CHAPTER V
Qualitative Analysis

This chapter presents the analysis of qualitative data in three sections. Section I discusses the procedures and describes the interview sample. Section II reports the coding process and major themes/ categories of the findings. The chapter concludes with a discussion.


Procedures and Population
An explanatory framework for considering the information gathered during the qualitative phase of this research is helpful. The multivariate nature of human events makes the application of absolute laws of cause and effect, at best, difficult (Merriam & Simpson, 1984). A tentative explanatory framework can be used to guide the research, even if tempered with Merriam and Simpson's caution, however.


Lincoln and Guba cite J. S. Mills (1985) as recognizing the difficulties associated with the formation of absolute laws and provide an outline of Mills' solution. Mills provides an explanatory framework that was used to guide this inquiry. Three of his five methods of inquiry were identified as most useful. They are; the method of agreement, the method of difference, and the joint method.


According to the method of agreement, the investigator sought to identify one factor (type of experience) that discriminates between those that develop high SDLR and those that do not develop high SDLR. According to the method of difference, the investigator sought to identify one factor (type of experience) that was associated with the failure to develop high SDLR. Finally, the joint method was used to guide the investigator in seeking one factor common to all instances when there is increased evidence of high SDLR and which is absent in all cases where there is evidence to suggest that SDLR is low. Each method, combined with logic, was used to support the assertion that a relationship exists between historical events and the development of SDLR. The facts, observations, and experiences collected during this research were used to develop an underlying explanatory pattern associated with the development of SDLR that is event related.
It was not the purpose of this exploratory research to prove certain variables cause the development of SDLR. Rather, its purpose was to explore the notion that SDLR is developmental, varies over time within a culture, and that its' development can be associated with events experienced by individuals, and to identify and categorize such events. Therefore, this research was concerned with the development of SDLR associated with the social experiences of individuals who chose to become amateur radio operators. It sought to identify macro events that are associated with the population of amateur radio operators and specific events, meso and micro, that may be associated with an individual's SDLR as evidenced by their participation in the amateur radio hobby.


The survey was designed to answer questions concerning when and where the respondent was when he or she first became interested in amateur radio. Structured interviews were used to increase the consistency of response (Merriam, 1989). The interviewing technique moved from formal to less formal, to completely informal, to finally the non-directive interview as individual questions were explored. Structured questions were followed with open ended questions to aid the respondent in expanding on his or her description of events that occurred in a particular time and place. This approach contributed to a concise focus on the central research question while at the same time providing for theory development (Lincoln & Guba, 1985; Langenbach, Vaughn, & Aagaard, 1994).


Interviews were conducted with individuals in the upper and lower quartiles based on SDLRS scores. The most remote scores from the mean were contacted first as possible interviewees. To identify the remote or extreme scores, quartiles were established based on the total scores (N=262). The range of scores for the quartiles are as follows:


Quartile I 166-222
Quartile II 223-242
Quartile III 245-256
Quartile IV 257-285


Coding Process and Categories
This section reports on the coding process, develops major themes that emerged from the research, and presents associated findings.


The purpose of the interviews was to identify events that contributed to the respondent becoming an amateur radio operator, and thus, his or her demonstration of high SDLR. Questions moved from, when did you first become interested in amateur radio, age, and place, to more complex questions. More complex questions having to do with events associated with the family (micro), friends and local community (meso), and finally, questions dealing with events associated with the larger world (macro) surrounding the respondent at the time he or she first became interested in amateur radio were asked. This design seemed to aid the respondents in being able to recall events from their past by placing them mentally in the period and location when they had their first experience that contributed to their interest in becoming amateur radio operators. Figure 5 is a histogram that graphically portrays the age of each respondent with a normal distribution curve overlaid. The base year is 1997.


The histogram at Figure 6 provides a graphical way to inspect the distribution of amateur radio operators by age and through that process identify periods during which higher or lower than expected numbers of amateur radio operators were born. Since being an amateur radio operator is assumed to be a function of one's environment and not a naturally occurring phenomena, observed increases and decreases in the distribution of amateurs by birth year may be explained by variations in their environment. In that participation in the amateur radio hobby has been linked to high SDLR it is possible that variations that effect amateurs also effect high SDLR. It is these variations, called events, that is the focus of the qualitative component of this research.
The years 1923 through 1925, 1949 through 1951, and 1953 through 1959 are of particular interest. These are periods during which higher than expected numbers of amateur radio operators were born. Also of interest are the periods 1927 through 1930, 1935 through 1940, and 1962 through 1971. These are periods during which lower than expected numbers of amateur radio operators were born. These periods of time will be inspected more closely in conjunction with historical events and the interviews conducted with participants in the study.


The following structured questions served as the frame work for the interviews:

Events identified by respondents were categorized according to social setting. Micro for events experienced with family, meso for events associated with friends and community, and macro for events associated with the world beyond the respondents immediate social setting. This approach provided an opportunity to discover when and where in the range of individual experiences the historical events being sought occurred. Therefore, responses were coded both for the micro, meso, and macro events, and also for when the respondent experienced the event. The structured telephone interview questions are in Appendix C.


Interviews
A total of 46 interviewees were selected using the lowest and highest SDLRS quartiles as described above. Four of those selected had incorrect phone numbers, one declined to be interviewed, and one was deceased. A total of 40 interviews were completed. Each interviewee was contacted by phone. A total of 40 interviews were completed. A brief description of each respondent is provided below. The descriptions are organized by first lowest quartile (L 1-20) and highest quartile (H 1-20).

