Citation
Selected factors related to the social adjustment of school dropouts in a metropolitan setting

Material Information

Title:
Selected factors related to the social adjustment of school dropouts in a metropolitan setting
Creator:
Wilson, Albert John Endsley, 1934-
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
vii, 110 leaves. : ill. ; 28 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Graduates ( jstor )
High schools ( jstor )
Parents ( jstor )
Questionnaires ( jstor )
School dropouts ( jstor )
Schools ( jstor )
Self concept ( jstor )
Social structures ( jstor )
Social systems ( jstor )
Socialization ( jstor )
Dropouts -- Florida -- Saint Petersburg ( lcsh )
Social adjustment ( lcsh )
City of St. Petersburg ( local )
Genre:
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Thesis:
Thesis--University of Florida.
Bibliography:
Bibliography: leaves 102-108.
General Note:
Manuscript copy.
General Note:
Vita.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. This item may be protected by copyright but is made available here under a claim of fair use (17 U.S.C. §107) for non-profit research and educational purposes. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact the RDS coordinator (ufdissertations@uflib.ufl.edu) with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
13337023 ( OCLC )
ocm13337023

Downloads

This item has the following downloads:


Full Text













SELECTED FACTORS RELATED TO THE

SOCIAL ADJUSTMENT OF SCHOOL

DROPOUTS IN A METROPOLITAN SETTING








By

ALBERT JOHN ENDSLEY WILSON, III













A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF
THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE
DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY












UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA December, 1966















































































kt ofty ....... ......
? 4-1














ACIWWLEDGMENTS

The writer wishes to express his sincere appreciation to Dr. Irving L. Webber, to Dr. E. Wilbur Bock, and to Dr. Joseph S. Vandiver. All of these men contributed guidance and encouragement on a general level and each contributed in his own particular way. Dr. Webber deserves special mention for his patience and wise counsel; Dr. Bock, for being a source of knowledge and understanding of social theory; and Dr. Vandiver, for his astute suggestions and constructive criticisms. Sincere appreciation is also due to Dr. Albert M. Barrett for his comments and suggestions concerning the personality system.

Special credit is-due Dr. John T, Obenschain, Director of the Pinellas County Health Department, for suggesting the topic of the research, for providing office space, equipment, clerical help, partial financial support,, and for his advice and encouragement*

The major portion of financial support for this project was provided by the Bureau of Research of the Florida State Board of Health through National Institutes of Health grant, number 5431, "Training for Public Health Research*"

The research reported here could not have been done without the assistance of Florida State Employment Service and Manpower Development Training Center personnel. Special thanks go to Mro









Henry Richards, Mr. Ronald Brock, Mr. Howard Lindsey, Mrs. Patricia Penrose, and Mrs. Mary Wallace of the Employment Service and to Mr. Robert Anderson and Mr. Jerry Andrews of the Manpower Development Training Center for their assistance in collecting data for the study*

The two persons who remain to be mentioned here deserve particular recognition and expression of gratitude. Dr. Albert V. Hardy, Director of the Bureau of Research, Florida State Board of Health has been a source of inspiration and encouragement. My wife, Nera, acted as a research assistant, advisor, secretary, proofreader, and sympathizer throughout the endeavor.
















TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS &

LIST OF TABLES vi

LIST OF FIGURES *. . vii

Chapter
I. INTRODUCTION .

Extent of the Problem 2
Age and Grade Level of Dropouts 4
Manpower Development Training Programs 4
St. Petersburg, Florida, Manpower Development and
Training Program 5
The Present Study a 0 0 *.. 6

I. THEORETICAL APPROACH .

Structure-Function Theory o 7
The Social Self or Personality System 13
Conflicting Demands of Social Subsystems 15
Social Deviance 16
Goals and Means 0 o . . . 18
Summary 21

III. PREVIOUS RESEARCH 0 & a a 22

Descriptions of the Nature, Extent, and Consequences
of the Dropout Problem 0 a 0 22
Studies Related to Personality 24
Studies Related to Demands of Social Systens 28
Significance of the Present Study 33

IV* METHODOLOGY 35

The Samples 36
Data Collection 0 o * * o 39
Analysis 0 0 * 41




iv










Chapter Page
V. FINDINGS 46

Descriptive Summary 46
Marital Status and Number of Children 46 Education 47
Personal Relations 51 Family. 54
Economic Area 55
Summary 58
Statistical Analysis 59
Hypothesis Number 1 61 Hypothesis Number 2 a 62 Hypothesis Number 3 62 Hypothesis Number 4 63 Hypothesis Number 5 64
Hypothesis Number 6 65 Hypothesis Number 7 66
Hypothesis Number 8 67
Summary . a . 68

VI. DISCUSSION AND INTERPRETATION 70

Theoretical Implications a a 70
Practical Implications .a a 77
Suggestions for Further Study 79

VII. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS 81

APPENDIX 83

BIBLIOGRAPHY . 102

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 109




















V









LIST OF TABLES

Table Page

1. Number of Children by Educational Status ...... 47

2. Degree of Disadvantage in Not Having a High School Educa3. Knowledge and Use of School Counseling Services 49 4. Ratings of Last Regular School Attended .... 50

5. Primary Reason for Leaving School 51

6. Delinquency Status of Children in Family e e 52

7. Person Perceived as Having the Most Whfluence on Respondent in Making the Decision to Leave School 53

8. Family Situation at the Time Respondent Left School .. 54

9. Number ofChildren in Family 0 & 55

10. Vocational Objective by Broad Occupational Level 56

11. Occupational Level of Father or Stepfather 57 12. Occupational Level of Mother or Stepmother o e o & 58 13.* Reasons Rqported for Dropping Out of School . 61 14. Perceptions of the Educational System e 9 * e 62 15. Values Relating to the Economic System 9 e 9 9 63

16. Perceptions Relating to Personal Relations a e 64

17. Perceptions of the Family System 0 0 a a 65 18. Number, Range, Mean, Standard Deviation, and t for IAV Self-Concept Scores . a o o o 66 19. Number, Range, Mean, Standard Deviation, and t for 1AV Discrepancy Scores 0 0 a a 0 0 0 0 a 0 0 67 20. Number, Range, Mean, Standard Deviation, and t for IAV ideal Self-Scores o ., . * o . 68





vi










LIST OF FIGURES

Figure Page

1. The nterchanges Betwean the Nuclear Family aw the
Functional Subsystems of Society . . . 11

2. Relationships Among Personality, Interaction, and Social
Structure . . . 72












































vii

















The research reported in this dissertation is a study of young persons who have recently left school and are either entering the labor market or pursuing additional training. Attention is focused upon

school dropouts--those who discontinued regular school attendance prior to high school graduation. Since high school graduation is both a cultural and statistical norm for minimal education in this country, the dropout may be viewed as deviant and as being dysfunctional to the social syst. Lucius Cervantes summarized the position of the school dropout as "clumsily dysfunctional in the computer precise, machine oriented, communication saturated society. His muscles are a drug on the market, his truncated education makes him inadequate to qualify for available jobs; he is in no position to bargain for himself and has little chance to develop himself within an expanding socioeconomic

universe."1

Three groups of young persons, representing three levels of conformity to the norm of high school graduation, were studied. School records, state employment service records, a questionnaire relating to perceptions of school, family# and peer relationships, and the self-rating section of the "fidex of Adjustment and Values"2


1Lucius Cervantes, The Drooout: Causes and Cures (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1965), p. 196.

2Robert E. Bills, "Index of Adjustment and Values. Manual." Mimeographed by the College of Education (University: University of Alabama, n.d.).
1






2

were used. The three groups were comprised of (1) local school dropouts who awe in the labor market and not enaged in a training program,

(2) local school dropouts who are engaged in a Manpower Development and Training Act program for disadvantaged youth, and (3) local high school graduates--those who have attained the societal norm for minimal education.


Extent of the Problem

Although the proportion of the population graduating fromu high school is increasing, the United States Department of Labor estimated that there were about 3,000,000 school dropouts aged sixteen through twenty-one in this country as of February, 1963. 1In 1963 unemployment was high among all young people, but it was much higher for school dropouts than for high school graduates, The most recent figures contained in the 1963 manpower report indicate that about 350,000 persons age sixteen and over dropped out of school between January and October of 1961. Of these it was estimated that twenty-seven percent were unemployed as of October, .1961, compared with eighteen percent of the 1961 graduates. The U.S. Department of Labor suggests that the same factors which contributed to the dropou's early discontinuance of his education also compound the difficulty which he has in finding employment due to limited education. Some such factors are inability to learn, difficulty in adapting to the school environment, emotional instability, inadequate motivation, and limited cultural development in under1U*S Department of Labor, Manpowier Report of the President and a Report on Manpower Reouiuaets Resources,* Utilization,* and Training.
Transmitted to the Congress, March 1966 (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1966), p. 91.





3


privileged homes1

The 1966 annual manpower report indicated that about 550,000

teenagers entered the labor market during the year 1965 and that this was about three times the average for the previous four years. According to the report, "Economic and manpower forecasters had for many years been looking forward, apprehensively, to a 'tidal wave' of postwar babies expected to enter the labor force and swell unemployment in 19651 However., teenage employment rose so much that the rate of unemployment actually decreased slightly during 1965 although it continued at an entirely unacceptable level.

The Labor Department estimated in October, 1964, that there were about 700,000 out--of-school youth (ages sixteen through twenty-one) looking for work and unable to find it. An additional 300,000 early school leavers aged sixteen through twenty-one were not working and not even looking for work. (To be counted as unemployed by the Labor Department a person must be looking for work.) About one fifth of the nonparticipants in the labor force were physically or mentally disabled. Another one fifth were awaiting induction into the armed forces and one fourth were involved in training programs. The remaining thirty-five


1 U.S. Department of Labor, Manower Report of the President and a Report on manpower Requirements,* Resources, utilization,* and Trgininq
Transmitted to the Congress, March 1963 (Washington: U.S. Government Printing office, 1963), pp. 41, 42.

