Studies indicate increased deviant behavior among college students particularly, the newly admitted students. In fact, deviant behavior among the college fresh students has remained a major concern for educational institutions. The determination of the causes and impacts of the behavior would increase the understanding of the behavior and enable the academic institutions to respond effectively to the concerns raised by the students. The study will be examining the causes of this behavior and the possible impact on learners and other stakeholders.
Deviant behavior among college students has caused concern among stakeholders in the educational sector. Sometimes this behavior may be extreme, creating risk among the affected student or their schoolmates. Many institutions have been grappling with this problem over the years, especially among the freshmen. When newly enrolled in schools, these students always find themselves in a new environment that needs a different approach of thinking and behavior (Anderson, 2014). Some of them would respond positively to these changes, while others tend to be violent in their response. This research seeks to investigate causes of this behavior and the possible impact on learners and other stakeholders.
It is important to clearly define the timeline for this research project in order to define the time available for various activities. This project has to be completed within six weeks. The Gantt chart below shows some of the important activities in this project, and their timeline.
Timeline of the Activities in Project
|1stWeek (25Aug-2ndSep)||2ndWeek (3-10thSep)||3rdWeek (11-18thSep)||4thWeek (19-26thOct)||5-6th Week (29 Sep-6thOct)|
|Data Collection Process|
|Analysis of the Data|
|Summary of the Findings|
As shown in the above Gantt chart, this process is expected to take ten weeks to be completed. Each of the activities has a set timeline, but some of them can be completed within a shorter period. It is important to note that the weekends have not been considered as working days. This means that a week has only five working days. In the first week, the main activity will be problem identification. In the second week, the researcher will review relevant literatures. The third stage will be data collection. Data analysis will be the fourth step, while summary of the findings will be the final stage of this research project.
Time spent at college is seen as one of the most exciting periods of a person’s life. However, this period is also associated with deviant behavior among freshmen who are exposed to a variety of issues. In the first place, they may be overloaded by academic tasks. At the same time, this period is seen as the first year of freedom and, hence, freshmen may try to have new experiences, but such inclinations tend to result in such issues as pregnancy, diseases, fights, which, in their turn, lead to expulsion.
Freshmen can be regarded as the most vulnerable group of students as they are not experienced enough to develop proper behavioral patterns. More so, they deem that their new status is their chance to be truly free and totally responsible for their behavior though they often prove to be absolutely irresponsible (Hickson & Roebuck, 2009). Ford and Schroeder (2009) stress that the first year in college is also a period when students try illicit drugs, which is young people’s response to considerable academic load and peer pressure. Young people are often unable to control themselves and act violently. Furthermore, peer pressure and neglect of major rules may case freshmen engage in sexual intercourse without paying attention to the consequences.
The researcher works at a junior college and would witness these deviant behaviors each day. The researcher also understands that young people get into more trouble than they can possibly handle and they need assistance. Admittedly, we are responsible for providing proper conditions for our students but we also have to guide them and help them cope with (or avoid) a variety of issues. We have to help freshman obtain the necessary experience to make them ready for further load in following years. It is necessary to note that deviant behavior among freshmen is a serious problem which has to be handled. This behavior often leads to disease, pregnancy and fights that result in expulsion. This is a serious issue which has to be handled to ensure that young people will be able to obtain higher education and will also land a well-paid job.
In this study, those who will be studied are selected freshmen in the college. The focus of the study will be to determine the causes of deviant behavior, the impact, and how it can be addressed. The researcher will also determine why the behavior is common among the youth. The research process will begin on 25th of August to 6th October.
Peer influence and the freedom enjoyed by college students have created a social dilemma due to the emergence of behaviors that contravene the social norm. Such behaviors, otherwise known as deviant behaviors, are defined as a set of practices or approaches to life that go against the existing set of norms (Bryant, 1990). The growth of deviant behavior in college students has been associated with a number of biological, environmental and social factors inherent within the institutions. Though behavioral deviance is affected by time and place, college freshmen have adopted a fairly uniform sociological behavioral pattern (Leppel, 2006).