Low Quartile

Subject 1 (referred to as L1) is a white male born in 1973, with 12 years of education. He holds a Technician Plus amateur radio license, prefers to study in groups, and did not identify himself as self-directed. He identifies his first experience (micro) that led to his interest in amateur radio as occurring when he was age 11. He had a meso experience at age 17 and acquired his amateur radio license shortly thereafter. He became involved in the hobby because of his father's interest. [SDLRS=170]
Subject 2 (referred to as L2) is a white male born in 1923, with 14 years of education. He holds a Advanced amateur radio license, prefers to study in a group, and did not identify himself as self-directed. He identifies his first experience (micro) that led to his interest in amateur radio as occurring when he was age 10 in Munich, Germany. He had a meso/macro experience at age 16, studying electronics in school. He acquired his amateur radio license at age 57. He indicated he had no time for radio as a hobby until later in life. [SDLRS=189]
Subject 3 (referred to as L3) is a white male born in 1950, with 14 years of education. He holds a Technician amateur radio license, prefers to study alone, and identifies himself as self-directed. He identifies his first experience (micro) that led to his interest in amateur radio as occurring when he was age 9. He had a meso experience at age 35 and acquired his amateur radio license shortly thereafter. [SDLRS=196]
Subject 4 (referred to as L4) is a white male born in 1920, with 13 years of education. He holds an Advanced amateur radio license, prefers to study alone, and identifies himself as self-directed. He identifies his first experience (meso) that led to his interest in amateur radio as occurring when he was age 17. He had a macro experience at age 18 and acquired his amateur radio license at age 23. [SDLRS=197]
Subject 5 (referred to as L5) is a white male born in 1948, with 14 years of education. He holds a Technician Plus amateur radio license, prefers to study alone, and identifies himself as self-directed. He identifies his first experience (micro) that led to his interest in amateur radio as occurring when he was age 16. He had a macro experience at age 18 and acquired his amateur radio license 16 years after his first experience at age 32. [SDLRS=198]
Subject 6 (referred to as L6) is a white male born in 1957, with 17 years of education. He holds an Extra amateur radio license, prefers to study alone, and identifies himself as self-directed. He identifies his first experience (micro) that led to his interest in amateur radio as occurring when he was age 8. He had a meso experience at age 12, a macro experience at age 13 and acquired his amateur radio license nine (9) years later. [SDLRS=198]
Subject 7 (referred to as L7) is a white male born in 1936, with 12 years of education. He holds an Extra amateur radio license, prefers to study alone, and identifies himself as self-directed. He identifies his first experience (macro) that led to his interest in amateur radio as occurring when he was age 23. He had a meso experience at age 33 and acquired his amateur radio license shortly thereafter. [SDLRS=200]
Subject 8 (referred to as L8) is a white male born in 1935, with 14 years of education. He holds an Advance amateur radio license, prefers to study alone, and did not identify himself as self-directed. He identifies his first experience (micro) that led to his interest in amateur radio as occurring when he was age 10. He had a macro experience at age 32 and acquired his amateur radio license shortly thereafter. [SDLRS=201]
Subject 9 (referred to as L9) is a white female born in 1951, with 12 years of education. She holds a Technician Plus amateur radio license, prefers to study in a group, and did not identify herself as self-directed. She identifies her first experience (meso) that led to her interest in amateur radio as occurring when she was age 32. She had a micro experience at age 36 and acquired her amateur radio license shortly thereafter. [SDLRS=201]
Subject 10 (referred to as L10) is a white male born in 1951, with 14 years of education. He holds an Extra amateur radio license, prefers to study alone, and identifies himself as self-directed. He identifies his first experience (micro) that led to his interest in amateur radio as occurring when he was age 12. He had a macro experience at age 13, a meso experience at age 32 and acquired his amateur radio license shortly thereafter. [SDLRS=203]
Subject 11 (referred to as L11) is a white male born in 1951, with 19+ years of education. He holds an Extra amateur radio license, prefers to study alone, and identifies himself as self-directed. He identifies his first experience (micro) that led to his interest in amateur radio as occurring when he was age 13. He had an uncle that helped him license the same year. [SDLRS=204]
Subject 12 (referred to as L12) is a white male born in 1964, with 12 years of education. He holds an Advanced amateur radio license, prefers to study alone, and did not identify himself as self-directed. He identifies his first experience (micro) that led to his interest in amateur radio as occurring when he was age 13. He had a meso experience at age 20 and acquired his amateur radio license 21 years later. [SDLRS=207]
Subject 13 (referred to as L13) is a white male born in 1951, with 12 years of education. He holds a Technician Plus amateur radio license, prefers to study alone, and identifies himself as self-directed. He identifies his first experience (micro) that led to his interest in amateur radio as occurring when he was age 11. He acquired his amateur radio license 21 years later. [SDLRS=211]
Subject 14 (referred to as L14) is a white male born in 1948, with 16 years of education. He holds a Technician Plus amateur radio license, prefers to study alone and identified himself as other-directed. He identifies his first experience (meso) that led to his interest in amateur radio as occurring when he was age 13 in the Boy Scouts. He had another meso experience at age 39 and acquired his amateur radio license shortly thereafter. [SDLRS=215]
Subject 15 (referred to as L15) is a white male born in 1941, with 13 years of education. He holds a Technician Plus amateur radio license, prefers to study in a group, and identifies himself as other-directed. He identifies his first experience (micro) that led to his interest in amateur radio as occurring when he was a teenager, but he is unable to recall his exact age. He purchased an electronic correspondence course while in the Navy (meso) about age 22, became involved with a amateur radio club at about age 29 and licensed a year later. [SDLRS=216]
Subject 16 (referred to as L16) is a white male born in 1927, with 16 years of education. He holds an Extra amateur radio license, prefers to study alone, and identifies himself as self-directed. He identifies his first experience (micro) that led to his interest in amateur radio as occurring when he was age 10. That same year he had a meso experience. At age 14 he had his first macro experience and licensed at age 19. [SDLRS=217]
Subject 17 (referred to as L17) is a white male born in 1916, with 19+ years of education. He holds an Extra amateur radio license, prefers to study alone, and identifies himself as self-directed. He identified his first experience (micro) that led to his interest in amateur radio as occurring when he was age 14. He had a meso experience that same year and acquired his amateur radio license in 1933. [SDLRS=220]
Subject 18 (referred to as L18) is a white male born in 1953, with 12 years of education. He holds an Extra amateur radio license, prefers to study in a group, and identifies himself as other-directed. He identifies his first experience (meso) that led to his interest in amateur radio as occurring when he was age 15. He had a macro experience at age 38, a micro experience at age 40 and acquired his amateur radio license shortly thereafter. [SDLRS=221]
Subject 19 (referred to as L19) is a white male born in 1970, with 16 years of education. He holds a Technician Plus amateur radio license, prefers to study alone, and identifies himself as self-directed. He identifies his first experience (micro) that led to his interest in amateur radio as occurring when he was age 20 when his whole family decided to become amateur radio operators. He acquired his amateur radio license shortly thereafter. [SDLRS=221]
Subject 20 (referred to as L20) is a white male born in 1946, with 14 years of education. He holds a General amateur radio license, prefers to study alone, and identifies himself as self-directed. He identifies his first experience (macro) that led to his interest in amateur radio as occurring when he was age 40. He acquired his amateur radio license shortly thereafter. [SDLRS=222]
The Low quartile group typically had two experiences with amateur radio that they identified as contributing to their interest in the hobby. The most common first experience was micro; 14 of the 20 respondents reported micro experiences. Four respondents reported a meso event as their first experience. Two respondents reported a macro event as the first experience that led to a lasting interest in amateur radio. All but one respondent cited a micro experience as contributing their abiding interest in amateur radio. Next the High quartile interviews are summarized.
The following table (Table 5.1) summarizes the Low quartile respondents in terms of their birth year (BY), SDLRS score, study preference (alone or in a group), age of first event, age of second event, and age of second event, and age of third event. The events,
an incident that contributed to the respondents' interest and ultimate participation in amateur radio, are identified in the table as micro (mi), meso (me), and macro (ma) events.