2There appears to be some inconsistency in the figures reported in the two U.S. Department of Labor reports. Apparently this is because of differences in the age limits of the 350,000 dropouts over age sixteen mentioned in the 1963 report and the 550,000 "teenagers" mentioned in the 1966 report. Also, the 1963 report seems to imply that all dropouts entered the labor force.

3 U.S. Department of Labor, 1966, p. 24.






4


percent had a variety of reasons for not seeking work, including a belief that they could not find jobs. 1


Age &A Grade Level of Dropouts

of the three million dropouts aged sixteen to twenty-one in 1963t nearly one fourth had not gone beyond the eighth grade and two thirds had withdrawn from school before completing the tenth grade. About two fifths of all dropouts were below the normal grade level for their age at the time they left school. Approximately one third of the early school leavers had withdrawn before reaching the age of sixteen. Of these, about 400,000 dropped out when they were fourteen or under* 2


Manpower Developmuent Training Programs

The manpower Development and Training Act, passed in 1962 and amended in 1965, represents an effort to salvage some of the potential skills of uneployed and untrained youth* Training programs under this act have always had two objectives--to enable workers to qualify for current job openings and, in so doing, to help meet the economy'sa need for trained workers. In 1965, the act was revised to place more emphasis upon training of disadvantaged workers and potential workers who are lacking in marketable Job skills* During the fiscal year 1967, one fourth of the trainees are to be disadvantaged youth, forty percent disadvantaged adults, and the remaining thirty-five percent are to be selected on the basis of aptitude to learn skills in short supply.


bio p. 90.

2TIbid., p. 91.

3 bdyp. 3a





5


St. Petersburgi. Florida. Manpower
Development and Trainingi Proqram

The St., Petersburg, Florida, Manpower Development and Training program is administered jointly by the local Youth Opportunity Office (affiliated with the United States Employment Service) and the Pinellas County Department of Public Instruction. Recruiting, aptitude testing, and screening of trainees are performed by the Youth Opportunity Office. This office also evaluates the trainees' financial needs and arranges for subsistence allowances for those meeting certain criteria* The training center itself is operated by public instruction personnel.

Upon admission to the program each trainee is assigned to a basic

education class. This includes instruction in communications, mathemiatical and employer--employee relationships. At the end of six weeks an achievement test is administered and those who are functioning at an acceptable level for their particular training area are released. Students who have not achieved a suitable level remain in basic education for an indefinite period.

During the fiscal year 1964-659 447 disadvantaged young persons were enrolled in youth training programs of varying lengths. This included training for the following occupations: shipping and receiving, sales works general office, small engine repair, auto body repair, auto mechanics, and cooperative education. The cooperative education program involves combined classroom and on-the-job training in a variety of occupations including child monitor, laboratory assistant, dental assistant, and nurse's aid.

Of the 447 enrollees, 185 (41.4%) terminated before completing






6


their training programs. An attempt was made by the training center staff to determine the reasons for withdrawal. For more than one fifth

of the program dropouts the records simply show "did not return*" Another one fifth discontinued training to take jobs, most often in a vocational area unrelated to the training. Lack of interest was indicated for another thirteen percent; disciplinary action, for nearly nine percent; and moved away, for six percent. The rest of the a wFare

blamed on a variety of reasons including "unsuited." misplaced In training area, in jail, unemployable, and illness. 1


The Present Study

A situation in which relatively large numbers of potentially

capable youth behave in a dysfunctional or deviant manner provides an excellent setting for the testing and extension of existing theory and knowledge relating to the functions of social systems. In the following chapters literature relating to school attendance, socialization, and the structure and function of social systems and of the personality system is reviewed. Specific hypotheses are developed, and empirical research designed to test these hypotheses is reported.












1 Manpower Development and Training Center, Bay Campus, Bayboro Harbor, St, Petersburg, Floridav IINDTA Youth Program 1964-6511 (Mimeographed, undatedg pages unnumbered), first page.















Ile THEORETICAL APPROACH


In the following discussion basic concepts relating to structurefunction theory, socialization, and the social self are reviewed. Mustrative material is also introduced to show how the present study relates to this framework.


Structure-Function Theory

The theoretical framework used here is basically structuralfunctional and stems largely from the work of Talcott Parsons* The structural-functional approach views the basic unit of study as the social system (society), which is composed of interdependent subsystems (sometimes referred to an systems also) such as the educational system and the family system. Social conduct is analyzed in terms of its contribution to the maintenance of the social system or for its characteristics in the structure of the system.

Persistent orderly patterns of interaction among interdependent elements constitute social structure* An interaction occurs, subsystems contribute to the accomplishment of the goals of the system as a whole thus achieving "social functions*" Whm an element of a social system contributes to the accomplishment of one or more social needs of the system, it is said to have a "function." Merton defines functions as "those observed consequences which make for the adaptation or adjustment




7






8


of a given system."1

Bertrand suggests that:

There are certain needs that every group or system, regardless
of type, must fulfill. Following Johnson, Bales, Parsons, Shils, and others, these may be listed as: (1) pattern-maintenance and
tension -aame~t; (2) adaptation; (3) goal attainment; and
(4) integration.

Rodgers cites six functional prerequisites for the continuance of any social group. These are: (1) maintenance of biological functioning of group members; (2) reproduction of new group members; (3) socialization of new members;- (4) production and distribution of goods and services;

(5) maintenance of internal and external order; and (6) maintenance of meaning and motivation for group activity.3

Winch comments that "each sociologist who has thought about basic societal functions has come up with his own list.."4 He suggests the following list of necessary functions as being generally agreed upon:

1. Replacements for dying members of the society must be provided.
2e Goods and services must be produced and distributed for the
support of the members of the society.
3. There must be provision for accommodating conflicts and maintaining order, internally and externally.
4. Human replacements must be trained to become participating
members of the society.


'Robert K. Merton, Social Theory and Social Structure (Glencoej The Free Press, 1963), pp. 121-122a

2Alvin L. Bertrand, "School Attendance and Attainment: Function and Dysfunction of School and Family Social Systems," Social Forces, XL (March, 1962), 229.
3Roy H. Rodgers, "Toward a Theory of Family Development," Journal of Marriage and the Family, XXVI (August, 1964), 266. The six functions presented by Rodgers are from John Bennett and Melvin Tumin, Social Life (New York: A.A. Knopf, 1948), p. 49.

4Robert F. Winch, The Modern Family (New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1964), p. 7o






9


So There must be procedures for dealing with emotional crises, for
harmonizing the goals of individuals with the values of the
society, and for maintaining a sense of purpose,

Bell and Vogel, in their analysis of the family as a social system, suggest that the family system serves general functions for the total society and specific functions for other social systems. General societal functions include replacement of members primary socialization, and

maintaining motivation for participation within the society, Specific functions may be, for example personality formation, status conferral, and tension for an individual member. 2

If an element of the social system interferes with the accomplishment of one or more of the system's needs, it is said to have a

dysfunctionn" Merton defines Owflmctions as "those observed consequences which lessen the adaptation or adjustment of the system." 3 Both functions and dysfunctions may occur intentionally or unintentionally* Those which are intended are generally referred to as manifest while those which are unintended are referred to as latent* In Merton's formulation latent functions and dysfunctions are also defined as being unrecognized* 4

Subsystems relate to other subsystems or are connected to one another through what Loomis calls "systemic linkage*" This refers to "the process whereby one or more of the elements of at least two social

systems is articulated in such a manner that the two systems in some way


Ibid., p. 14.
2 Norman W, Bell and Ezra Fe Vogel, A Modern Introduction to the Family (Glencoe, Illinois: The Free Press of Glencoe, 1960). po to
3 Merton, pe 51*

4 Ibid.






10


and on some occasions may be viewed as a single unit." 1

Bell and Vogel list the basic functional subsystems of society as the family, economy, polityq co=mnity, and the value system. Each of these may, of course, contain a number of smaller subsystems. The relationship between the basic functional subsystems is conceived of by Bell and Vogel as "a series of functional interchanges," 2 The chart on page 11 was used to illustrate the nature of these interchanges between the nuclear family and other subsystems.

The structural-functional approach has been criticized as riot dealing with dynamics and change. 3 However, Merton points out that this shortcoming is not inherent in functional theory but stems "from the concern of early anthropological functionalists to counteract preceding tendencies to write conjectural histories of non-literate societies." 4 Unfortunately, this historical anthropological practice has carried over to the work of some modern sociologists.

Merton 5 views the concept of dysfunction as implying strain or tension at the structural level and as being basic to the study of change. Dysfunctions may be contained within a stable structure, they may exert enough pressure to bring about changes in the institution1 Charles Pe Loomis, Social Systems: Essays on Their Persistence and Change (New York: Do Van Nostrand Co.,, 1960), p. 5.
2 Bell and Vogel, p. 8.

3 Reuben Hill and Do A* Hansen, "The Identification of Conceptual Frameworks Utilized in Family Study," Marriage and Family Livingo XXII (November, 1960), 304.
4 Merton, p. 539

Ibid. 9 p a 51










4 Wages

LaborUh
Nuclear Family Economy
C Goods
______Family Assets




Leadership

Loyalty
Nuclear Family. Polity
Decisions

Compliance




4 support

Group Participation Nuclear Family Coammuity
Identity

Adherence O



'~- Specification of Standards

Acceptance of Standards Nuclear Family Value System
4 Approval

Conformity



Fig 1.-The interchanges between the nuclear family and the functional subsystems of society1 Bell and Vogel, p. 10.





