ERIC Number: ED196595
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1980-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Stability and Change in Educational and Occupational Aspirations: Longitudinal Analyses from Preadolescence to Young Adulthood.
Howell, Frank M.; Frese, Wolfgang
Using two panel studies which collectively covered the preadolescent-to-young adulthood period in the life cycle, the study focused on the issues of level of aspiration formation, stability, and race-sex subgroup invariance. The panel studies collected data from youths from (1) rural areas with towns of 2,500 or less and urban areas with cities of 40,000 or more characterized by school drop-out, unemployment, and poverty; and (2) counties with a more rural population, characterized by higher proportions of black residents and lower socioeconomic levels. The analysis utilized an unobserved construct approach via confirmatory factor analytic models. Findings indicated that socioeconomic background has a continuing, and at times increasing, influence on level of educational (LEA) and occupational (LOA) aspirations. The increasing stability of both LEA and LOA (described through the process of "crystallization") indicated that, while students from low grade school to early high school will change and thus be susceptible to attempts at raising career awareness through career education programs, a delay until the sophomore year or later might substantially lower such a program's chances of success. In terms of subgroup invariance, most of the structural departures from invariance examined were interpretable in light of other pertinent research reports. No strong evidence was found for differential race-sex subgroup reliability in "idealistic" and "realistic" indicators of the level of aspiration construct. (Author/CM)
Descriptors: Academic Aspiration, Adolescents, Agricultural Colleges, Attitude Change, Blacks, Career Awareness, Career Education, Elementary Secondary Education, Females, Goal Orientation, Higher Education, Land Grant Universities, Males, Occupational Aspiration, Rural Youth, Socioeconomic Background, Student Characteristics, Whites, Young Adults
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Cooperative State Research Service (USDA), Washington, DC.; Mississippi State Univ., Mississippi State.
Authoring Institution: Mississippi Agricultural Experiment Station, State College.