High Quartile

Subject 21 (referred to as H1) is a white male born in 1924, with 19+ years of education. He holds an Extra amateur radio license, he did not indicate how he prefers to study, and identified himself as self-directed. He identified his first experience (macro) that led to his interest in amateur radio as occurring when he was age 10. He had a meso experience at age 60 and acquired his amateur radio license shortly thereafter. [SDLRS=257]

Table 5.1
Summary of Lowest Quartile Interview Responses


Respondent


BY


SDLRS

Study
Preference


1/age


2/age


3/age
L1 1973 170 group mi11 me17
L2 1923 189 group mi10 me16 ma16
L3 1950 196 alone mi9 me35
L4 1920 197 alone me17 ma18
L5 1948 198 alone mi16 ma18
L6 1957 198 alone mi8 me12 ma13
L7 1936 200 alone ma23 ma33
L8 1935 201 alone mi10 ma32
L9 1951 201 group me32 mi36
L10 1951 203 alone mi12 ma13 me32
L11 1951 204 alone mi13
L12 1964 207 alone mi13 me20
L13 1951 211 alone mi11 me11 me32
L14 1948 215 alone me13 me39
L15 1941 216 group mi? me22 me29
L16 1927 217 alone mi10 me10 ma14
L17 1916 220 alone mi14 me14
L18 1953 221 group me15 ma38 mi40
L19 1970 221 alone mi20
L20 1946 222 alone ma40

 

Subject 22 (referred to as H2) is a white male born in 1917, with 13 years of education. He holds an Advance amateur radio license, he did not indicate how he prefers to study, or whether he is self or other-directed. He identified his first experience (macro) that led to his interest in amateur radio as occurring when he was age 10. He had a micro and meso experiences at age 11. He acquired his amateur radio license 24 years after his interest was first stimulated. [SDLRS=258]
Subject 23 (referred to as H3) is a white male born in 1923, with 19+ years of education. He holds a General amateur radio license, he did not indicate whether he prefers to study alone or in a group, and he identified himself as self-directed. He identified his first experience (micro) that led to his interest in amateur radio as occurring when he was age 14. He had a meso experience at age 15, a macro experience at age 41, and acquired his amateur radio license shortly thereafter. [SDLRS=260]
Subject 24 (referred to as H4) is a white male born in 1943, with 16 years of education. He holds a Advance amateur radio license, prefers to study alone, and identifies himself as self-directed. He identifies his first experiences (micro and meso) that led to his interest in amateur radio as occurring when he was age 45. He acquired his amateur radio license two years later. [SDLRS=260]
Subject 25 (referred to as H5) is a white female born in 1973, with 15 years of education. She holds a Technician Plus amateur radio license, prefers to study alone, and identifies herself as other-directed. She identified her first experience (meso) that led to her interest in amateur radio as occurring when she was age 6. She had a macro experience at age 16 and acquired her amateur radio license the following year. [SDLRS=261]
Subject 26 (referred to as H6) is a white male born in 1951, with 15 years of education. He holds a Technician Plus amateur radio license, prefers to study alone, and identifies himself as self-directed. He identifies his first experiences (meso and macro) that led to his interest in amateur radio as occurring when he was age 16. He acquired his amateur radio license 17 years later. [SDLRS=262]
Subject 27 (referred to as H7) is a white male born in 1942, with 14 years of education. He holds an Extra amateur radio license, prefers to study alone, and identifies himself as self-directed. He identifies his first experiences (micro and macro) that led to his interest in amateur radio as occurring when he was age 7. He had a meso experience at age 16 and acquired his amateur radio license 55 years after his first experiences. [SDLRS=263]
Subject 28 (referred to as H8) is a white male born in 1946, with 18 years of education. He holds an Extra amateur radio license, prefers to study alone, and identifies himself as self-directed. He identifies his first experience (micro) that led to his interest in amateur radio as occurring when he was age 10. He had a meso experience at age 12 and a macro experience at age 16. He acquired his amateur radio license at age 16. [SDLRS=263]
Subject 29 (referred to as H9) is a white female born in 1952, with 15 years of education. She holds an Extra amateur radio license, prefers to study alone, and identifies herself as self-directed. She identifies her first experience (macro) as occurring at age 10, a micro experience at age 11, and a meso experience at age 13. She indicates that each of these experiences led to her ultimately getting an amateur radio license. She acquired her amateur radio license, at age 24, two years after her husband licensed. [SDLRS=263]
Subject 30 (referred to as H10) is a white male born in 1923, with 16 years of education. He holds a Technician Plus amateur radio license, prefers to study alone, and identifies himself as self-directed. He identifies his first experience (meso) while in the Boy Scouts, that led to his interest in amateur radio, as occurring when he was age 16. He had a career in electronics in the Marine Corps and Air Force, and at the University of Kansas. He licensed as an amateur radio operator at age 53. [SDLRS=267]
Subject 31 (referred to as H11) is a white male born in 1941, with 17 years of education. He holds a General amateur radio license, prefers to study alone, and identifies himself as self-directed. He identified his first experiences (meso and macro) that led to his interest in amateur radio as occurring when he was age 10 at a Cub Scout meeting. He had a meso experience at age 14 and acquired his amateur radio license at age 16. [SDLRS=267]
Subject 32 (referred to as H12) is a white male born in 1924, with 12 years of education. He holds an Extra amateur radio license, did not indicate if he prefers to study alone or in a group, and identified himself as self-directed. He identifies his first experiences (micro and meso) that led to his interest in amateur radio as occurring when he was age 10. He had a macro experience at age 16 and acquired his amateur radio license shortly thereafter. [SDLRS=283]
Subject 33 (referred to as H13) is a white male born in 1917, with 19+ years of education. He holds a General amateur radio license, prefers to study alone, and identifies himself as self-directed. He identifies his first experience (meso) that led to his interest in amateur radio as occurring when he was age 9. He had a macro experience at age 50 and acquired his amateur radio license shortly thereafter. [SDLRS=268]
Subject 34 (referred to as H14) is a white male born in 1941, with 16 years of education. He holds an Extra amateur radio license, prefers to study alone, and identifies himself as self-directed. He identifies his first experiences (micro, meso, and macro), that led to his interest in amateur radio, as occurring when he was age 14. He acquired his amateur radio license the following year. [SDLRS=268]
Subject 35 (referred to as H15) is a white male born in 1941, with 19+ years of education. He holds an Advance amateur radio license, prefers to study alone, and identifies himself as self-directed. He identifies his first experience (macro) that led to his interest in amateur radio as occurring when he was age 12. He had a meso experience at age 19 and acquired his amateur radio license at age 40. [SDLRS=271]
Subject 36 (referred to as H16) is a white male born in 1958, with 17 years of education. He holds an Extra amateur radio license, prefers to study alone, and did not indicate whether he is self or other-directed. He identified his first experiences (meso and macro) that led to his interest in amateur radio as occurring when he was age 7. He acquired his amateur radio license eight years later at age 15. [SDLRS=272]
Subject 37 (referred to as H17) is a white male born in 1944, with 14 years of education. He holds an Advance amateur radio license, prefers to study alone, and identifies himself as self-directed. He identified his first experiences (micro and meso) that led to his interest in amateur radio as occurring when he was age 14. He acquired his amateur radio license 10 years later at age 24. [SDLRS=273]
Subject 38 (referred to as H18) is a white male born in 1938, with 16 years of education. He holds an General amateur radio license, prefers to study alone, and identifies himself as self-directed. He identified his first experience (micro) when he was age 9 and had a meso experience at age 14. He reported that these experiences led to his interest in amateur radio. He had acquired his amateur radio license 10 years later at age 24. [SDLRS=280]
Subject 39 (referred to as H19) is a white female born in 1976, with 13 years of education. She holds a Novice amateur radio license, prefers to study alone, and identifies herself as self-directed. She identifies her first experiences (micro and meso) that led to her interest in amateur radio as occurring when she was age 9. She had a macro experience at age 11 and acquired her amateur radio license shortly thereafter. [SDLRS=283]
Subject 40 (referred to as H20) is a white male born in 1938, with 18 years of education. He holds an Extra amateur radio license, prefers to study alone, and identifies himself as self-directed. He identifies his first experiences (micro, meso and macro) that led to his interest in amateur radio as occurring when he was age 12. He acquired his amateur radio license two years later. [SDLRS=272] (Table 5.2).
The following table (Table 5.2) summarizes the High quartile respondents in terms of their birth year (BY), SDLRS score, study preference (alone or in a group), age of first event, age of second event, and age of third event. The events, an incident that contributed to the respondents' interest and ultimate participation in amateur radio, are identified in the table as micro (mi), meso (me), and macro (ma) events.
The High quartile group typically had two or three experiences with amateur radio that they identified as contributing to their interest in the hobby. The most common first experience was micro, 10 of the 20 respondents. Nine respondents reported a meso event as their first experience. Of interest is the fact that 10 respondents reported their first experience with amateur radio included two types of events. It is also noted that nine of the twenty respondents reported