12


allied patterns of behavior, or they may result in the disintegration of the system* Changes may be of such nature as to reduce the dysfunctional aspect or they may involve institutional changes which result'. in a redefinition of system objectives. Bredemeier and Stephenson have pointed out that "almost anything conceivable may be expressed in patterned behavior; but if it is seriously dysfunctional rsiq7, the group that institutionalizes it will fail to survive." 1

It was stated earlier that social structure is based upon a systematic web-of institutionalized patterns of interaction and that subsystems are connected through systemic linkage. Loomis has identified the basic structural elements of social systems as: I'M knowledge;

(2) sentiment; (3) end, goal or objective; (4) norm; (5) status-roles (position); (6) rank; (7) power; (8) sanction; and (9) facility." 2 Social subsystems are linked together through the sharing of one or more of these structural elements. For example, the family system and the educational system may share a common goal and/or a common norm.

Bertrand, in his study of school dropouts, looked upon the local school system as being closely linked to the national education al system as well as maintaining close ties with the local community system. He saw the family as being "bonded to the community and school in a greater or lesser manner depending upon its particular orientation." 3


'Harry C. Bredemeier and Richard M. Stephenson, The Analysis of
Social Systems (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., 1962), p. 178.
2 Loomis, p. 5.

3 Bertrand, p. 230.





13


The Social Self or Personality System

Functional patterns of interaction are perpetuated through the

process of socialization, in which individuals learn to act in conformity to the norms of the social systems to which they belong. In this socialization process a self-conception is developed. Consideration of this aspect is of sociological significnce in that it contributes to the understanding of the interaction between the socialized person and his social enviroment. The cultural milieu to which the individual is exposed in the socialization process is reflected in "what he pays attention to (cognition), what he feels (cathexis), and what he thinks is 'right' (evaluation)." 2

The role of the personality system, which acts as a mediating or pivotal point in the course of social action, is frequently ignored or discredited in sociological analyses. In Parsons' words,

Durkheim and the other sociologists have failed, in their concentration on the social system as a system to consider systematically the implications of the fact that it is the interaction of personale which constitutes the social systems with which they have been dealing, and that, therefore, adequate analysis of motivational process in such a system must reckon with the problems of personality

Parsons suggests that the internalization of the sociocultural

environment is the central core of the personality system and that genetic makeup is a nonspecific base from which personality develops. Cultual values and social meanings set the pattern of this development.4 7he conscious, role related perceptions which make up Parsons' concept of to

1Bredemeier and Stephenson, p. 75.

2M-. p.80.
3Talcott Parsons, Social Structure and Personality (New York: The Free Press of Glencoe, 1964), p. 20.
4Tid., pp. 79-82.





14

personality system are also basic to the "self" described by Mead 1and Cooley* 2

Mead views the self as a result of social experience which is not and could not be present at birth. He designates two stages in the developmnent of the self. The first involves the specific experiences of the individual in interacting with others. The second involves not only particular individual attitudes and experiences but a set of socialized attitudes and expectations relating to the generalized other, or the social group as a Whole. 3

From the system point of view., behavior must be predictable;,

therefore, systems are structured and persons are related to them in a manner which assures some degree of consistency in the expectations to which persons are exposed, From the point of view of individuals in the system, consistency is also essential if they are to know how to act in a given social situation.

Members of a social group are usually socialized in such a

mariner that they value certain internalized definitions (social norms) more highly than others, That is, in the early stages of socialization the socializing systems determine a hierarchy of social definitions which the socialized member adheres to. Bredemeier and Stephenson suggest the following example of this:

in the family, for example, the child may learn that obedience to
his father takes precedence over obedience to playmates, that

'George Herbert Head, Mind, Self, and Society, Edited by Charles W. Morris (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1934).

2 Charles Horton Cooley, Human Nature and the Social Order (rev. ed.,; New York: Charles Scribner'sl 1922).

HMead, passim.





15


occupational skills are to be valued more than social dancing
skills, that it is more reprehensible to strike than to berate, or that classical music is to be preferred to popular music. In this
way people learn not only what courses of action they may legitimately
pursue, but which are to take precedence when they aue faced with
several alternative, normatively sanctioned choices.


Conflicting Demands of Social Subsystems

If a person internalizes conflicting definitions of equal value, he cannot take one desired course of action without violating another. Demands which conflict with internalized standards may also threaten favorable self-conceptions. Therefore, persons confronted with either multiple conflicting demands of equal normative value or with demands which conflict with their internalized standards may avoid or reject such demands in order to maintain their favorable self-conceptions.2

Bertrand, in the study cited earlier, reported that "the

findings leave little doubt that educationl attendance and attainment is a problem of contradictory functional requirements of social systems."3 He points out that the family system sets certain behavioral standards which must be internalized by members if they are to become adjusted to the system. Those who adopt a different set of values are considered misfits and are dysfunctional to the family system, although they may be functional to the total social system or to other subsystems. Thus, a member who remains in school may be dysfunctional to the family whose norm is to discontinue schooling prematurely.

1Bredemeier and Stephenson, p. 77.

2Bredemeier and Stephenson, pp. 77-0.

3Bertrand, p. 232.





16


Mother problem related to the functional requirements of subsystems is pointed out by Bertrand. Where geographic, economic,9 cultural, or other factors prevent close linkage between the school and family systems and where the behavioral exettosof the school systems differ from those internalized in the family system, youth may adjust by dropping out of school.* This is especially true where certain types of people are denied recognition and excluded from informal types of participation in the school system. In Bertrand's words, "it is readily seew that partial structures or elements in the school social system might -be dysfunctional to both school and nationaledctoa goals." 1

Bertrand summarized his analysis in the following words:

The dropping out of high school of a mentally and physically
capable student can be explained in terms of the functional
requirements for adjustment in his primary social systems* Where the family has a value-orientation which is dysfunctional to local
and national education systems, it is easy to comprehend why the
children in the family would drop out of school. The local school
system becomes dysfunctional to the national educational system (in
a latent way, perhaps) when mechanisms are present in the system
which tend to disrmnt against certain students. The ramifications
of contradictory functional requirements of school and family systems
with regard to a particular student might vary infinitely. However,
presumably, the system representing the dominant value orientation
of a given individual or of the authority figures in his social
organizati~ul. complex would determine a student's ultimate
behavior.


Social Deviance

Bredemeier and Stephenson suggest that the simplest explanation for social deviance is that certain members were not socialized to the


1 Bertrand, p. 232.

2 Brtrnd#p. 233.





1 17


cultural prescriptions and proscriptions of the social system. This could involve either inadequate socialization to definitions appropriate to the systems in which the socialized individual acts or adequate socialization to definitions inappropriate to system in which he acts. 1

This faulty socialization may be randomly distributed within a social system Specific individuals may have unique experiences which interfere with socialization or which result in atypical socialization, or they may be biologically unfit for socialization.

An individual's biological system may be idiosyncratic in the sense
that it inhibits or prevents socialization even under the most
favorable circumstances. Little empirical evidence is available
concerning the role of the biological system in predisposing individuals to inadequate socialization. Mental deficiency seems to
be the clearest case of b logical inadequacy,, but other conditions
may be pertinent as well.

Situations more appropriate to study by sociologists than the random idiosyncratic individual cases are those in which entire groups or categories of persons experience faulty socialization.. The study of

such groups yields insights on the ways in which the social system affects different persons in different ways depending upon their position in the society.

Social deviance is known to be distributed in a predictable pattern and is known to vary from one society to another and in the same society over time. Factors in the social structure which expose members to a high risk of faulty socialization are therefore of considerable significance.

1 Bredemeier and Stephenson, p. 126.

2 Ibid., p. 127.






18


Deviant behavior may also result from strains related to the

arrangement of social structure even when participants are adequately and appropriately socialized. It was noted earlier that persons faced with conflicting expectations may respond by rejecting or ignoring such demands. When this happens the individual may deviate by either withdrawing from participation or by acting in a manner which differs from the institutionalized expectations.1

Conflicting values and norms may result from participation In

different subsystems For example, Gouldner found that norms governing leadership positions in certain labor unions conflicted with those of the larger society. Married union leaders were especially affected by this conflict in which they were expected to be good providers and family companions while sacrificing all personal goals for the benefit of the union, The previous discussion of the competing normative values in the family and school systems also fits this framework.


Goals and Means

Robert Merton views high prevalence of deviant behavior as a result of culturally induced motivations for goals which cannot be accomplished legitimately by members of certain groups due to lack of access to culturally approved means. In this framework he attmpts "to determine how the social and cultural structure generates pressure for socially deviant behavior upon people variously located in that structure." 3


1Bredemeier and Stephenson, pp. 126-128.,

2Alvin w. Gouldner, ,Attitudes of#porsieTadunn
Leaders," American Journal of Sociology,, LII (1947), 389-392.

3Merton, pp. 121-122.





19

Mrton regards some departures from institutional norms as the beginning of new patterns of behavior* These may develop within subsystems having norms at odds with those of the society* He suggests:

It may, therefore, be misleading to describe non-conformity with
patcua social institutions merely as deviant behavior; it
may represent the beginning of a new alternative pattern, with
its own distinctive claims to moral validity.

Morton identifies two basic elements of social structure which he describes as being separable for purposes of analysis although they merge In actuality. The first of these includes the "culturally defined goals, purposes, and interests, held out as legitimate objectives for all or for diversely located members of the society."12 These objectives are ordered according to sone system of values and constitute the things worth striving for. In effect, they make up a frame of reference for aspirations. The second element in Merton' s framework includes the definition, regulation, and control of acceptable modes of accomplishing these objectives, These institutionalized norms limit ones choice of methods for achieving cultural goals. However, Morton points out that "they (the norms) are subject to a wide gamut of control. They may represent definitely prescribed or preferential or permissive or proscribed patterns of behavior." 3

Merton' a formulation involves five possible types of individual adaptation to cultural pressures relating to goals and means. The model which Morten presents is basically an ideal type at the macro'Mrton, p. 122.
2Thbid.9 p. 132.
3
mbid., p. 133.





