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The Role of Occupational Aspirations and Career Expectations in the Development of Youth Leadership Life Skills in Rural...

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0044766/00001

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Title: The Role of Occupational Aspirations and Career Expectations in the Development of Youth Leadership Life Skills in Rural Adolescents
Physical Description: 1 online resource (154 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Davison, Jason Lamar
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2012

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: adolescent -- aspirations -- at-risk -- behaviors -- expectations -- identity -- leadership -- occupational -- rural -- skills
Agricultural Education and Communication -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Agricultural Education and Communication thesis, M.S.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: The development of adolescents into responsible and productive citizens continues to be aim of parents, teachers, and school administrators. This research seeks to discover the linkage between occupational aspiration and leadership life skills in rural adolescents. The theoretical stage development frameworks of Erikson, Kohlberg and Gottfredson are sued as a basis for the study. A sample population of middle school student from two small, rural communities in North Central Florida was given a researcher-designed survey instrument using the Youth Leadership Life Skills Development Scale (Seever, Dormody, & Clason, 1995) and modified version of Bajema, Miller,& Williams (2002) instrument assessing occupational aspirations. Seven constructs of occupational aspirations: environmental and cognitive barriers,environmental, academic, and spiritual importance to future, and perception of themselves and others. Leadership life skills were measured and calculated based on the instrument scale. Standard descriptive statistics were used to describe the sample population. Welch’s robust test of equality was performed to find any statistical difference of leadership life skills and demographic variables.Pearson product moment correlation tests were used to discover any relationship between the occupational aspirations and leadership life skill development. A Welch’s robust test of equality was run on the independent variables and the development of leadership life skills. The student’s parent marriage status was the only variable determined to have significant difference (W= 10.779, p=.000). A Games-Howell Correction was performed and discovered that the choice of none of the above was significant different than married, never divorced, married,previously divorced, and single parent. A Pearson product moment correlation test was run on the constructs of occupational aspirations and development of leadership life skills. A negative correlation was found with the importance of environment to a person’s future (r= -.26, p r= .43, pr= .43, p< .01) had a moderate positive correlation with the development of leadership life skills. No other significant relationships were found between variables.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Jason Lamar Davison.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2012.
Local: Adviser: Stedman, Nicole Lamee Perez.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2012
System ID: UFE0044766:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0044766/00001

Material Information

Title: The Role of Occupational Aspirations and Career Expectations in the Development of Youth Leadership Life Skills in Rural Adolescents
Physical Description: 1 online resource (154 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Davison, Jason Lamar
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2012

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: adolescent -- aspirations -- at-risk -- behaviors -- expectations -- identity -- leadership -- occupational -- rural -- skills
Agricultural Education and Communication -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Agricultural Education and Communication thesis, M.S.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: The development of adolescents into responsible and productive citizens continues to be aim of parents, teachers, and school administrators. This research seeks to discover the linkage between occupational aspiration and leadership life skills in rural adolescents. The theoretical stage development frameworks of Erikson, Kohlberg and Gottfredson are sued as a basis for the study. A sample population of middle school student from two small, rural communities in North Central Florida was given a researcher-designed survey instrument using the Youth Leadership Life Skills Development Scale (Seever, Dormody, & Clason, 1995) and modified version of Bajema, Miller,& Williams (2002) instrument assessing occupational aspirations. Seven constructs of occupational aspirations: environmental and cognitive barriers,environmental, academic, and spiritual importance to future, and perception of themselves and others. Leadership life skills were measured and calculated based on the instrument scale. Standard descriptive statistics were used to describe the sample population. Welch’s robust test of equality was performed to find any statistical difference of leadership life skills and demographic variables.Pearson product moment correlation tests were used to discover any relationship between the occupational aspirations and leadership life skill development. A Welch’s robust test of equality was run on the independent variables and the development of leadership life skills. The student’s parent marriage status was the only variable determined to have significant difference (W= 10.779, p=.000). A Games-Howell Correction was performed and discovered that the choice of none of the above was significant different than married, never divorced, married,previously divorced, and single parent. A Pearson product moment correlation test was run on the constructs of occupational aspirations and development of leadership life skills. A negative correlation was found with the importance of environment to a person’s future (r= -.26, p r= .43, pr= .43, p< .01) had a moderate positive correlation with the development of leadership life skills. No other significant relationships were found between variables.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Jason Lamar Davison.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2012.
Local: Adviser: Stedman, Nicole Lamee Perez.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2012
System ID: UFE0044766:00001


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1 THE ROLE OF OCCUPATIONAL ASPIRATIONS AND CAREER EXPECTATIONS IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF YOUTH LEADERSHIP LIFE SKILLS IN RURAL ADOLESCENTS By JASON DAVISON A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA I N PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2012

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2 2012 Jason Davison

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3 To the four brightest stars guiding my life, my daughters : Kiersten, Alyssa, Mackenzie and Emily

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4 ACKNOWLEDGME NTS To my parents, you have shown me the path to ward becoming a good man. I beneath the pressures of life. Through your unselfish love and devotion, I have accomplished more t han I ever thought I could. Even with all the degrees, achievements, honors and awards, the greatest thing I will ever be is your son. To my oldest daughter, Kiersten, I hope that your journey through life leads you where ver you desire. I know you have th e strength and determination to make it in whatever you chose to do in the future. My dear, Alyssa, you are so full of joy, laughter, and love; I pray you never lose it. You have brought so much sunshine to the darkest hours of my life. To my sweet, Macken zie, what I have accomplished here in college through hard work you will surpass with your shear brilliance and intelligence. I am anxious to see all you will accomplish and the mark you will make on the world. To my baby, Emily, the combination of your se nse of adventure without fear and your sweet personality will result in a tremendous life full of fun, joy and love. I hope you all remember to never lose sight of the stars you are chasing, be steady in your course and who you are, and in the end it will be a life worth remembering. To my committee chair, Dr. Nicole Stedman, you have been patient, understanding and kind during my graduate school tenure. I have learned a tremendous amount about leadership through your lessons and example. I cannot express in enough words or with ample eloquence the amount of gratit ude and appreciation I have for you. Thank you for everything. Thank you to my committee members, Dr. Amy Harder and Dr. Andrew Thoron, for agreeing to serve on my committee. You were both asked b ecause of your

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5 expertise, wisdom and insight in the areas dealing with my thesis. If this study falls short of expectations, the fault lies with me and my short comings, because a student could not have a better committee to assist in their research To th e Rolfs 406 crew and fellow graduate students, thank you for allowing me to join with you in this journey. You each have meant so much to me and I hate to see us go our separate ways Please know that you each will always have a place in my heart forever a nd I will always be eternally your friend. To K.V.A., you will always be in my heart and never far from my thoughts. Hopefully, one day our paths will cross again and our friendship can begin anew. Katie, you have been unwavering in your support, relentles s in your comfort, persistent in your praise, and unconditional in your love. Whatever the future brings, you have been and always will be my very dearest friend and soul mate.

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6 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 9 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 11 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 12 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 14 Parental Involvement ................................ ................................ .............................. 16 Youth Leadership Life Skill De velopment ................................ ............................... 18 Career Aspiration and Career Expectations ................................ ............................ 20 Rural Youth Development ................................ ................................ ....................... 21 Statement of the Problem ................................ ................................ ....................... 22 Purpose ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 23 Objectives ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 23 Significance of the Study ................................ ................................ ........................ 23 Definition of Terms ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 25 Limitations ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 26 Assumptions ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 26 Chapter Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 27 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE ................................ ................................ .................... 28 Theoretical Framework ................................ ................................ ........................... 28 ................................ ........................ 28 ................................ ........................ 39 ................................ ............. 43 Conceptual Framework ................................ ................................ ........................... 47 Occupational Aspirations ................................ ................................ .................. 48 Leadership Life Skill Development ................................ ................................ ... 50 Conceptual Model ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 53 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 54 3 METHOLOGY ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 56 Research Design ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 56 Population ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 57 Instrument ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 58 Data Collection ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 62 Data Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 64

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7 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 66 4 RESULTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 67 Demographics of Respondents ................................ ................................ ............... 68 Leadership Life Skills of Respondents ................................ ................................ .... 70 Occupational Aspirations of Respondents ................................ .............................. 73 Barrier Recognition of Respondents ................................ ................................ 73 ........................... 78 rception of Themselves and Others ................................ ...... 83 Demographic Variables and Leadership Life Skills Development ........................... 87 Relationship between Leade rship Life Skills and Occupational Aspirations ........... 88 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 89 5 CONCLUSION ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 110 Purpose and Objectives ................................ ................................ ........................ 110 Methodology ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 111 Summary of Findings ................................ ................................ ............................ 112 Objective One: Describe the population of students in five different rural, middle school agricultural classrooms in terms of class grade, gender, socioeconomic status, birth order ............... 112 Objective Two: Describe the self perceived youth leadership life skills of students within these selected rural, middle schools using the Youth Leadership L ......... 113 Objective Three: Describe the occupational aspirations of these selected ................................ .......... 114 Objective Four: Identify the relationship between occupational aspirations and career expectations of selected rural, middle school agriculture students. ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 117 Objective Five: Determine if any significant differences exists between demographic variables and the development of leadership life skills scores. ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 117 Conclusions ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 118 Objective One: Describe the population of students in five different rural, middle school agricultural classrooms in terms of class grade, gender, race, age, academic grade achievement (or GPA), f ............... 118 Objective Two: Describe the self perceived youth leadership life skills of agriculture students within these select ed rural, middle schools using the demographics. ................................ ................................ ............................. 119 Objective Three: Describe the occupational aspirations of these selected rural, m ......... 120

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8 Objective Four: Determine if any significant differences exists between demographic variables and the development of leadership life skills scores. ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 121 Objective Five: Identify the relationship between occupational aspirations and youth leadership life skills of selected rural, middle school agriculture students. ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 122 Discussion and Implications ................................ ................................ .................. 123 National Research Agenda ................................ ................................ ................... 125 Reco mmendations ................................ ................................ ................................ 125 Recommendations for Practice ................................ ................................ ...... 125 Recommendation for Research ................................ ................................ ...... 127 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 128 APPENDIX A SURVEY INSTRUMENT ................................ ................................ ....................... 129 B INFORMED CONSENT PROTOCOLS ................................ ................................ 139 C RESEARCHER APPROVAL ................................ ................................ ................. 142 REFERENCE LIST ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 145 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ .......................... 154

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9 LIST OF TABLES Table page 4 1 Participants by school grade ................................ ................................ .............. 90 4 2 Participants by gender ................................ ................................ ........................ 90 4 3 Participants by race ................................ ................................ ............................ 90 4 4 Participants by age ................................ ................................ ............................. 90 4 5 ................................ .................... 91 4 6 Participants by birth order ................................ ................................ ................... 91 4 7 Particip ................................ ............................. 91 4 8 Participants by academic achievement ................................ .............................. 91 4 9 hometown community ................................ ................. 92 4 10 secondary academic plans ................................ ..................... 92 4 11 ills by school grade ................................ .............. 92 4 12 ................................ ....................... 92 4 13 e skills by age ................................ ............................ 93 4 14 ................................ 93 4 15 rship life skills by academic achievement .............................. 93 4 16 ................................ .................. 94 4 17 Pa ............................ 94 4 18 .............................. 94 4 19 ................................ ....... 95 4 21 ................................ ............ 95 4 22 ................ 96 4 23 .............. 97 4 24 ................................ .. 98

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10 4 25 construct by marriage status .......................... 99 4 26 ................................ ....................... 99 4 27 construct by gender ................................ ...................... 100 4 28 ................................ .......................... 100 4 29 ct by age ................................ ........................... 101 4 30 ............................... 102 4 31 nstruct by academic achievement ............................ 103 4 34 ................................ ........... 104 4 35 Participant ................................ .................... 105 4 36 ................................ ........................ 105 4 37 ception construct by school grade ................................ ........... 106 4 38 ............................. 106 4 39 P .......................... 107 4 40 ................................ ............... 107 4 41 ............................ 108 4 42 One way ANOVA between Parent's Marriage Status and LLSDS .................... 108 4 43 Pearson Product Moment Correlation Test between Leadership Life Skills and Occupational Aspirations ................................ ................................ ........... 109

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11 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2 1 Conceptual Model for Development of Leadership Life Skills in Adolescents .... 53

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12 Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment o f the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science THE ROLE OF OCCUPATIONAL ASPIRATIONS AND CAREER EXPECTATIONS IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF YOUTH LEADERSHIP LIFE SKILLS IN RURAL ADOLESCENTS By Jason Davison August 2012 Chair: Nicole Stedman Major: Agricul tural Education and Communication The development of adolescents into responsible and productive citizens continues to be aim of parents, teachers, and school administrators. This research seeks to discover the linkage between occupational aspiration and leadership life skills in rural adolescents. The theoretical stage development frameworks of Erikson, Kohlberg and Gottfredson are sued as a basis for the study. A sample population of middle school student from two small, rural communities in North Centra l Florida was given a researcher designed survey instrument using the YLLSDS (Seever, Dormody, & Clason, 1995) and modified version of Bajema Miller, & Williams (2002) instrument assessing occupational aspirations. Seven constructs of occupational aspira tions: environmental and cognitive barriers, environmental, academic, and spiritual importance to future, and perception of themselves and others. Leadership life skills were measured and calculated based on the instrument scale. Standard descr iptive stati stics were used to describe the sample population. robust test of equality was performed to find any statistical difference of leadership life skills and demographic variables. Pearson product moment

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13 correlation tests were used to discover any rela tionship between the occupational aspirations and leadership life skill development. development of leadership life skills. var iable determined to have significant difference ( W = 10.779, p =.000) A Games Howell Correction was performed and discovered that the choice of none of the above was significant different than married, never divorced, married, previously divorced, and singl e parent. A Pearson product moment correlation test was run on the constructs of occupational aspirations and development of leadership life skills. A negative correlation was found with the importance of environment r = .26, p < .05) had with leadership life skills. The constructs of perception of self ( r = .43, p < .01) and perception of others ( r = .43, p < .01) had a moderate positive correlation with the development of leadership life skills. No other significant relationships were fo und between variables.

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14 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Burt (1998) defined adolescence as the period of time in the development of a years. This recognition of adolescents is a 20 th century phenomenon born out of the increase of technology and wealth. Prior to this description of adolescence, childhood ended prior to reaching puberty when youth were forced to work by circumstance and necessity. This practice was not done out of c ruelty or malice, but out of need and survival of the person and/or the family (Burt, 1998). This creation of a transitional period of time between childhood and adulthood has brought forth considerable research on the factors and variables affecting the s uccessful development of children into productive, responsible adult citizens. Adolescence is separated into two stages; early adolescence and late adolescence. Past research has blurred the dividing between the two stages; the age of 14 to 15 years has b een the dominant trend for the demarcation between stages. The early stage includes most of the pubertal changes and inherent issues of dealing with these emotional, relational and physical changes (Burt, 1998). Previous research indicated that adolescents begin to gradually have more conflicts between themselves and their parents until the height of puberty, but conflict subsides thereafter (Clark Lempers, Lempers & Ho, 1991). Erickson (1998) indicated within this early stage of adolescence that a person begins to form an identity and set of personal values. This period is often characterized as an emotionally turbulent time for both child and parent, as disagreements over mundane issues such as personal appearance, choice of friends, and parental expectat ions become common occurrences (Burt, 1998). The later

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15 stage of adolescence is the continuation of the renegotiation of the parent adolescent relationship allowing for more self autonomy over personal decisions (Bulcroft, 1991; White, Speisman & Costos, 1 983, Youniss & Smollar, 1985). Adolescents in the later stage desire parents to be supportive of their decisions and give advice on important decisions, issues and choices (William T. Grant Foundation, 1988) Adolescents experiment with new things as a n atural part of the self discovery process in the development into an adult (Burt, 1998). Marcia (1987) explained that a majority of adolescents experiment in positive ways, such as choosing different recreational or work types when looking for a future car eer or vocation. These positive factors also allow for the development of self identity, which is essential in laying the groundwork for being a productive member of society. Research has indicated that the factors negatively impacting adolescents today a re much different than previous generations (Twenge, 2006). Adolescents of today have an increased risk of using drugs and alcohol (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 1996). Youth have a higher likelihood of being the victim of or p erpetrator of a violent crime compared to any other previous time in history ( Osgood, Bachman & Johnston, 1989 ; Center for Disease Control, 1992 ). Past generations of adolescents have been told if they play by the rules they would be rewarded i adolescents have doubts this axiom still applies to them (Burt, 1998). Research supports that adolescents with few economic opportunities have a higher tendency to follow peers and exhib it problem behaviors (Majors & Billson, 1993). These peer

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16 (Burt, 1998, p. 27). These influences from outside the family environment have given parents more to worry about and guard against when rearing children. Parental Involvement The development of children into productive adults has been the aim of parents throughout history. The study of the p ositive and negative factors that impact the process of child development has rendered numerous theories and findings ( Blustien et al., 1991 ; Grotevant & Cooper, 1988; Lunneborg, 1982; Roe & Siegelman, 1964). The literature shows that there are many variab les affecting the development of adolescents into capable and successful adults. Many researchers have attributed poor adolescent developmental and behavioral outcomes solely to the characteristics of the parenting style and the environment in which the ch ild is raised (Otto & Atkinson, 1997). Although many studies have found strong correlations with this line of reasoning, Bell (1968) challenged this view by altering the relationship the child had on the parenting process and the influence on the caregiver boundar punishments are meant to motivate or restrain a child back into the range of acceptable behavior. Additional research parents or caregiv toward discipline thus allowing children to become active participants in their own developmental process (Bell & Harper, 1977; Breitmayer

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17 constructs a r eality from the opportunities afforded by the rearing environment (p.2) and that these realities have a great deal of influence in determining the nature of their adult outcomes. An environment free of abuse and neglect from parental figures offers the o pportunity for normal human development, and the individual parenting style is not ent into adulthood ( Dumaret & Stewart, 1985 ; Scarr, 1992 ). This allows parents to raise a child in the manner of their choosing, as long as it is within the normal developmental range (Scarr, 1992). Scarr explained further that most parents provided environments sufficient enough for the development of children. Rowe (1992) stated that this allowed parents the oppor tunity to super parents or perfect way Scarr (1992) stated parents do not possess the ability to turn children into whatever they wan t them to be, or as John Watson (1928) proclaimed, to ruin them in so many ways. The resiliency of children does not diminish the impact parents and families have on the development of children. Part of the development of an adolescent into adulthood is t he gradual sense of control over life choices and self realization (Young, Friesen & Borycki, 1994). The involvement of parents in this process can differ with the figure ( Grotevant & Cooper, 1986; Irwin & Vaughan, 1988). Within the process of occupational identity that is influenced by their surrounding community and their experience of emp loyment, different occupations and education (Grotevant & Cooper,

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18 (Young, Friesen & Bor ycki, 1994). Gergen and analyzing narratives refer red to the normal life progression of adults as being a progressive regressive rogressive narrative details the positive effects of making good decisions, hard work, perseverance and achieving small goals with the ultimate intent to fulfilling a larger, more important goal. Goal a ccomplishments lead adolescents to form a more positiv e outlook for their life and future. A regressive narrative involves bad decision making, consequences for those decisions, failing to achieve small goals, and thus leading to the lack of achievement of broader, more substantive goals. These negative event s can cause an adolescent to view their future with negativity and lose of hope. These attitudes can lead to making more bad life decisions and thus replicating the consequences. Youth Leadership Life Skill Development sions have been shown to be vital in progressive egressive & Borycki, 1994). Research has shown that adolescents exhibiting delinquent behaviors and poor decision making also lack the life skills of othe r children (Forneris, Danish & Scott, Necessary Skills (1992), championed the development of these life skills by stating, and we want more from edu cation than (p.22). Brock (1992) grouped skills together in basic communication skills (eg. reading, writing, speaking, listening), thinking skills (eg. ability to learn, creative thinking, decision making, probl em solving), personal qualities (eg.