Table 5.2
Summary of Highest Quartile Interview Responses



Respondent


BY


SDLRS

Study Preference


1/age


2/age


3/age
H1 1924 257 ? ma10 me60
H2 1917 258 ? ma10 mi11 me11
H3 1923 260 ? mi14 me15 ma41
H4 1943 260 alone mi45 me45
H5 1973 261 alone me6 ma16
H6 1951 262 alone me16 ma16
H7 1942 263 alone mi7 ma7 me16
H8 1946 263 alone mi10 me12 ma16
H9 1952 263 alone ma10 mi11 me13
H10 1923 267 alone me16
H11 1941 267 alone me10 ma10 me14
H12 1924 283 alone/
group
mi10 me10 ma16
H13 1917 268 alone me9 ma50
H14 1941 268 alone mi14 me14 ma14
H15 1941 271 alone ma12 me19
H16 1958 272 alone me7 ma7
H17 1944 273 alone mi14 me14
H18 1938 280 alone mi9 me14
H19 1976 283 alone mi9 me9 ma11
H20 1938 272 alone mi12 me12 ma12




experiencing all three types of events by age 16.


Coding Categories
Two major categories, High and Low quartile respondents, were dictated by the research design. Both quartiles are drawn from the same sample of amateur radio operators, who by their actions fit the operational definition of high self-directed learners. A number of individuals who chose to become amateur radio operators because they were influenced by someone else are within this group, however. Therefore, it was concluded that suitable respondents from within the first quartile and the fourth quartile could be identified for follow-up interviews.
The principle purpose of the interviews were to investigate the relationship, if any, experiences played in the respondent's entry into the amateur radio service and thus their individual display of high SDLR.


Based on the literature review two primary categories emerged, micro and macro events. Micro events are associated with the respondent's immediate family (Long, Redding, & Eisenman, 1992, 1993 and 1994a; Stubblefield, 1992). Macro events (Long, 1989b, 1990b; Schooler, 1990) are associated with the larger society; world and national events, and the introduction of new technology. A third category, meso events, was added to address those events that occur outside the family, but which are not macro in nature. Meso events include experiences with friends, in clubs, at school, and in church to name the most common settings. Therefore, each event is tied to a social setting (micro, meso, macro) and a point in time.


The time component added another set of variables to the coding of events. Time is reported in terms of the respondent's age at the time an event occurred. During the initial interview process it was noted, repeatedly, that extended periods of time passed between when most respondents first became interested in amateur radio and when they finally entered the hobby. Therefore, a final category associated with time was added for coding; delay in years between first interest and licensing.


The following tables provide a summary of the various categories in terms of descriptive statistics. This summary is useful in understanding the differences that exist between the Low and the High group.


Table 5.3 through Table 5.5 provide descriptive statistics to describe the characteristics of the two group of individuals interviewed. Two sets of data are provided in each table. One set of data from the Low quartile group of respondents, and the other set of data from the High quartile group of respondents. Each minor category, SDLRS score, birth year, micro age, meso age, macro age, and delay in years from first event to being licensed will be discussed.


SDLRS Score
Comparing the Low and High quartile SDLRS descriptive statistics, Table 5.3, reveals that the standard deviation of the High quartile (SD 7.64) is noticeably smaller than the standard deviation of the Low quartile (12.68). This implies that the members of the High quartile are more similar to one another in terms of SDLRS scores than are the members of the Low quartile group.


Birth Year
The Mean, Mode, and Median birth year, Table 5.3, for the Low group are 1945.55, 1951, and 1949 respectively. The mean, mode, and median for the High group are 1941.95, 1941, and 1941 respectively. The Low group is on the average about 10 years younger then the High group. Comparing the two group's age to Figure 5 it is can be to noted that the High groups age plots during the period when the total number of Table 5.3


Comparison of Low and High Quartile Descriptive Statistics for SDLRS and Birth Year


Quartile
SDLRS
Low High
Birth year
Low High

Mean 205.35 267.55 1945.55 1941.95
SD 12.68 7.64 15.22 15.76
Mode 198 263 1951 1941
Low quartile 198 261.5 1935.5 1928
Median 203.5 267 1949 1941
High quartile 216.5 272 1952 1948.5
Sml value 170 257 1916 1917
Lrg value 222 283 1973 1976
Numerical value 20 20 20 20
Coefficient variable 6.334 2.929 0.802 0.833
Kurtosis 1.349 -0.263 -0.314 0.275
Skewness -0.844 0.734 -0.28 0.548

Table 5.4
Comparison of Low and High Quartile Descriptive Statistics for Micro and Meso Experiences

Quartile
1st Micro age
Low High
1st Meso age
Low High

Mean 15.4 13.7 20.6 16.2
SD 9 9.3 9.2 12.7
Mode 10 14 10 12
Low quartile 10 10 13 10
Median 12.5 11 17 12.5
High quartile 15 14 32 15.5
Sml value 8 7 10 6
Lrg value 40 45 35 60
Numerical value 16 13 13 20
Coefficient variable 60.637 70.455 46.381 80.599
Kurtosis 3.64 11.423 -1.479 7.393
Skewness 2.109 3.294 0.571 2.74
Table 5.5
Comparison of Low and High Quartile Descriptive Statistics for Macro Experiences and Delay in Licensing


Quartile
1st Macro Age
Low High
Delay from 1st to License
Low High

Mean 24.2 16.6 16.9 16.9
SD 10.8 12.3 12.2 14.9
Mode 13 10 0 2
Low quartile 14 10 5 5
Median 18 12 19.5 11
High quartile 38 16 24.5 27.5
Sml value 13 7 0 1
Lrg value 42 50 47 55
Numerical value 11 14 20 20
Coefficient variable 46.925 76.832 74.177 90.421
Kurtosis -1.528 3.745 0.175 0.454
Skewness 0.598 2.128 0.506 1.07


amateurs were born was well below the normal distribution. While the plot of the Low group's age places them during the period when the number of amateurs being born is well above the normal distribution.


