ERIC Number: ED293968
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Apr
Dropout Causes and Characteristics: Do Local Findings Confirm National Data?
Gastright, Joseph F.; Ahmad, Zulfi
Many school systems find that information routinely collected about dropouts on the national level is not useful for describing or studying the nature of their dropout problem. This report presents comparisons of local dropout characteristics with results from national studies. A profile of dropout characteristics was obtained from a large urban district. The profile was accurate in that it was used successfully to identify much of the dropout population from the records of former students. The following factors were important in developing the profile: (1) time of dropping out; (2) effect of failure and overagedness; (3) academic performance; (4) discipline problems; (5) problems with work; (6) poverty and home conditions; and (7) self-reported causes. When comparisons were made between the self-reported causes of local dropouts and those in a national sample no one cause or cluster of causes was found to be statistically significant. This suggests that dropout problems are not simple and generic but complex and highly particular. Intervention programs must be designed to serve at-risk students with specific combinations of problems. The research instruments, a bibliography, and data tables are included. (VM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Ford Foundation, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: Cincinnati Public Schools, OH.
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 5-9, 1988).