20

functional level. In his formulation, adaptation is viewed in terms of-all societal norms relating to goals and means. This framework is scaled down here to view adaptation in terms of specific norms relating to goals and means within subsystem such as the school or the family.

The most prevalent type of adaptation is conformity in which

individuals accept the culturally defined goals and adhere to the prescribed norms in striving to reach these goals. The second type of adaptation is innovation in which individuals accept the culturally defined goals but reject the institutionalized norms governing their efforts to attain the goals. In the area focused upon in this work a person who accepts the goal of obtaining a high school diploma but uses as his means an equivalency eaitonor adult education classes would be considered an innovator. He has rejected the institutionalized means involving attendance at a regular high school. The third type of adaptation, ritualism, involves the rejection or scaling down of cultural goals along with rigid acceptance of the institutionalized means. The youth who remains in high school but fails to apply himself to the extent necessary for graduation falls into this category. The fourth type of adaptation, retreatim, involves the rejection of both cultural goals and institutionalized means. Mierton suggests that "this mode of adaptation is most likely to occur when both the cultural goals and institutional practices have been thoroughly assimilae by the individual and imbued with affect and high value, but accessible institutional avenues are not productive of success." 1 The school dropout who withdraws because his early socialization has not prepared him for participation in the school system or because the demands of


'Merton, p. 153.






21


other subsystems prevent full participation in the school system belongs in this category. The final type of adaptation suggested by Maerton is rebellion, in which individuals reject both existing goals and means and endeavor to establish a new or greatly modified social structure. This may occur when the institutional system bars large numbers from satisfying the cultural goals or, in other words, when the Institutionalized patterns of behavior prove to be dysfunctional for a large population. 1


Summary

On the basis of the above discusion it is apparent that early disotnac of education may be viewed theoretically as

both dysfunctional and deviant behavior for the social system. In this framewrk four types of conditions are seen as operating, either independently or in combinations to produce social deviance in the form of dropping out of school These types are:

1, Those involving inade-quate or inappropriate socialization.

2., Those involving conflicting expectations and demands of

multiple social subsystems.,

3. Those involving the existence of latent dysfunctions for

subsystem associated with functions of a system*

4. Those involving inaccurate or inappropriate self-conceptions

with incorrect definitions of social situations.





3merton, pp. 131-160.














III nP REVIOUS RESEARCH

A survey of the literature reveals increasing attention to the school dropout problem by educators, psychologist, economists, and sociologists. A number of pulctosin this area have been limited to descriptive accounts and have not attempted to relate findings to theoretical frameworks* Some of these reports attempt to relate the descriptive findings to possible solutions or courses of action* Other studies involve varying degrees of integration of the empirical data within a theoretical framework. Most of the works reviewed here fall under three broad categories of major concentration. These are:

(1) descriptions of the nature, extent, and consequences of the dropout problem, (2) studies related to personality, and (3) studies related to demands of social systems.

Descriptions of the Nature, Extent, and Consequences of the Dropout Problem

one of the most prolific sources of descriptive data concerning school dropouts is the United States Department of Labor. This agency publishes an annual report on manpower conditions in the United States. In these reports particular attention is given to the problems of young workers, especially those wiho have poor preparation for labor market participation. Manpower reports for recent years were discussed in Chapter 1.

Neisser presented a general overview of the dropout situation 22






23

in the United States in the early 1960,s. She reported that almost all dropouts prior to leaving school were working below capacity, ware failing in their studies, and were not participating in school activities. She indicated that it is the relatively unstable youth who does poorly in school and eventually drops out. In addition, Neisser stated that "some educators and sociologists believe that a significant cause for the failure and subsequent school leaving of the deprived child is that the customs and languages of the middle class, on which our educational system is based, are alien to him."1

In 1960 Youmans interviewed 307 males who had been enrolled in the eighth grade in eleven rural Kentucky counties in 1950. More than half of these had dropped out before completing high school. Half of those interviewed had moved to urban areas in southern Ohio or in other parts of Kentucky. Compared with the dropouts, the graduates were employed at higher level occupations, indicated higher level of aspirations, participated more in community organizations, and had a more optimistic outlook in life.2

Other descriptive summaries of the plight of school dropouts

have been presented by Dillon who emphasized problems of the school system,


'Edith G. Neisser, School Failures and Dropouts (New York: Public Affairs Pamphlets, 1963), p.o .
2E. Grant Yomans, Thea Rural Sool DroRout. a Ten Year F2oiw-, ,4 on-y (Lexington, Kentucky: University
of Kentucky, 1963).

3Harold J. Dillon, Early School Leavers: A Major Educational Problem (New York: National Child Labor Committee, ca. 1949),






24


Duncan1 who aMphaized unemployment problems, and Stetler2 who concentrated on differences in white and nonwhite dropouts. In general, all of these suggest that the school dropout is in a position of great disadvantage as for an labor market competition is concerned.



Studies Related to Personality

The psychological and social psychological characteristics of

school dropouts have been popular topics among researchers concerned with the problem. Reports particularly applicable to the present research

are discussed here.

Nye studied 2,350 children aged nine through twelve in three medium-sized towns in the state of Washington. He concluded that deviant behavior was related to internal and external controls more than to social class, subgroup identification, pull of peers, psychogenic factors, or poor environmental conditions. Nye views the social control system as being composed of both internal and external controls. Lack of social control may be theresult of poor inner control (mental

and emotional condition), poor outer control (faulty socialization), or a combination of the two.3

Reiss, using a framework similar to Nye's,studied juvenile

delinquents in Cook County, Illinois, to determine differences between conformists and nonconformists to probation requirements. He concluded

1Beverly Duncan, "Dropouts and the Unemployed ," Journal of Political Economy, LXXCII (April, 1965), 121-134.
2Henry G. Stetler, CoMaative Study of Negro and White Dropouts in Selected Connecticut High Schools (Hartford: State of Cooneticut Comission on Civil Rights, 1959).
3
F I Ivan Nye, Family Relationships and Delinquent Behavior (New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 1958).





25

that inner or self-controls determine adherence to social standards and are of greater importance to conforming behavior than outer social controls.

Reckless uses the findings of Nye and Reiss to support his hypothesis that conforming behavior is related to a favorable selfconcept. A good self-concept is viewed as representing internalization of positive societal values and includes acceptance of the proper concern which significant others have had for the individual. It acts to prevent the person from yielding to pushes and pulls toward delinquent

behavior.2

Swartz and Tangri, in a test of Reckless' s hypothesis, followed 136 boys over a four year period. They found that those having a poor

self-concept were much more likely to have been involved n delinquent behavior. However, .they suggest that instead of resulting in low resistance to deviant influences the poor self-concept may lead to a rejection of rejectors. In this situation the individual would associate with others who offered more rewarding experiences* Thus,

the youth having a poor self-concept may reject the standards of school and family and accept those of a delinquent gang.3

Lichter, et al. reported on clinical analyses of 105 white

referrals to a counseling agency. These were described as intellectually capable high school students who were potential dropouts. The authors

1
Albert J. Reiss, Jr., "Delinquency as. the Failure of Personal and Social Controls," American Sociolocical Review, XVI (April, 1951),
195-206.


2Walter C. Reckless, The Crime Problem. Ord ad.; New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, Inc., 1961), pp. 342-345.
3Nichael Schwartz and Sandra S. Tangri, "A Note on Self-Concept as an Insulator Against Delinquency," American Sociological Review, )=0 (1965), 922-926.





26


reported that financial reasons, health problems, and limited intelligence were not important but that personality defects interfered with functioning in school as well as in the family and in general social

relationships.1

Brookover, Thomas, and Paterson studied 1,050 white seventh graders in an urban setting to test the following hypotheses:

(1) Self-concept is related to academic performance,

(2) Self-concept of school ability may be divided into several

specific self-concepts relating to specific subject areas

and these are better predictors of performance in relevant

areas than the general self-concept,

(3) One's self-concept of ability agrees with his perception of

others' evaluations of his ability.

Only the first of these was entirely supported by the findings. The second hypothesis was supported for males in mathematics, social studies, and science, but for females in social studies only. The third hypothesis held for a compositeof significant others including parents, peers, and teachers but not for specific significant others.2

Wyer, in a similar study, reported that self-acceptance and parental acceptance were related to academic effectiveness in males

1Soloon Lichter, et aL, The Drop-Outs (New York: The Free Press of Glencoe, 1962).
2Brookover, Wilbur B., Shailer Thomas, and Ann Paterson, "Self Concept of Ability and School Achievement," Sociology of Education, XXXVII (Spring, 1964), 271-278.





27

but not in females.I

Walsh reported that low achievers in school ware found to feel

less free to pursue their omwn interests, less free to express their own feelings, and less adequate in responding to environmental stiili than students whose achievemt was in line with their capacity.2

McCabe studied one hundred seminarians with age, sex, intelligence, and educational backgroundd controlled to test the relationship between self-concept and vocational interest. He found that agreement between elf-concept and perceptions of a particular occupation % mwere not significantly related to interest in that occupation.3

The effect of social interaction on self-concept among 101 male college students was investigated by Manisa. He concluded that individuals' self-concepts were influenced by others' perceptions of them, but that one's self-concept had no effect upon others' perceptions of him.4

Bowman reviewed a number of situations which have been found to produce mental conflict and stress in children nd showed that these psychologically malfunctional circumstances frequently lead to societally eufunctional behavior. He msugjgests that persons who are poorly adjusted or who have low self-esteem may put forth extra effort and be highly

IRobert S. Wyer, Jr., "Self Acceptance, Discrepancy Between
Parents' Perceptions of Their Children and Goal Seeking Effectiveness," Journal of Personality and Social Paycholoqy, II (September, 1965), 311-316.
2
Ann Marie Walsh, Self c etp s of Briht Boys withL
Difficulties (Columbia, New York: Bureau of Publications, Teachers College, 1956).
3 Sheridan P. McCabe, The Sef Concep and Vocational Interest (Washington, D. C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 1958).
4HeNlvin ania, "Social Interaction and the Self Concept,"
Journal of Aormal Social avcholony. LI (November, 1955), 362-370.






