ERIC Number: ED440793
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Local Economic Environment and Dropout Rates in Appalachia.
Pittman, Robert B.; Johnson, Julie T.
This study sought to determine if the existence of a particular type of industry in a county affected the high school dropout rate after the influence of the general economic environment had been considered. The study also sought to clarify how the degree of ruralness might influence any relationship between the local economic environment and dropout rates. Analysis of national census data from 1990 for each of the 406 counties in the Appalachian region revealed that the type of industries within a county accounted for a significant amount of variance in dropout rates beyond that attributable to socioeconomic status, child poverty levels, and unemployment levels. The incidence of construction industries and the manufacture of nondurable goods were associated with higher dropout rates within the counties, but the presence of an industry that requires high school completion as an entry-level condition did not prevent students from dropping out of high school. These findings were interpreted within the framework of developing career aspirations and commitment to school. The proportion of rural population in a county did not reduce the economic influence on dropout rates. Some consistent yet statistically nonsignificant findings suggest the possibility of a rural effect that deterred dropping out; however, this was speculated as being due to smaller school sizes rather than some other rural-related factor. (Contains 22 references.) (TD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A