ERIC Number: ED208288
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Use of a Biographical Questionnaire in the Early Identification of College Dropouts.
Shaffer, Garnett Stokes
In the past only academic variables have performed well in the prediction of attrition. Ideally, persons in higher education would like to predict attrition prior to its occurrence, but many academic variables are not available until after the fact. Thus, the isolation of those motivational and personality variables which identify individuals as "high risk," or potential dropouts is critical. Biographical information can be useful in this context because it is a good predictor of any criterion heavily saturated with motivation. To identify academic and nonacademic factors which predict attrition within the college freshman year, biographical information from student questionnaires was assessed. Results demonstrated that dropouts and persisters could be differentiated on the basis of nonacademic background factors. Male persisters had backgrounds of high academic achievement in high school, higher socioeconomic status, and were allowed more freedom by their parents than male dropouts. Female persisters had histories of previous leadership experience, closer relationships to their mothers, and higher academic achievement in high school than female dropouts. Additionally, subgroups of males identified as "high risk" remained stable in terms of their dropout composition over an eight-year period. The findings suggest a strategy for identifying, at the time of admission, whole groups of potential dropouts and for planning some type of intervention to prevent attrition. (Author/JAC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association (27th, Atlanta, GA, March 25-28, 1981).