28

productive members of society. 1



Studies Related to Demands of Social Systems

Studies which relate early discontinuance of education

to the conflicting demands and values of social subsystems are reviewed In this section.

Bertrand, in the study cited earlier, used a structural

functional theoretical framework in testing hypotheses relating to competing value orientations In the family and school subsystems. He surveyed 369 high school students in eight white rural Louisiana high schools and sixty-eight dropouts aged 16-19 from the same schools. For the student group questionnaires were administered in the classroom, and f or the dropout group both home visits and mailed questionnaires were used* More than forty percent of the dropouts could not be reached. They had either moved away or could not be located. Bertrand concluded from his findings that dropping out of school is related to differences in family and school value systems and to different behavioral expectations in the home and school settings. 2

Cervantes investigated the family b ackgrounds, peer-group relationships, school experiences, and personality characteristics of twenty-five matched pairs of dropouts and graduates in each of six urban areas.* The groups were matched on the basis of age, sex, intelligence,

1
Claude C. Bomwn,, "Eufunctional Aspects of Stress-Producing Situations," Journal of. Health and Htuman Behavior, VI (1965), 243-247,.

2AvnL. Bertrand, "School Attendance and Attainment: Function and Dysfunction of School and Family Social Systems," Social Forces, XL (March, 1962), 228-233.





29


and general socioeconomic level (all lower class), Although Cervantes'

study was limited to nmubrs of the lower class, he states that "they

Edropouts) interpenetrate the total class structure. 1 ~ Cervantes hypothesized that the school dropout's family background would be characterised by primary relationships to a smaller degree than that of the

graduate. He concluded from his study findings that

a lower class youth who does not experience in the family "a state of well-being and pleasurable satisfaction" . is not as likely
to continue his subordinate role as a domestic dependent but will
likely seek to terminate the dependency by making himself economically
independent. One not having basic needs of personal recognition, friendly Intercommnication, and various pleasurable experiences
realized in the family system will seek to satisfy these needs outside of the family. . turns to peers. . That the family in America is pro-academic and peers more iiiti-acadmaic seems probable.
Long term interpersonal pro lems at home are probably mirrored in
troubled school situations.

Bowman and Matthews analyzed data collected over an eight-year

period in a longitudinal study of 487 students who potentially would graduate from the Quinc, llinois, Public Schools in 1958. Of these,


55 moved and had to be dropped from the study. Of the remaining 432, 138

(31.4%) dropped out before graduation. The following hypotheses were

tested:

l. More boys than girls will drop out of school.
2. The dropouts will have lower intellectual ability than stayins.
3. Family socioeconomic status of the dropouts will be lower than
class average.
4. The dropouts will be inferior to a control group matched on
age, sex, intelligence, and social status with regard to:
(a) Personal and social adjustment
(b) School adjustment


'Lucius F. Cervantes, The Dropout: Causes and Cures (Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1965), p. 5.
2Cervantes, p. 222.






30

(c) Work adjustment
(d) Marital adjustment
(e) Achievment values and aspirations
5. Those students dropping out of school at an early age will be
lower on ability, personality, and1 social status measures than
those dropping out at later ages."

Of the above hypotheses, numbers 2 through 4 were supported. Number one was rejected and number five was rejected except for early dropout boys.

When interviewed six months after leaving school the dropouts indicated the following reasons for early discontinuance of schooling: Percentages
1. Just didn't like 21
2. Academic failure 20
3. Poor social adjustment 18
4. To work, poor finances 16
5. Pregnancy 9
6. Teachers unfair 6
7. Others 10
looe
2


The authors interpret these reasons as indicating that the

dropouts "do not see education as a means to practical ends, that they do not value education in itself, and that they feel rejected by, and have rejected, the school.... The dropouts also reported that a majority of theft parents were either indifferent to, or took no active interest in their continuing in school."3 When dropouts were compared with graduates using the Semantic Differential they were found to place

lower values on self, father, and school. Bowman and Matthews conclude that "guidance in sexual adjustment, marriage, and family living for

1Paul H. Bowman and Charles V. Matthews, Motivations of Youth for Leaving School (Quincy, Illinois: University of Chicago, 1960), pp. 1-2.
2 ..A., pp. 6-7. 3Tid., p. 7.






31


girls, and counseling for vocational adjustment for boys are of prime importance for potential dropouts."

Burchinal studied married and unmarried high school age girls

in nine Iowa communities to investigate the relationship between adolescent role deprivation and teenage marriages. He hypothesized that marriage would be related to dissatisfaction with parental relations, to the intervening variable of personality, and to the length and intensity of heterosexual involvement. The only hypothesis supported by the data was the one relating to length and seriousness of heterosexual involvement* Married girls dated earlier, went steady earlier, had more boy friends, and were in love more often than unmarried girls. Almost two fifths of the married girls had been pregnant prior to marriage. Family structure did not differ significantly for the two groups. About four fifths of each group came from unbroken families. Differences were found in the occupational and educational levels of fathers, both being lower for the married girls. 2

In another study, Burchinal related the independent variables of family type and social class to the dependent variables of adolescent characteristics and school social relationships. He reported no significant differences by family type for social relationships and for selected personality characteristics* The five classes of family types used were unbroken, mother only, mother and stepfather, both

1 T-bide, pe 8*

2 Lee G, Burchinal, "Adolescent Role Deprivation and High School Age Marriage," Marriage and Family Livin XXI (November, 1959). 378384.






32

parents remarried and father and stepmother. 1

Ray, Ryan, and Parker investigated the school dropout problem

among native youth in three Alaskan villages. School records, personal interviews, and observations of an anthropologist were used to compare dropouts and graduates from the local schools for the period 1950 to 1960. One of the objectives of this study was to provide teachers and administrators with a greater understanding of the problems of students from an atypical subculture who are faced with an entirely different set of values in the education system. 2 The authors comment that "in daily living, values enable one to place, in order of importance, his manifold goals and means of achieving thead' 3

The Alaskan native student, in contrast to non-native students, made the decision to drop out without discussing the matter with parents, friends, or school personnel. At the time he left school, he had no real concept of the nature of the labor market and of the difficulties he would face in finding work. Ray, Ryan, and Parker summarize the condition o-Ir the Alaskan native dropout as being malcontent, unemployed, and lacking direction. He would like to return to school, but not to a school of the type which he left. Most of the dropouts were described as being of at least average intelligence -and as being motivated to improve their status. 4

Watson, in his subjective summary, suggested that young persons can see no relationship between the courses taught in schools and

1 Lee G. Burchinal, "Characteristics of Adolescents From Unbroken, Brokeng and Reconstituted Familiest" Journal of Marriage and the Family XXVI (February, 1964)9 44-51*
2 C, K, Ray, J. Ryan, and S. Parker, Alaskan Native Secondary School DE2pouts (College, Alaska: University of Alaska, 1962).
3 Ibid., p. 52. 4 Ibid.v pp. 346-348.






33

the labor market demands* Under cultural conditions he concentrates upon the concept of "adolescent inferiority*" Psychological conditions emphasized Involve the exposure to failure of persons who have internalized success nom*1



Significance of the Present Study

The present study includes the self-concept aspect of the

personality system along with the family, peer, and school systems in a structural-functional framework* Although these systems have been studied separately relative to the dropout problem, none of the previous research has included personality as a mediating system in a structuralfunctional framework. The self-system may be viewed as predisposing individuals to a particular course of behavior when faced with competing expectations., Reckless and others, in the research reviewed above, have attempted to show how a good self-concept (good in term of societal values) acts as an insulator against deviant behavior. Bowmaan has pointed out a different way in which personality may relate to societal functions. He suggests that discontented, poorly adjusted persons often strive for achievement and make significant contributions to the accomplishment of societal goals 1 The study reported here, by including the self-system, should contribute to a greater understanding of seeming inconsistencies in the structural-functional approach.

Another way in which the current undertaking differs from earlier efforts is that it includes three, rather than two, levels of par1Bowman, p2. cit.





34

ticipation in the school system. Training programs such as the St. Petersburg MDTA project have not been in operation for very long. This study sheds light on the nature of participants in this program and compares them with other school dropouts and with high school graduates.














IV. METHODOLOGY

The three categories of youth studied represent three different levels of participation In the educational system: those who withdrew before completion of high school and have not pursued additional training,, those who withdrew prematurely but were enrolled in Manpower Dev.elopment and Training Act (MDTA) programs as of June, 1966, and those who remained In school and attained high school graduation. In the following discussion these will be referred to as the MDTA dropout group, the other dropout group,, and the graduate group.a

Prior to selecting the samples and collecting data, it was

necessary to obtain approval from each of the agencies involved* The basic design had to be approved first by the director of the local health department which provided partial financial support, office space, and clerical assistance,. In order to have access to United States Employment Service Test results, it was necessary to negotiate a research agreement involving the regional office of the United States Employment Service and both State and Local Offices of the Florida State Employment Service. Finally, approval had to be secured from the local Department of Public Instruction and from the director of the Manpower Developmient Training Center.