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19 responsibility, self esteem, self management, sociability, integrity), resource allocation skills, and interpersonal skills. The development of life skills has been a focal point of researchers and directors of prevent ive programs for at risk children. Wodarski (1988) stated that life skill training is the treatment of choice for the prevention of destructive behaviors and poor decision making in adolescents. Gilchrist, Schinke, and Maxwell (1987) added that life skills Delinquency intervention and prevention programs often seek to develop these skills in communicate, make decisions, and solve p roblems ( Hamburg, 1990 ; Moote, & Wodarski, 1997 ). This wide array of approaches has led to different programs being designed to teach important life skills to at risk youth in order for them to succeed within their school, home, neighborhood and community at large (Danish, 1996). Adolescents have been found to learn life skills from a variety of experiences and organi zations. Initial research focused on the development of leadership life skills through adolescent involvement in the 4 H programs (Miller, 1975). R esearch has expanded to study additional organizations, (i.e., the National FFA Organization), and extracurri cular activities (i.e., sports and church involvement.) Leadership program attendance has shown a positive result in the development of leadership life skills in participants (Anderson, 2011; Dormody & Seevers, 1993; Forneris, Danish & Scott, 2007; Holt, Tink, Mandigo & Fox, 2008,; Seevers, Dormody & Clason, 1995; Wingenbach & Kahler, 1997 ). Fitzpatrick, Gagne, Jones, Lobley and Phelps (2005)

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20 concluded that past members of 4 H programs have recognized life skills they gained from the organization, inclu ding self esteem, teamwork, responsibility, planning, cooperation, problem solving, and positive outlook for the future. Career Aspiration and Career Expectations Adolescents routinely visualize their potential futures by imagining hypothetical careers, j obs and experiences. This future oriented picturing has been linked to his/her own self concept (Oyserman, Terry & Bybee, 2002). Perry and Jessor (1985) stated the importance for adolescents to develop these future career orie nted goals to decrease the risk of developing at risk behaviors. An current traits and abilities and clarify the skills needed to become their future self (Anderson, 1991; Cantor et al., 1987; Crane, 1991; Curry et al., 1994; Oyserman, Terry & Bybee, 2002). Gottfredson and Becker (1981) reported that career aspirations are formed early in adolescence usually between the ages of 11 and 14 During this time period, ado lescents also develop a concept of themselves and a realization of the opportunities. McNulty and Borgen (1988) stated that occupational aspirations leading social psycholog ical sources and from the situat (p.217). T he development of career oriented goals was more important in adolescents living in rural communities, because of the limited exposure to different occupations ( Brown, 2007; Haller & Virkler, 1993). Furthermore, youth from rural communities have limite d access to college preparatory courses career counseling, career academies, and school to work programs (Griffin, Hutchins & Meece, 2011 ; Provasnik et al., 2007 ). Rural youth have been largely influenced by their parents because there are fewer

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21 resources to discover information on potential careers (Griffin, Hutchins & Meece, 2011). Parental expectations of rural youth to further their education after high school have been comparable t o their non rural counterparts. Rural parents have a lower college graduation rate than non rural parents; this leads rural adolescents to discount the value and necessity of furthering their education beyond high school (Griffin, Hutchins & Meece, 2011). Rural Youth Development The rural setting has traditionally been focused on the values of agriculture and vocational blue collar careers (Howley, 2006). These values have a direct bearing on the development of adolescents and how they view their futu re (Helge, 1984). Hedlund advantages and disadvantages of g (p. 158). Rural youth have reported being satisfied with the friendliness and safety of their community, but they dislike the lack of privacy and prejudice inherent with living i n a small town (Hedlund, 1993). Hedlund (1993) also reported that rural adolescents gain an appreciation for nature and the outdoors and desire the involvement of a dult relationships within their lives. Overall, these adolescents relish the thought of moving away; but most want to return one day to begin raising their own families (Hedlund, 1993). A majority of children of rural families have a different life expe rience than their counterparts from non rural areas. The values of hard work, perseverance, self sacrifice, and time management have been learned through the necessity of completing choirs or having part time paid employment. Rural youth perform these task s because being (Elder & Conger, 2000). The

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2 2 chore duties of rural children have a dichotomous relationship in the development of c and acceptance of responsibility, but also tampered the development of future aspirations chores can drive them to forestall their own ambitions for the perceived g ood of the family unit. Research has identified that rural areas have many characteristics that hinder the development of career oriented goals, including geographic isolation, fewer employment opportunities, lack of economic vitality, few diverse role mod els, and lower educational achievement (Helge, 1984; Reid, 1989; Rojewski, 1993; Rojewski, 1995). Statement of the Problem The development of at risk behaviors begins in the early stages of adolescence. During adolescence, some children begin to assume l eadership positions in school organizations and strive for excellence in their academic studies. During the early adolescence stage students begin to show at risk behaviors, such as poor performance in their grades, lack of involvement in school activities or organizations, and destructive personal behaviors (e g. lying, stealing, sexual behaviors) (Dryfoos, 1991). Gottfredson and Baker (1981) stated that during this time of adolescence, children begin to form their occupational and/or educational aspirati ons and develop concepts of themselves and what they may become in the future. Children from rural communities have limited exposure to the variety of different occupations, and the perceptions of future choices can seem limited and scarce. Some rural chil dren may look beyond the confines of the community to their career and educational opportunities and be able to exhibit the leadership life skills needed to attain their career or education goals. In contrast, some rural children maybe disheartened by futu re prospects and restrain any future career

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23 aspirations or goals, or see the need for leadership life skills to accomplish these goals. Therefore, the problem under investigation in this study was identifying the critical factors influencing adolescents to excel in academic and extracurricular activities while other adolescents begin to exhibit at risk behaviors in rural communities. Purpose The purpose of this study is to identify the influence of occupational aspirations and career expectations on the development of youth leadership life skills in rural, middle school students. Objectives The following objectives have been identified for this study: 1. Describe the population of students in five different rural, middle school agricultural classrooms in terms of class grade, gender, race, age, academic grade marriage status. 2. Describe the self perceived youth leadership life skills of agriculture students within selected rural, middle schools using the Youth Leadership Life Skill Development Scale (YLLSDS) 3. Describe the occupational aspirations of these selected rural, middle school 4. Determine if any signific ant differences exists between demographic variables and the development of leadership life skills scores 5. Identify the relationship between occupational aspirations and youth leadership life skills of selected rural, middle school agriculture students. Significance of the Study This research allows the compilation of differing pockets of research in adolescent development to formulate a new approach in understanding variables for at risk behaviors in rural adolescents before they begin. Kail (1991) sta ted that 14 year old adolescents have the cognitive processing efficiency of an adult. Gottfredson and Baker

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24 (1981) indicated that adolescents have begun to form their own identity of their future selves early in life and are influenced by the perceptions of their environments. In rural communities with little economic vitality or prospects, adolescents may begin to feel trapped in their current setting. The perceptions that there are few options for youth to pursue in the future may lead them to lose motiv ation, neglect developing aspirations and avoid cultivating beneficial life skills. The results of this research have the potential to offer new approaches for educators to develop beneficial leadership life skills in youth. Leadership life skills could o pen up the possibilities of introducing new exciting careers outside the confines of a small rural community for youth. The research has laid the basis for the development of new intervention programs for at risk youth from disadvantaged rural neighborhood s, and may serve as education vehicle to stop at risk behaviors before negatively affecting administrators and counselors of children in rural communities in understanding the co gnitive ability of their children to understand the environment around them and begin to help shape their identity of their future self by using positive reinforcements of the career opportunities available in their future. This study has helped contribu te to the National Research Agenda (Doerfert, 2011) by concentrating on addressing Priority 4 of the six national research priority areas. Priority 4: Meaningful, Engaged Learning in All Environments seeks as its goal tural education learning environments actively and emotionally engaged in learning, resulting in high levels of achievement, life and career 9).

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25 Definition of Terms At risk behaviors Dryfoos (1991 ) noted the four specific behaviors of delinquency, substance abuse, early childbearing and school failure have been linked to negatively impacting the development of adolescents into healthy functioning adults. For the purpose of this study, at risk behav ior was defined as the actions and/or behaviors of an individual indicating increased case of behavior requiring disciplinary action and defiance against authority, experimenting with drugs and alcohol, early sexual behavior, and lack of motivation resulti ng poor academic standing. Career expectations progresses into adolescence their career aspirations become more c onfined and limited by perceived societal norms and perceived gender and economic barriers. These careers are viewed by adolescents as reasonable and realistic to pursue in the future (Armstrong & Crombie, 2000; Gottfredson, 1996). For the purpose of this study career expectations were defined as the category or type of work a student feels he/she is the most likely to perform later in his or her life (Armstrong & Crombie, 2000). Occupational aspirations Gottfredson (1981) separated occupational aspirati ons into three differing definition of aspirations considered tolerable, aspirations considered realistic, and aspirations considered idealistic. For the purpose of this study, occupational aspirations were defined as the tolerable and/or realistic career or occupation a student expects to perform later in his or her life (Armstrong & Crombie, 2000; Gottfredson, 1981). Youth leadership life skills These skills include cooperation when working with setting ability, communicating

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26 effectively with others, decision making ability and leadership (Boyd, Herring & Briers, lea (p. 2). For the p urpose of this study, youth leadership life skills were defined as communication skills, decision making skills, interpersonal relationship skills, learning skills, management skills, self concept skills and group skills (Seevers, Dormody & Clason, 1995). Limitations The conclusions and implications drawn from this study are subject to the following limitations: The data are limited to the purposively selected students of the schools and agricultural education classrooms participating in the study. The g eneralizability of this study cannot be extended beyond the sample population of this study. The results are limited to the extent that the self reported data reported by participants is accurate. The results are limited to the extent that sampling the por tion of the sample population exhibiting at risk behaviors may be inhibited because of participan t behaviors (e.g., lack of motivation, truancy, ) and family support (i.e., lack of parent support and involvement ) Assumptions The following assumptions were made for the purposes of this study: The students involved in the study used thoughtful introspe ction and reflection to answer each of the questions to best describe themselves. The measured variables within occupation aspirations and leadership life ski lls are accurately identified and quantified. The survey instrumentation was self explanatory and correctly understood A ny questions about proper interpretation of questions were asked of the researcher at the time of participation.

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27 Chapter Summary Adole scents are going through of process of developing their self identity. Parents have an instrumental role in the developmental process, but the child and external environments beyond the confines of the family dynamic play a pivotal part too. There are many factors and influences affecting the way a child may begin to develop a positive or negative view of themselves and their future. This self perception allows a child to begin to transform from what he or she is at the present to what he or she want to bec ome in the future. Youth leadership life skills are naturally the result of trying to identity process is the imagining of a future career. Career aspirations lead children to differentiate between who they presently are and who they want to become as an adult. Rural children have fewer opportunities and resources to discover new careers outside of their community. Research has shown youth from rural communities have lower ca reer aspirations then their non rural counterparts. This purpose of this study is to expectations on the development of leadership life skills. This study will allow parent, tea chers, administrators and counselors a new avenue to motivate youth to develop beneficial life skills early within adolescence.

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28 CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE This study focused on the occupational aspirations and career expectations that influence leade rship life skills in early adolescents of rural communities. Within this study an emphasis was placed on the relationship between career aspirations and career expectations in youth exhibiting both high and low leadership life skills. Further analysis focu sed on identifying differences in the career aspirations and career expectation s between youth with high and low leadership life skills. The following review of the literature includes adolescent development theories, research on the development occupation al aspirations in early adolescent, and the development of leadership life skills in early adolescents. The re are numerous theoretical frameworks that seek to explain the many phenomena occurring in the development of adolescents. The development of a sel f identity is the primary focus of adolescence (Erikson, 1950). The theories of Erikson (1950) Kohlberg (1958), and Gottfredson (1981) all focus on the development of the identity using different societal influences. The collaboration be tween these theoretical frameworks provides the explanation for the conscious choice of adolescents to develop and exhibit beneficial leadership life skills. Theoretical Framework Major theories on human development h ave characterized the process into life stages (e.g. development established eight specific stages that a person experiences throughout and differential concepts of previous

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29 throughout a full life. Erikson further theorized the developmental process of the human depends on the extent to which a person develop of development is between two bi polar differentiated concepts with an individual stage of development pinpointed along a continuum line between the two. For example, the differentiated concepts of Erikson (1950) and F reud (1920) first development stage are somewhere between the total trust of other people and the total mistrust of other people. There is not an ideal place between the two polar binaries that a person must the next stage begins. Erikson (1968) created the stage theory of emotional development as a 3 ) theory of psychosexual development. Freud (192 3 ) Freud termed these structures as the id, ego, and superego. Freud (1920) considered the id to be an innate structure, a part of the personality present at birth containing the a person to satisfy their personal desires for pleasure. This drive can lead a person to feel gratified for releas ing libidinal tensions or frustrated due to the lack of an appropriate release. Since achievement of libidinal tensions cannot happen without a pe Freud (192 3 adapt to reality, to allow the person actually to obtain needed stimulation and hence to adapt and survive. The development of the ego increases as the cognitive and

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30 perceptive abilities of a person increase, and thus allowing a person to understand the reality of the environm ent and adapting to it to survive. The superego has been characterized as a part of the personality containing the moral standards and ideals learned from parents. Two parts of the superego are termed the ego ideal and the conscience. Freud described ego i on the id of the personality, Erikso n focused on the ego and the necessity of interaction between society and the development of a person. Erikson believed Freud did not provide enough attention to the role ego played in human psychological functioning and development (Lerner, 1986). Erikso n theorized ego was an aspect of a person attaining the competency to perform individual social has been to understand the societal and environmental influences shaping the reality of the individual and adapt to them. The role of the ego is to survive and, if possible, thrive within this environment. However, society does not place the same constant demands behaviors for an infant and a child are quite different from that of an adolescent, which is different than that of an adult (Lerner, 1986). Therefore, one must understand the specific societal context affecting the person to be able to understand the spe cific adaptation demands placed on him or her (Lerner, 1986). When proper attention was focused on the ego, Erikson discovered that not only were humans biological and psychological, as Freud proposed, Erikson expanded up

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31 and termed it psychosocial development. Erikson (1959) expanded upon the stages Freud developed with psychosexual development and created compleme ntary stages unique to the changing demands of ground plan, and that out of this ground plan the parts arise, each having its time of special ascendancy, until all par theorized a person must develop each attribute of the ego during that particular stage; the ability to develop that attribute is gone forever once time has elapsed for that stage and the next developmental stage begins. In the event a stage attribute does not develop to its fu llest capability, Erikson stated two things will occur. First, the potential for the d (Erikson, 1959). Second, if future ego attributes and capabilities depend ency is o n the full development of the la st capability than the remainder of the development process of the ego will be unfavorably altered (Erikson, 1959). Erikson (1959) proposed there were eight critical stages of psychosocial development in a person and within each stage a critical ego capability needing to be developed. If each stage was properly developed, the final product at the completion of all eight stages would be a complete ego fully prepared to handle all the societal demands on it (Erikson, 1950a, 1959). development and therefore similarities between the stages exist (Erikson, 1959).

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32 Erikson was concerned more with the ego based psychosocial development, while Freud was focused on the id based psychosexual development process (Lerner, 1986). Erikson stages of psychosocial development are labeled as the oral sensory stage, the anal musculature stage, the genital locomotor stage, latency, puberty and adolescence, young adulthood, adulthood and maturity. Each stage has a specific ego capability needing to be developed to meet the changing expectations of society. Erikson stated that the level of development would be on a continuum line between the two polar opposite alternative to the same behavioral attribute or capability, but a complete mastery of the other side of the continuum is neither beneficial nor desired. The oral p. 247 ). Fr eud termed the stage the oral stage believing the libido was located near mouth and explained the need for oral stimulation through nursing, bottle feeding and pacifiers. Ericson instead focused on the many stimulants from the environment affecting an infa to begin to trust or mistrust the external world. A healthy development of an infant to trust more than mistrust will allow for continued growth in proper ego development. The anal musculature stage deals with an infant ability to exhibit self control over their own based theory. Erikson focused on the process where an infant begins to exert control over bodily functions and m ovements and will allow an infant to feel more autonomous. If an infant is unable to exert control over bodily musculature and others have to do what is expected of the child to do for his or hersef a feeling of shame and inadequacy for not meeting societ al expectations and doubt over whether the child can perform

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33 those and future functions required. This stage of Erikson looks to the proper development of (Erikson, 1950, p.251). The genital locomotor stage of psychosocial development corresponds with (192 3 ) phallic stage in psychosexual development. Although Erikson did not iled that this stage had more important developmental consequences for the ego than Fre ud theorized Given the premise that the child has been fully able to resolve oedipal conflict and can exhibit control over his bodily movements, a child will begin to move away from their parents without having been prodded or pushed and begin to develop a sense of initiative. The directive about the use of their locomotor abilities; the child will begin to feel a sense of guilt for not meeting the expectations of the par ent This stage in the psychosocial (Erikson, 1950, p. 255) The latency stage was not thoroughly investigated by Freud (1920) since this stage theorized the id was dormant within the body. In st ark contrast, Erikson theorized the latency stage as the beginning of the society beginning to insist on the child learning the tasks required of an adult. These tasks or skills are different between differing cultures and communities. A child may begin to feel productive and industrious by quickly learning and performing these tasks. A child whom feels as he or she have not fully learned or feel fully capable of completing the required tasks of society may begin to feel inadequate and inferior. The persona 195 0, p. 259 )

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34 stage. Erikson concu rred with Freud as to the impact of this stage and the emergence of a sex drive. Erikson looked further into the ramifications of the multiple changes in physical, physiological and psychological on the psychosocial development of a person. Erikson viewed social 314). An adolescent in this stage begins to view him or her selves differently and begins to question who he or she is as a person. At the same time, society is asking the same question. It is within this stage that an adolescent should begin to take steps to deciding on career objectives. There is a societal demand to know what role the adolescent will fill when becoming an adult member and what set of socially a cceptable behaviors he or she will adopt. Erikson stated the most important psychosocial task for an adolescent is developing an identity during the new feelings and characteristics of puberty, at the same time there are new societal demands and expectatio one to develop a complex synthesis between psychological processes (p. 122) At one time, it will appear to refer to a conscious sense of individual identity; at another to an unconscious striving for a continuity of personal character; at a third, as a criterion for the silent doings of ego synthesis; and identity (Erikson, 1959, p. 57). Therefore, the societally acceptable (Erikson, 1950a). Erikson stated that ego identity is a synthesis of

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35 biological, psycho logical, and social adaptive demands According to Erikson (1959, 1963) the key for an adolescent in defining his or her identity and role in society is an beliefs, ideals and attitudes. Adolescents can choose to a ssume a role within the society that represents a clear ideology, and solve their identity crisis by committing to societal role and the corresponding ideology. An individual can also decide to choose an ideology first, before a ssuming a role. This require s individual to be deeply devoted and committed to a belief that he or she feel is their role in society is to espouse (e.g. social activist, community organizer, etc.). Adolescents who have not found a role within society will continue in identity crisis. Erikson explained if the identity crisis is not resolved by an individual a sense of role confusion or identity diffusion will develop representative of the lack of role commitment and achievement of crisis resolving identity. Erikson (1959) denotes the a ttribute that must be resolved for proper psychosocial development is between commitment and crisis specifically, the factors influencing the decision of choosing a future occupati on. Erikson (1968) detailed how as technological advancements provide more time between early school life and entering into a specialized line of work a encumbered with trying to fit into a subculture built upon fads and appearance. Erik son (1968) stated how the adolescent is looking to solve their identity crisis as he or she did in previous stages, but in a new more demanding reality of adolescence. Erikson (1968) ex plained there are several problems affecting youth within adolescence The healthy resolution of these problems has a direct reliance on the

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36 development of previous stages. As detailed in the oral stage of development, the child had to learn trust in oneself and others; adolescents also look to have faith in m ankind and in ph ilosophical worthwhile to prove 129). The end result is the role d fidelity. At the same time, adolescent s fear pursuing something foolish and express his or her need for developing faith in cynical mistrust. Adolescents also begin to use the capabilities gained in the second stage to will and control self by begi nning to look for opportunities and vacant roles within the society that they can freely decide to undertake and achieve. Erikson (1968) explained that an adolescent does not want to be forced into a service or duty he or she have not freely chosen. The ad olescent now looks for an opportunity to decide with free assent on one of the available or unavoidable avenues of duty and service, and at the same time is mortally afraid of being forced into activities in which he would feel exposed to ridicule or self doubt. This, too, can lead to a paradox, namely, that he would rather act shamelessly in the eyes of his elders, out of free choice, than be forced into activities which would be shameful in his own eyes or in those of his peers (Erikson, 1968, p. 129). As the use of imagination is prominent within early childhood, adolescents use these imaginative properties to create their future selves and livelihoods. Adolescents also tend to gravitate toward individuals, peers, mentors and elders who feed their imag ination about future possibilities, whether the imagined possibilities are accurate or

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37 his or her need to protect and defend their own ambition even to excessive (Erikson, 1968). Fi nally, the choice of occupation has to go beyond the perceived clout or status and must take on a larger significance to the adolescent. Some adolescents may decide to withhold from deciding on an occupation or career until finding something more personall y fulfilling. The lure of money and prestige is not significant to an adolescent if the career cannot offer one the ability to personally excel and achieve (Erikson, 1968). Erikson (1968) stated adolescents whom have a greater exposure to the advancements in technology and exposure to the new technological trends have a much easier time of navigating this adolescence stage. These new technologies allow for youth to identify new roles, competencies, and invention needed within the society, as well as the gr owth of new implied ideology. Adolescents who have been unable to experience new technology have exhibited a greater focus on the development of a clear ideological mindset around maintaining cultural traditions, ideas and ideals. According to Erikson (19 68), this mindset fits w e ll for those adolescents whom long for peer and societal acceptance, but youth restrained in future aspirations and deprived of self Erikson (1950) sta stages of psychosexual development after the last stage of puberty and adolescence. In the stage of young adulthood, the society begins to place demands or expectations on marriage Erikson explained for a person to be able to enter a successful relationship one must be able to give freely of themselves to the other. These goes well beyond the sexual relationship