First Micro, Meso, and Macro Event by Age
Consistently the Low group on the average (mean) appears to be older (age 15.4 and 20.6) than the High group (age 13.7 and 16.2) when its members had their first micro or meso experience. This continues to be true for the median age at which the first events occur. The most often reported age (the modal age) at which these events occur, however, is reversed for the micro and meso events. The Low group, with a cohort birth year of 1951, is analyzed in greater depth below. Therefore, individuals in the Low group often have their first micro and meso experience before individuals in the High group. Micro and macro events were not experienced by all respondents in either the Low or High groups. However, all members of the High group reported experiencing meso events.


Micro Events. The most common micro event was the gift of a crystal radio kit, or the construction of a radio or electronic device by the respondent during the period age 7 to 12. These events were scored as both micro and macro because of the technology component in the event. High group respondents typically expanded the experience by pursuing follow-on learning projects on their own. These early events seemed to lead to a reoccurring pursuit of knowledge of a technical nature across their life time. Most indicated that this early experience in life contributed not only to their choice of hobbies but also to their selection of educational pursuits and vocation.


Meso Events. The most common meso event was the experience of learning Morse Code or some other form of a communications activity while participating in the Boy Scouts of America. A close second kind of event in terms of frequency reported, was the experience of having a close friend with whom the learning experience and ultimate pursuit of amateur radio as a hobby was shared. Members of the High group often identified themselves as the leader of the learning effort and the most persistent across their life time. While they reported maintaining contact, often their friend is no longer active in amateur radio.


The Low group respondents often cited the influence of a close friend or family member as introducing them to the hobby. More often than not they have maintained the friendship, however Low group respondents often were no longer actively involved in the hobby.


The preceding analysis of the interviews examined the relationship between Low and High quartile respondents, and events coded micro, meso and macro. The analysis focused on the difference between the respondents grouped in the first and fourth quartile. Next the analysis will focus on those periods in which a below normal distribution of amateurs and periods in which above normal distribution of amateur radio operators were identified. Interviews of amateurs born during these periods will be reexamined with a particular emphasis on identifying events that are common to these two groupings.


Peak Birth Year for Low Group Amateur
Radio Operators, 1951

Further analysis of the two groups of amateur radio operators was warranted. The most often reported birth year for the Low group was 1951, during a period when entry into amateur radio was above the normal curve (Figure 5) for the sample. Therefore, interviews from amateurs born in 1951 were analyzed to determine what shared events, if any, might emerge.


The following abstracts cover the key points of the interviews from those born in 1951. This material was examined to see if a framework could be identified that might explain why the Low group is highly represented in this year.


L9, Birth year - 1951, SDLRS - 201, Sex - Female, Race - White.
He reported she first became interested in amateur radio as an adult. Later she indicated that she might have become interested in radio as a child watching war movies. She entered the amateur radio service at age 36. Her husband and children decided to become amateur radio operators and so she decided to make it something the whole family did together. When pressed to identify an earlier event that contributed to her interest in amateur radio she responded with:

"Well in watching movies you would see a little bit - it may not actually have been amateur radio, but it may have been during the war movies ... the guys would have those radios that they could talk from and stuff .. so it may not have been real amateur radio."


When pressed to identify other events that may have influenced her decision to become an amateur radio operator she identified "severe weather watch" and "public service."


L10, Birth year - 1951, SDLRS - 203, Sex - Male, Race - White.
Reported he first became interested in electronics working with an older brother (by fours years) while doing experiments with batteries, motors, and a home made crystal radio at about age 12 or 13. He got his Novice at 19 while in college. He attempted to upgrade immediately, but failed. He and his brother share the same professional training, electronics. Both upgraded to an Advanced class amateur radio license in about 1984. This respondent serves as the volunteer emergency communications coordinator for the Red Cross and his county in southwest Oklahoma.


L11, Birth year - 1951, SDLRS - 204, Sex - Male, Race - White.
Respondent's uncle was a amateur radio operator and during the uncle's visits the respondent became aware of and then interested in amateur radio. The respondent's family told stories of the uncle's mobile amateur radio in his car interfering with pizza parlor public address (PA) systems and PA systems in churches. The stories fascinated the respondent. The respondent was fascinated with his uncle's ability to communicate. His uncle became his mentor and gave him his Novice exam. The respondent lived in a rural Kansas town. The nearest large town was 50 miles away. While conscious of the Vietnam war, and the death of President Kennedy, the responded reported that these events really didn't effect him.


L13, Birth year - 1951, SDLRS - 211, Sex - Male, Race - White.
The respondent reported that he first became interested in electronics at age 11 through helping a friend of his father's repair black and white TV sets. Next followed an interest in communicating through Citizen Band which the respondent did off and on, until age 32 when through an informal study group he learned enough material to pass his amateur radio written and code tests. At about age 32 the respondent became involved with a circle of friends that met at a local fast food restaurant. He described the situation this way (sic):

"Well, ah an elmer and my elmer, his call sign is WC2A, and he lives in Brooklyn, NY, and we hung around in MacDonalds on an every night basis, where other amateur radio operators would drop in on us practically every evening and I studied code and I studied theory, and I passed my Novice. This was before the no-code tech. ..... I met Bob ... let me see through hanging around places other hams that knew Bob and Bob sort of was an older gentleman ... he took a liking to me and wanted me to become a ham because he thought I'd be a good ham. ... I was interested mainly in Dxing."


When pressed to identify three aspects of amateur radio that hold his attention he responded, "Ah, speaking long distance, phone communications, and learning new things about the hobby."


H6, Birth year 1951, SDLRS - 262, Sex - Male, race - White.
The respondent reported he first became interested in amateur radio in high school, but that he didn't really pursue it as a hobby until 1983 (about age 32). His initial interest was kindled by a high school physics teacher who was also an amateur radio operator. In 1983 he and his wife were at a county fair where the local radio club had a booth set up. When they stopped at the booth, he told his wife it was something he was interested in, and they both decided to become amateurs. They attended class together and licensed together.


