Family structure, process, and values as influences on educational aspirations among rural youth
Abstract (Summary)One hundred eight adolescents and parents from four rural counties in Ohio were surveyed to examine the influence of family process variables on rural adolescents' educational aspirations. The adolescent's desired level of educational attainment after high school was used to assess educational aspirations. The independent variables were: (a) parents' SES as measured by mothers' and fathers' level of education, (b) parental values regarding gender roles and work ethics, (c) family cohesion, (d) family communication (mother-adolescent and the father-adolescent), (e) the adolescent's perceived parental emotional support for continuing education beyond high school, and (f) the adolescent's perceived financial support from parents for continuing education beyond high school. Both a mother model and a father model were tested to identify the path from parents' educational level to adolescent educational aspirations.Results of the hypotheses testing were mixed. In the mother's model, only mother's level of education was significantly related to adolescent aspirations. In contrast, the father's model indicated that father's level of education and communication between father and adolescent were significantly correlated with adolescent educational aspirations. In both models family cohesion was also found to impact both an adolescent's perceived support for education and communication between the parent-adolescent dyads.The findings of this study lend support to status attainment theory and suggest that rural parents' educational level will have a direct effect on adolescent aspirations. The model also provides exploratory support for family process variables having some impact on the educational aspirations of rural adolescents.
School:The Ohio State University
School Location:USA - Ohio
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Date of Publication:01/01/1998