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38 among partners, but also th e ability for one to share dreams, idea s, thoughts, goals and values, and desire to hear the same from his \ her partner. Erikson further explained that it is impossible for a person to do this without having attained their own identity during adolescence. T he failure or limitation of intimacy with another can result in a sense of solidarity and loneliness. Thus, this psychosocial crisis seeks the development of the 101). (1959) next stage of psychosocial development is adulthood. As an individual enters this stage, a certain level of productivity and contribution can be expected from society. The feeling of meeting societal demands and producing what is expected allows for individuals to fe el as if they are adequately performing their role and p. 103 ). If an individual does not feel that he or she is performing his \ her societal role well or not meet the expectations of society, a feel ing of stagnation will take hold. Within the adulthood 1959, p. 103) (1950) final stage of psychosocial development is maturity. Erikson detailed if a person ha s progressed through each of the stages and has developed positive related elements of ego development within each stage than that person will experience the final years of life with enthusiasm and eagerness. Erikson (1959) argued feeling is related to hav integrity (p. 104) While an individual who has progressed through the stages and has developed negative related elements of ego development of each corresponding stage will not be enthusiastic ab out the remainder of his or her life, but instead will feel bitter

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39 and cheated. These emotions can bring about a sense of despair creating the idea that life is short and the re is still unfinished business The final ego development dime 104). developmental psychology more than any other psychoanalytically oriented theory (Conger & Petersen, 1984; Lerner & Spanier, 1980; Muuss, 1975a). Erikso theory is a unique blend of psychoanalytic theory of development and classic stage notions with accompanying clear differential dimensional orientations (Lerner, 1983) This has allowed researchers the ability to us e the theory to investigate the many factors, humans. As was discussed in the preceding section, an individual adapts to the society in which he or she is a member. All moral development theorists agree moral function is a product of an individual adjusting to the norms and expectations of society while at the same time helping to contribute to the continuation and survival of society ( Lerner, originally by Jean Piaget to explain the natural progression of the moral reasoning from a child to an adult. moral development. Piaget (1932) rejected the moral relativistic, response centered approaches of the social learning and psychoanalysis theory. Piaget (1932) established a two stage system of human moral development. These stages allowed for the differen ces in the moral reasoning of children and those of adults on the same issue. The first stage,

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40 heteronomous morality, was based on objective and concrete morality imposed upon children by parents, adults, and guardians (Piaget, 1932). The second stage was named autonomous morality, which involved the subjective and contextual underpinning of the situation needing to be morally judged (Piaget, 1932). Kohlberg (1977), although is not sufficient enough to understand all the different phases of moral reasoning encountered Kohlberg (1977) like Piaget (1932) believed focusing only on the response of a moral question by a person does not necessarily give an accurate description of moral development. Kohlberg (1958) explained a child and an adult can give the same answer to a basic moral question, but have totally opposite reasons for doing so. Kohlberg (1958) originally established the theory with three le vels of moral development with two stages within each level, but later modified the theory by eliminating a stage from the final level and altering the stages of the levels to include a greater scope of people and broadening the reasoning from a physicalis tic approach to one center on values, rights and implied contracts between others (Kohlberg, 1977, 1983). Kohlberg (1983) explana tion for removing the final stage was to answer criticism of other theorists, but by eliminating the sixth stage did not discou nt the existence only that the empirical used in this study. Kohlberg (1977) described the stages of the this stage are similar and consistent in their personal level of moral judgment (p. 54 ) These stages form a sequential path and in all

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41 conditions, except for extreme mental, physical or emotional trauma, the progress of an individual is always moving for ward (Kohlberg, 1977). Individuals cannot regress to previous stages or skip preceding stages; each stage must be taken in order. Kohlberg (1977) also detailed stages are hierarchical in nature and individuals integrate the thinking of lower stages, but pr efer to utilize the cognitive approaches of the highest attained level. development with each level encompassing two orientation stages. The first level is rules and regulations (Kohlberg, 1983). The terms of good or bad and right or wrong are interpreted only by the level of disciplinary actions and consequences associated with each individual te rm (Kohlberg, 1983). The two orientation stages in this level are punishment and obedience orientation, and instrumental relativist (Kohlberg, 1983). The first stage addresses the physical consequences of the action and determines whether it is acceptable or not acceptable without regard to the meaning (Kohlberg, 1983). Avoidance of punishment and unquestioning obedience to authority figures are held in own mindset as right and not based on the agreement with any standard of moral reasoning (Kohlberg, 1983). The second stage of instrumental relativist views interaction with others in terms of fairness and reciprocity (Kohlberg, 1983). A moral elements of sharing and fair dealings are present, but interpreted in a physical, rational way (Kohlberg, 1983).

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42 or community, regardless of consequences (Kohlberg, 1950, p.54, 1983). Individuals in this level want to meet their own expectations, as well as that of the social order. Individuals have a degree of loyalty to, actively participating in maintaining, suppo rting, and justifying the social norms ; and of identifying with the persons or group involved in it. The third orientation stage is the recognition that good behavior pleases and helps other people (Kohlberg, 1983). The intention of an action is often cons ider when ascribing whether a behavior was good or bad. Through these situations individuals learn the approval of orientation and focuses on the recognition of authority, un ambiguous fixed rules, and the regulation of the social order (Kohlberg, 19 73, p. 623 conventional, autonomous, begins to emerge (Kohlberg, 1 97 3 p. 623 ). These personal values and the applic ation thereof are not tied to the acceptance or authority of others. The fifth stage is called the social contract, legalistic orientation and is best described by its functional connotations (Kohlberg, 1983). Within this stage, the individual rights of a person agreed to by the society at right It also understood that personal values and principle s can be different than the government enforced laws. This stage also allows for laws to change reflecting new

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43 ethic chosen ethical principles governs all decisions in a sensible comprehensiveness, co llective, and consistent manner (Kohlberg, 1983, p. 61). This philosophy is not a concrete moral principles of justice, of the reciprocity and equality of human rights, and of respect for 632). (1977) theory of moral development has similarities with psychosocial development theories such as Erikson (1950) If one traces the beginning of both the psychosocial development theories and the moral reasoning development theories, (1923) stage theory of psychosexual development. These commonalities of societal role attainment and identity achievement figur e prominently in the healthy development of adolescents. Gottfredson (1981) studied this role attainment in more detail and its effect on the development of self identity in adolescence. The concept of socie tal roles has played an important part in the previous (1950) (1966) theory (1981) theory of occupational involves the concepts of circumscription and comp romise. Gottfredson described occupational circumscription as the process in which external variables affecting the self concept development of an individual and perceptions of differing societal roles between the sexes. Gottfredson (1981) explained an ado

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44 restrained by self perceived boundaries by sex typing of occupations, occupational prestige, and the difficulty of occupational attainment. Gottfredson (1981) linked the theory of occupational aspirations with each s tage of cognitive development and ego ideals described by Van den Daele (1968). describe t perceptions or views of occupations and societal roles. Gottfredson (1981) explained how each of these stages allows for societal influences to affect the degree of occupationa l aspirations in adolescents. Gottfredson (1981) explained children from the ages of two to five years of age are in the first stage. During this stage, children begin by thinking of aspirations in terms of the magical and the realm of fantasy and fairy t ales, but this mode of thinking soon changes. By the end of the stage, children begin to associate less with the magical and size differential between themselves and adul ts (Gottfredson, 1981; Kohlberg, 1966). Children have begun assessing the difference between adults and among themselves as well. Gottfredson (1981) concurred with Kohlberg (1966) that children begin to self label according to gender early within the first stage, and begin to label others by appearance and behaviors. Gottfredson further explained children begin to associate certain societal roles with certain genders. During the second stage, children begin to understand the concept of sex roles and the ac ceptable behaviors belonging to each. This understanding of roles can lead

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45 many children to firmly grasp to their expected role in appearance and behaviors. Children can be more demanding in following the rules of their sex roles, including describing it a s a moral imperative (Gottfredson, 1981; Kohlberg, 1966). These learned stereotypes have shown to affect the perception of youth on role activities for adult societal roles. Kohlberg (1966) noted a consensus on sex stereotypes among youth in early elementa ry education. Gottfredson theorized these stereotypes begin to decrease as the cognitive development of an adolescent move from being concrete to more abstract. This abstract mode of thinking allows for children to begin understanding the subtle qualificat ions of sex stereotypes in occupational roles. Children within the second stage are concerned with choosing an occupational role that correlates with their own sex, and have eliminated the possibilities of entertaining roles from the opposite sex. Gottfre dson explained this elimination of potential roles ha s a high degree of support from both boys and girls. Children have shown to seek out the company of others of the same sex and believe their sex is better in behavior and intelligence th a n the other. Chi ldren have reached a consensus that boys fight more and girls cry more, and do not understand the stereotypical nature of these statements. During this stage, children have not exhibited any negative effects on their self valuation due to these stereotypes Children may purposively seek out these ; Schlossberg & Goodman, 1972; Kohlberg, 1966). (1981) third stage, adolescents become more sensitive to the evaluations of their peer groups and then later to the expectations and values of the

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46 general society. Gottfredson (1981) sta prestige, social class and valued personal abilities begin s to mirror the societal evaluations. Adolescents begin to perceive the prestige of an occupation based on the social class and the personal abilities of people assuming those positions. Gottfredson (1981) stated this developing social class awareness of an adolescent affects the 561). Adolescents and adults predominantly agree on the distinctions between the social classes ( Kraus, PIff, & Keltner, 2009 commonly held and naturally learned as are stereotypes of jobs and the sexes, and they are I mages of social classes include many different variables such as the level and type of education, occupational income, type and place of residence, and clique membership (Gottfredson, 1 981). Gottfredson (1981) argued the recognition of these images as characteristics of membership in a particular social class is learned through years of concrete and affect h ow quickly he/she recognize and adapt these characteristics into a full recognition and understanding of position and that of social classes. T he development of social class identification and recognition begins early in chi ldhood and usually finalize in early adolescence (i.e. 8 th grade) with final adult stereotypes (De Neys & Vanderputte, 2011; McKown & Strambler, 2009) These early perceptions of social class had very little to do with economic considerations but the

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47 perce ived personal favorability of the class. As a child progresses into adolescence, additional awareness of other indicators (ie. clothing, behavior, difference in possession, recreation activities) becomes a part of their identification of social class. Gott fredson (1981) stated by the end of junior high school, adolescents become well versed in understanding the link between education, jobs, wealth, and social class. The development of social class stereotypes and perception of occupational prestige progress es simultaneously. As all the aforementioned theories have detailed, adolescents are progressing in their social, moral and societal role development during the same period of time. All the theories pinpoint how family, community and society affects the a perception of their place in the community and perceived expectations of society. The gap in the research is how the variables of race, socioeconomic status, gender and community demographics (i.e. rural, urban, suburbs ) of adolescents within the combined theoretical frameworks of Erikson (1950) Kohlberg ( 1966 ) and Gottfredson (1981) affect the occupational aspirations and the development of leadership life skills. Conceptual Framework This study will examine the connection between the occup ational aspirations and career expectations of rural youth and the development of leadership life skills within the early stages o f adolescence. Cantor (1990) explained adolescents become more focused on their future and the behaviors needed to accomplish aspiring goals. Youth development theories have detailed the importance of occupational aspirations in the healthy formation of self identity within adolescence.

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48 Occupational Aspirations Previous research on occupational aspirations of adolescents has fo cused on a variety of variables including gender, values, beliefs, socioeconomic status, parental and school staff expectations, and the exhibiting of at risk behaviors. Weisgram, Bigler, and Liben (2010) discovered adolescent males had greater interest in pursuing jobs traditionally held by men, and females exhibit ed more interest in jobs viewed as more feminine. Adolescents have reported that they do not feel restrained by these traditional gender roles and do not view gender roles as a barrier to any fut ure occupation (Ley, Nelson & Beltyukova, 1996). Ley, Nelson, and Beltyukova (1996) discovered when rating gender as a barrie r, a large extent not at all elson, and Beltyukova (1996) concluded even though adolescents routinely were able to classify occupations and careers into a specific gender role, they did not feel pressured to pursuing careers matching their gender, thus limiting the effect of compromis e on their occupational aspirations. According to Rojewski and Kim (2003), females have shown to be more likely to aspire to occupations with a high level or low level of prestige and males have aspirations for moderate prestige level careers. Youth exhibi ting occupational aspirations within early adolescence have been more likely to maintain those aspirations until external factors such as familial, community and societal barriers begin to constrain and limit the perceived likelihood of the achieving those goals ( Armstrong & Crombie, 2000 ; Lee & Rojewski, 2009 ). Occupational aspirations have been restrained by whether the values held by adolescents match with the perceived job values and characteristics (Jozefowicz, Barber, & Eccles, 1993). Jozefowicz, Barb er, and Eccles

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49 (1993) found males preferred lifestyles perceived as high status and competitive with the accumulation of monetary and material wealth, and females valued the relationship with family and friends over work. Females translate these values int o preferring careers requiring more sociability with people, while males preferred careers associating with machinery and manual labor (Jozefowicz, Barber, & Eccles, 1993). Lee (2010) discovered initial career aspirations of adolescents were significantly affected by socio economic status (SES). The initial asp irations of adolescents in the 8th grade were students with a high SES also having higher career aspirations than Lee, 2010, p. 28). Mello (2009) quantified that for every unit of SES increase there was an increase in the expectation of a professional occupation in 14 year olds. Although the study indicated that SES significantly contributed to the overall model SES did not aff ect the development of occupational expectations Hannah and Kahn (1989) combi ned gender and SES in the occupational selection of high school students in the 12 th grade. The study concluded that adolescents of higher SES were more likely to choose more prestigious careers (67% cf 9%) than low prestige jobs (Hannah & Kahn, 1989). Pa rticipants with a low SES were more equally divided in the selection of job with high or low level prestige (Hannah & Kahn, 1989). SES placed no significance in the selection of job type, although 88% percent of males choose career s matching their gender (Hannah & Kahn, 1989). Female participants with a high SES were more likely to choose male oriented careers (57% cf. 24%) tha n

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50 female oriented careers, whereas the results of low SES females w ere directly opposite as 24% selected a male dominated career an d 44% choose a career matching their gender (Hannah & Kahn, 1989). The existing research on the relationship with extracurricular activities and occupational aspirations is large ly (1992) study on the e ffects of participation in extracurricular activities was favorable or with significant results associated with 17 academic and nonacademic outcomes, including student occupational and educational aspirations, from out of the 22 dependent variables tested. Student involvement in sports, honor societies, student government, community service organizations, school publication, church organizations, school subject matter activities, and cheerleading were all positively linked to producing positive academic and nonacademic outcomes (Marsh, 1992). Marsh and Kleitman (2002) found a strong correlation between in school ( r =.195) and out of school structured extracurricular activities ( r educational aspirations. Leadership L ife Skill Development Past research on the development of leadership life skills has mainly been focused on determining the effectiveness of students involved in the FFA and 4 H extracurricular programs (Boyd, Herring, & Briers, 1992; Dormody & Seevers, 1 993; Fitzpatrick, Gagne, Jones, Lobley & Phelps, 2005; Seevers, Dormody, & Clason, 1995; Seevers & Dormody, 1994; Wingenbach & Kahler, 1997). Seevers, Dormody, and have lon g been interested in whether or not 4 H and FFA programming are effective in 28). The development of life skills ha s become a

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51 basis for intervention programs for at risk youth (Gilchrist, Schinke, & Maxwell, 1987) and past research and intervention programs have found value in the development of leadership life skills in adolescents to decrease the risk of at risk behaviors (Foerneris, Danish & Scott, 2007). In Boyd, Herring, and Briers (1992) study, 4 H participatio n had only a 3.3% effect on the leadership life skill development. Seevers and 228 senior 4 H members in Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico discovered that participatio n in 4 H had accounted for almost 13% of the variance in leader ship life skills development. An additional study by Dormody and Seevers (1993) to determine the effect of participation in FFA leadership activities found only a 2.3% of the variance in the development of leadership life skills. When these combined achiev ement expectancy were learned through these same FFA leadership programs the variance increased to 15.9 % of leadership life skill development. A multivariate analysis of Wi n genbach and lead significant in explaining instrument scores. Wi n genbach and Kahler (1997) also investigated other non FFA activities including youth participating in sports, church groups, and after school jobs. This study found that only youth with the independent variable of after school jobs had statistical significance ( t = 3.362; p =.001) in the multiple regression model (Wi n genbach & Kahler, 1997). Eccles, Barber, Stone, and Hunt (2003) found positive effects in the limiting of ri sky behaviors in adolescents who participated in church and volunteer activities. Eccles and Barber (1999) discovered a positive correlation between participating in team sports and the consumption of alcohol by underage children, but also predicted

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52 the in crease s at age 24 (Eccles, Barber, Stone, & Hunt, 2003, p.871). Fredricks and Eccles (2006) concl uded that participation on high school clubs and sports predicted better academic performance, and the education status after graduating high school. Individuals participating in high school sports also showed better psychological health than non participa ting adolescents. Kliebard (1999) said the inclusion of leadership into vocational education began experience in real life. This philosophy matched with Dewey theory that claimed that education is most effective experiences. Thus, vocational agricultural has a routinely been a centerpiece of Deweyian approach to education. Kliebard (1999) further explained vocational educat ion was never designed to meet the occupational demands of society, but instead emphasized problem solving, initiative and leadership. Brannon, Holley, and Key (1989) concluded that involvement in vocational agricultur al education had a higher degree of pa rticipation in community activities, specifically community affairs organizations, school organizations, church groups, agricultural groups, and educational groups. Foster, Bell and Erskine (1995) concluded agricultural educators have seen the necessity fo r leadership development curriculum and its continued importance to the future educational needs of students, while principals do not recognize the current importance but agree of the need for increased importance in future curriculum. Other researchers ha ve been active in research the development of leadership skills through

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53 vocational activities including participation in supervised agricultural projects and livestock exhibition. skills in yo uth participating in livestock exhibition found a statistical significance ( t = 1.15; p = .04) with males ( M =70.83; SD =12.71) scoring lower on YLLSDS than females ( M =75.52, SD =13.16). Conceptual Model As is detailed in the literature, the theories of Eri kson (1950) Kohlberg (1977) and Gottfredson (1981) have all have been linked to the beginning work of Freud (1923) and human development. Each of the theories used in this study describe the development of self identity in adolescents. Instead of using o ne theory to explain the identity, the conceptual model (Figure 2 1) shows identity and ultimately the development of leadership life skills. Figure 2 1 Conceptual Model for Development of Leadership Life Skills in Adolescents

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54 The conceptual model details how the puberty and adolescence stage described (1950) theory begins the process of identity formation in the adolescent. T his theoretical stage of development details how the individual begins to question his \ her role in society, while at the same time society begins to question the adolescent as to his \ her future plans and role with the community. Erikson described this as t he synthesis of biological, psychological, and social adaptive demands (Lerner, 1986). This (1950) (1981) theory. As th e process is taking place, the conventional ral development explains how adolescents are striving to meet the expectations of family and society, but at the same time are trying to achieve their own expectations. These irations and role of circumscription and compromise in choosing their future role in society, thus identity. The proper balancing of these theories in the development of the self identity will motivate an adolescent to develop leadership life skills as a way to achieve their future occupational aspirations. Summary (1950) (1977) theory of (1981) theory of occupational aspirations pl ay an identity. These theoretical frameworks have detailed how occupational aspirations contribute to the identity, but also the need for motivation to meet ex pectations. Past research has concentrated on the variable s affecting the development of occupational aspirations, but the research on the effects of occupational aspirations of positive adolescent behaviors is extremely limited. Leadership life skills hav e long been

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55 the center piece of intervention programs for adolescents exhibiting at risk and delinquency behaviors. Many research studies have investigated the link between participation in the FFA and 4 H organization s and the development of leadership li fe skills. Recently studies have begun including other student extracurricular activities to determine the effect on life skill development. This study has laid the theoretical basis to investigate the link between occupational aspirations and leadership l ife skills development.

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56 CHAPTER 3 METHOLOGY The purpose of this study was to understand the influences of occupational aspirations and career expectations on the development of leadership life skills in rural adolescents. The focus of this chapter is to fully explain the research design, procedures, research population, sample population, instrument utilization, and procedures for collecting and analyzing data. Research Design This research utilized a quantitative, correlational design with a descriptiv e survey approach. This approach was utilized in order to facilitate the measurement and description of the relationship that occupational aspirations have on the development of leadership life skills (McMillan & Schmacher, 2010). This researcher framed th is study in a positivism epistemological perspective, which allowed for the inclusion of limitations, specific contextual factors, and multiple theories from which one can understand the research data and findings (McMillan & Schmacher, 2010). As with any credible research, the researcher made every effort to control for errors in this stu dy. The specific types of error that were of concern to the researcher include d measurement error, coverage error, sampling error, and response and nonresponse bias. This research used the Dillman Tailored Design Method (DTDM) (Dillman, Smyth, & Ch r i stian, 2009) to assure construction of the survey instruments used in this study limited any validity or reliability issues. Dillman, Smyth, and Christian (2009) defined measure ment error as the result of poorly worded questions or design construction. The questionnaire was created by adapting instruments previously used in other research assessing occupational aspirations and leadership life skills.

