Identifying significant variables in the transition from school to work : a causal model Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/cf95jf18s

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  • Evidence supporting the contribution of American high school curricula to student transition from school to work was inconclusive. Social science research indicated that high school programs had little effect upon student achievement after leaving school. This study developed a model to identify factors that influence the transition from school to work and that determine the relationship of school curricula to socioeconomic influences and criteria of success. Previous research indicated that IQ and aptitude test scores had positive effects on educational attainment and that educational attainment, in turn, influenced occupational status and income. Those who scored well on aptitude tests and attained more education were from higher socioeconomic families. To test the causal model, a population of 1,079 students who were enrolled in high school during the spring of 1981 was identified. School records and a survey questionnaire were used. Sixty percent of the subjects representative of a stratified population responded to the questionnaire. Significant linear relationships were found between each succeeding endogenous variable and the preceding independent variables in the path analysis. Testing of critical paths and omitted linkages led to model revisions. The final model explained 75 percent of the variance in job satisfaction. Occupation, income, and school program had greatest influence on job satisfaction. School program influenced occupation more than any other variable and was a significant influence on job satisfaction and income. Students whose parents had fewer years of education, scored lower on family environment and aptitude tests, and came from lower occupational status families, enrolled in more vocational education. Those who enrolled in more vocational education obtained higher status occupations and slightly more income and job satisfaction than those who took less or no vocational education. It was concluded that vocational education does help students make a smoother transition from school to work. A causal model identifying the significant variables in this transition was developed. Results of the study implied that educational institutions should conduct vocational education programs to enhance the transition from school to work. Replications of the study should occur to determine if regional variations affect the relationships established in the model.
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