ERIC Number: ED327624
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990
Reference Count: N/A
Hanging In and Dropping Out: Voices of At-Risk High School Students.
The urban high school dropout phenomenon may result from the inability of at-risk students to integrate competing social identities, or "selves." Using Erik Erikson's theory of adolescent personality development as a framework, this study analyzes information gathered from interviews with 73 New York City high school students by peer interviewers. Student attitudes toward the following areas of personal development are analyzed: (1) career; (2) sex; (3) peer relationships; (4) family relationships; (5) parenthood; (6) school; (7) boredom; and (8) drugs. The following findings are discussed: (1) while the formation of an occupational identity is the student's most important developmental task, most adolescents are more concerned with their sexual identities; (2) peers seem to have more immediate impact on the student's life than family; (3) while parenthood may become the major force in the lives of some adolescent mothers, others are completely unaffected by it; (4) career, sex, peer and family relationships, and motherhood are greater concerns than school; (5) boredom, the result of inadequate adjustment to school, appears to be the first in a series of steps to dropping out; (6) drugs are the most destructive force in students' lives; and (7) conflicts in the meaning of school as between teachers and students must be overcome in formulating solutions to the dropout problem. A vocational education program could provide the environment that at-risk students need to focus and integrate their conflicting selves. A list of 43 references is appended. (FMW)
Descriptors: Adolescents, Dropout Prevention, High Risk Students, High School Students, High Schools, Individual Development, Interviews, Personality Theories, Preschool Education, Primary Education, Public Schools, School Attitudes, Student Attitudes, Teacher Attitudes, Urban Youth, Vocational Education
Teachers College Press, 1234 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10027 ($16.95 pbk--ISBN-0-8077-3003-3; $32.95 cloth--ISBN-0-8077-3004-1).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Erikson (Erik); New York (New York)