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57 The researcher received Inst itutional Review Board (IRB) approval in order to conduct the study. All IRB protocols were reviewed and approved, and the study was given the Protocol #2012 U 0395. Population The population for this study consisted of adolescents living within rural com munities of Florida and attending public school. Children in the early stages of adolescence were targeted. Early adolescence is defined as children entering into puberty or between 12 and 14 years of age (Erickson, 1959). To capture this specific populati on, the researcher selected children in the 6 th through 8 th grade in the various school districts in the state of Florida. For the purpose of this research, a rural community was defined as the low density population community as defined by the 2010 United States Census Bureau. Only counties with a population of less than 50,000 were included in the study. The majority of local economy is centered on the agricultural industry or blue collar occupations. A total of 11 counties within the state of Florida met these requirements and were included. A convenience sample was taken from the population by surveying adolescents enrolled in agricultural education programs and science classrooms. A convenience sample has been defined as those in which participants in the survey have been selected solely on the basis of being readably accessible to the researcher (McMillan & Schumacher, 2010). Agricultura l education classrooms were chosen due the importance of those programs to adolescents in small town rural life and the diversity of the aspirations of the children enrolled within those classes (Conroy, 2000).

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58 Fourteen separate communities were picked throughout th e 11 Florida counties meeting requirements to be included in this research. The communities were chosen b ased on the criteria meeting the research definition of a rural community and the sample. The researcher made contact with the administrator, principal and agricultural i nstructor of the school to ensure cooperation with administering the survey instrument to the sample. A total of fourteen school principals and agricultural instructors were contact by e mail and phone to enlist in the study. Only two school principals fro m the North Central Florida area gave conse nt for the study to be used in their school s No response from the other six school principals or instructors was ever received. Instrument This study sought to identify if there is a relationship between occupati onal aspirations and career expectations, and the development of leadership life skills in combine two existing instruments into one instrument. The instrument had three ind ividual parts including occupational aspirations and career expectations, leadership The instrument used in this study was created by combining a modified version of thwest Regional Laboratory (NRL) questionnaire used by Bajema, Miller, and Williams (2002) to measure rural aspirations of high school seniors in Iowa, and the Youth Leadership Life Skill Development Scale (YLLSDS) developed by Seevers, Dormody, and Clason (1995). The NRL questionnaire used by Bajema, Miller, and Williams include d Likert type scales to assess occupational aspirations, career expectations and the perceived barriers and support to each. A panel of experts

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59 reviewed the instrument for content a nd face validity. A pilot test was conducted to assess clarity and reliability of the Likert scale questions as determined by the Cronbach alpha coefficient method. The barrier section of the survey had a Cronbach alpha of .99 t he importance to future sec tion had a .70, and the perception section had a .75. The reliability of the entire instrument was calculated to be .87. The YLLSDS was developed by Se e vers, Dormody, & Clason (1995) to be an evaluation instrument for a variety of research and causal comp arative studies concerning youth leadership life skills. Se e vers, Dormody, & Clason (1995) designed the instrument as a way to measure the development of leadership life skills and participation in youth organizations, such as the 4 H and National FFA Orga nization. The concept of youth leadership life skills was initially defined by Miller (1976). Other researchers have built upon the beginning work of leadership life skills by Miller to further expand the importance of the construct (Blackwell, 1990; Carte r, 1989; Luft, 1986; Miller, 1981 ; Mueller, 1989 ; Orr & Gobeli, 1986). Seevers, Dormody, and Clason the validity, reliability, and dimensionality of a measure of leadership life skil ls for 29). The instrument was determine to have face and content validity by seven experts from the Cooperative Extension Service, faculty in vocational education, education administration, and research methods, and st atistics. The original assessment was initially designed with 68 indicators measuring seven sub domains determine d through previous research as essential to development of leadership life skills. Seevers, Dormody, and Clason (1995) performed detailed item analysis, internal construct validity assessments, and cross structure validity

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60 correlations to reduce the initial 68 indicator instrument down to a 30 indicator assessment questionnaire and established scores along a 0 to 90 scale. The final instrument wa s tested for reliability and found to have a Cronbach alpha coefficient of a .98. Seevers, Dormody, and Clason (1995) note d that the frequency distribution was respondents re ceiving a perfect score. When both instruments were combined, the number of questions totaled 130. A pilot test was conducted to determine the reliability of the larger instrument being used on a young population and to determine if through a factor analys is the instrument could be condensed. The pilot test consisted of 51 middle school students from the sixth, seventh, and eighth grades in an agricultural education classroom of a small, rural community in North Florida. The analysis of the occupational asp irations portion created by Bajema, Miller, and Williams (2002) was separated into three sections: perceived A varimax rotation with Kaiser normalization was util ized to determine what questions were correlating with each other. All questions with factor loadings with an Eigenvalue of greater or equal to one were analyzed for relationships with the desired measured construct. The factor analysis of the perceived ba rriers section of the occupational aspirations instrument revealed two factors being measured, environmental barriers and cognitive barriers. Environmental barriers were labeled as questions concerning anything outside of the control of the individual, inc luding lack of money for education, lack of transportation, and family disapproval of personal future goals. Cognitive barriers

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61 were labeled as questions which the individuals were imposing their own barriers based on their own thought process, including n ot wanting to work hard, grades are n o t high enough, and family responsibilities. The factor analysis of the important to section revealed dimension s of three distinct factors being tested. These factors include d environmental importance, ac ademic importance and spiritual importance. Environmental importance included questions that specifically dealt with the location of where the individual intended to live in the future. Academic importance included questions that related to the attending p ost secondary education institutions or careers needing additional educational beyond high school. Spiritual importance included questions dealing with the importance of spiritual, religious or personal self fulfillment, including volunteering, voting in e lection, and staying healthy. s self and the perception of others. The perception of self factor included questions that specifically required the ind ividual to self reflect about their own personal views, behaviors and beliefs. The perception of others included questions that measured on how the respondents viewed their peers or their perception of how others viewed themselves. As a result of the fact or analysis, eight questions were removed from the survey instrument due to poor reliability or poor factor loadings. The final survey instrumentation had 122 questions. The Cronbach alpha coefficient for the per ception of barriers section was .99, the

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62 importa .70, and the perception of future section had a reliability of .94. The Cronbac h a lpha coefficient for the entire occupation aspirations section of the instrument was a .93. The Cronbach alpha coefficient for the YLLSDS in the pilot test was determined to be .96. A factor analysis was performed on the YLLSDS, but no significant f indings differing from the initial item analysis performed by the instrument designer w ere found. The scale was left unchanged and used in its entirety. Data Collection The researcher administered the survey instrument face to face to the sample during sc heduled class meeting times. The ability to deliver instruction and answer questions about the survey instrument can best by handled by the researcher. This method was used to ensure that no interference or bias was introduced into the results and limit an y instrumentation variation between school samples and maintain internal validity. The two s chool administrators from two North Florida communities meeting the criteria set forth by the researcher were contacted via email about participation in this study. Upon receipt of interest in participating, the researcher choose the schools based on geographical location as to be ensure to represent rural communities from different regions of the state. T he researcher made direct contact with the school based agricu ltural educator to explain the research, the proposed research procedures, benefits of the study and coordinate a date that the researcher could visit and present the instrument to the sample population. The number of students available to be contacted by the researcher for participation in the study was approximately 200. After receiving the cooperation of the agricultural instructor, the researcher followed IRB

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63 protocol and sent parent and student informed consent forms to be distributed, signed and coll ected. The researcher has followed a modified version of the five contact system detailed by Dillman, Smyth, and Christian (2009) to improve the return of signed parental consent forms. Since the researcher delivered the survey instrument directly to the students, following the exact procedures detailed by Dillman, Smyth, and Christian for mail response survey would not have been warranted. Enough similarities existed between the completion of mail surveys and the signing and returning of parental release contact system needed to control nonresponse bias. The researcher devised the following protocols to ensure maximum response rate and avoid nonresponse bias. First, a notice letter was sent hom e with each student. This letter allowed for the use of social exchange to motivate parents to sign and return the release forms (Dillman, Smyth, & Christian, 2009). The letter provided information about the research study and the survey instrument itself (Groves et al., 1992). The letter asked for the parents help in assisting with the research study Dillman, Smyth, and Christian (2009) also encouraged the use of positive regards in the letter to the parent. The letter was accompanied by a parent and stud ent release form in order to gather any early enrollers. A thank you note was sent a few days later expressing gratitude for signing and returning the release form, and reminding those who had not done so there was time and it would be greatly appreciated (Dillman, Christenson, Carpenter, & Brooks, 1974). A second letter with accompanying parent release was sent as a reminder about the need for the release forms to be signed and returned for

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64 their child to be included in the survey. The letter offered each parent or guardian the risks involved in the research study. It also mentioned that many other parents had already signed and returned the release forms in hopes providing social validation to the parents for participating (Groves et al., 1992). On the date the survey instrument was administered, the researcher presented a detailed introductory explanation of the research study and the proper way to fill out the instrument to the students within the class. All students who had submitted a signed release form were given the instrument while non participants would be given in class work to do by their agricultural instructor. Upon completion, the assessment was return directl y to the researcher for analysis. Data Analysis The research data collected via the survey instrument for this study has been analyzed using descriptive and comparative statistics using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences 20.0 (SPSS). Standard descriptive statistics were used to analyze the sample population. The first objective sought to describe the demographic characteristics of the sample by using frequency and percentage of the total sample. The second objective sought to describe the lea dership life skills development of the sample population in the terms of the demographic variables. The frequency, mean and standard deviation of each independent demographic variable was used to describe the development of leadership life skills in the sa mple population. The third objective sought to describe each of the occupational aspiration constructs in terms of the demographic variables. The frequency, mean and standard

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65 deviation of each independent demographic variable was used to describe the devel opment of leadership life skills in the sample population. The fourth objective sought to identify the relationships between demographic variables and the development of leadership life skills. Analysis of variance tests were used to determine if any signi ficant differences existed. Post hoc analysis of significant differences utilizing Bonferroni correction determined what specific variables were significant from the other The fifth objective sought to identify the relationships between each of the fact ors making up the occupational aspirations construct and leadership life skills. A Pearson moment product correlation test was run to determine if any relationship exist ed between the occupation aspiration constructs and leadership life skills. Pearson pro duct moment correlation is used to show the relationship between two variables in a study (Agresti & Finlay, 2009) Significance of the correlation is determine by the level of confidence of 95% and a p value equal to or less than .05, and the level of con fidence of 99% with a p value equal to or less than .01. Davis (1971) explained the standards to determine the strength of correlation between variables. Correlations with a positive r value equal to +.70 or higher shows a very strong positive correlation while negative r value equal to .70 or higher shows a very strong negative correlation. Values with an r value equal between +.50 and +.69 are identified as showing a positive substantial relationship, while the inverse of the r value indicates a negati ve substantial relationship. An r value between +.30 and +.49 indicate a moderate positive relationship, while again the inverse value of r indicates

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66 moderate negative association. Values of r less than +.29 or .29 are considered to be low or insignifican t correlations. Summary The evaluation of occupational aspirations and leadership life skill development in young adolescents allow s for a new approach in developing productive and motivated adults. This research was a quantitative, causal comparative des ign and used a descriptive survey approach. The survey instruments by Bajema, Miller, and Williams (2002) to measure occupational aspirations and the Youth Leadership Life Skills Development Survey developed by Se e vers, Dormody, and Clason (1995) were comb ined into a single instrument for this study The Cronbach alpha coefficients to determine reliability of these instruments proved them stable and acceptable. The researcher received permission from Dr. Duane Bajema and Dr. Brenda S. Seevers for the use of the survey instruments in this study as seen in Appendix C The researcher also received prior approval from the University of Florida Institutional Review Board, guard ians before conducting the survey. Data was entered into SPSS 20.0 to calculate all statistical measurements.

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67 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS The purpose of this study is to identify the influence of occupational aspirations and career expectations on the development o f youth leadership life skills in rural, middle school students. As explained in Chapter 1, five research objectives have been identified for investigation including: 1. Describe the sample population of rural, middle school students in terms of class grade, 2. Describe the self perceived youth leadership life skills of the sample population of rural, middle school students using the Youth Leadership Life Skills Development Scale developed by Seevers, Dormody and Clason (1993). 3. Describe the occupational aspirations of the sample population of rural, middle school students according to the demographic variables. 4. Determine if any significant differences exis ts between demographic variables and the development of leadership life skills scores. 5. Identify the relationship between occupational aspirations and the leadership life skills of the sample population of rural, middle school students. The focus of this c hapter is to fully explain the findings through statistical analysis school students in the 6 th 7 th and 8 th grades from two small, rural communities located in North Florida. Following the procedures discussed in Chapter 3, a convenience sample was taken of students enrolled in agricultural education programs at middle schools in small, rural communities. Six school administrations were contacted a bout participation i n the study. T wo schools agreed to allow the researcher access to teachers and students to gather necessary parental and participant consents. The total volunteer sample size of received parental consent s was 85, with 82 students consenting to participat e in the study. This accounted for a 96.5% response rate. As

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68 shown in Table 4 1, 13.8% were enrolled in the sixth grade, 46.3% were seventh graders, and the 40.0% were eighth graders. Demographics of Respondents The study included seven main demographic questions and 14 auxiliary demographic questions. Auxiliary demographic questions were included as a part of the instrument design, but not being investigated as a part of this study. These main ocioeconomic status, 60.0% ( n = 48) and males were 40.0% ( n = 32) of the total sample population, as shown In Table 4 2. When participants were asked to identify their ra ce, 84.1% ( n =69) identified themselves as being White, 6.1% ( n =5) as Hispanic or Latino, 3.7% ( n =3) as Black, 2.4% ( n =2) as American Indian, and 1.2% ( n =1) as Other. These responses have been placed for visual review in Table 4 3. As discussed in previous chapters, early adolescence is routinely defined as are shown in Table 4 4. A little over two percent of participants listed 11 as their age, 11.3% chose 12, 45.0% listed 13, 31.3% stated 14, and the remaining 10 percent chose 15 years of age or older. Participants were asked to identify what they felt their families socioeconomic status (SES) was compared to others within their community. Over 7% of particip ants ( n = 6) identified their family being financial disadvantaged and were aware their family struggled to make ends meet on a monthly basis Nearly 13 percent ( n = 10) of the al situation was below average 45%

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69 ( n = 35) remaining 34.6 % ( n = 27) either identified their socioeconomic status as being above average or advantaged compared to their community. Table 4 5 denoted the percentage br eakdown for each socioeconomic category. Participants were asked to identify their birth order when compared to any siblings. Nearly four percent of the survey participants indicated they were an only child ( n = 3), 22.0% indicated they were the oldest of their siblings ( n = 18), 37.8% stated they were a middle child ( n = 31), and nearly 37% indicated they were the youngest child ( n = 30). Table 4 6 shows the breakdown of these percentages. The survey instrument asked participants to identify their parent Over half of the participants (52.4%, n = 43) stated their parents were married, and never divorced, 15.9% ( n = 13) of participants stated married, but one or both parents were previously divorced, and 24.4% ( n =20) listed having only a sin gle parent, either divorced, never married, widowed, or separated. Over 7% ( n =6) of participants listed subsequent Table 4 7. Additional demographics were gathered in order to bet ter describe the sample population. Participants were asked to identify what category of grades they routinely receive d from teachers. Over a quarter of the participants (25.9%, n =21) listed receiving n n =20) and n =3). These figures can be seen in Table 4 8.

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70 Since the sample population was targeted based on the characteristics of the surrounding community t he instrument qu estioned the students as to their personal perception of the desirability to live within the community. As shown in Table 4 9, nearly 43% of respondents listed their community as being a great place to live ( n =35), 29.3% indicated it was a good place to li ve ( n =24), 18.3% indicated it as average ( n =15), and the remaining 9.8% listed it as an undesirable place to live ( n =8). Participants were asked about their plan to attend college, university or trade school after high school. Over 74% ( n =61) of students college, university or trade scho ol after graduating high school; 14.6% said they were n =12); n =6) and nearly four ll in post secondary academic institutions ( n =3). The following Table 4 10 shows the frequency and percentages. Leadership Life Skills of Respondents The second objective of this research was to describe the leadership life skills of the sample population Leadership life skills were determined by using the Youth Leadership Life Skill Development Scale ( Y LLSDS) created by Dormody, Seevers and Clason (1995). The instrument determined the self perceived growth of leadership life skills variables along a fou r A. is defined as a student recognizing no increase in the particular behavior being measured is defined as a student feels they have minimal increase in the a student defined as the student recognizing a large development in the behavior being

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71 measured. Several sample po pulations were extremely low for various demographic vari ables ; few concl usions can be drawn from these results. The mean score for students, according to the school grade they were enrolled, are shown in Table 4 11. The t en students from the sixth grade ( n =10) recorded a mean YLLSDS score of 2.97, se venth graders ( n =35) scored a 3.00, and eighth graders ( n =30) scored a 2.82. The total sample population ( n =72) recorded a mean score of 2.92 with a standard deviation of .85. When the sample population is separated out by the demographic variable of gend er, the total mean of males was slightly higher at 2.97 (SD = .88) than the score for female students at 2.89 (SD = .84) (see Table 4 12). The mean of leadership life skill development scores were calculated based on the age of the participant. Eleven yea r old participants ( n =2) had a mean of 2.93 (SD=.71), 12 year old participants ( n =8) scored a mean of 2.68 (SD=1.01), 13 year old participants ( n =30) had a mean of 3.08 (SD=.84), 14 year old participants had a mean of 2.84 (SD=.88), and the remaining parti cipants of 15 years of age and older ( n =7) had a mean of 2.80 (see Table 4 13 ). The mean LLSDS scores were calculated based on the independent variable of 14, survey respondents whom identified t n =3) had a mean LLSDS score of 3.79 (SD=.11), followed by participants who identified themselves with affluent and wealthy families had a mean LLSDS score of 3.13 (SD=.77) n =11) had a mean score of 2.92 n =33) had a mean LLSDS scale of 2.75

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72 (SD=.87), and participants ( n =10) had a LLSDS score o f 2.71 (SD=.71). The mean LLSDS scores were calculated based on the academic achievement of each student. Participants ( n n =34) had a mean LLSD S score n =18) had a mean score of 2.61 (SD=.88), n =3) had a mean LLSDS score of 2.61 tabu lations are shown in Table 4 15. Mean LLSDS scores were tabulated using the birth order of the participants compared to other sibling, if any. Survey respondents who were only children ( n =3) had a mean LSSDS score of 3.29 (SD=1.20), those identified as be ing the oldest in the family ( n n =28) had a mean score of 2.82 (SD=.86), and participants who are the youngest of their siblings ( n =27) had a mean LLSDS score of 2.84 (SD=.91). These percen tages can be found in Table 4 16. The Mean LLSDS score for each respondent was calculated according to how each participant identified the marriage status of their parents. Participants whose parents are married and never divorced ( n =37) the mean LLSDS s core of 2.96 (SD=.94); participants whose parents were married but one or both were previously divorced ( n =12) had a mean score of .81 (SD = .86); respondents living with a single parent, because of divorce, never married, widowed, or separation ( n =19) had a mean LLSDS score was 3.15 (SD=.56);

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73 parental status had a mean LLSDS score of 1.93 (SD=.42). No respondents listed both parents being deceased and living with a guardian (see Table 4 17 ) Occupational A spirations of Respondents The third objective was to describe the occupational aspirations of the sample population. Three factors with corresponding sub dimensions have been identified as important to the development of future occupational aspirations (G ottfredson, 1981; Kohlberg, 1966). The factors are perceived environmental and cognitive barriers ; perceived individual importance of academic, of environment or location and spiritual well being to future, and the perception of themselves and other s. Each factor was determined by using three point Likert scales for perceived barriers and importance for future, while a five point Likert scale was used for perceptions. Several sample po pulations were extremely low for various demographic va riables and thus concl usions can be drawn from these results. Barrier Recognition of Respondents The environmental, cognitive, and total barrier means were calculated according to the grade they were currently enrolled in school. The scale determined perceived barriers along three rating a one. The instrument can be found in Appe ndix A. defined as having no impact on the achievement of any future goals by a n adolescents. particular circumstance as an obstacle to achieving future goals, but feels that goal that is difficult to overcome and prohibits them from becoming what they want to become in the future.