Deviant behavior is directly responsible for poor academic performance, substance abuse and increased student involvement in criminal activities (Anderson, 2014). In most instances, students have engaged in activities such as binge drinking, body piercing, hard substance abuse among other criminal activities as a result of deviance in their behaviors (Leppel, 2006). This literature review will analyze a number of scholarly publications and books on deviant behaviors in college freshmen. The sources reviewed will be grouped based on the nature of deviant behaviors tackled, the method of investigation and the similarity in their findings. An examination of the articles that will be reviewed shows that the deviant behavior is associated with substance abuse in college freshmen. For example, most of the articles have categorized binge drinking as a direct cause of deviant behavior in students. In most instances as demonstrated in the articles, substance abuse arises as a result of the protest among students against the academic or family issues.
Deviant Behavior and Substance Abuse in College Freshmen
Most of the articles have categorized binge drinking as a direct impact of deviant behavior in students (Anderson, 2014). As demonstrated in the articles, in most instances, substance abuse is triggered as a direct response of a student to numerous academic or family issues (Daniel, 2001). Increase in deviant behaviors has been associated with an increase in substance abuse among college students across the United States. A number of literature sources that examined the relationship between deviant behavior and increased substance abuse in college freshmen have been reviewed (Anderson, 2014). Hickson and Roebuck (2009) analyzed the relationship that exists between increased substance abuse in college freshmen and deviant behaviors. They found that deviant behaviors may vary from one college freshman to another, but have a common denominator of showing rebellious attitude. For example, most college freshmen engage in activities such as skipping classes, stealing from colleagues, starting a fire within the school compound and the destruction of property. In this study, freshmen from Virginia Commonwealth University were engaged in quantitative research. In their study, Hickson and Roebuck (2009) explain that a correlation exists between deviant behavior and frequency of substance abuse among college freshmen.
In Leppel (2006), the impact of deviant and mainstream behavior in influencing college binge drinking in freshmen was evaluated. By examining the issue of binge drinking from the two different cultures, Leppel (2006) showed the role of deviant behavior in guiding this development in college freshmen. Using the logistic (“logic”) regression, Leppel (2006) explored the impacts that different cultural factors had in controlling this behavior in college freshmen. In this article, the genesis of deviant behavior among college freshmen was evaluated. Contrary to the common perception of people, deviant behavior in college freshmen did not begin after the admission into the institution. Instead, the cultural setting and environment that a freshman had been exposed to as a teenager influenced the stability of their behavior and willingness to engage in such activities as binge drinking.
Likewise, Anderson (2014) addressed the key concepts of deviant behavior and the factors causing it. According to the author, deviant behavior among most teenagers rarely goes beyond copying some of the elements of celebrities’ style, including tattoos, piercing, clothes, etc. The author notes that, paying little attention to the innuendoes hidden behind the stylistic choices of their idols; teenagers copy a large variety of behaviors (Anderson, 2014). For example, the aforementioned tattoos can be attributed to a vast variety of cultures. However, it is even more intriguing that teenagers not only copy the aforementioned elements of style, thus, defining the very concept of deviant behavior, but also alter the specifics of culture that these elements of style are attributed. As a result, rebellious teenagers alter the reputation of the tattooed “from that of criminal and laborers to that of artists and free thinkers” (Anderson, 2014). The transformation is truly fascinating; more to the point, it makes one wonder whether the notorious dependency of teenagers on fads is actually the evidence of teenagers’ suggestibility. Instead, the phenomenon in question can be viewed as the ability of teenagers to transform the symbols of the existing cultures into something entirely new. Though the idea might seem alluring, it is still worth admitting that the transformations, which delinquent teenagers make to specific symbols of other cultures, are still enhanced by the role models foisted onto young people by modern media. Therefore, either way, the so-called rebellion of teenagers is, in fact, a result of careful manipulations of corporations promoting a certain teenager lifestyle in order to cash in on teenagers’ naivety (Anderson, 2014).
Durkin, Wolfe and Clark (1999) approached the issue of deviant behavior from the perspective of the social bond theory to define how the specified type of behavior affects the development of binge drinking in college freshmen. A number of social variables affect the development of deviant behavior traits in college freshmen, and their involvement in binge drinking can be viewed as one of these variables, since environmental factors has a direct correlation with the rates of deviant behavior among teenagers. This will reduce the likelihood of their engaging in substance abuse-related activities such as binge drinking. In the development of young people, Durkin, Wolfe and Clark (1999) argued that family attachment and a strong relationship is of primary importance. Ham and Hope (2003) identified a connection between increased drinking problem in college students and deviant behaviors. In this study, major psychological forces that influence binge drinking among college students are analyzed. These include demographic variables, family history, and social challenges, among other motives that are related to the development of deviant behaviors.