It was originally planned to administer the data-collecting instruents to graduating seniors at the local high schools. How35






36

ever, the local school board has a policy prohibiting the use of any personality tests in the school system. (The Index of Adjustment and Values is considered to be a type of personality test.) The school authorities also indicated that they could not release names and addresses of either graduates or dropouts for use in obtaining the necessary data. Fortunately these records are provided to the local employment service office ands under the codtosof the research agreement, they were made available through that office. The local Department of Public instruction was aware of this arrangement.



The Samples

One of the primary aims of this research was to examine characteristics which differentiate those who do not achieve the normative minimal educational level from those who doe It is known that variables such as age, race, sex, residences and intelligence level may operate to give spurious relationships or to obscure other relationships. Therefore, it wias desirable that the graduate group, the Z4DTA dropout group, and the other dropout group be as similar as possible with respect to such variablase The MDUTA group was small enough for all members to be included in the study and also represented the mid-point in the range of educationo For these reasons$ the 14DTA dropout group was used as a "standard" population and the other two groups were matched with it on the variables mentioned above-ages race, sex, residence, and intelligence level.





37

Members of all three groups resided in the Greater St. Petersburg area* St. Petersburg is the major city in a predominantly urban county, Pinellas County, Florida (over 90% of the 374,655 county residents resided in urban areas in 1960). The area differs from the state as a whole and from the nation in that it has a much larger proportion of elderly persons and a smaller proportion of nonrwhites. Between 1950 and 1960 the county population increased by 135 percent. Recent population estimates indicate continued growth since 1960, but at a slower pace* In 1966 the Pinellas County Planning Office estimated the population of the county as 447,853 and that of Ste Petersburg as 201,851. Most of this population growth has been the result of migration from other states. The 1960 census showed that almost forty percent of the persons over five years of age residing in Pinellas County in 1960 had lived in a different state five years earlier.

Frames for selecting the other dropout and the graduate samples were developed using records from the local Florida State Employment Service Youth Opportunity Center, Intelligence level was determined by the 11G1 score of the United States Employment Service General Aptitude Test Battery using the relatively broad categories of under 85, 85-104, 105-114, and 115 or over. These scores are roughly equivalent to IQ scores yielded by widely used Intelligence tests such am the Wechler. It is the practice of the local youth employment office to screen members of each high school graduating class and to


'Us S. Bureau of the Census, U. S. Census of Population: 1960, Vol. 1. Characteristics of the Population, Part 11, Florida (Washington: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1963), p. 132.






38

administer the General Aptitude Test Battery to those planning to enter the labor market upon graduation. This screening and testing is done in the schools and noresponse is negligible. There is a similar program for dropouts, but the nonresponse is much greater. Monthly dropout lists are provided by each of the local junior and senior high schools, and the dropouts are requested by letter to report to an employment service counselor. Those who respond are administered the test battery. The sampling frames, stratified for age, race, sex, and "IG" scores, were made up of participants in these employment service programs*

An unanticipated finding was that fully one half of the

disadvantaged youth in the MDTA programs had completed high school. This program was conceived originally for the training of school dropouts; however, "disadvantaged" high school graduates are not excluded, The MDTA group was studied near the end of the training period arnd had dwindled to about sixty percent of its original size. This is In keeping with the earlier experience of the program (it was reported in Chapter I that in the fiscal year 1964-65, 41.4 percent of the enrollees

terinaedbefore completion of training). It appears thqt those who had dropped out of regular school were also more likely to drop out of the MDTA program, leaving a relatively higher proportion of graduates among those remaining to complete the program.

The MDTA trainee who has completed high school differs from the dropout trainee in that he has conformed to the societal expectations for minimal schooling. He also differs from other high school graduates in that he has been designated as disadvantaged and not equipped for labor market competition. It was therefore decided to eliminate





39

these graduates from the study The MDTA study group which remained was comprised of thirteen white males, seven colored males, four white females, and four colored females, for a total of twenty-eight trainees. Three of the white males were subsequently dropped from the sample because no graduates having comparable "G" scores could be located. All of these scored below eighty on the intelligence test. The final number

(25) was considerably smaller than expected, and without matched

sampling would have prevented any meaningful analysis. However, the use of matched groups eliminated the need for dividing the samples by age, sex, race, and intelligence, thus table cells of adequate although minimal size for the planned analysis.


Data Collection

Two questionnaires, one for graduates and one for dropouts, were developed for collection of data relating to the respondents' perceptions of school, family, and peer systems. 1 Both instruments were designed for group administration and differ only in that the dropout form contains additional questions reasons for

having dropped out of school. A mmiber of items on these questionnaires were adapted for the present study from those used by Bertrand in his study of rural Louisiana youth. 2 Respondents were asked to provide information on family and personal background, school and work experiences, future vocational and educational plans, and peer relations.


1 Copies of the questionnaires appear in Appendix.

2Alvin L. Bertrand, "A Study of Rural Education in Selected Areas of Louisiana: Schedule I, Schedule 11,, Schedule Ill." Maton Rouge, Louisiana: Department of Sociology# Louisiana State University,
mtneographed, undated. )






40

The "Index of Adjustment and Values" (IAV) developed by R., E. Bills was used to obtain measures of self-concept and ideal self-concept, This instrument consists of a list of forty-nine personality traits. Space is provided for the respondent to answer three questions about himself for each item. These questions are: (1) How often are you this sort of person, (2) how do you feel about being this way, and (3) how much of the time would you like this trait to be characteristic of you? Preliminary testing of the instrument revealed that the second question was often misunderstood and contributed little to the planned analysis* Therefore, it was decided to eliminate question number two and to use only self and ideal self-ratings in the analysis. The discrepancy between these two ratings seems to provide a more valid indicator of self-acceptance than does the answer to question two, "How do you feel about being this way?" Answers to the two questions used are recorded on a five-point scale ranging from "seldom" to "most of the time." Bills describes the IAV as reflecting "cumulative affects of interpersonal relations" and as "assessing current status of the perceptions

of self 11 2

Questionnaires were completed by the MDTA students in groups of from five to ten at the training center. As each respondent finished his questionnaire, he turned it in to the researcher and was given an IAV to fill out, While he was working on this the researcher looked over the completed questionnaire, noting any omissions or unclear

1 A copy of the 1AV appears in Appendix.

2 Robert E. Bills, "Index of Adjustment and Values* Manual," Mimeographed by the College of Education (University: University of Alabama, undated), p. 5.






41


answers* When the IAV was rturned, inqu~iries necessary to complete the questionnaire were made* The non-MDTA samples were surveyed in the same way except that the interviews were individual or In groups of two or three. These were carried out at the Youth Opportunity Center, in an office supplied by the local health department, or in the respondent' s home.


Analysis

Data were analyzed by IBM machine processing, arnd tests of significance were performed using a computer at the University of Florida Computer Center. The following null hypotheses were tested:

le* There is no difference in reasons for dropping out of school

of the !VTA dropout group and the other dropout group.

2. There is no difference in perceptions of the educational

system of the IVTA dropout group, the other dropout group,

and the graduate group.

3.* There is no difference in perceptions of economic values

of the IVTA dropout group, the other dropout group, and the

graduate group.

4. There is no difference in perceptions of personal relationships

of the IM)TA dropout group, the other dropout group, and the

graduate group.

5. There is no difference in perceptions of the family structurefunction of the MDTA dropout group, the other dropout group,

and the graduate group.

6,* There is no difference in self- concept of the PADTA dropout

group, the other dropout group, and the graduate group.






42

7. There is nio difference in self-acceptance of the I4DTA dropout

group, the other dropout group, and the graduate group.

8. There is no difference in perceptions of the ideal self of

the MDTA dropout group, the other dropout group, and the graduate group.

In testing hypotheses twoa through five, perceptions and behavioral patterns reported by respondents were clustered under the headings of educational values, economic values, personal relations, and family relations* Each of these clusters yielded an index of conformity to the societal norms and expectations for that particular system.

The cluster of responses included under the heading of educacational values is composed of answers to the following questions:

1. Are you sorry you left school?

2. would anything have caused you to remain in school?

3.* What grades did you repeat while in school?

4., Which teacher has had the most influence on you?

5. During your last year in school, what was your grade average?

6. In your opinion, how much of a disadvantage to success is the

lack of a high school education?

7. Do you consider the last regular school you attended to be

excellent, good, fair, or poor?

8. How many of the teachers in the school you last attended did

you feel were interested In the students?

9. How many of the teachers in the school you last attended did

you feel were fair to the students?






43


The first two questions were used for dropout groups only.

Respondents perceptions of economic values were measured using a cluster of items which included:

1. Do you plan further education or training? If yes, what type?

2. During the last year you were in school, did you do any work

for pay? How much money did you earn during the year? How

many days did you stay out of school to work for pay?

3. Are you working for pay at the present time?

4. What job do you hope to make your life's work?

The cluster relating to personal relationships included the following questions:

1. How did you get along with your teachers?

2. During your last year in school, were most of your best

friends in school or out of school?

3. Did you find it easy to make friends in school?

4e Did you find it difficult to speak out in class?

Perceptions of family structure and function were elicited from the following questions:

1, Which of your parents, if either, approved of your dropping

.out of school?

2. If either or both parents did not approve, did they do anything to prevent you from dropping out of school?

3. During your last year in school, did your parents usually,

occasionally, or never attend school events such as athletic

contests, plays and P. T. A. meetings?

4. What was your family situation at the time you graduated or






44


dropped from school?

S. How many times have your parents moved from one county to

another in the last ten years?

6. Did your mother generally work outside of your home?

7* Did either parent live away from home for six months or more?

If yes, was this because of military service or illness?

8. Has your father been married more than one time?

9. Has your mother been married more than one time?

10o Was either parent ever divorced or deserted before you left

school?

11. Was either parent ever widowed before you left school?

The two forms of the questionnaire contained alternate wording for graduates and dropouts on the first two items in this cluster.