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74 The means of sixth grade student were 2.72 for env ironmental barriers ( n =10, SD=.29), 2.89 for cognitive barriers ( n =9, SD=.15), and 2.84 for total barriers ( n =9, ( n =36, SD=.32), cognitive barriers were 2.75 ( n =35, SD=.38), an d total barriers was 2.75 ( n =35, SD=.33). The means for eighth grade students were 2.70 for environmental barriers ( n =30, SD=.31), 2.89 for cognitive barriers ( n =29, SD=.17), and 2.80 for total barriers ( n =29, .19). All calculations can be seen in Table 4 18. total barriers was calculated by gender. Female respondents had a mean score of 2.75 ( n =44, SD=.32) for environmental barriers, 2.81 ( n =42, SD=.35) for cognitive barriers, and 2.79 ( n =42, SD=.29) for total barrier s Males respondents had a mean score of 2.71 ( n =32, SD=.29) for environmental barriers, 2.83 ( n =31, SD=.20) for cognitive barriers, and 2.78 ( n =31, SD=.22 mean score for environmental barriers was 2.73 ( n =76, SD=.32), and cognitive barriers was 2.82 ( n =73, SD=.29). The means for environmental, cognitive and total barriers were calculated based on the race of each respondent. The mean environmental barrier score for participants who lis n 2.56 ( n n n =2, SD=.47), as shown in Table 4 20. The mean cognit n =64, SD=.30), n n n ( n n n =3, SD=.25)

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75 n =2, SD=.27). Table 4 20 shows the descriptive statistics for perceived barriers. The means for environmental, cognitive and total barrier was tabulat ed according to the age of the participant. As shown in Table 4 21, 11 year old partic ipants had a mean environmental barrier of 2.50 ( n =2, SD=.08), 12 year was 2.58 ( n =8, SD=.47), 13 year mean score of 2.81 ( n =35, SD=.25), 14 year n =23, SD=.30), and participants of 15 y ears of age and older had a 2.61 mean score ( n =8, SD=.35). The mean for cognitive barrier for 11 year old students was 2.89 ( n =2, SD=0.00), 12 year old partici was 2.65 ( n =7 SD=.64), 13 year mean score was 2.82 ( n =34, SD=.28), 14 year old students had a mean score of 2.86 ( n =22, SD=.17), and mean score for participants of 15 years old and older was 2.61 ( n =8, SD=.35). The total barrier mean for 11 year old participants was 2.70 ( n =2, SD=.04), 12 year n =7, SD=.55), 13 year mean of 2.82 ( n =34, SD=.23), 14 year n =22, SD=.20), and the remaining student who were 15 years of age and older had a mean of 2.72 ( n =8, SD=.21). These figures are shown in Table 4 21. The mean environmental, cognitive and total barriers scores were calculated according to the participants identification of their familie status (SES) or situation. Participants who identified themselves as being from a n =6, SD=.28), a cognitive barrier of 2.91 ( n =6, SD=.18), and a mean, total barrier score of

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76 2.77 ( n n =9, SD=.34), a mean cognitive barrier score of 2.82 ( n = 8, SD=.19), and a mean total barrier score of 2.76 ( n barrier score of 2.65 ( n =34, SD=.36), a mean cognitive barrier score of 2.76 ( n =33, SD=.36), and a mean total barrier score of 2.72 ( n =33, SD=.36). Parti cipants from n = 14, SD=.27), a mean cognitive barrier score of 2.84 ( n =12, SD=.27), and a mean total barrier score of 2.85 ( n =12, SD=.18). Participants from affluent and wea lthy families had a mean environmental barrier score of 2.84 ( n =14, SD=.27), a mean cognitive barrier score of 2.82 ( n =13, SD=.33), and a mean total barrier score of 2.83 ( n =13, SD=.29). The descriptive statistics for family socioeconomic status and enviro nmental and cognitive barrier can be seen in Table 4 22. calculated according to what grades they received in their coursework. Students who 2.87 ( n =20, SD=.21), a cognitive barrier score of 2.95 ( n =20, SD=.08), and total barrier score of 2.91 ( n environmental barrier score of 2.73 ( n =3 6, SD=.30), the mean cognitive barrier score was 2.80 ( n =34, SD=.26), and the total barrier score was 2.78 ( n n =19, SD=.36), a mean cognitive barrier score of 2.72 ( n =19, S D=.41), and mean total barrier score of 2.66 ( N

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77 mean environmental barrier score of 2.28 ( N =2, SD=.24). Only one valid response was captured to assess this variable. The respond ent scored a cognitive barrier score was a 1.89 and total barrier score of 2.17. These figures can be seen in Table 4 23. The mean environmental, cognitive and total barrier scores were calculated by birth order of the participant. Respondents whom ide nti fied themselves as being an only child had a mean environmental barrier score of 2.28 ( N =2, SD=.24), a mean cognitive barrier score of 2.11 ( N =2, SD=.31), and a mean total barrier score of 2.19 ( N =2, SD=.04). Responden ts who identified as being the oldest had a mean environmental barrier score of 2.82 ( n =17, SD=.18), a mean cognitive barrier score of 2.84 ( n =17, SD=.18), and a mean total barrier score of 2.83 ( n =17, SD=.14). Respondents who were born as a middle child had a mean environmental barrier score of 2.69 ( n =30, SD=.36), a mean cognitive score of 2.77 ( n =28, SD=.37), and a mean total barrier score of 2.74 ( n =28, SD=.37). Respondents whom identified themselves as being the youngest had a mean environmental barrier score of 2.72 ( n =29, SD=.31), a mean cognitive barrier score of 2.88 ( n =27, SD=.23), and a mean total barrier score of 2.81 ( n =27, SD=.24). These figures can be seen in the following Table 4 24. The mar riage status of the participant s parents was used to calculate the mean environmental, cognitive and total barrier scores. Participants whose parents are married and never divorced had a mean environmental barrier score of 2.79 ( n =41, SD=.25), a mean cognitive barrier score of 2.91 ( n =39, SD=.14), and a mean total barrier score of 2.86 ( n =3 9, SD=.17). Participants whose parents are divorced but remarried had a mean environmental barrier score of 2.81 ( n =12, SD=.19), a mean cognitive barrier score of 2.73 ( n =12, SD=.35), and a mean total barrier score of 2.77

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78 ( n =12, SD=.25). Respondents whom identified themselves as being cared for by a single parent, either because of divorce, never mar ried, widowed or separation, have a mean environmental barrier score of 2.56 ( n =20, SD=.37), a cognitive barrier score of 2.73 ( n =19, SD=.29), and a mean total barrier score of 2.66 ( n =19, SD=.27). There were no respondents for both parents being deceased. Participants whom identified themselves as being in living situations other than choices given in the instrument had a mean environmental barrier score of 2.5 3 ( n =5, SD=.51), a cognitive barrier score of 2.42 ( n =4, SD=.81), and a mean total barrier score of 2.47 ( n =4, SD=.70). All figures can be seen in Table 4 25. A factor analysis of Bajema, Miller a investigating the rural aspirations of Iowa students found three factorial dimensions Importance, Location or Environmental Importance, and Spiritual Importance. Each dimension was measured along a three being an item viewed as being non essential by the pa rticipant for the fulfillment of to accomplish their future goals. The mean s core s for academic, environment, and spiritual importance variables were grouped together by the class grade. Sixth grade participants tended to believe academics ( M =1.76, SD=.4 8) environmental location ( M =1.95, SD=.36), and spiritual well being ( M =1.68 SD=.47) were somewhat important Seventh grade participants had

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79 a mean score of 1.62 ( n =37, SD=.37) for academic importance, 2.09 ( n =37, SD=.36) for environmental importance, and 1.51 ( n =37, SD=.36). Eighth grade students had a mean score of 1.59 ( n =32, SD =.34) for academic importance, 2.01 ( n =32, SD=.33) for environmental importance, and 1.51 ( n =37, SD=.36) for spiritual importance. These figures can be seen in Table 4 26. Participants were separated based on gender to determine their mean scores in acad emic, environmental and spiritual importance. The mean score for academic importance for males was 1.73 ( n =31, SD=.40), the mean environmental importance score was 2.04 ( n =31, SD=.38), and the mean spiritual importance score was 1.60 ( n =31, SD=.42). Female s scored a mean academic importance score of 1.56 ( n =48, SD=.35), a mean environmental importance score of 2.03 ( n =48, SD=.32), and a mean spiritual importance score of 1.57 ( n =48, SD=.35). These descriptive statistics are located in Table 4 27. Survey re spondents were grouped based upon how they identified themselves score of 1.66 ( n =68, SD=.37), a mean environmental importance score of 2.05 ( n =68, SD=.34), and a mean spiri tual importance score of 1.61 ( n participants had a mean academic importance score of 1.43 ( n =5, SD=.36), a mean environmental importance score of 1.91 ( n =5, SD=.42), and a mean spiritual importance score of 1.49 ( n =5, SD=.30). Part mean academic importance score of 1.48 ( n =3, SD=.50), a mean environmental importance score of 1.73 ( n =3, SD=.48), and a mean spiritual importance score of 1.22 ( n =3, SD=.48). The mean scores for respond ents whom identified himself \ herself as

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80 n =2, SD=.00) for academic importance, 2.14 ( n =2, SD=.19) for environmental importance, and 1.56 ( n =2, SD=.16) for spiritual importance. The only participant who identified themselves as score of 1.43, environmental importance score of 2.27, and a spiritual importance of 1.22. Table 4 28 shows the descriptive statistics for importance for future construct and race. The mean academic, environmental and sp iritual importance scores were calculated based upon age of the participant. Eleven year old participants had a mean academic importance score of 1.36 ( n =2, SD=.10), a mean environmental score of 2.18 ( n =2, SD=.26), and a mean spiritual importance score o f 1.56 ( n =2, SD=.16). Twelve year old participants had a mean academic score of 1.79 ( n =9, SD=.41), a mean environmental score of 2.20 ( n =8, SD=.32), and a mean spiritual importance score of 1.86 ( n =8, SD=.43). Participants who were 13 years old had a mean academic importance score of 1.61 ( n =35, SD=.37), a mean environmental importance score of 1.93 ( n =36, SD=.37), and a mean spiritual importance score of 1.46 ( n =36, SD=.34). Survey respondents identified as 14 years old had a mean academic importance scor e of 1.65 ( n =25, SD=.31), a mean environmental importance score of 2.11 ( n =25, SD=.32), and a mean spiritual importance score of 1.65 ( n =25, SD=.40). Respondents identified as 15 years old and older had a mean academic importance score of 1.50 ( n =8, SD=.55 ), a mean environmental importance score of 2.08 ( n =8, SD=.30), and a mean spiritual importance score of 1.63 ( n =8, SD=.32). were separated into groups based upon their families s ocioeconomic status.

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81 Participants from a financially disadvantaged family had a mean academic importance score of 1.55 ( n =6, SD=.38), a mean environmental score of 2.05 ( n =6, SD=.42), and a mean spiritual importance score of 1.83 ( n =6, SD=.50). Respondents from families with n =10, SD=.46), a mean environmental importance score of 2.17 ( n =10, SD=.31), and a mean spiritual importance score of 1.72 ( n families had a mean academic importance score of 1.54 ( n =35, SD=.37), a mean environmental importance score of 1.98 ( n =35, SD=.33), and a mean spiritual importance score of 1.53 ( n families had a mean academic importance score of 1.77 ( n =12, SD=.34), a mean environmental importance score of 2.08 ( n =12, SD=.32), and a mean spiritual importance score of 1.53 ( n =12, SD=.36). Affluent and wealthy family participants had a mean academic importance scor e of 1.64 ( n =14, SD=.28), a mean environmental importance score of 2.07 ( n =14, SD=.42), and a mean spiritual importance score of 1.50 ( n =14, SD=.37). The mean academic, environmental, and spiritual importance scores were tabulated by the grades they recei ved in their coursework. Participants who identified n =21, SD=.37), a mean environmental importance score of 1.88 ( n =20, SD=.29), and a mean spiritual importance score of 1.46 ( n mean academic importance score of 1.65 ( n =36, SD=.36), a mean environmental importance score of 2.07 ( n =37, SD=.38), and a mean spiritual importance score of 1.65 ( n =37, SD=.39). Respondents who identified t

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82 coursework has a mean academic importance score of 1.61 ( n =20, SD=.41), a mean environmental importance score of 2.14 ( n =20, SD=.27), and a mean spiritual importance score of 1.57 ( n dents had an academic importance score of 1.81 ( n =3, SD=.44), a mean environmental importance score of 2.00 ( n =3, SD=.40), and a spiritual importance score of 1.85 ( n =3, SD=.74). No work. These figures can be seen in Table 4 31. Academic, Environmental, and Spiritual Importance means were calculated according to the birth position versus other siblings in the family. Participants who n academic importance score of 1.48 ( n =3, SD=.30), a mean environmental importance score of 1.70 ( n =3, SD=.19), and mean spiritual importance score of 1.41 ( n =3, SD=.36). Participants who self identifies a mean academic importance score of 1.64 ( n =18, SD=.40), a mean environmental score of 1.96 ( n =17, SD=.39), and a spiritual importance mean of 1.53 ( n =17, SD=.35). Students identified as being the n = 30, SD=.37), an environmental importance mean of 2.04 ( n =31, SD=.37), and a spiritual importance mean of 1.56 ( n academic importance mean of 1.60 ( n =30, SD=.38), an environmental import ance mean of 2.11 ( n =30, SD=.28), and a spiritual importance mean of 1.67 ( n =30, SD=.46). The academic, environmental, and spiritual importance mean scores were who ide

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83 importance mean of 1.64 ( n =42, SD=.37), an environmental importance mean score of 2.03 ( n =42, SD=.34), and a spiritual importance mean of 1.55 ( n =42, SD=.37). Participant whose parent importance score of 1.80 ( n =13, SD=.44), an environmental importance mean of 1.97 ( n =13, SD=.35), and a spiritual importance mean of 1.66 ( n =13, SD=.50). Participants lds had a mean academic importance mean of 1.51 ( n =20, SD=.33), environmental importance mean score of a 2.01 ( n =20, SD=.35), and a spiritual importance mean of 1.65 ( n =20, SD=.41). Participants who identified their personal parenting situation as differen t from the options given in the survey instrument had a mean for academic importance of a 1.55 ( n =6, SD=.23), an environmental importance mean of 2.27 ( n =6, SD=.26), and a spiritual importance mean of 1.54 ( n =6, are shown in Table 4 33. The perception of themselves and perception of others w ere found to be constructs being investigated by the rural aspiration survey ins trument designed by Bajema, Miller & Williams (2002). The perception of themselves was scored using a five concerning their personal attitudes and the attitudes and behaviors of others. The lowest ranking of one

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84 enthusiastic agreement of the statement as it applies to the student. Participants in the sixth grade had a mean perception of others score of 3.89 ( n =11, SD=.61), and a mean perception of themselves score of 4.01 ( n =11, SD=.49). mean perception of others score was a 4.00 ( N =35, SD=.66) and a mean perception of themselves score of 4.29 ( N =35, SD=.55). Eighth grade students had a perception of others score mean of 3.96 ( N =32, SD=.62), and a perception of themselves mean of 4.19 ( N = 32, SD=.59). The perception means were c alculated by gender of the participant. Males were found to have a mean perception of others score of 4.00 ( N =31, SD=.61) and mean perception of themselves score of 4.09 ( N =31, SD=.56). Females had a mean perception of others score of 3.95 ( N =47, SD=.64) and a mean perception of themselves score of 4.28 ( N =47, SD=.55). Figures can be seen in Table 4 35. The mean scores for perception of others and themselves were calculated based an perception of others score of 4.02 ( n =67, SD=.59), and a mean perception of themselves of 4.25 ( n students had a mean perception of others score of 3.97 ( n =5, SD=.42), and a mean perception of themselves score of 3.85 ( n =5, SD=.3 9). The mean perception of others n =3, SD=1.01), and a mean score of 4.75 ( n perception of others score of 3.50 ( n =2, SD=.71), and a mean score of 3.69 ( n =2, SD=1.15) for a perception of themselves. The sole participant who identified themselves

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85 of 2.50. The age of participants were used to group an d tabulate the mean score of perception construct. Eleven year old participants had a mean perception of others score of 3.67 ( n =2, SD=.24) and mean perception of themselves score of 4.06 ( n =2, SD=.27). Twelve year old respondents had a mean perception of others score of 3.69 ( n =9, SD=.71), and a mean perception of themselves score of 3.81 ( n =9, SD=.44). Thirteen year old participants had a perception of others mean of 4.08 ( n =34, SD=.61) and perception of themselves mean of 4.37 ( n =34, SD=.52). Fourteen ye ar old participants had a mean perception of others score of 3.98 ( n =25, SD=.65) and a mean perception of themselves score of 4.24 ( n =25, SD=.57). Participants identified as being 15 years old and older had a mean perception of others score of 3.88 ( n =8, S D=.60), and a mean perception of themselves score of 3.92 ( n =8, SD=.65). The participant s families socioeconomic status was used to group and calculate mean score for perception of others and perception of themselves. Participants from n =6, SD=.59) and a mean perception of themselves score of 4.29 ( n =6, SD=.47). score of 3.57 ( n =10, SD=.64) and a mean perception of themselves score of 3.79 ( n others score of 4.00 ( n =34, SD=.64) and a mean perception of themselves score of 4.13 ( n perception of others score of 3.9 6 ( n =12, SD=.58225) and a mean perception of

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86 themselves score of 4.35 ( n =12, SD=.48). Participants from affluent and wealthy families had a mean perception of others score of 4.07 ( n =14, SD=.63) and a mean perception of themselves score of 4.50 ( n =14, SD=.38). Participant s grades in coursework were used to group and calculate the means perception of others mean score of 4.21 ( n =20, SD=.61) and perception of self mean of 4.49 ( n mean of 3.98 ( n =36, SD=.58) and a perception of self mean of 4.19 ( n =36, SD=.55). students had perception of others mean of 3.88 ( n =20, SD=.55) and perception of self mean of 4.03 ( n n =3, SD=.67) and perception of self mean of 3.19 ( n =2, SD=. are shown in Table 4 39. The participant s birth order was used to calculate the mean score of perception others mean of 4.00 ( n =3, SD=1.04), and a perception of self mean ( n =3, SD=.53). n =17, SD=.48) and a perception of self mean of 4.32 ( n participant s had a perception of others mean of 3.91 ( n =30, SD=.58) and a perception of self mean of 4.20 ( n =30, SD=.47). Participants who identified themselves as being n =30, SD=.68) and a per ception of self mean of 4.11 ( n =30, SD=.66). These statistics are shown in Table 4 40.

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87 The parents marriage status of participants was used to calculate the means of n n =42, SD=.59), and a mean perception of self score of 4.28 ( n =43, .44). Participants whose parents were n =13, SD=.68 ) and mean perception of self score of 4.09 ( n =12, SD=.73). Parents from a n =19, SD=.41) and perception of self mean of 4.30 ( n =19, SD.52). Participants who identified their parent si ( n =6, SD=.75) and perception of self mean of 3.43 ( n =5, SD=.60). Demographic Variables and Leadership Life Skills Development The fourth research objective sought to identify the signi ficant differ e nces between the demographic variables and the development of leadership life skills. The researcher used one way analysis of variance statistical method to determine any differences between leadership life skills development and demographic variables of (Agresti & Finlay, 209, p. 369). Significance scores less than .05 at a 95% confidence indicates a difference between a set of population means. Further investigation of the data determined that traditional ANOVA tests could not calculated with this sample due to small sample size and test of homogeneity being significant Welc h (1951) developed a statistical method to determine any significant differences between variables with a lack of homogeneity of within group variances and small sample size. obust tests of equality of means was calculated and only

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88 found the in to be significant ( W = 10.779, p =.000) with the development of leadership life skills as seen in Table 4 42. Even though t he size of one of the groups was lower than the o th e r group sizes; the s a m ple populatio n did exceed the parameters of minimum of five in a small sample population size ( Brown & Forsythe, 1974; Norman, 2012). A post hoc analysis using the Games Howell correction of the dependent variables showed a mean difference between participants whose pa renting situation fell outside of the other available choices on the instrument Games Howell correction was chosen because it performs better with small sample size an d moderately unequal variances (Stoline, 1981). Relationship between Leadership Life Skills and Occupational Aspirations The fifth research objective sought to identify the relationship between leadership life skills and occupational aspirations. A Pearson product moment correlation was utilized to examine this relationship. Pearson product moment correlation is used to show the relationship between two variables in a study. Significance of the correlation is determine d by the level of confidence of 95% and a p value equal to or less than .05, and the level of confidence of 99% with a p value equal to or less than .01. The aforementioned guidelines created by Davis (1971) and explained in Chapter 3 were used to interpret the Pearson pr oduct moment correlations in determining the significance of the relationship between occupational aspiration ( r = .26, p < .05) had a low negative correlation with le adership life skills. The perception of themselves ( r = .43, p < .01) and perception of others ( r = .43, p < .01) had a moderate

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89 positive correlation with the development of leadership life skills. No other significant relationships were found between variable s. The c orrelation matrix can be seen in Table 4 43. Summary This chapter presented the statistical findings for each of the research objectives. Descriptive statistics, including frequency, means and standard deviations, were used to describe the sample population using the eight demographic questions of class grade, marriage status of parents. These statistics were used to describe the occupational aspiration constructs a nd the leadership life skills development of the sample population. Analysis of variance tests were used to find any significant differences between the demographic variables and the development of leadership life skills. A post hoc analysis was used to fu rther research the relationship deemed significant by the analysis of variance test. A Pearson product moment correlation test was used to find any relationship s between the occupational aspiration constructs and leadership life skill development.