Deviant Behavior and Self-injury
To express their dissatisfaction with the system, the environment or the academic issues, as well as the issues related to relationships with teachers, deviant college freshmen often consider self-injury as a deviant behavior. Consequently, students use piercing, tattooing and the related techniques in order to manifest their protest against the system (Anderson, 2014).
In Koch, Roberts, Armstrong and Owen (2010), the links between bodies of art, piercing and self-harm and deviant behaviors among college freshmen was examined. This examination was done with a background comparison to the impact of media on fresh college students. Based on the sub-cultural theory, Koch et al. (2010) noted that students who indulge in self-injury and body piercing are more likely to have deviant behaviors. In such a case, students need assistance to resist the subculture notion of beauty that is foisted on them. To test this proposition, Koch et al. (2010) surveyed 1753 American college students, who were required to provide a report on their history of deviant behaviors. They realized that peer pressure was the main reason why youths engaged in such acts. The researchers legalized that with proper counseling, this problem can be solved.
High School Origin of College Freshmen Deviant Behavior
In Daniel (2001), the role of technology and the internet in reshaping the perception of high school students before joining college is evaluated. The background that students acquire from high school significantly affects their attitude and behavior during the freshman stage in college. Daniel (2001) interrogated the role that technology plays in shaping the development of deviant behaviors among college freshmen while they do their final year in high school. He realized that exposure to internet at early ages was one of the factors that motivated deviant behavior among the youth.
Sunstein (2000) interrogated the link between high school deviant behaviors and increase in substance abuse among college freshmen. According to Sunstein (2000), deviant behaviors are manifested at an early age and do not necessarily begin from college. In this study, the duo interrogated the impact of deviant behaviors among high school students once they join college. The deviant behaviors considered by Sunstein (2000) are related to the symptoms of conduct disorder.
Just like in Sunstein (2000), Bryant (1990) evaluated the relationship between deviant behaviors in high school students and how this spills into freshmen college students. The prevalence of deviant behavior within the college setup was assessed, and the factors that affected their growth or decline were shown. A total of 175 college students from Wooster College were engaged in the study that looked at their engagement in criminal activities among other deviant behaviors. Parental care, peer pressure, and access to the internet were identified to be the leading factors that influenced deviant behavior.
Comparison of the Articles Reviewed
Most of the articles that have been reviewed in this paper have focused on the causes of deviant behavior among the college students. Leppel (2006), Durkin, Wolfe and Clark (1999) and Ham and Hope (2003) have focused on the relationship between deviant behavior and substance abuse in college freshmen. Though the aims of these four papers are common, the approach that they have adopted is significantly different. For example, Sunstein (2000) used quantitative research approach in which students from a single university were surveyed. Despite the variation in the approaches adopted for the surveys, these articles have provided a link between binge drinking and substance abuse with deviant behavior.
Koch et al. (2010) have examined a different social practice that is common in deviant college freshmen. Based on these two articles, students with a disturbed background are more likely to resort to self-harm to show their frustration with the established system. Such behaviors include body piercing, self-harm, tattoos among other body art. Such behaviors are indicative of the level of deviance in the student and are directly associated with their social background.
Deviant Behavior and its Regulation
Deviant behavior is, unfortunately, not new to the legal system of the United States; consequently, a range of legal papers shed some light on the problem, as well as provide means for addressing it. The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (1974), though comparatively old, not only outlines the key types of juvenile delinquent behavior, but also suggests efficient measures for addressing the increasing rates of crime among youth. It is essential that the specified act creates the premises for correcting the behavior of delinquent adolescents instead of imprisoning them and, therefore, depriving them of the opportunity to integrate back into the society. The Prevention of Serious and Violent Juvenile Offending Act (2000), in its turn, is a more recent legal document, which provides essential information regarding juvenile crimes and, therefore, serves as means of raising awareness among the U.S. population. This document outlines what may be classified as a criminal offence, and measures that can be taken to ensure that youths do not engage in them. A thorough analysis of the phenomenon and an efficient guide to juvenile crimes prevention, this paper is a decent update on one of the most topical issues in the modern U.S. society.