Data relating to educational values, economic values, and

family relations permitted the use of three categories of conformity (high,, medium, and low). In the personal relations area it was necessary to combine the low and medium categories because one of the study groups had only one member in the low category*

In testing hypothesis one, responses to a single questionnaire item---what were your reasons for dropping out of school-were used* In testing hypotheses six through eight, IAV scores on self-concept, ideal self, and discrepancy between perceived self-concept and ideal self-concept were usede

The chi-square test was used to test the significance of differences in group perceptions for hypotheses one through five (related to nominal level data)* The t test for significant e of differences in






45

group means was used for hypotheses six through eight& The .05 level of significance was used for rejection of the null hypotheses.














V. FIMlS



The three study groups were matched for age, race, sex,

intelligence level, and residence. Therefore, in the analysis which follows, the data have not been analyzed by these characteristics. This analysis is presented in two major sections. The first section provides a descriptive summnary; the second, a statistical analysis in which the specific hypotheses are tested.


Descriptive Summary

Each of the three study groups included seventeen males and

eight females., Among males white persons outnumbered nonwhites ten to seven, while among females the races were equally represented There is no statistical difference in the mean intelligence score for the three groups. The MDTA group "IG" scores ranged from 60 to 123 with a mean of 94.0, the other dropout group had a range of 57 to 124 with a mean of 92.8, and the graduate group had a range from 70 to 117 with a mean of 94.2. All of the respondents were aged 16 through 21 and had had recent participation in the educational system* Marital Status and
Number of Children

MDTA dropouts were much more likely to be married than either other dropouts or graduates. More than one third of the MDTA group compared with less than one sixth of both the other dropouts and graduates indicated that they were married at the time of the interview.
46






47

One MDTA respondent and three other dropout respondents wre separated or divorced. None of the graduates fell into this category.

Table 1 show that members of both dropout groups were more likely to have children than mbers of the graduate group. The MDTA group reported a total of thirteen children; the other dropouts, twelve children; and the graduates, a total of four children.


TAKLE 1

NUMME OF CHILDREN BY EDUCATIONAL STATUS


MDTA Other
Dropouts Dropouts Graduates


N %N %N %


Total 25 100.0 25 100.0 25 100.00

None 14 56.0 17 68.0 22 88.0

One 9 36.0 6 24.0 2 8.0

TWO 2 8.0 0 0 1 4.0

Three 0 *.2 8.0 0 *



Education

By definition all of the graduates had completed high school

while all of the dropouts had failed to do so* None of the dropouts had left school before completing the sixth grade. As a group the MDTA trainees had attained a higher level of formal education than the other dropout group. Over two thirds of the lDTA dropouts, compared with two fifths of the other dropouts, had completed the tenth or eleventh grade. only one MDTA respondent reported an 'IF" average for his last year in school compared with four of the other graduates. The modal grade






48

average for all three groups was "Coll Table 2 shows that both MDTA dropouts and graduates were somewhat more likely to consider the lack of a high school education a great disadvantage in life.


TABLE 2

DEGRE OF DISADVANTAGE IN NOT HAVING A HIGH SCHOOL EDUCATION


MDTA Other
Dropouts Dropouts Graduates


N %N %N %


Total 25 100.0 25 100.0 25 100.0

Great disadvantage 18 72.0 14 56.0 21 84.0

Moderate 6 24.0 8 32.0 2 8.0

Little or none 1 4.0 3 12.0 2 8.0



Table 3 reveals that MDTA dropouts used school counseling

services to a lesser degree than either other dropouts Or graduate only about one fourth of the MDTA dropouts received counseling compared with more than two fifths of the other dropouts arnd slightly over three fourths of the graduates. one fifth of the MTA group and about one eighth of each of the other groups indicated that they did not know whether or not their school had a guidance counselor.






49

TAML 3

KNOWLEDGE AND USE OF SCHOOL COUNSELING SERVICES


HDTA Other
Dropouts Dropouts Graduates


N % N % N %


Total 25 100.0 25 100.0 25 100.0

Used it 7 28.0 11 44.0 19 76.0

Knew about it
but did not use it 9 36.0 6 24.0 1 4.0

Reported that
school had none 4 16.0 5 20.0 2 8.0

Did not know if
school had one or not 5 20.0 3 12.0 3 12.0



The majority of persons in all three groups reported that they

believed that most of the teachers in their schools were both interested in and fair to the students. However many of the respondents felt that the school itself was not as good as they would have liked. Ratings of the last regular school attended are shown in Table 4. Of the three groups, the graduates were the most positive in their perceptions of the school while the MDTA dropouts were the most negative.






50


TABLE 4

RATINGS OF LAST REGULAR SCHOOL ATTENDED


NDTA Other
Dropouts Dropouts Graduates


N %N %N %


Total 25 100.0 25 100.0 25 100.00

Excellent 7 28.0 7 28.0 9 36.0

Good 4 16.0 9 36.0 13 52.0

Fair or poor 14 56.0 9 36.0 3 12.0



The primary reason for leaving school reported by members of the two dropout groups is shown in Table 5. Almost half of the ?4DTA group indicated economic factors (needed at home, financial, or employment) compared with about one sixth of the other dropouts. Other dropouts were more likely than JM)TA dropouts to mention lack of interest or pregnancy as their primary reason for dropping out. It is noted that, for the two dropout groups. combined, one half of the sixteen female dropouts left school because of pregnancy. Of those included in the "other" category In Table 5, two of the MDTA dropouts and six of the other dropouts specified difficulties with school work; two MDTA dropouts and one other dropout mentioned personal relations problem. One male other dropout indicated that he had to leave school because his girl friend was pregnant, and one MDTA dropout did not specify any reason.





51


TABLE 5

PRIMY REASON FOR LEAUDM SCHOOL


MDTA Other
Dropouts Dropouts


N %N %


Total 25 100.0 25 100.0

Needed at home 2 8.0 0a

Financial 4 16.0 1 4.0

Lack of interest 4 16.0 7 28.0

Health 0 4 0 0

Employment 5 20.0 3 12.0

Marriage 2 8.0 1 4.0

Pregnancy 3 12.0 5 20.0

Other 5 20.0 6 32.0



Personal Relations

Respondents were asked if, during their last year in regular

school, most of their friends were in school or out of school. Although differences were small, graduates were somewhat more likely and other dropouts somewhat less likely than MDTA dropouts to report their friends as being in school.* Twenty-three graduates, twenty HDTA dropouts, and nineteen other dropouts indicated this response. There was no difference between the other dropout group and the graduate group as to ease in making friends in school, but a greater proportion of NDTA dropouts reported that it was easy to make friends in school. Although this






52


question was intended to relate to the last regular school attended, the

MDTA group may have been influenced by the friendly atmosphere at the training center, which is considered a school by most of the trainees. There was practically no difference among the three groups in responses to the question, "During your last year in regular school did you find it difficult to speak out in class?" About two fifths of each group gave a positive response.

Table 6 shows that a greater proportion of MDTA dropouts than of the other two groups reported a history of Juvenile delinquency in the family. The trainee and/or one or more of his siblings had been arrested in more than one third of the families of the MDTA trainees* In addition, four members of the MDTA group either refused to answer the question

arrests or stated that they did not know.


TABLE 6

DELINQUENCY STATUS OF CHILDREN IN FAMLY


MDTA Other
Dropouts Dropouts Graduates


N % N % N %


Total 25 100.0 25 100.0 25 100.0

No arrests 12 48,0 23 92.0 21 84.0

One or more
children arrested 9 36.0 2 800 4 16.0

Did not know or
not reported 4 1660 0 0






53


Respondents in the two dropout groups were asked to identify the person whom they perceived as being the most influential in affecting their decision to leave school* Slightly over two thirds of the MVTA dropout group and about one half of the other dropout group indicated that nobody had infuned theme The only other responses given by MDTA dropouts were parent and friend, while the other dropouts mentioned a variety of persons, including teachers and other relatives (see Table 7).


TABLE 7

PERSON PERCEIVED AS HAVING THE: HOST INFLUENCE ON RESPONDENT IN MAKING THE: DECISION TO LEAVE SCHOOL


HIDTA Other
Dropouts Dropouts


N %N %


Total 25 100.0 25 100.00

None 17 68.0 13 52.0

Parent 6 24.0 3 12.0

Relative other
than parent 0 ..1 4.0

Friend 2 86.0 1 4.0

Teacher 0 ..2 8.0

All of above 0 em1 4.0

Other 0 ..4 16.0






54


FamilX

Table 8 reveals that both dropout groups were much more likely than the graduate group to have lived in broken homes. Over three fourths of the graduates, compared with about two fifths of the two dropout groups, were living with both parents at the time they left school*


TABLE 8

FAMILY SITUATION AT THE TIM RESPONDENT LEFT SCHOOL


MDTA Other
Dropouts Dropouts Graduates


N % N % N %


Total 25 10000 25 100.0 25 100.0

Living with:

Both parents 11 44*0 10 40.0 19 76.0

Widowed parent 5 2060 4 16.0 2 8.0

Divorced or separated parent 1 4,0 6 24.0 1 4.0

Remarried parent 2 8.0 3 12.0 2 8.0

Neither parent
(Poster parents
or relatives) 6 24.0 2 8.0 1 4.0



Almost one fourth of the MDTA dropouts resided with other relatives or in a foster home*

it follows from the above statement that members of the two

dropout groups were less likely to report that their parents participated






55

in school activities. One could hardly expect the parents of a youth to participate in his school activities if he lived elsewhere. Two fifths of the graduates, three fifths of the MDTA dropouts, and almost seven tenths of the other dropouts indicated that their parents never participatAd in school activities.