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90 Table 4 1 Participants by school grade f % Sixth Grade 11 13.8 Seventh Grade 37 46.3 Eighth Grade 32 40.0 Note N = 80; Missing = 2 Table 4 2 Participants by gender f % Female 48 60.0 Male 32 40.0 Note: N = 80; Missing = 2 Table 4 3 Participants by race f % White 69 86.3 Hispanic/Latino 5 6.3 Black 3 3.8 American Indian 2 2.5 Other 1 1.3 Note: N = 80, Missing = 2 Table 4 4 Participants by age f % 11 2 2.5 12 9 11.3 13 36 45.0 0 14 25 31.3 15 or older 8 10.0 Note: N = 80, Missing = 2

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91 Table 4 5 tatus f % Disadvanta ged 6 7.7 Below advantage 10 12.8 Average 35 44.9 Above Average 12 15.4 Advantaged 15 19.2 Note: N = 78, Missing = 4 Table 4 6 Participants by birth order f % Only child 3 3.7 I am the oldest 18 22.0 Middle child 31 37.8 I am the youngest child 30 36.6 Note: N = 82, Missing = 0 Table 4 7 Participants by tatus f % Married, never divorced 43 52.4 Married, but one or both parents divorced 13 15.9 Single parent 20 24.4 Parent deceased, living with guardian 0 0.0 None of the above 6 7.3 Note: N =82, Missing=0 Table 4 8 Participants by academic achievement f % All As 21 25.9 37 45.7 20 24.7 3 3.7 0 0.0 Note: N = 81, Missing = 1

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92 Table 4 9 ommunity f % Great place to live 35 42.7 Good place to live 24 29.3 Aver age place to live 15 18.3 Undesirable place to live 8 9.8 Very undesirable to live 0 0.0 Note: N = 82, Missing = 0 Table 4 10 secondary academic p lans f % Definitely will attend 61 74.4 Like ly will attend 12 14.6 Not sure 6 7.3 Not likely to attend 3 3.7 Definitely will not attend 0 0.0 Note: N = 82, Missing = 0 Table 4 11 rade n M SD Sixth Grade Stud ents 10 2.97 1.01 Seventh Grade Students 32 3.00 .84 Eighth Grade Students 30 2.82 .83 Total 72 2.92 .85 Not: N =72, Missing=10 Table 4 1 2 ender n M SD Female Students 42 2.89 .84 Male Students 30 2.97 .88 Total 72 2.92 .85 Note: N = 72, Missing = 10

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93 Table 4 13 i fe skills by a ge n M SD Eleven year old student 2 2.93 .71 Twelve year old student 8 2.68 1.01 Thirteen ye ar old student 30 3.08 .84 Fourteen year old student 25 2.84 .88 Fifteen year old student 7 2.80 .74 Total 72 2.92 .85 Note: N = 72, Missing = 10 Table 4 14 tatus n M SD Financially Disadvantaged Family 3 3.79 .11 Below Average Income Family 10 2.71 .71 Average Income Family 33 2.75 .87 Above Average Income Family 11 2.92 .94 Affluent, Wealthy Family 14 3.13 .77 Total 71 2.89 .84 Note: N = 71, Missing = 11 Table 4 15 leadership life skills by academic a chievement n M SD 18 3.14 .92 34 2.99 .74 18 2.61 .88 3 2.61 1.15 0 Total 73 2.92 .84 Note: N = 73, Miss ing = 9

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94 Table 4 16 rder n M SD Only child 3 3.29 1.20 Oldest Child 16 3.07 .72 Middle Child 28 2.82 .86 Youngest Child 27 2.84 .91 Total 74 2.90 .86 Note: N = 74, Missin g = 8 Table 4 17 arriage s tatus n M SD Married, never divorced 37 2.96 .94 Married, previously divorced 12 2.81 .86 Single 19 3.15 .56 Both parents deceased 0 None of t he above 6 1.93 .42 Total 74 2.90 .86 Note: N = 74, Missing = 8 Table 4 18 ccupational barrier construct by school g rade n M SD Environmental Barriers Mean Sixth grade 10 2.72 .29 Seventh grade 36 2 .75 .32 Eighth grade 30 2.71 .31 Total 76 2.73 .31 Cognitive Barriers Mean Sixth grade 9 2.89 .15 Seventh grade 35 2.75 .38 Eighth grade 29 2.89 .17 Total 73 2.82 .29 Total Barriers Mean Sixth grade 9 2.84 .14 Seventh grade 35 2.7 5 .33 Eighth grade 29 2.81 .19 Total 73 2.78 .26

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95 Table 4 19 ender n M SD Environmental Barriers Mean Male 32 2.71 .29 Female 44 2.75 .32 Total 76 2.73 .31 Cog nitive Barriers Mean Male 31 2.83 .20 Female 42 2.81 .35 Total 73 2.82 .29 Total Barriers Mean Male 31 2.78 .21 Female 42 2.79 .29 Total 73 2.78 .26 Table 4 20 ccupational barrier c onstruct by a ge n M SD Environmental Barriers Mean 11 year old 2 2.50 .08 12 year old 8 2.58 .47 13 year old 35 2.81 .25 14 year old 23 2.72 .30 15 year old 8 2.61 .35 Total 76 2.73 .31 Cognitive Barriers Mean 11 year old 2 2.89 .00 12 year old 7 2.65 .64 13 year old 34 2.82 .28 14 year old 22 2.86 .17 15 year old 8 2.82 .20 Total 73 2.82 .29 Total Barriers Mean 11 year old 2 2.69 .04 12 year old 7 2.65 .55 13 year old 34 2.82 .23 14 year old 22 2.81 .20 15 year old 8 2.72 .21 Total 73 2.78 .26

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96 Table 4 21 tatus n M SD Environmental Barriers Mean Financially Disadvantaged Family 6 2.63 .28 Below Average Income Family 9 2.63 .34 Average Income Family 34 2.65 .36 Above Average Income Family 12 2.86 .16 Affluent, Wealthy Family 14 2.84 .27 Total 76 2.72 .32 Cognitive Barriers Mean Financially Disadvantaged Family 6 2.91 .18 Below Average Income Fa mily 8 2.82 .19 Average Income Family 33 2.76 .36 Above Average Income Family 12 2.84 .27 Affluent, Wealthy Family 13 2.82 .33 Total 72 2.81 .31 Total Barriers Mean Financially Disadvantaged Family 6 2.77 .20 Below Average Income Family 8 2.76 .20 Average Income Family 33 2.72 .33 Above Average Income Family 12 2.85 .18 Affluent, Wealthy Family 13 2.83 .29 Total 72 2.77 .28

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97 Table 4 22 demic a chievement n M SD Environmental Barriers Mean 20 2.87 .21 36 2.73 .30 19 2.59 .36 2 2.28 .24 Total 77 2.72 .32 Cognitive Barriers Mean 20 2.95 .08 34 2.80 .26 19 2.72 .41 1 1.89 Total 74 2.81 .31 Total Barriers Mean 20 2.91 .13 34 2.78 .24 19 2.66 .36 1 2.17 Total 74 2.77 .28

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98 Table 4 23 P rder n M SD Environmental Barriers Mean Only child 2 2.28 .24 Oldest Child 17 2.82 .18 Middle Child 30 2.69 .36 Youngest Child 29 2.72 .31 Total 78 2.72 .31 Cognitive Barriers Mean Only child 2 2.11 .31 Oldest Child 17 2.84 .18 Middle Child 28 2.77 .37 Youngest Child 27 2.88 .23 Total 74 2.81 .31 Total Barriers Mean Only child 2 2.19 .04 Oldest Child 17 2.83 .14 Mi ddle Child 28 2.74 .33 Youngest Child 27 2.81 .24 Total 74 2.77 .28

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99 Table 4 24 tatus n M SD Environmental Barriers Mean Married, never divorced 41 2.79 .25 Married, previously divorced 12 2.81 .19 Single 20 2.56 .37 None of the above 5 2.53 .51 Total 78 2.72 .31 Cognitive Barriers Mean Married, never divorced 39 2.91 .14 Married, previously divorced 12 2.73 .35 Single 19 2.73 .29 No ne of the above 4 2.42 .81 Total 74 2.81 .31 Total Barriers Mean Married, never divorced 39 2.86 .17 Married, previously divorced 12 2.77 .25 Single 19 2.66 .27 None of the above 4 2.47 .70 Total 74 2.77 .28 Table 4 25 rade n M SD Academic Importance Mean Sixth grade students 10 1.76 .48 Seventh grade students 37 1.62 .37 Eighth grade students 32 1.59 .34 Total 79 1.63 .38 Environmental Importance Mean Sixth grade students 10 1.95 .36 Seventh grade students 37 2.09 .36 Eighth grade students 32 2.01 .33 Total 79 2.04 .35 Spiritual Importance Mean Sixth grade students 10 1.68 .47 Seventh grade students 37 1.51 .36 Eighth grade student s 32 1.63 .36 Total 79 1.58 .38

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100 Table 4 26 important construct by g ender n M SD Academic Importance Mean Males 31 1.73 .40 Females 48 1.56 .35 Total 79 1.63 .38 Environmental Importance Mean Males 31 2.04 .38 Females 48 2.04 .32 Total 79 2.04 .35 Spiritual Importance Mean Males 31 1.60 .42 Females 48 1.57 .35 Total 79 1.58 .38 Table 4 27 i mportant c onstruct by r ace n M SD Acade mic Importance Mean White 68 1.66 .37 Hispanic 5 1.43 .36 Black 3 1.48 .50 American Indian 2 1.29 .00 Other 1 1.43 Total 79 1.63 .38 Environmental Importance Mean White 68 2.05 .34 Hispanic 5 1.91 .42 Black 3 1.73 .48 American Indian 2 2.14 .19 Other 1 2.27 Total 79 2.04 .35 Spiritual Importance Mean White 68 1.61 .39 Hispanic 5 1.49 .30 Black 3 1.22 .19 American Indian 2 1.56 .16 Other 1 1.22 Total 79 1.58 .38

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101 Table 4 28 Pa i mportant construct by a ge n M SD Academic Importance Mean 11 years old 2 1.36 .10 12 years old 9 1.79 .41 13 years old 35 1.61 .37 14 years old 25 1.65 .32 15 years old and older 8 1.50 .55 Total 79 1.63 .38 Environmental I mportance Mean 11 years old 2 2.18 .26 12 years old 8 2.20 .32 13 years old 36 1.93 .37 14 years old 25 2.11 .32 15 years old and older 8 2.08 .30 Total 79 2.04 .35 Spiritual Importance Mean 11 years old 2 1.56 .16 12 years old 8 1 .86 .43 13 years old 36 1.46 .34 14 years old 25 1.65 .40 15 years old and older 8 1.63 .32 Total 79 1.58 .38

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102 Table 4 29 i mportant c onstruct by s ocioeconomic s tatus n M SD Academic Importance Mean Financially Disadvantaged Family 6 1.55 .38 Below Average Income Family 10 1.84 .46 Average Income Family 35 1.54 .37 Above Average Income Family 12 1.77 .34 Affluent, Wealthy Family 14 1.64 .28 Total 77 1.63 .37 Environmental Importance Me an Financially Disadvantaged Family 6 2.05 .42 Below Average Income Family 10 2.17 .31 Average Income Family 35 1.98 .33 Above Average Income Family 12 2.08 .32 Affluent, Wealthy Family 14 2.07 .42 Total 77 2.04 .35 Spiritual Importance Me an Financially Disadvantaged Family 6 1.83 .50 Below Average Income Family 10 1.72 .46 Average Income Family 35 1.53 .38 Above Average Income Family 12 1.65 .36 Affluent, Wealthy Family 14 1.50 .37 Total 77 1.59 .40

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103 Table 4 30 i mportant construct by academic a chievement n M SD Academic Importance Mean 21 1.58 .37 36 1.65 .36 20 1.61 .41 3 1.81 .44 Total 80 1.63 .37 Environmental Impo rtance Mean 20 1.88 .29 37 2.07 .38 20 2.14 .27 3 2.00 .40 Total 80 2.03 .35 Spiritual Importance Mean 20 1.46 .35 37 1.65 .39 20 1.57 .36 3 1.85 .74 Total 80 1.59 .39 Table 4 31 important construct by birth o rder n M SD Academic Importance Mean Only child 3 1.48 .30 Oldest Child 18 1.64 .40 Middle Child 30 1.65 .37 Youngest Child 30 1.60 .38 Total 81 1.62 .37 Environmental Importance Mean Only child 3 1.70 .19 Oldest Child 17 1.96 .39 Middle Child 31 2.04 .37 Youngest Child 30 2.11 .28 Total 81 2.03 .34 Spiritual Importance Mean Only child 3 1.41 .36 Oldest C hild 17 1.53 .35 Middle Child 31 1.56 .34 Youngest Child 30 1.67 .45 Total 81 1.59 .39

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104 Table 4 32 tatus n M SD Academic Importance Mean Married, never di vorced 42 1.64 .37 Married, previously divorced 13 1.80 .44 Single 20 1.51 .33 None of the above 6 1.55 .23 Total 81 1.62 .37 Environmental Importance Mean Married, never divorced 42 2.03 .34 Married, previously divorced 13 1.97 .35 Si ngle 20 2.01 .35 None of the above 6 2.27 .26 Total 81 2.03 .34 Spiritual Importance Mean Married, never divorced 42 1.55 .37 Married, previously divorced 13 1.66 .50 Single 20 1.65 .41 None of the above 6 1.54 .24 Total 81 1.59 .39 Table 4 33 p erception c onstruct by s chool g rade n M SD Perception of Others Mean Sixth grade students 11 3.89 .61 Seventh grade students 35 4.00 .66 Eighth grade students 32 3.96 .62 Total 78 3.9 7 .63 Perception of Self Mean Sixth grade students 11 4.01 .49 Seventh grade students 35 4.29 .55 Eighth grade students 32 4.19 .59 Total 78 4.21 .56

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105 Table 4 34 p erception c onstruct by g ender n M SD Perception of Others Mean Males 31 4.00 .61 Females 48 3.95 .64 Total 79 3.97 .63 Perception of Self Mean Males 31 4.09 .56 Females 47 4.28 .55 Total 78 4.21 .56 Table 4 35 p erc eption c onstruct by r ace n M SD Perception of Others Mean White 67 4.02 .59 Hispanic 5 3.97 .42 Black 3 3.83 1.01 American Indian 2 3.50 .71 Other 1 2.17 Total 78 3.97 .63 Perception of Self Mean White 67 4.25 .51 Hispanic 5 3. 85 .39 Black 3 4.75 .22 American Indian 2 3.69 1.15 Other 1 2.50 Total 78 4.21 .56

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106 Table 4 36 p erception c onstruct by s chool g rade n M SD Perception of Others Mean 11 years old 2 3.67 .24 1 2 years old 9 3.69 .71 13 years old 34 4.08 .61 14 years old 25 3.98 .65 15 years old and older 8 3.88 .60 Total 78 3.97 .63 Perception of Self Mean 11 years old 2 4.06 .27 12 years old 9 3.81 .44 13 years old 34 4.37 .52 14 years old 25 4.24 .57 15 years old and older 8 3.92 .65 Total 78 4.21 .56 Table 4 37 p erception c onstruct by s ocioeconomic s tatus n M SD Perception of Others Mean Financially Disadvantaged Family 6 4.03 .59 Below Average Income Family 10 3.57 .64 Average Income Family 34 4.00 .64 Above Average Income Family 12 3.96 .58 Affluent, Wealthy Family 14 4.07 .63 Total 76 3.95 .63 Perception of Self Mean Financially Disadvantaged Family 6 4.29 .47 B elow Average Income Family 10 3.79 .57 Average Income Family 34 4.13 .61 Above Average Income Family 12 4.35 .48 Affluent, Wealthy Family 14 4.50 .38 Total 76 4.20 .57

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107 Table 4 38 p erception c onstruct b y a cademic a chievement n M SD Perception of Others Mean 20 4.21 .61 36 3.98 .58 20 3.88 .55 3 2.83 .67 0 Total 79 3.97 .62 Perception of Self Mean 21 4.49 .36 36 4.19 .55 20 4.03 .55 2 3.19 .97 Total 79 4.20 .56 Table 4 39 p erception c onstruct by b irth o rder n M SD Perception of Others Mean Only child 3 4 .00 1.04 Oldest Child 17 4.25 .48 Middle Child 30 3.91 .58 Youngest Child 30 3.84 .68 Total 80 3.96 .63 Perception of Self Mean Only child 2 4.63 .53 Oldest Child 17 4.32 .49 Middle Child 30 4.20 .47 Youngest Child 30 4.11 .66 Total 79 4.20 .56

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108 Table 4 40 s marital status n M SD Perception of Others Mean Married, never divorced 42 4.05 .59 Married, previously divorced 13 3.99 .68 Single 19 3.94 .55 Both parents deceased 0 None of the above 6 3.31 .75 Total 80 3.96 .63 Perception of Self Mean Married, never divorced 43 4.28 .44 Married, previously divorced 12 4.09 .73 Single 19 4.30 .52 Both parents deceased 0 None of the a bove 5 3.43 .60 Total 79 4.20 .56 Table 4 41 One way ANOVA between Parent's Marriage Status and LLSDS W Sig. 10.779 .0 00 None of the Above vs. Mean Difference Sig. Married, never divorced 1.02808* .0 03 Married, previously divorced .88056 .045 Single parent 1.22485* .0 01 significant at the 0.05 level

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109 Table 4 42 Pea r son Product Moment Correlation Test between Leadership Life Skills and O ccupational Aspirations Leadership Life Skills Development Pearson Correlation Sig. (2 tailed) N Environmental Barriers .0 4 .7 6 71 Cognitive Barriers .0 5 .69 68 Academic Importance 10 .4 1 73 Environment Importance .26 .02* 73 Spiritual Importa nce .06 .61 73 Perception of Others .43 .00** 72 Perception of Self .4 3 .00** 71 ** Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2 tailed) Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2 tailed)

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110 CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSION Chapter 1 provided evide nce for the need to understand between occupational aspirations in the development of leadership life skills. Agricultural education programs offer a unique opportunity to introduce exciting careers to young students from small, rural communities where the exposure of diverse careers can be limited. Chapter 2 (1950) (1977) Occupational Aspirations (1981) to provid e the foundation of this study and conceptual framework. The literature review described the past studies covering occupational aspirations and leadership life skills. Chapter 3 described the methods utilized in this study, including the research design, p opulation, instrument development, data collection, and data analysis procedures. The finding s of this study w ere discussed in Chapter 4. The chapter explained the descriptive statistic s of the population according to demographic variables, the leadership life skills development scale, and factors making up occupational aspirations. The chapter also discussed the significant differences between demographic variables and the development of leadership life skills, and the relationship between occupational asp irations and leadership life skill development. Purpose and Objectives The purpose of this study is to identify the influence of occupational aspirations and career expectations on the development of youth leadership life skills in rural, middle school st udents. The objectives that guided this study: 1. Describe the population of students in five different rural, middle school agricultural classrooms in terms of class grade, gender, race, age, academic grade

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111 marriage status. 2. Describe the self perceived youth leadership life skills of agriculture students within these selected rural, middle schools using the Youth Leadership Life Skill 3. Desc ribe the occupational aspirations of these selected rural, middle school 4. Determine if any significant differences exists between demographic variables and the development of leadership life skills scores 5. Iden tify the relationship between occupational aspirations and youth leadership life skills of selected rural, middle school agriculture students. Methodology This research was a quantitative, causal comparative design and used a descriptive survey approach. The survey instruments by Bajema, Miller, and Williams (2002) to measure occupational aspirations and the Youth Leadership Life Skills Development Survey developed by Se e vers, Dormody, and Clason (1995) were modified and combined to be used for the purpose s of this research. The researcher received permission from Dr. Duane Bajema and Dr. Brenda S. Seevers for the use of the survey instruments in this study. A pilot test of the instrument was performed with 51 students enrolled in an agricultural education program in a middle school of a small, rural community in North Central Florida. A factor analysis was conducted on the instrument to condense the instrument by eight questions. The Cronbach s alpha 4 ) to determine reliability of these inst ruments proved them stable and acceptable. The researcher also received prior approval from the University of Florida Institutional or legal guardians before conductin g the survey. Data was entered into SPSS 20.0 to calculate all statistical measurements.

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112 The population for this study was middle school adolescents from small, rural communities in Florida. Students in agricultural education and science classes were used as a convenience sample for this study. Two middle schools in the North Florida agreed to cooperate with the researcher and participate in the study. A total of 81 students and parents consent ed to participate in the research study. Summary of Findings Obj ective One: Describe the population of students in five different rural, middle school agricultural classrooms in terms of class grade, gender, race, age, academic grade marriag e status. This objective aimed to describe the overall makeup of rural middle school agricultural education and science programs. This study found these programs have a higher percentage of seventh and eighth grade students than sixth graders. Also, femal es represented a higher percentage of the sample population than males. The target age of this survey was achieved since participants had a normal distribution with slight negative skew ( .121) with the median and mode of 13 years of age. The study also found the respondents had a normal distribution with a slight negative skew ( compared to others in their community. This finding agrees with previous research that adolescents do not equate community (Hamilton, Noh, & Adlaf, 2009) O nly a small number of participants were the only child in their family. The study also revealed that middle and youngest children were more prominent parents were still married never divorced, while singl e parent household accounted for nearly 25% of the population. This matches 2010 census data ( U.S. Census Bureau,

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113 2010) A smal l percent age of participants selected s marital status. place to live. Only one in ten participants stated their community was undesirable place to live. This gives credence to research stating adolescents from small communities have a greater sense of connectedness than urban adolescents (Elder & Conger, 2000) atten d some kind of post secondary academic plans. Objective Two: Describe the self perceived youth leadership life skills of students within these selected rural, middle schools using the Youth Leadership Life Skill This objective aimed to describe the leadership life skill development according to the demographics. The leadership life skills development scale was rated on a four point Likert equaling one equalin g two equaling three development of leadership life skills than the other grades. The standard deviation of sc ores on the YYLSDS became less with the higher grade of the student, thus students begin to view their leadership life skills as being more similar to their peers. Male students had higher leadership life skills development ( M =2.97 SD=.88 ) than females ( M =2.89 SD=.84 ), although the range for female scores w as more compact. The data shows that 13 year old students had the highest development of leadership life scales, but marks an interesting downward trend as the participants get older.