Alcohol abuse, rape and deviant behavior are common among college freshmen as reported by Koch et al. (2010). Based on the sub-cultural theory, Koch et al. (2010) noted that students, who embrace self-harm and body piercing are more likely to have deviant behaviors. In this research, the primary psychosocial factors that determine the development of a drinking problem in college students are examined. These include demographic variables, family history, and social challenges, among other motives that are related to the development of deviant behaviors. Koch et al. (2010) report that the deviant behavior has roots in college experiences, and this makes freshmen more susceptible. From this review, the role of deviant behavior in the emergence of criminal activities among college freshmen is evident. However, the genesis of deviance in students remains a controversial issue as none of the articles reviewed has exhaustively addressed the issue. Consequentially, research should focus on the determination of the genesis of deviant behaviors in high schools and colleges.
Data Collection Plan
Data collection plan involves establishing a systematic procedure through which data will be collected in order to produce valid and reliable results. The type of data depends on the topic of the study and the nature of the research. The type of data that will be required in this study is quantitative, though the qualitative approach, a survey, will be applied in the data collection processes. In other words, the study will wholly apply a survey method of data collection. The survey method is important given the fact that the study is purposeful, personal, dynamic, and inventive oriented. The qualitative data collection method is highly recommended for studies involving human behavior due to the fact that it is easier to draw conclusions based on the identified relationships (Bell, 2005). Essentially, in this study, a survey research technique will be drawn on. By employing the survey research method, any ensuing unanticipated research proposition will be suggested as well as formulated. Besides, the costs of the study will somehow be reduced. The research method is considered to be amongst the best given that it rarely stands a chance of disqualifying any notable alternative explanations because it surmise to the event causations.
Data Collection Plan
In this study, the data collection plan will involve various stages ranging from the identification of the sample to actual data collection procedures. It is imperative in any qualitative study to identify the sample and develop the instruments for data collection prior to the actual procedure of data collection. In this study, sample and sampling procedures, instrumentation and data collection will be conducted sequentially.
Sample and Sampling Procedure
The study will be conducted among students who have just entered the college. In this particular study, all the students who have just entered the college are deemed viable. However, only a small number of participants including 135 fresh students will be selected via simple random sampling procedures. The random sampling method is considered to be the best due to its simplicity and unbiased representation of the study respondents (Punch, 2006). Moreover, given the fact that all the fresh students in college have an equal chance of being selected for the study, random sampling procedure appears to be the best method.
In order to have a list of all new students, a copy of fresh students’ admission register will be obtained from the college administration. The list will then be divided using simple demographic variables including gender. Once the numbers of both male and female fresh students have been established, the lists are then divided into groups containing equal number of names. The number must be odd in order to choose the name that appears in the middle. The result is the simple randomly selected equal number of names unbiased representation of both male and female fresh students. The selected students are then approached to seek for their consent in order to participate in the study. Upon their agreement to participate in the study, the students are then briefed on the importance of the study, the need for their honesty, the rewards as well as pother ethical considerations. The participants are also briefed on how to handle the survey questionnaire and the time they are required to return the survey questionnaires.
However, the demographic attributes will guide the sampling process, factors including gender and age will be applied during the sampling procedures in order to determine the variations in the deviant behavior across the demographic attributes. Even though it is believed that the deviant behaviors are common among the male students, the female sex also indicates some kind of deviant behavior. However, such behaviors are not pronounced as in the case of male students. Essentially, in this study, the participants will be selected through simple random sampling procedures guided by the above attributes.
As indicated, the survey will be the main data collection procedure. As such, data perceived to be containing the relevant research information for this study will be acquired qualitatively through a survey questionnaire. Given the fact that the study involves the determination of the human behavior, the questionnaire will contain the open-ended questions in order to allow increased flexibility for the respondents to attend to some of the pertinent issues that could have not been captured. Questions the enable the participants to identify the behaviors they consider deviant and the corresponding solutions enables the researchers to evaluate the reasons and causes of the behavior. In other words, the semi-structured questions allowing the respondents to give whatever type of response they wish remains critical in determining why the students engage in deviant beghaviors. Specifically, the researcher will encourage the respondents to give their lived experiences about being fresh in college.