When pressed about his initial interest in radio and why he didn't act on it at the time he reported that there was no time. The teacher introduced amateur radio the last month of the school year and did not return the next year. The respondent, however, developed an abiding interest in radio, became a short wave listener, and enjoyed listening to foreign broadcasts and the police bands. He was particularly fascinated with the radical, anti-American broadcasts. He clarified this interest by saying "Don't get the wrong idea, I wasn't a protestor or anything, but I was interested in how the other side talked about us."


He is a computer professional and he reports he spends his leisure time working with computers at home. He is currently teaching himself how to program in C++ for Windows `95. When pressed to identify any other situation or world event that kindled his interest in amateur radio he began discussing trains (trains were a reoccurring theme among all groupings of respondents). He went on to say (sic):

"Not really, however in at least the local club and the radio club in Kansas City an awful lot of folks have another interest that seems totally unconnected with this .. also have a high interest in radio, and that's trains. ... I don't know if that it's that way all over the country, but from looking on the internet, I think it is. I don't know why, it's the common element of a lot of hams. ... You know locally you would have to say 3/4th of the members of the group love trains. ... They come through town and not exactly at a high rate and I'll be out there watching them go by so. The same thing for others, I don't know but looking at the internet most of the computer, train enthusiastic groups and the ham groups look a lot alike. I don't know why, but it's something interesting and may be a good place for hams to look to recruit folks cause there seems to be a common interest."

Summary of Birth Year 1951. The five respondents born in 1951 present several common threads. Each contained a combination of micro, meso, and macro experiences. Each viewed amateur radio as a service oriented hobby that could facilitate communications between family members and friends. None of the respondents licensed in their youth. Each reported developing an interest in radio during their youth, but not becoming active in amateur radio until fully adult and able to share it with a family member. Maybe most importantly, each reported having someone else to work with that helped them acquire their amateur license.


The second group considered worthy of additional exploration were those individuals born in 1941, the most common birth year for the High group, and a period during which the total number of amateurs born was well below the normal distribution. Four respondents were selected. Each born in 1941.


H11, Birth year - 1941, SDLRS - 267, Sex - Male, Race - White.
The respondent attributes his interest in amateur radio to his Boy Scout experience and efforts he made to earn a merit badge in communications when he was 14 or 15 years of age. However, he had much earlier experiences that contributed to his interest. He said (sic):

"Yeah, that's when I started...I didn't actually get my license till I was 16, but we started studying on it when I was 14 or 15. I built my first receiver when I was in the sixth grade....One of those Heathkits, well I built a crystal set before that...probably built the crystal set when I was in the fourth grade."


The respondent's interest in radio communications preceded his awareness of amateur radio in the Boy Scouts. He described his developing interest this way (sic):

"Ahm, can't really remember being exposed to amateur radio before that (the Scouts) because I was just mainly interested in listening to shortwave broadcast from an international ... (How old were you?) Oh ah fourth or fifth grade, somewhere along in there. I guess the radio my dad had also had the shortwave band on it...the big radio...use to play with that a little bit. I can remember about the fourth grade I would literally get back up after everybody else went to bed and flip the old radio on ... with a tuning eye ... I was fascinated with the signal strength cause that had something to do with how much closer (the eye would close as strength increased) you would get on that eye late at night when the bands quieted down and you could listen to those very clear signals and the eye would hardly close at all, but you could get a tuning indication with it. ... We got up on the roof and strung some wire over the roof so we could get more signal."


The respondent further explained that the local amateur radio club provided training for the Boy Scouts, that the club was run by individuals that were motivated by profit because they owned the local radio and electronics store who sold Army surplus radio, electronic, and telephone equipment.


H14, Birth year - 1941, SDLRS - 268, Sex - Male, Race - White.
The respondent first became interested in amateur radio about 1955 when he was age 14. He became interested through listening to the family radio. It had shortwave bands. His mother knew of his interest and read in the newspaper about an amateur radio club that met at a local school, that was starting licensing classes. His father provided transportation. The respondent met a boy a few years older that became his friend and mentor. His mentor, also a teenager just old enough to drive, was the organizer and leader of the amateur radio club. Three other individuals in his high school class also became amateurs. As a result of the local amateur radio club being formed primarily with teenagers, the respondent became an amateur radio operator. The respondent described the development of his initial interest with these words (sic):

"Yeah we owned an old wooden floor model Zenith radio, and I took an interest in listening to various things in the shortwave bands there with that radio and then my mother had read about a radio club meeting in our school at that time and of course my father was the taxi service we lived in the country and he carted me into the radio meetings and a W2EZS was my mentor. ... I listened to what ever was out there. ... Yeah and just listen to what there was. Of course then there was a lot of HF and they still did the airline positioning reports were done on HF. ... I would find those, plus you had the cities around the world on the dial you know. ... Yeah, there was a couple of other guys in my class, K2OFY and K2OSN, the Bliesdale brothers they were interested also. There was another guy, but I forget the call signs of some of the other folks. ... Yeah, yeah, we were all pretty close (in age). ... They licensed before me...I was stuck out on the farm after that, and then of course we went through the normal stuff. You know radio was just one small, I'd say it was an integral part of my development there, but it was not, it didn't dominate my life. ... We did a tape recording of the Sputnik when it went up. We took the recording to our science class. ... I am not sure if it was a club project ... remember the club was just us guys."


The respondent went on to say that he was involved in sports, athletics, hunting, attended college, and had a career as a pilot in the Air Force. He indicated that his amateur radio experience has affected every facet of his professional life. Although he never studied communications as a profession, his amateur communications background contributed to his ability to set up remote radio stations, make phone patches, perform his duties, and stay in contact with his family while flying world-wide. He retired from the U.S. Air Force after 22 1/2 years, had a commercial aircraft sales position, but later went into emergency communications management with county government. He describes himself as having operated radio stations in Asia, Africa, and Central America. Today he is very involved in mentoring others in becoming amateur radio operators.


H15, Birth year - 1941, SDLRS - 271, Sex - Male, Race - White.
The respondent became interested in amateur radio when he was age 12. He built a one tube receiver and discovered that he could use it to transmit in the AM band. He describes himself as always being interested in science in school, but that he had no involvement with amateur radio. He didn't know anyone that was involved in the hobby. He discovered material on the hobby in the library, wrote the American Radio Relay League and got copies of their promotional material. He was a member of the Boy Scouts but his troop was never involved in radio. He was studying physics. His college had a ham club, he never became involved in the club. His formal interest in becoming an amateur radio operator materialized when he started teaching physics. He decided to make amateur radio a part of his classes. As he taught his students he acquired the knowledge to pass his the exam to acquire his own amateur radio license. He reported that he contacted a stranger to give him his first test and that he prepared for the exam alone. The hobby was never something he shared, except with his students in the classroom. He teaches in a college and has licensed two dozen foreign students who have used amateur radio to speak with their family and friends in their home countries. Today he serves as a mentor to the local hams, organizing on the air nets, and other group activities. His other hobbies include rocketry and model building.