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114 The leadership l ife skills of participants progressively increased as the extremely high score for leadership life scores with a minimal standard deviation. The leadership life skills score also progressively increased as the academic had the highest mean score in th e development of leadership life skills ( M =3.14 SD=.92 scores ( M =3.29 SD=1.20 ) of all participants, while oldest children had the highest of those with siblings ( M =3.07 SD=. 72 ). The marriage status of had a negligible effect on the leadership life skills mean score ( M =3.15 SD=.56 the M =1.93 SD=.42 ). Objective Three: Describe the occupational aspirations of these selected rural, middle Occupational aspirations were measured using three different sub constructs, i ncluding barriers, importance to future, and perception. The barrier construct had two dimensions, environmental and cognitive, being measured by the survey instrument. The barriers construct was measured based a three point Likert type scale with three eq Only negligible differences were found in barriers scores when grouped by class grade with students perceiving few barriers to achieving their future goals. There was

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115 also virtually no difference between the barrier scores of males and females in the study with both perceiving few barriers. Differences in barrier scores were found when or environmental barriers W hile minority students had lower mean scores for environmental barriers, but had higher cognitive barrier scores than white students. environmental barriers earlier and later during the targeted age range of the study, but cognitive barriers mean scores maintained fairly static as participants got older. Participants progressively viewed fewer environmental barriers as their perception SES were minimal for cognitive barriers. As s GPA and academic achievement increased, their environmental, cognitive and total barrier scores all increased, thus implying the perceive fewe r barrier s inhibiting them from achieving future goals only Middle lower barrier scores than those who id entified themselves as being the oldest and youngest. single fewer cognitive households.

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116 The importance to future construct of occupational aspirations was determined to have three sub dimensions of academic, environmental, and spiritual importance, being measured in the survey instrument. Each dimension was measured on a three point Likert The mean scores for each gra de were similar for academic, environmental, and spiritual importance. The mean score for academic and spiritual importance denoted that these dimensions were more important than the environmental importance. Similar results were noted when the gender of t he participants were taken into account. The mean scores of the participants were found when grouped by race. Minority participants noted higher academic, environmental, and spiritual importance than white students. There were no discernible major differe nces between the importance means The academic standing of the participants only made a negligible for students who i mportance in all three dimension s measuring importance to future than their other The mean scores for academic, environmental, and spiritual importance for students identified as child were lower than the other students with siblings, and thereby denoted an increased importance for all three dimensions. The means for the students were similar with each other for each dimension. The mean scores for academic, environmental, and spiritual im portance when grouped by parent s marriage status showed only negligible differences.

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117 Objective Four: Identify the relationship between occupational aspirations and career expectations of selected rural, middle school agriculture students. An analysis of variance test could not be used for this study because of a lack of statistical significant differences of YLLSDS mean scores. The only variable denoting a analysis using a Games Howell correction to determine which of the question variables were statistically different than the other The analysis found that a significa nt difference other groups of Objective Five: Determine if any significant differences exists between demographic variab les and the development of leadership life skills scores. A Pearson product moment correlation was used to determine the relationship between the variables of occupational aspirations and leadership life skills. The analysis found a negative correlation ( r = .263, p<.05) with environmental importance of occupational aspirations and leadership life skills. Th e more importance of environment skills. A positive correlation was found between the variables of perception of others ( r = .431, p<.01) and the perception of self ( r = .426, p<.01 ) and the development of leadership life skills. This relationship indicates a student that as adolescents a higher perception score of th emselves and others, they also increase in the development of leadership life skills.

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118 Conclusions The following conclusions were drawn based upon the findings of the study: Objective One: Describe the population of students in five different rural, middle school agricultural classrooms in terms of class grade, gender, race, age, academic grade marriage status. Luft (1996) recognized the need for increased ethnic diversification in secondary agricultural education programs. This study finds within this rural population a similar conclusion with a greater emphasis on improving the racial diversity of the students enrolled in agricultural programs needing to be addressed. The 2010 C ensus Data indicates that the combined minorities percentages to be over 22% of the total population, but account for less than 14% of the sample population (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010). The low percentage of minority students enrolled in the agricultural ed ucation programs could indicate a difference in the perceived value agriculture education programs between rural white and minority students. Lee (2010) indicated that occupational aspirations were significantly affected by the socio economic status (SES) socioeconomic status being much different than the average family within their community, and no increase of perceiv ing environmental or cognitive barriers to achieving their future goals. This study finds partial agreement with Mello (2009) conclusion that SES did not affect developmental of occupational aspirations, although this study cannot confirm that increased SES leads to higher professional occupational expectations.

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119 Hedlund (1993) discovered through qualitative interviews that rural adolescents perceive both advantages and disadvantages with living in a small, rural community. overwhelming ly agree d that students enjoy living within their communities and any perceived disadvantages were not large enough to tamper their overall perception. This study concurs with the findings of Bajema, Miller, and Williams (2002) that a vast ma jority of young, rural students desire to continue their education beyond the secondary level. This finding indicates that young rural adolescents find value and a need in attending college, a university, or business or trade school for their future. Objec tive Two: Describe the self perceived youth leadership life skills of agriculture students within these selected rural, middle schools using the Youth Leadership Life their development of leadership life skills takes a clear decline after the age of 13. This trend concurs with previous research (Avolio, 1994: Barbuto, Fritz, Matkin, & Marx, 20 07) and theoretical frameworks of Erikson (1950, and Kohlberg (1977 ) that sho wed educational level and ages are correlated with leadership behaviors. Zhang, Ilies, and Arvey (2009) stated socioeconomic status has as a positive impact on the increase of leadership occupancy, concurring with the findings of this study as the partici skills. The increased opportunities and positive environmental factors for adolescents from high SES families have been linked to the development of higher leadership life skills in young adolescents and adults. Additional family factors were found to influence the population of this study. only oldest

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120 middle youngest of their family. Although the research comparing birth order and leadership life skills is lacking, Lerner et al. (2005) stated that young people developed their leadership strength through significant, positive relationships with adults. The relationship between may be a positive factor in developing leadership life skills. life skill development than fellow students with both parent still married and those who have been divorced, but have remarried. The moderating variables influencing children identified in this study, but this conclusion is different than previous research. Previous research has linked single parent households with being a risk factor for the development of at risk behaviors (Wilson, Hurtt, Shaw, Dishion, & Gardner, 2009). Obj ective Three: Describe the occupational aspirations of these selected rural, middle Brooks and Redlin (2009) have recognized the perceived barriers minority students have on their future occupational ex pectations or post secondary education. Minority adolescent s often foresee the racial barrier still preventing them from achieving higher perception of environmental barr iers then their fellow white students. But little difference was noted between along racial and ethnic lines, when cognitive barriers were assessed. Some sample populations of individual races w ere low so few conclusions can be drawn from the data.

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121 This overall trend continued in the sample population when the socioeconomic status was examined. The stude nts were aware of the environmental barriers potentially preventing them from achieving their future goals, but this barrier awareness had not produce d an increase in cognitive barriers. Winsler et al. (2008) research indicates the programs involved within early childhood through public school programs have helped to mitigate any cognitive deficiencies from forming due to low socio economic status. Howley (2006) research indicated rural communities have traditionally focused on the values of agriculture. The rural adolescents within this study rated academic and spiritual factors as being more important to their personal future than environmental factors. The lack of environmental or location importance can explain that while students love their community; they do not feel restricted to live and raise a family there. The pursuit of academic and spiritual goals by rural adolescents are not restrained when environmental barriers are deemed as not as important. Objective Four: Determine if any significant diff erences exists between demographic variables and the development of leadership life skills scores. status was a significant factor in the development of at risk behaviors in adoles cents. Rural adolescents were more susceptible to the effects of these factors than youth from urban communities, even though urban adolescents were adept to come from a divorced or single parent household. This study found a statistical difference with th e this finding concurs with previous research, but a closer inspection of the variables indicate a major difference.

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122 The analysis indicated that the mean leadership life skills developments scores married never divorced married, previously divorced, and single parent household was statistically significant. Objective Five: Identify the r elationship between occupational aspirations and youth leadership life skills of selected rural, middle school agriculture students. Previous research has positively linked the development of occupational aspirations and career development with increased social skills, goal setting and attainment efficacy, and increased ability to work within in a team (O'Brien et al., 1999; sample the increase of the how adolescents perc eived themselves and others is positively connected with increased development of leadership life skills. The positive perception of themselves and others can be important indicator that the positive feedback for exhibiting leadership life skills has on th eir self identity and their social environment. The results also indicate that as the importance of environment or location increases, the development of leadership life skills decreases. This finding allows for greater inspection of how environment and location influences the development of leadership life skills. Whether a rural adolescent feels obligated to stay or hoping to flee their small rural community was not determined as a part of this study and needs to be defined better It stands to reason that adolescents who feel they are trapped in their current environment with limited future opportunities feel no need to develop leadership life skills. Again, those adolescents overly consumed with leaving their current

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123 hometown become increasing rebelli ous and choose not to focus their frustration in a positive and productive manner. Discussion and Implications The development of adolescents into productive and lawful citizens is the hope of every devoted parent. Many researchers have investigated the i nfluence external Lerner & Steinberg, 2009; Leventhal, Dupere, & Brooks Gunn, 2009; Steinber, 2009) Rural communities offer both advantages and disadvantages to child rearing (Elder and Conge r, 2000). Hedlund (1993) stated that by enlarge adolescents are happy with living in their rural communities because of the friendliness and safety. But other research has identified rural communities can hinder the development of career oriented goals, di verse role models and higher academic achievement (Helge, 1984; Reid, 1989; Rojewski, 1993; Rojewskil, 1995). These same conditions have been linked to adolescents following peers and exhibiting problem behaviors (Majors & Billson, 1993). These behaviors c an include early unprotected sex, drug and alcohol abuse, gang membership, school truancy, and even violent criminal acts (Burt, 1998). The theories of Erikson (1950), Kohlberg (1977), and Gottfredson (1981) have sought to explain the phenomenon of adoles cent development through individual stages. The combination of these theories allow for a more complete understanding of self elopment seeks to explain how an adolescents through social interaction with others in their env ironment. Gottfredson

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124 (1981) theory seeks to explain the assumption of career choice or aspirations through circumscription and compromise. The parameters of both circumscription and compromise are established by the stereotypes and barriers perceived by a dolescents within the ir social environment. conceptual model explains the interaction of these three theories, Erikson, Kohlberg, and Gottfredson, in the development of the self identity of a rural adolescent and their development of leaders hip skills only one variable was significantly significant in the development of leadership life skills. The tly different than the other choices of married, never divorced; married, previously divorced, and single parent households. Although we cannot determine the exact nature of the living arrangements that negatively influence the development of leadership li e skills, it can be deduced that it is outside the normal social norms. While no other demographic variables proved to be significant, many demographic variables such as class grade and gender proved that very little differences exist between students and their development of leadership life skills. The correlational analysis of the sample population between the constructs of occupational aspirations and leadership life skill development revealed two significant relationships. The relationship between the importance of environment or location in an skills. Exactly why these students were so focused on their future environment is unknown, as is the reason for the importance of environment or location. The variable

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125 from it. The other significant relationship was the positive correlation between perception of self and perceptio n of others with YLLSDS scores. Past research has discovered that a positive perception of oth e rs is necessary for good leadership skills ( Hannah, Woolfolk, & Lord, 2009). This positive perception of themselves and others can be the result of receiving recognition and praise for positive achievements and outcomes from exhibiting leadership life skills. This positive feedback allows for the adolescent to receive the moral reasoning to continue the effort to develop leadership skills. National Research Agenda Pr having all learners in all agricultural education learning environments actively and emotionally engaged in learning, resulting in high levels of achievement, life and career This research sought to address the research agenda by providing additional evidence for educators in developing the occupational aspirations to develop and maximize the leadership life skills of students from small, rural communities, which can achieve the stated desired results of Priority 4. Recommendations Based on the results and conclusions of this study, the researcher has made the following recommendation for practitioners and researchers. Recommendations for Practice Agricultural educators in elementary and secondary education institutions have a unique opportunity to help develop positive leadership life skills in rural adolescents.

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126 Teachers and administrators are urged to review the ro le of agriculture education program within their school. A more concerted effort needs to be placed in introducing new, exciting careers within the agricultural industry. It is also recommended to agricultural educators to have students take the Youth Lea dership Life Skills Development Scale following the completion of their program. This will allow educators first hand knowledge of how their students are progressing in developing leadership life skills. The data could lead to small alterations and changes in teaching plans that could have positive effects will outside the classroom and beyond attributes that can assist all students no matter their future career goals or prospects. School administrators and agricultural educators need to focus on develop new approaches to increasing the diversity of the student body within the agri science programs. The inclusion of minority students is woefully underrepresented as com pared to the surrounding community population and is danger of becoming irrelevant to growing demographic of the population The develop ment interesting curriculum that serves all students allows agricultural education to be a portal to developing real wo rld skills and knowledge, as well as the personal characteristics and traits of productive citizens. School administrators and educators need to work on development of how each student perceives themselves and each other. The study identifies that a positi ve perception of themselves and others helps in the development of other necessary life skills. This skills can impact and positively influence the direction and life of the adolescent well after they have graduated from the grades school level.

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127 Recommend ation for Research The population of this study was very narrow and confined to two small community schools in Florida. Additional research needs to be conducted along the lines of the ini tial proposal for this study, involv ing larg er population samples from small rural community schools across the state. By expanding the sample size of the population, additional relationships between variables may be discovered leading to new insight into the stated purpose of this study. Additional research into the relationships between the occupational aspirations constructs used in this study is warranted and needed A better understanding of these relationships may present the opportunity to form an occupational aspiration scale to quantify the level aspiration for a future occupation or career. The development of a reliable and valid instrument currently does not exist for researchers. Additional research looking into the comparison of students from rural and urban schools may open additional lines of inquiries into similarities and differences in students, communities, and demographics. Additional research would be wise to find new and innovat ive ways to gain reliable data from students already exhibiting at risk behaviors, or family support structures that inh ibit them from participating in such a study. This study noted that an over whelming majority of students planned on attending college, university, or post secondary academic institution following their graduation from high school. Past research has state d that this is not the case and that a majority of rural high school graduates do not go on to attend a post secondary academic institution. A longitudinal study to follow the journey of rural adolescents through

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128 elementary and secondary education could be used to understand the variables leading to or preventing a student from attending a post secondary academic institution. Summary This chapter presented a summary of the purpose and objectives of this study. A brief review of the methodology used to test the stated objectives, including the specific statistical tests and methods. A detailed summary of the findings from each of the objectives and the statistical inferences was presented. The conclusions of the research were given for each objective. The ch apter restated how it addressed Priority 4 of the National Research Agenda. Finally, the researcher presented recommendation for agricultural educators and school administrators, recommendation for additional research.

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129 APPENDIX A SURVEY INSTRUMENT Thank y ou for participating in this study of middle school students in Florida. Your answers are important and will be used to identify specific characteristics of students in this region. Please attempt to answer every question, but you may skip any question y ou do not wish to answer. Your answers as an individual are confidential. PLEASE COMPLETE BY FILLING IN THE CIRCLES NEXT TOTHE RESPONSE THAT BEST DESCRIBES YOU ON THE INSTRUMENT LIKE THIS: I. Write the NAME of your school in the appropriate blanks below SCHOOL: _______________________________________________________

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130 Please answer the following questions with Yes or No. Fill in the circle for the response that best describes you. No Yes 1. I have participat ed in 4 H 2. I am a son or daughter of a farmer 3. I have taken one or more agriculture courses in school 4. One or more of my sets of grandparents were farmers 5. I participated in either in a class play or academic team competition 6. I have been on a sports team in school, church, or town 7. I have been an officer for a school, church, or community group 8. I have participated in a choir, band, or a musical group in school 9. I have gone on a school sponsored trip to a city more than 100 miles away The next questions are intended to identify barriers that you feel may keep you from achieving your future goals. Fill in the circle for the response that matches you. (A barrier is anything that may prohib it or restrict you from achieving your goals.) Not a Barrier Somewhat of a Barrier Large Barrier 10. Lack of money for education 11. No place to get further education near home 12. Lack of transportation 13. Did not take the right courses in high school 14. Parents family disapprove of my future goals 15. Family or home responsibilities 16. I do not think that I will be successful 17. Did not get high enough grades 18. tunities 19. Do not have the necessary skills 20. Lack of jobs/bad economy in local area 21. 22. Sexual discrimination 23. Not wanting to work hard 24. Living in a rural place 25. Racism 26. I am not good at school work 27.

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131 How important are the following to you fulfilling your future goals? Fill in the circle for the response that best describes you. Not Important Somewhat Important Very Important 28. Offer more college courses in high school 29. Offer more job training courses in high school 30. Have college courses available over the Internet 31. Shared teachers and courses with other schools 32. If I lived in a city Not Important Somewhat Important Very Important 33. Have more financial help to obtain more schooling 34. Live near a church of my faith 35. Getting a two year college degree 36. Getting at least a four year college degree 37. Live near where I now live Not Important Somewhat Important Very Important 38. Live in a big city like Orlando or Miami 39. Live in a medium sized city like Gainesville 40. Live in a small town 41. Live out in the country on a farm or acreage 42. Provide volunteer service in my community Not Important Somewhat Important Very Important 43. Be able to support myself comfortably 44. Live c lose to parents and relatives 45. Trying to do the right thing 46. Travel to places outside the U.S 47. Working to correct social and economic problems Not Important Somewhat Important Very Important 48. Having lots of mone y 49. Raising a family 50. Staying healthy 51. Voting in elections 52. Help improve and care for the environment 53. Pursue an agriculturally related career The following questions concern how you feel about yo ur current life experiences your Disagree, or Strongly Disagree.

