention of the researcher. His main objective is to make the society aware of the difficult experiences that female ex-offenders go though. The study also aims at enlightening the society why having prosocial spouses after prison could help many offenders to conform faster to the norms of the outside world.
The study could be improved by using more respondents to come up with more appropriate generalized idea. Having a few people to represent ex-offenders from all over the world is very risky and could lead to a wrong conclusion. The research methods should be more than one to enable the researcher reach the people he could not have a face-to-face interview with. In conclusion, the article has addressed an area that has been forgotten for ages and even though it does not provide an agreeable conclusion, it has attracted the attention of scholars to carry more research on the subject.
Achen, C. H. (2000). Why lagged dependent variables can suppress the explanatory power of other independent variables. Ann Arbor, 1001(2000), 48106-1248.
Codó, E. (2009). 9 Interviews and Questionnaires. Blackwell Guide to Research Methods in Bilingualism and Multilingualism, 158.
Etherington, K. (2007). Ethical research in reflexive relationships. Qualitative Inquiry, 13(5), 599-616.
Hsieh, H. F., & Shannon, S. E. (2005). Three approaches to qualitative content analysis. Qualitative health research, 15(9), 1277-1288.
Leverentz, A. M. (2006). The love of a good man? Romantic relationships as a source of support or hindrance for female ex-offenders. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 43(4), 459-488.
Ritchie, J., Lewis, J., Nicholls, C. M., & Ormston, R. (Eds.). (2013). Qualitative research practice: A guide for social science students and researchers. Sage.