L15, Birth year - 1941, SDLRS - 216, Sex - Male, Race - White.
The respondent reports that he is not currently active in amateur radio. He reports that his first interest in radio may have been kindled by his fathers description of a crystal radio set when he was a teenager. He reports that he started studying radio and electronics in the Navy. He attempted several correspondence courses, including a DeFry Institute course but never finished.


About six years after leaving the Navy he joined a local radio club, took their course and acquired his amateur radio license. Interestingly, this respondent communicated in short, two to five word, responses except when discussing current learning projects associated with his professional work. Then his responses increased to 50 to 250 words in length.


The respondent's self-assessment for why he approaches learning the way he does is that he may have a learning disability such as Dyslexia. He indicated he believed that individuals with learning disabilities are forced to devise ways to learn on their own.


Summary of Birth Year 1941
The four respondents born in 1941 present several common threads. Each respondent indicated a strong meso component to the events that led to their interest in the amateur radio hobby. Each indicated their first experience occurred at age 14 or before. There was no consistent pattern of the type of experience (micro, meso, macro), however, there was a strong communications component to each individual's experience and support through group experiences that aided them in kindling and sustaining their interest in radio. Born in 1941, they were too young to personally remember WW II which ended when they were age 4. The America they grew up in was optimistic after having just defeated the Axis Powers, but more aware than ever before that isolation from the rest of the world could no longer be considered a form of protection. The Cold War was in full swing, and the Korean Conflict occurred while these respondents were ages 9 through 12.


Discussion and Findings

The research designed called for interviewing 40 respondents. From the pool of respondents, 20 from the first quartile (Low group) and 20 from the fourth quartile (High group) were interviewed to determine if they had a single identifiable experience from their youth which influenced their ultimate entry into the amateur radio hobby. The interviews produced over 15,000 lines of transcribed text.


From the literature review it was determined that coding would address micro and macro events. A third category, meso events, was added. To these three categories the dimension of time was added permitting the age of the respondent to be associated with a micro, meso, or macro event. The data indicate that the average age of these events is in the range of 10 to 16 years. This suggests Massey's (1979) notion of value formation at age 10, might more correctly be thought of as age 12 to 14.


The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) data base records the year of birth of US amateur radio operators. HamCall (1993) is a commercial release of the FCC data base. This information was used to construct a histogram of the distribution of US amateur operators by birth year (see Figure 4). The total US population of amateur radio operators in 1990 was in excess of 500,000. A histogram, overlaid by a normal distribution curve graphically portrays those birth years during which higher and lower than expected numbers of amateur radio operators were born. The distribution was expected to be normal. Certain birth year periods, such as those associated with the Great Depression, World War II, and the Vietnam War appear to be associated with lower than expected numbers of amateur radio operators.


In particular, two points in time appear to be of interest; birth year 1922 and birth year 1935. The year 1922 is the point when the increase in the normal distribution turned negative and remained so through birth year 1935. It lends support to Massey's (1979) premise, supported by Bandura (1986) and Jarvis (1992) that value formation at about age 10 can affect a person for the rest of his or her life. By adding 10 to 12 years to their birth year period 1922 through 1935, it can been seen that these individuals experienced the Great Depression and World War II.


The FCC data base contains a number of individuals that maintain their amateur radio operators' license but who are not in fact active in the hobby. Since an amateur radio license is issued for a period of 10 years, with an additional two year grace, the FCC data base also contains a number of individuals who licensed but who are no longer active. The self-selected nature of the sample amateur radio operators used in this study insured that only active amateur radio operators were represented. Therefore, the study sample is a better representation of high self-directedness as indicated by being an amateur radio operator and a participant in the study.


Figure 5, Histogram of Sample by Age, confirms the selection of birth year 1922 and 1935, from Figure 4, as two birth years that produce fewer than expected amateur radio operators. It also supports the notion that the number of amateur radio operators that entered the hobby from the period of the Vietnam War was also well below normal.


Using Figure 5 and Mills' (Guba, 1985) method of agreement, the investigator sought to identify one type of experience that discriminated between those that are high in SDLR and those that are not. Birth years 1925, 1951, and 1962 appear to correlate with periods of increased numbers of amateurs. If one adds 10 years to see what was occurring in the US during the periods that Massy (1979) indicates values are being formed, the following pattern emerges. Birth year 1925 becomes 1935, near the end of the Depression, but before World War II. Birth year 1951 becomes 1961, after the Korean Conflict but before the Vietnam War. Birth year 1962 becomes 1972, generally after the Vietnam War. If we tentatively accept the notion that being an amateur radio operator is a demonstration of being high in SDLR, then the unexpected variation in the distribution of amateurs by birth year may be used as an indication of when something in the environment is effecting the development of high SDLR. It is interesting to note that respondents, during interviews, rarely mentioned these macro events, and never associated them with developing an interest in amateur radio. Yet, this does not mean that they were not influenced in some unknown way by the impact of the Great Depression on American society.


According to Mills method of difference, the investigator sought to identify one factor (type of experience/event) that was associated with the failure to develop high SDLR as evidenced by a below expected number of individuals that enter amateur radio by birth year. National crisis, operationally defined as a depression, or national war, appear to be a type of macro event that depresses the number of high SDLR individuals. Inspecting Figure 5, it can be seen that the number of amateurs by birth year is depressed for ages 75 to 77, ages 62 to 64, age 45, and ages 36 to 38, adjusted by Massey's (1979) value formation age. Thus adjusted, these ages corresponding to the Great Depression, World War II, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Vietnam War.


In accordance with Mills' joint method, the investigator sought one factor common to all instances when there is an increased evidence of high SDLR, and which is absent in all cases where there is evidence to suggest that SDLR is low. The above demonstration of data and discussion can be used to support the notion that a relationship exists between historical events and the development of SDLR, as demonstrated by variations in the amateur radio population by birth year. The common factor associated with increased high SDLR appears to be periods of national peace. When this factor is absent, there is evidence (fewer amateurs) that the manifestation of high SDLR is decreased.


Low Group
The Low group was more likely to engage in amateur radio as a member of a group. They typically had experiences within their family and immediate community that contributed to their lifelong interest in amateur radio. The Low group members were most often influenced by micro events. Less frequent were the larger cultural experiences. The macro experiences were generally associated with the introduction to technology such as the construction of a crystal radio set.


High Group
The High group members were more likely to engage in amateur radio alone. When in a group they often assumed the role of leader. All members of the High group encountered meso experiences that contributed to the lifelong interest in amateur radio. They were more likely to have multiple types of experiences (micro, meso, macro) that contributed to their developing and interest in amateur radio.