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132 Strongly Disagree Disagree Know Agree Strongly Agree 54. I am optimistic about the future 55. My parents are positive role models for me 56. I make sacrifices today to benefit my future 57. Teachers respect my thoughts 58. My parents think going to college is important for me 59. What I learn in school will benefit my future 60. Teachers make learning exciting 61. I put forth the necessary effort to reach a goal 62. Anyone can succeed if they work hard enough 63. My parents like my school 64. I am a positive role model for other students 65. Students show respect for teachers 66. I have a teacher who is a positive role model for me 67. I am dependable

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13 3 Youth Leadership Life Skills Development Scale (Dormody, Seevers, and Clason, 1995) Please answer each item by filling in the circle that you feel represents how much improvement you have achieved for each skill. Please answer e very question. As a result of my current life experiences, I: No Improvement Slight Improvement Moderate Improvement A Lot Improvement 68. Can determine needs 69. Have a positive self concept 70. Can express feelings 71. Can set goals 72. Can be honest with others 73. Can use information to solve problems 74. Can delegate responsibility 75. Can set priorities 76. Am sensitive to others 77. Am open minded No Impro vement Slight Improvement Moderate Improvement A Lot of Improvement 78. Consider the needs of others 79. Show a responsible attitude 80. Have a friendly personality 81. Consider input from all group members 82. Can list en effectively 83. Can select alternatives 84. Recognize the worth of others 85. Create an atmosphere of acceptance 86. Can consider alternatives 87. Respect others No Improvement Slight Improvement M oderate Improvement A Lot of Improvement 88. Can solve problems 89. Can handle mistakes 90. Can be tactful 91. Can be flexible 92. Get along with others 93. Can clarify my values 94. Use rational think ing 95. Am open to change 96. Have good manners 97. Trust other people

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134 Please answer the following questions on your answer sheet by filling in the circle next to the response that best describes you 98. I live: ( select the best answer) in a house in town in an apartment in town on an acreage (house or farm site in the country) on a small farm (less than 100 acres) on a farm of more than 100 acres 99. I live miles from my school (select best answer). 0 5 miles 6 10 miles 11 15 miles 16 20 miles 21 or more miles 100. My mother (select the most correct answer): did not graduate from high school graduated from high school or earned her GED graduated from a trade, business, technical school or community coll ege graduated from a 4 yr. college or university has a Masters, Ph.D. or other degree beyond a 4 yr. college degree 101. My father (select the most correct answer): did not graduate from high school graduated from high school or earned his GED graduated from a trade, business, technical school or community college graduated from a 4 yr. college or university has a Masters, Ph.D. or other degree beyond a 4 yr. college degree 102. My mother attended: this high school high school within 25 miles of this high school a high school 26 50 miles away high school 51 100 miles away a high school over 100 miles away

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135 103. My father attended: this high school a high school within 25 miles of this high school a high school 26 50 miles away a high school 51 100 mil es away a high school over 100 miles away 104. What is the present status of your parent or parents in the place where you live? (Select best answer) Married, never divorced Married, but one or both parents were previously divorced. Single parent: eit her divorced, never married, widowed, or separated Parents deceased, living with a guardian, grandparents, or relatives None of the above 105. I have brothers and sisters. 0 1 2 3 4 or more 106. What best describes your position as a child with in the family? (Select best answer) I am an only child I am the oldest I am between the oldest and youngest I am the youngest child 107. How would you describe the financial condition of your parents or guardians? (Select the best answer) they are disadvanta ged financially and struggle from month to month to make ends meet they have a below average income compared to other families in the community they have an average income compared to other families in the community they have an above average income compa red to other families in the community they live quite comfortably and have many economic advantages that others do not have 108. My activity in a church or synagogue is that: (select best answer)

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136 I do not attend or participate in religious activities I attend services or participate in activities weekly I attend services or participate in activities approximately once or twice a month I try to attend a service or participate in activities about one to eleven times per year I only attend weddings, funerals, and anniversaries at religious facilities 109. The community where I now live : is a great place to live is a good place to live is an average place to live is not the most desirable place to live is a very undesirable place to live 110. Do you plan to enter the military after you leave high school? Definitely will enter the military Likely will enter the military Not sure Not likely to enter the military Definitely will not enter the military 111. Do you plan to attend a college, university, or trade sch ool after high school? Definitely will attend Likely will attend Not sure Not likely to attend Definitely will not attend 112. What additional education do you plan after high school? (Select best answer) I do not plan any additional education after high schoo l. Attend a two year community college Attend a two year community college and then a four year college or university Attend a four year college or university Attend a trade, technical, or business school 113. Where do you think that you will be living at age 3 0? (Select best answer)

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137 In the local area where I now live Within 75 miles of where I now live Between 75 and 200 miles away More than 200 miles away I have no idea 114. How many years have you participated in FFA (Future Farmers of America)? 0 1 2 3 4 115. T he grades I routinely receive in school are: 116. What do you consider yourself to be in the U.S.? (Select best answer) White Hispanic/Latino Black or African American American Ind ian Other 117. What is your gender? Male Female 118. What is your age? 11 12 13 14 15 or older

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138 119. What grade are you in? 5 th 6 th 7 th 8 th 9 th ANSWER THE REMAINING QUESTIONS BY WRITING THE ANSWERS IN THE BLANKS ON THIS PAGE. 120. If you attend a college, university or technical school after high school, what would you like to study? (If you do not plan to attend school, leave the question blank) 121. Wha t job do you DREAM OF DOING when you are 30 years old? (Even if you are not at all sure, write your best guess. Be as specific as possible) 122. What job will you PROBABLY HAVE wh en you are 30 years old? (Even if you are not at all sure, write your best guess. Be as specific as possible) Thank you for completing this survey

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139 APPENDIX B INFORMED CONSENT PROTOCOLS

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142 APPENDIX C RESEARCHER APPROVAL

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145 REF ERENCE LIST Anderson, J. (2011). The impact of livestock exhibition on youth leadership life skill development. (Unpublished Master's degree). North Carolina State University, Raleigh l leadership. International Journal of Public Administration, 17 (9), 1559 81. Bajema, D. H. (2002). Aspirations of rural youth. Journal of Agricultural Education, 43 (3), 61. Barbuto, J., Fritz, S., Matkin, G., & Marx, D. (2007). Effects of gender, educat ion, and Springer Netherlands. doi:10.1007/s11199 006 9152 6 Bell, R. Q. (1968). A reinterpretation of the direction of effects in studies of socialization. Psychological Revie w;Psychological Review, 75 (2), 81 95. doi:10.1037/h0025583 Bell, R. Q. 1., & Harper, L. V. j. a. (1977). Child effects on adults / richard Q. bell, lawrence V. harper Hillsdale, N.J. : New York: L. Erlbaum Associates ; distributed by Halsted Press. Blac kwell, L. (1990). New mexico state 4 H youth leadership project: Relationship between elements of leadership participation and self esteem. (Unpublished Master's degree). New Mexico State University, Las Cruces. Blau, P. M. (1967). Exchange and power in s ocial life New York, N.Y., [etc.]: Wiley. Blustein D. L., Walbridge M., Friedlander M., & Palladino D. (1981). Contributions of psychological separation and parental attachment to the career development process. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 38 (1), 39 50. Boyd, B. L. (1992). Developing life skills in youth. Thrust for Educational Leadership, 4 (4.38), 6. Breitmayer, B. J. R.,Henry N. (1988). The effect of neonatal temperament on caregiver behavior in the newborn nursery. Infant Mental Health Journal, 9 (2), 158 172. Retrieved from https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=pbh&AN=12258476&site =ehost live Brooks, W. T. (2009). Occupational aspirations, rural to urban migration, and intersectionality: A comparison of white, black, and hispanic male and female group chances for leaving rural counties. Southern Rural Sociology, 24 (1), 130. Brown, D. (2007). Career Informat ion, Career Counseling, and Career Development,

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146 Bulcroft, R. A. (1991). The value of physical change in adolescence: Consequences for the parent adolescent exchange relationship Springer Netherlands. doi:10.1007/BF01537353 Burt, M. (1998). Building suppo rtive communities for at risk adolescents : It takes more than services (1st ed. ed.) American Psychological Association. Carter, R. I. (1989). Leadership and personal development inventory. (Unpublished Cla rk Lempers, D. S., Lempers, J. D., & Ho, C. (1991). Early, middle, and late adolescents' perceptions of their relationships with significant others. Journal of Adolescent Research, 6 (3), 296 315. doi:10.1177/074355489163003 Curry, C., Trew, K., Turner, I. & Hunter, J. (1994). The effect of life domains on girls' possible selves. Adolescence, 29 (113), 133 150. The Humanistic Psychologist, 24 (3), 365 381. Dillman, D., Smyth, J. & Christian, L. (2009). Internet, mail, and mixed mode surveys; the tailored design method (3rd ed.). Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Doerfert, D. L. (Ed.). (2011). National research agenda: American association for rch priority areas for 2011 2015. Lubbock, TX: Texas Tech University, Department of Agricultural Education and Communications. Don A. Dillman, Christenson, J. A., Carpenter, E. H., & Brooks, R. M. (1974). Increasing mail questionnaire response: A four sta te comparison. American Sociological Review, 39 (5), pp. 744 756. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/2094318 Dormody, T. J. (1994). Predicting youth leadership life skills development among FFA members in arizona, colorado, and new mexico. Journal of Agricultural Education, 35 (2), 65. Dryfoos, J. G. (1990). Adolescents at risk : Prevalence and prevention New York: Oxford University Press. Dumaret, A., & Stewart, J. (1985). Iq, schola stic performance and behavior of siblingss raised in contrasting environments. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 26 (4), 553 580. doi:10.1111/j.1469 7610.1985.tb01641.x Elder, G. H., & Conger, R. (2000). Children of the land : Adversity and succe ss in rural America; with a foreword by Ross D. Parke, and with the collaboration of Stephen T. Russell ... [et al.] Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Erikson, E. H. (1959). Identity and the life cycle New York: International Universities Press.

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147 Er ikson, E. H. (1963). Childhood and society (2d ed., rev. and enl. ed.). New York: Norton. Erikson, E. H. (1968). Identity, youth, and crisis ([1st ed.] ed.). New York: W. W. Norton. Erikson, E. H. (1980). Identity and the life cycle New York: Norton. Er ikson, E. H. & Erikson, J. M. (1997). The life cycle completed (Extended version / with new chapters on the ninth stage of development by Joan M. Erikson. ed.). New York: W.W. Norton. Fitzpatrick, C. (2005). Life skills development in youth: Impact resear ch in action. Journal of Extension, 43 (3) Forneris, T., Danish, S., & Scott, D. (2007). Setting goals, solving problems, and seeking social support: Developing adolescents' abilities through a life skills program. Adolescence, 42 (165), 103 114. Retrieved from http://ukpmc.ac.uk/abstract/MED/17536477 Freud, S., & Brill, A. A. (1938). The basic writings of sigmund freud; New York: Modern library. Gergen, K. (1986). Narrative form and the construction of psychological science. Narrative psychology : The storied nature of human conduct (pp. 22 44) Praeger. Gilchrist, L. L. D. (1987). Life skills counseling for preventing problems in adolescence. Journal of Social Service Research, 10 (2 4), 73 84. Gottfredson, L. S. (Nov 1981). Circumscription and compromise: A developmental theory of occupational aspirations. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 28 (6), 545 579. doi:10.1037/0022 0167.28.6.545 Gottfredson, L. S., & Becker, H. J. (1981). A chal lenge to vocational psychology: How important are aspirations in determining male career development? Journal of Vocational Behavior, 18 (2), 121 137. doi:10.1016/0001 8791(81)90001 4 Grant, W. T. (1988). The forgotten half : Pathways to success for americ a's youth and young families : Final report / youth and america's future, the william T. grant foundation commission on work, family and citizenship Washington, D.C: The Commission. Griffin, D., Hutchins, B. C., & Meece, J. L. (2011). Where do rural high school students go to find information about their futures? Journal of Counseling & Development, 89 (2), 172 181. Retrieved from https://searc h.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bah&AN=60145277&site =ehost live

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148 Grotevant, H. D., & Cooper, C. R. (1986). Individuation in family relationships. Human Development, 29 (2), 82 100. Retrieved from http://www.karger.com/DOI/10.1159/000273025 Grotevant, H. D., & Cooper, C. R. (1988). The role of family experience in career exploration: A life span perspective. Life span development and behavior, vol. 8. (pp. 231 258) Hillsdale, NJ, England: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. Groves, R. M., Cialdini, R. B., & Couper, M. P. (1992). Understanding the decision to participate in a survey. The Public Opinion Quarterly, 56 (4), pp. 475 495. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/2749203 Haller, E. J. (1993). Another look at rural nonrural differences in students. Journal of Research in Rural Education, 9 (3), 170. Hamburg, B. A., & Carnegie Council on Adolescent Developm ent. (1990). Life skills training : Preventive interventions for young adolescents Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Council on Adolescent Development. Hedlund, D. (1993). Listening to rural adolescents: Views on the rural community and the importance of adult interactions. Journal of Research in Rural Education, 9 (3), 150. Helge, D. (1984). The state of the art of rural special education. Exceptional Children, 50 (4), 294 305. Holt, N. L., Tink, L. N., Mandigo, J. L., & Fox, K. R. (2008). Do youth learn life s kills through their involvement in high school sport? A case study. Canadian Journal of Education / Revue Canadienne De l'ducation, 31 (2), pp. 281 304. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/sta ble/20466702 Homans, G. C. 1. (1974). Social behavior; its elementary forms. under the general editorship of robert K. merton (Rev. ed. ed.). New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich. Homans, G. C. 1., & Merton, R. K. 1. (1961). Social behavior : Its eleme ntary forms / george caspar homans ; under the general editorship of robert K. merton New York, NY: Harcourt, Brace & World. Howley, C. W. (2006). Remote possibilities: Rural children's educational aspirations. Peabody Journal of Education, 81 (2), 62 80. doi:10.1207/S15327930pje8102_4 Institute of, E. S., Provasnik, S., & United States Dept, o. E. (2007). Status of education in rural america / stephen provasnik ... [et al.] Washington, D.C: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Sta tistics, Institute of Education Sciences. Retrieved from http://purl.access.gpo.gov/GPO/LPS86376

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149 Jencks, C., & Peterson, P. E. (1991). The urban underclass / christopher jencks, paul E. p eterson, editors Washington, D.C: Brookings Institution. Kail, R. (1991). Developmental change in speed of processing during childhood and adolescence. Psychological Bulletin, 109 (3), 490 501. doi:10.1037/0033 2909.109.3.490 Kao, G., & Tienda, M. (1998) Educational aspirations of minority youth. American Journal of Education, 106 (3), pp. 349 384. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/1085583 Kohlberg, L. (1983). Moral stages: A curren t formulation and a response to critics. Contributions to Human Development, 10 174 174. Kohlberg, L. & Hersh, R. H. (1977). Moral development: A review of the theory. Theory into Practice, 16 (2, Moral Development), pp. 53 59. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/1475172 Lee, I. H. (2010). Development of career aspirations in adolescents. Unpublished Lerner, R. M. (1986). Concepts and the ories of human development / richard M. lerner (2nd ed. ed.). New York: Random House. Lerner, R. M., Lerner, J. V., Almerigi, J. B., Theokas, C., Phelps, E., Gestsdottir, S., von Eye, A. (2005). Positive youth development, participation in community youth development programs, and community contributions of fifth grade adolescents. The Journal of Early Adolescence, 25 (1), 17 71. doi:10.1177/0272431604272461 Lerner, R. M., & Spanier, G. B. (1980). Adolescent development : A life span perspective (1st ed. ed.). New York: McGraw Hill. Ley, J. (1996). Congruence of aspirations of rural youth with expectations held by parents and school staff. Journal of Research in Rural Education, 12 (3), 133. Louis P., A. (1991). Acculturative stress: A theory of rele vance to black americans. Clinical Psychology Review, 11 (6), 685 702. doi:10.1016/0272 7358(91)90126 F Luft, V. D. (1986). Leadership ability of young rural adults in north dakota. Unpublished Lu ft, V. D. (1996). Extent to which cultural diversity is addressed in secondary agricultural education. Journal of Agricultural Education, 37 67. Lytton, H. (1980). Parent child interaction : The socialization process observed in twin singleton families / hugh lytton New York, N.Y: Plenum Press.

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150 Majors, R., & Billson, J. M. (1993). Cool pose : The dilemmas of black manhood in america. (1st Touchstone ed. ed.). New York: Simon & Schuster. Marcia, J. (1987). The identity status approach to the study of eg o identity development. Self and identity: Perspectives across the lifespan (pp. 161 171) Routledge & Kegan Paul. McCartney, K., & Pillemer, K. A. (1991). Parent child relations throughout life Hillsdale, N.J: L. Erlbaum Associates, Publishers. McMillan J. & Schumacher, S. (2010). Research in education: Evidence based inquiry (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc. McNulty, W. B., & Borgen, W. A. (1988). Career expectations and aspirations of adolescents. Journal of Vocationa l Behavior, 33 (2), 217 224. doi:10.1016/0001 8791(88)90057 7 Mello, Z. R. (2009). Racial/ethnic group and socioeconomic status variation in educational and occupational expectations from adolescence to adulthood. Journal of Applied Developmental Psycholog y, 30 (4), 494 504. doi:10.1016/j.appdev.2008.12.029 Mello, Z. R. (2009). Racial/ethnic group and socioeconomic status variation in educational and occupational expectations from adolescence to adulthood. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 30 (4), 494 504. doi:10.1016/j.appdev.2008.12.029 Miller, M. E. (1981). Effectiveness of the 4 H lifeskills approach to leadership development. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK. Miller, R. A. (1976). Leader/agent's guide: Leadership life skills. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK.. Moote, G. T. (1997). The acquisition of life skills through adventure based activities and programs: A review of the literature. Adolescence, 3 2 143. Mueller, D. (1989). Taking the lead in leadership. (Unpublished master's thesis). Washington State University, Pullman. Muuss, R. E. H. 1. (1974). Theories of adolescence. author: Rolf E. muuss (3d ed. ed.). New York: Random House. O'Brien, K. M ., & Dukstein, R. D. (1999). Broadening career horizons for students in at risk environments. Career Development Quarterly, 47 (3), 215 229. Retrieved from https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bah&AN=1743784&site= ehost live

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151 Orr, J. D., & Gobeli, V. C. (1986). 4 H teen leadership development in nebraska: An evaluation. ( Unpublished doctoral dissertation(. University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE. Orr, J. D., Gobeli, V. C., & Nebraska Cooperative Extension Service. (1986). 4 H teen leadership development in nebraska Lincoln, Neb.: Nebraska Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Ne braska Lincoln. Osgood, D. W., O'Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., & Johnston, L. D. (1989). Time trends and age trends in arrests and self reported illegal behavior. Criminology, 27 (3), 389 418. doi:10.1111/j.1745 9125.1989.tb01039.x Otto, L. B., & Atkinso n, M. P. (1997). Parental involvement and adolescent development. Journal of Adolescent Research, 12 (1), 68 89. doi:10.1177/0743554897121005 Oyserman, D., Terry, K., & Bybee, D. (2002). A possible selves intervention to enhance school involvement. Journal of Adolescence, 25 (3), 313 326. doi:10.1006/jado.2002.0474 Patricia W, L. (1982). Role model influencers of nontraditional professional women. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 20 (3), 276 281. doi:10.1016/0001 8791(82)90015 X Perry, C. C. L. (1985). The c oncept of health promotion and the prevention of adolescent drug abuse. Health Education & Behavior, 12 (2), 169 184. Prediger, D. J., & Noeth, R. J. (1979). Effectiveness of a brief counseling intervention in stimulating vocational exploration. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 14 (3), 352 368. doi:10.1016/0001 8791(79)90063 0 Red, J. N. (1989). The rural economy and rural youth: Challenges for the future. Journal of Research in Rural Education, 6 (2), 17. Roe, A. (1964). The origin of interests. APGA Inqui ry Studies, 1 98 98. Rojewski, J. W. (1993). Vocational education for students with special needs in rural america: Problems and solutions. Rural Special Education Quarterly, 12 (3), 8. Rowe, D. C. (1990). As the twig is bent? the myth of child rearing i nfluences on personality development. Journal of Counseling & Development, 68 (6), 606. Retrieved from https://search.ebscohost.com/login.asp x?direct=true&db=bah&AN=9101210899&s ite=ehost live

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152 Scarr, S. (1992). Developmental theories for the 1990s: Development and individual differences. Child Development, 63 (1), pp. 1 19. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/1130897 Seevers, B. S. S., Dormody, T. J., & Clason, C.L. (1995). Developing a scaled to research and evaluate youth leadership like skills development. Journal of Agricultural Education, 36 (2), 28 35. Shelley Tolbert, C. C. A. (2000). The move to agriscience and its impact on teacher education in agriculture. Journal of Agricultural Education, 41 (4), 51 61. Turner, S. L., & Lapan, R. T. (2005). Evaluation of an intervention to increase non traditional career interests and career related self efficacy among middle school adolescents. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 66 (3), 516 531. doi:10.1016/j.jvb.2004.02.005 Van den Daele, L. (1968). A developmental study of the ego ideal. Genetic Psychology Monographs, 78 (2), 191 25 6. Watson, J. (1928). Psychological care of infant and child. White, K. M., Speisman, J. C., & Costos, D. (1983). Young adults and their parents: Individuation to mutuality. New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, 1983 (22), 61 76. doi:10.100 2/cd.23219832206 Wilson, M., Hurtt, C., Shaw, D., Dishion, T., & Gardner, F. (2009). Analysis and influence of demographic and risk factors on difficult child behaviors Springer Netherlands. doi:10.1007/s11121 009 0137 x Wingenbach, G. J. (1997). Self pe rceived youth leadership and life skills of iowa FFA members. Journal of Agricultural Education, 38 18. Winsler, A., Tran, H., Hartman, S. C., Madigan, A. L., Manfra, L., & Bleiker, C. (2008). School readiness gains made by ethnically diverse children in poverty attending center based childcare and public school pre kindergarten programs. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 23 (3), 314 329. doi:10.1016/j.ecresq.2008.02.003 Wodarski, J. S. (1988). Preventive health services for adolescents: A practice para digm. Social Work Education, 11 5. Young, R. A., Friesen, J. D., & Borycki, B. (1994). Narrative structure and parental influence in career development. Journal of Adolescence, 17 (2), 173 191. doi:10.1006/jado.1994.1017 Youniss, J., & Smollar, J. (1985) Adolescent relations with mothers, fathers, and friends / james youniss and jacqueline smollar Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

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153 Zhang, Z., Ilies, R., & Arvey, R. D. (2009). Beyond genetic explanations for leadership: The moderating role of the soc ial environment. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 110 (2), 118 128. doi:10.1016/j.obhdp.2009.06.004 Zhang, Z., Ilies, R., & Arvey, R. D. (2009). Beyond genetic explanations for leadership: The moderating role of the social environment. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 110 (2), 118 128. doi:10.1016/j.obhdp.2009.06.004

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154 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Jason Lamar Davison was born and raised on a small family farm in Lake Butler, Florida. He attended Union County High and was ac tively involved in the FFA in Forestry and Parliamentary Procedure, and was the State Winner in Diversified Livestock Supervised Agricultural Project in 1992 After gradu ation, he attended Santa Fe Community College to receive h is Associate of Arts degree, before leaving his academic studies to work After more than a decade within the civil construction trade as a project sup erintendent and manager, Jason returned to fulfill his life goal of receiving his college degree. In 2008, he was admitted into the University of Florida majoring agricultural education and communication specializing in communication and leadership develop ment. He graduated summa cum laude in 2010, and decided to remain at The University of Florida to continue his education to receive his Master of Science degree in agricultural education and communication with an emphasis in leadership development. Jason s till resides in Lake Butler, FL with his four daughters, Kiersten, Alyssa, Mackenzie and Emily, and continues to enjoy working on the family farm. He hopes to find a position with in an organization or company to help promote, protect and preserve the agricultural industry and the values inherit within the profession.