Generally, the questionnaire will be simple and self explanatory. Most of the questions that relate to the study behaviors will be easily understood by the respondents. Besides, the questions that will be used to measure the attitudes and feelings of the college fresh students will be based on the Likert scale, which provide a wide range of choices for the respondents to identify (Offredy &Vickers, 2013). Before the actual survey, the questionnaire will be tested in order to determine its reliability and validity in the data collection process. However, various risk issues will have to be taken into consideration. In most surveys, there is the risk associated with the respondents giving false information (Seidman, 2012). In order to avoid the problems, the questionnaires will be designed to allow flexibilities for the researcher to provide individual participants with more guidance on how to respond to the questions depending on the observations.
Once the survey questionnaire has been developed and tested, it will be distributed to the selected participants. Besides, given the fact that the questionnaire is direct and easily understood, the participants will be given only one day to respond to the pertinent questions. The questionnaires will then be selected and the response rate determined. Even though one hundred percent response rate is expected, some participants may fail to respond due unavoidable circumstances (Bryman & Bell, 2011).
Generally, in this study, as a survey that involves self-administration of the research questionnaires, the pertinent primary data that include the perceived quality information will be gathered (Bryman & Bell, 2011). In essence, a comprehensive exploration instrument will be developed besides being satisfactorily tested prior to embarking on the actual research study. The soundly designed research questionnaire will be used in the data collection process.
Data collection is the most important stage in the data collection plan. As one of the most important correlational studies in the behavior of college freshmen, most of the data will be collected through surveys. A survey questionnaire will be self-administered to the randomly chosen participants. The properly and well-structured study survey will be administered to 135 participants fresh students picked from different departments within the college. The questionnaire will be divided into various parts. Each part will focus on a particular studied behavior. For instance, part one will constitute the causes of deviant behavior among the fresh college students while part two will elicit on the impacts of the deviant behavior among the new students in terms of their studies, relationships and staying in college. The other sections will provide more information on the reason why the behavior is common among the college fresh students amidst offering recommendations on how the issue could be addressed. All the data will be collected within the specified time frame.
However, before embarking on the actual data collection process, certain ethical issues have to be considered. In other words, like in any research study, ethical issues are likely to emerge. Thus, ethical consideration is critical. Ethics are values or moral obligations the researcher has to observe during the research process. The moral obligations are normally associated with the consent of the participants and confidentiality (Kline, 2010). Like in most professional practices, confidentiality is the moral obligation to ensure that the information provided by the respondents is kept private. The information can only be shared in the circumstance that the respondents have provided the permission or when it is so important that it could be used to save the life of the third party. Informed consent is the permission of the respondent to take part in the study process (Kline, 2010). The researcher has to explain to the respondent the importance of the study and why it is important for the respondents to take in the study. The two important issues with guide the conducts in this study.
Nevertheless, before undertaking on this study, all the requirements will be completed as a requisite by the research committee as well as the department. In addition, all the participants will be provided with information concerning their freedom of participation using the stated standards (Kline, 2010). A letter of introduction specifying and explaining the aims of the study and the standard methods will also be provided. The letter will also provide an assurance of the confidentiality of their information. Moreover, information sheet guiding and describing the study will also be provided. The participants will also be made aware that they can remove their participation without any consequence. Lastly, the participants will be provided with letter of consent.
An approval will be sought from the responsible authority particularly the institution and safeguards will be put in place during and after the research study to help protect the respondents and any other human subjects. In fact, both physical and emotional harm that may accrue will be given due consideration in this section by stating the basic ethical approach along with the power differentials between the researcher and the respondents as well as how the participants will be protected from any eminent abuses (Kiessling & Harvey, 2005). Finally, the information acquired from the study participants will be securely stored and protected whereas study-finding reports will not divulge the participants’ identification.
Conversely, much of the information will be obtained from the review of relevant literature on the concerned topic. For this particular case, the study intends to trace the causes and impact of deviant behavior among the fresh college students. As such, the data from the literature review will concentrate on the impacts and causes of deviant behaviors among college students.