Micro Events
Micro events were associated with the respondent's immediate family. Typically they consisted of the gift of a crystal radio set at Christmas and its subsequent successful construction. Also common, was the experience of using a family radio with short wave bands to listen to foreign broadcasts. High group members tended to focus on the technology, while Low members tended to be more impressed with the ability to listen to foreign broadcasts and gather information about the world around them.


Meso Events
Meso events included experiences with friends, in clubs, at schools, and in church that can be associated with developing an interest in amateur radio. The most common form of meso event was associated with scouting activities. The second most common meso experience was having a close friend, often older, with whom the respondent was able to share the experience of becoming an amateur radio operator. Low group participants in meso events were often followers, while High group participants often assumed the leadership role.


Macro Events
The introduction of technology was the most common macro event, as manifested by either a crystal radio set, or the building of a more sophisticated type of radio receiver. A close second for the most common type of macro event was the use of a family owned shortwave receiver to listen to foreign broadcast stations. Typically, the macro experience was associated with an interest in the larger world and a desire to know more of what was happening. Even though, none of the respondents cited a major world event, depression, war, or conflict as contributing to their general interest in amateur radio these kind of events cannot be discounted entirely.


Peak Birth Year, Low Group
The peak birth year for the Low group corresponded with a peak in the total number of amateur radio operators being born at a particular point in time. Trying to understand what kinds of events lead to individuals generally low in SDLR to engage in high self directed learning activities seemed worthy of further exploration.


The peak birth year for the Low group was 1951, during the "baby boom". It coincides with a peak well above the normal distribution for the number of radio amateurs by birth year being born. An improved understanding of the micro, meso, and macro social environments that contributed to increased high SDLR activity is desirable. A common pattern, that may be helpful, emerged from the interview data. All respondents born in 1951 experienced micro, meso, and macro events that they associated with becoming amateur radio operators.


While having experiences in their youth that contributed to their interest in radio, none of the respondents born in 1951 actually acquired their amateur license in their youth. Instead, they each licensed later, after becoming fully adult; and in some degree they were motivated by the common desire to be able to communicate readily with other family members. They also found someone to assist them in acquiring their license. Born in 1951, they were too young to have direct personal memories of the Korean Conflict. The America they grew up in was conscious of world communication and technology. Their early developmental years preceded the Vietnam era (1964 - 1974) and seems to be characterized by a supportive macro climate that made it safe for meso learning relationships, and affluent enough for micro learning opportunities to be available.


Peak Birth Year, High Group
The peak birth year for the High group was 1941, a year that was well below the normal distribution for producing amateur radio operators. The question then becomes, what factors contributed to a large number of individuals becoming highly self-directed learners during a period that generally produced below the expected number of high SDLR individuals? Education was important and being able to manage the new technologies associated with electronics was a priority for school systems.


These respondents each reported having micro, meso, and macro experiences that contributed to their developing interest in radio. All experienced technology and the fascination associated with shortwave listening and building electronic equipment. Born in 1941, they were too young to have direct personal memories of World War II which ended when they were age 4. The America they grew up in was optimistic after having just defeated the Axis Powers, but more aware than ever before that isolation from the rest of the world could no longer be considered a form of protection. The Cold War was in full swing, and the Korean Conflict occurred while these respondents were ages 9 though 12.


What Kind of Association is there Between
Historical Events and the Development
of SDLR
?

There appears to be evidence to support the notion that there may be an association between the development of high SDLR and the events experienced by individuals during their youth. It is speculated that the strongest association appears to be macro, but is not reported by the respondents. Schooler (1990), among others, indicate that societal influences may exert pressure on individuals and influence their choices and propensity toward self-directedness unconsciously. The development of High SDLR appears to be tied to certain types of events at the micro and meso level, and to the introduction of new technology at the macro level.

Discussion

The examination of the Lowest and Highest quartiles and analysis of the respondents born in 1951 (Low SDLRS) and 1941 (High SDLRS) are informative. The interview data when coded as micro, meso, and macro phenomena imply some differences between Low quartile respondents and High quartile respondents. Low respondents tend to enter the amateur radio hobby with someone else. They are older when they license and identified micro events as the most common type of experience that led to their lifelong interest in amateur radio. High respondents are more likely to pursue their amateur radio interests alone. When in a group of amateurs they tend to assume the leadership role. They license at an earlier age than the Low respondents and the High respondents identify meso events as the most common type of experience that led to their lifelong interest in amateur radio.


As this inquiry is exploratory in nature and is designed to attempt to find associations rather than cause - effect it is not necessary here to establish why the differences exist. Neither is it necessary to conclude that the differences between Low and High quartile amateur radio respondents fully explain the differences in SDLRS between the two groups. Nevertheless, the identification of the kinds of differences that exist between Low and High respondents, such as the importance of micro events to one group versus the importance of meso events to the other provides opportunity for further study. Similar, the tendency to be a leader versus a follower needs to be explained. There are other interesting differences suggested in the interview data. For example, the 1951 Low SDLRS group members obtained their amateur radio licenses after becoming adults compared with the High SDLRS group licensing as adolescents. The interplay of micro, meso, and macro phenomena may be of further interest as elements in individual situations.


For example, the 1941 group members were born before the general availability of television. Also, telephones as communications instruments were limited in distribution. Compare that macro situation with the macro conditions that prevailed for the 1951 sample. They were born after television was gaining wide distribution in American homes, telephone communications was becoming common place, and the format and importance of radio broadcast was changing. Consequently, it can be speculated that the Low group members who were not particularly interested in being independent learners did not feel a need or develop an interest in the communications technology manifested by the 1941 High group. Of course, this does not explain how or why the 1951 group had low SDLRS scores, neither does it explain the reverse in the 1941 group, but it does reveal how macro phenomena may be related to behavior and preferences.


Summary
This chapter reports the results of the qualitative analysis of the interviews that sought to discover a single type of event that contributed to the development of High SDLR.
First the distribution of the sample of amateur radio operators by age was inspected against a normal distribution to determine if there were periods of time when the number of amateurs by birth year was above or below the normal distribution. Points in time were selected, both when the number of amateurs were high, and when the number of amateurs were low. These points in time were then considered in terms of major events that coincided with the development of an interest in amateur radio.


Qualitative interviews were analyzed from the Low and High group, coding micro, meso, and macro events in terms of the age of occurrence of each event in the life of the respondent, in order to associate various events with the development of SDLR.


The Low group peak birth year, and the High group peak birth year were further analyzed to determine what type of shared experiences might emerge from the analysis. The findings indicate support for the notion that the development of SDLR may be associated with individual experiences during the development years. Micro, meso, and macro events may play a part in the development of SDLR. The macro component appears to exert an unconscious influence on members of society.


The data indicate that the topic is complex and would benefit from further study. Each type of experience/event, micro, meso, and macro might influence the development of SDLR. The data indicate that exposure to new technology in the home can contribute to the development of high SDLR. Further, more opportunities to learn in a group setting may have a positive effect on the development of SDLR for members of the Low group. The macro component may be the most powerful in influencing the development of SDLR in a society.