A number of resources will be needed to complete this study including journal articles, books, and the internet. Given the fact that the study with be a survey involving self-administration questionnaire the cost is expected to reduce. Generally, the cost is expected to remain at approximately $13,400. The larger percentage will majorly be funded by the college. The cost include the books and articles purchases for the literature review, reproduction expenses for the questionnaires, reproduction expenses for the manuscripts and reports, software and digital recording, researcher’s travel expenses, internet costs and the miscellaneous expenses as indicated in the table below:
|Books and articles purchases||6,500|
|Reproduction expenses (questionnaires)||500|
|Reproduction expenses (manuscript/report)||500|
|Software and digital recording||1,895|
Data Analysis Phase
Grove and Gray (2010) argued that the best data analysis method should resonate with the nature of the data collected. The chapter has already shown that the survey method is the main data collection technique. Since survey outline the main data collection technique, an inductive approach will suffice. The study will choose the inductive research approach because it can condense raw data into easily comprehensible summaries. Furthermore, this analytical approach easily establishes the link between the raw data obtained from the surveys and the research objectives. From this process, it is easy to develop a framework for understanding all the different sets of raw data obtained from the surveys. Studies indicate that the general inductive approach provides an easy to use and systematic set of procedures for analyzing qualitative data that can produce reliable and valid findings (Cottrell & McKenzie, 2010). Some researchers have criticized the inductive research approach for failing to provide a strong analytical focus for theory or model development (LoBiondo-Wood & Haber, 2013). However, this study uses inductive research approach in developing the survey questionnaire because it provides a simple evaluation of direct survey questions. Indeed, many researchers find the inductive approach easier to use than other data analysis methods.
Various data coding tools have been applied in various studies. However, in this study, the free hand coding tool will be applied. The reason is that the method has been proved to be accurate and easy to understand compared with other methods (Martyn, 2010). In addition, free hand coding tool ensure consistency in the data recording. In other words, using the free hand coding tool, the accuracy, consistency and reliability in the data coded will be ensured.
Given that most of the data will be quantitative, the data analysis will follow the quantitative procedures. In other words, in order to obtain the best correlation approximation values, the study quantitative data analysis will be carried out by utilizing the integrated statistical analytical tools particularly, the SPSS. Further, the quantitative data analysis techniques including spearman’s correlation will be applied. Other techniques including percentages, frequency distribution and deviations will be partially used to determine the research respondents’ proportions that chose various responses. The spearman’s correlation will be applied for each group of items available in the questionnaire that ideally corresponds to the formulated research question and objectives. Line graphs, tables and statistical bar charts will be used to make sure that quantitative data analysis is simply comprehensible (LoBiondo-Wood & Haber, 2013).
Content analysis would be employed on the published data or reviewed literature to determine the frequency with which the variables under the study have been linked particularly, the causes of deviant behavior among the college fresh students. Through the content analysis, the patterns and instances in which deviant behaviors occur among the fresh students will be identified (Gravetter & Wallnau, 2009). The conclusion on the causes, impacts and the reasons why the deviant behaviors occur among the fresh college students will be made. Similarly, the information from the surveys will be analyzed to identify the contrasts and relationships observed in the literature. Matching the patterns in the literature and the real data will help in establishing a model that could be used to explain how the deviant behaviors occur among the college fresh students (Gravetter & Wallnau, 2009).
In order to examine the cause, impact and the reasons why deviant behavior exists among the college fresh students, this particular research study will utilize mixed method approach. The obligatory explorative data will be gathered across the study population selected through randomly selective procedures. A survey research technique will be drawn on while the integrated statistical analysis tools will be applied to help analyze the obtained data. By employing the survey research methods, any ensuing unanticipated research proposition will be suggested as well as formulated. The costs of the study will somehow be reduced. The research method is considered to be amongst the best given that it rarely stands a chance of disqualifying any notable alternative explanations because it surmise to the event causations.
The study aims to establish the causes, effects and the reasons why newly admitted students engage in deviant behaviors. The study will utilize the mixed method approach in examining these relationships. Most of the quantitative data will be obtained through surveys while secondary sources will be reviewed to unveil more information concerning the deviant behaviors of college freshmen. The data that will be obtained qualitatively through a survey will be analyzed through the application of quantitative methods while secondary data will be analyzed through content analysis. The analyzed data will help in establishing the effects and causes of deviant behaviors of college fresh students as well as the reasons why they involve in search behaviors. Besides, the information will be useful to the academic institutional decision and policy makers in establishing the best strategy to approach the issue.
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