There was no difference in family size among the three study

groups. The average family had four children, including the respondent. However, Table 9 shows that members of the dropout groups were more likely to be only children than were those in the graduate group.


TABLE 9

NWINR OF CHILDREN IN FAMILY


4DTA Other
Dropouts Dropouts Graduates


N % N % N %


Total 25 100.0 25 100.0 25 100.0

One 5 20.0 4 16.0 0

Two or three 7 28.0 9 36.0 14 56.0

Four or five 5 20.0 7 28.0 7 28.0

Six or seven 3 12.0 2 8.0 1 4.0

Eight or over 4 16.0 3 12.0 3 12.0

Not reported or
did not know 1 4.0 0 0 0



Economic Area

The vocational objectives reported by respondents were placed in






56

categories patterned after those used by the U.S. Bureau of the Census. These categories were then combined to form the following three levels of occupations:

Level I. Professional, technical, and kindred workers; managers, officials, and proprietors, except farm. Level n. Farmers and farm managers; clerical and kindred
worker; sales workers; craftsmen, foremen, and kindred workers; operatives and kindred workers. Level IIIo Private household workers; service workers except private household; farm laborers and farm foremen; laborers, except farm and mine.


TABLE 10

VOCATIONAL OBJECTIVE BY BROAD OCCUPATIONAL IVEL


MDTA Other
Dropouts Dropouts Graduates


N % N % N %


Total 25 100.0 25 100.0 25 100.0

Level I 3 12.0 4 16.0 8 32.0

Level II 14 56.0 8 32.0 7 28.0

Level III 4 16.0 3 12.0 2 8.0

Undecided 4 16.0 10 40.0 8 32.0



As expected, a greater proportion of graduates than of either dropout group indicated vocational objectives of the highest level. MDTA trainees were more likely to have middle range occupational objectives and were less likely to be undecided than either the other dropouts or the graduates Csee Table 10). These findings, of course,






57


reflect the vocational orientation of the MDTA program.

The classification system used for vocational objectives of

respondents was also applied to parents$ ocuatos Table 11 shows

the distribution of occupational levels of fathers and Table 12 shows that of mothers. it is apparent from these data that the three groups do not differ greatly. This probably is a reflection of the fact that the groups were matched for age, race, and intelligence, all of which have some relationship to parents' occupation. Five members of the MDTA dropout group were unable to report the occupation of either parent. This is the group in which a relatively large number were living with persons other than parents at the time of leaving school.


TANAK 11

OCCUPATIONAL LEVEL OF FATHER OR STEPFATHER


IWTA Other
Dropouts Dropouts Graduates


N %N %N %


Total 25 100.0 25 100.0 25 10000

LevelI1 1 4.0 2 8.0 2 8.0

Level I1 11 44.0 10 40e0 9 36.0

Level 111 8 32.0 9 36.0 11 44.0

Did not know or
not-reported 5 20.0 4 16,0 3 12.0






58


TABLE 12

OCCUPATIONAL LEVEL OF MOTHER OR STEPMTHER



MDTA Other
Dropouts Dropouts Graduates


N %N %N %


Total 25 100.0 25 100.0 25 100.0

LevelI1 1 4.0 2 8.0 5 20.0

Level 11 6 24.0 5 20.0 2 8.0

Level 111 6 24.0 7 28.0 8 32.0

Housewife 7 28.0 11 44.0 10 40.0

Did not know or
not reported 5 20.0 0 ..0


There was also very little difference among the study groups in the proportion of mothers who usually worked outside the home. In the MDTA group seventeen reported working mothers compared with sixteen in the other dropout group and fifteen in the graduate group.




In the foregoing account, selected characteristics of the three study groups are described.* Both of the dropout groups, when compared with the graduate group, were found to differ in a number of respects. They were more likely to have children, less likely to have made use of the school counseling services, more likely to have come from broken

homes, more likely to be only children, less likely to report that parents participated in school activities, and less likely to aspire to






59


high level vocational goals.

The MDTA dropout group differed from both the other dropout

group and the graduate group in that its members were more likely to be married, more likely to have a low opinion of the last school attended, more likely to report that it was easy to make friends in school, more

likely to have middle range occupational goals, less likely to be undecided on vocational Choice,, and more likely to report involvement by self or siblings in delinquent behavior.

The other dropouts differed from the other two groups in that they were more Likely to be separated or divorced and were less likely to consider the lack of a high school education a great disadvantage,



Statistical Analysis

The descriptive findings reported above are used along with Certain other findings to develop clusters relating to four of the eight specific hypotheses (see Chapter IV, Methodology). Hypothesis

number one relates to a single nominal level questionnaire item and hypotheses number six through eight relate to scores on the TAv. (see Appendix for copies of the questionnaires and the IAV.) The eight hypotheses and the items used in testing them are:

1. There is no difference in reasons for dropping out of school

of the MDTA dropout group and the other dropout group, (Form I

questionnaire item 6.)

2e There is no difference in perceptions of the educational system

of the MDTA dropout group, the other dropout group, and the

graduate group. (Form I questionnaire items 8-12 and 14-17, and

Form II items 4-6 and 8-11,)






60

3. There is no difference in perceptions of economic values of the

I4DTA dropout group, the other dropout group, and the graduate

group. (Form I questionnaire items 23, 24, 33, and 45 and Form

II items 17, 18, 27, and 28.)

4. There is no difference in perceptions of personal relationships

of the MDTA dropout group, the other dropout group, and the

graduate group. (Form I questionnaire items 26, 27, 28,) and 31

and Form II items 20, 23, 24, and 25.)

5. There is no difference in perceptions of the family structurefunction of the MDTA dropout group, the other dropout group,

and the graduate group.* (Form I questionnaire items 7, 32, 38, 41, 439 44, 45, 46, 47, and 48 and Form II items 3, 9, 30, 33,

359 36, 37, 38, 39, and 40.)

6. There is no difference in self-concept of the MDTA dropout

group, the other dropout group, and the gradua tegru. (lAV

self-concept scores*)

7. There is no difference in self-acceptance of the MDTA dropout

group, the other dropout group,, and the gradua tegru. (lAV

discrepancy scores.)

8. There is no difference in perceptions of the ideal self of the

M~TA dropout group, the other dropout group, and the graduate

group. (lAV ideal self-scores.)

For hypotheses involving clusters, the cluster scores were

used to categorize respondents as being high, medium, or low relative to the societal expectations applicable to the particular area or system. The four cluster areas were educational values, economic values, personal relations, and family relations. In one of the study






61


groups only one respondent fell into the low category on personal relations* Therefore, it was necessary to combine the low and medium cells of this area for statistical analysis. Hypothesis Number 1

Table 13 shows the reasons reported for leaving school by members of the MDTA dropout group and the other dropout group, The chi-square test for significance of differences in reasons given by the two groups yielded a value of 4.87 with three degrees of freedom.

Tc establish significant relationships at the .05 level a value of

7.815 is required, Therefore, the null hypothesis that there is no difference in the reasons reported for the two groups is supported at the .05 level of significance, TABLE 13

REASONS REPORTED FOR DROPPING OUT OF SCHOOL



MDTA Other
Dropouts Dropouts

N % N %
Total .25 100.0 25 100.0

Economic 11 44.0 4 16.0
Marriage or pregnancy 5 20,0 6 24.0
lack of interest 4 16.0 7 28.0

Other 5 20.0 8 32.0

2
x 4.87






62


Hypothesis Number 2

Perceptions of the educational system for the three study

groups are presented in Table 14. The chi-square test for significance of differences in perceptions of the educational system by the three groups yielded a value of 10*69 with four degrees of freedom. For significance at the 05 level a value of 9.488 is required. Therefore, the null hypothesis that there is no difference in the perceptions of the three groups is rejected at the *05 level of significance.


TABLE 14

PERCEPTIONS OF THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM



MDTA Other
Dropouts Dropouts Graduates


N % N % N %

Total 25 100.0 25 100.0 25 100.0

High 3 12.0 4 16.0 9 36.0

Medium 5 20.0 8 32.0 10 40.0

Low 17 68.0 13 52.0 6 24.0

x 2 10.69




Hypothesis Number 3,

Values relating to the economic system are shown in Table 15. The chi-square test for significance of differences in perceptions of economic values by the three groups yielded a value of 3.39 with four degrees of freedom. To establish significant differences at the .05






63


level a value of 9.488 is required. Therefore, the null hypothesis that there is no difference in the perceptions of the three groups is supported at the .05 level of significance*


Table 15

VALUES RELATING TO THE ECONOMIC SYSTEM


MDTA Other
Dropouts Dropouts Graduates


N % N % N %

Total 25 100.0 25 100.0 25 100.0

High 4 16.0 5 20.0 8 32.0

Medium 15 60.0 12 48.0 9 36.0

Low 6 24.0 8 32.0 8 32.0

2
x 3.39




Thesis Number 4,

Perceptions of personal relations for the three study groups are shown in Table 16. The chi-square test for significance of differences in perceptions of personal relations by the three groups yielded a value of 1.33 with two degrees of freedom. To establish significant differences at the .05 level a value of 5.991 is required. Therefore, the null hypothesis that there is no difference in the perceptions of the three groups is supported at the .05 level of significance.






64



TABLE 16

PERCEPTIONS RELATING TO PERSONAL RELATIONS


MDTA Other
Dropouts Dropouts Graduates


N % N % N %

Total 25 100.0 25 100.0 25 100.0

High 13 52.0 15 60.0 17 68.0

Medium and Low 12 48.0 10 40.0 8 32.0

2
x 1.33




Hypothesis Number 5,

Perceptions of family relations for the three study groups are shown in Table 17. The chi-square test for significance of differences in perceptions of family relations by the three groups yielded a value of 14.67 with four degrees of freedom. To establish significant differences at the .05 level a value of 9.488 is required and for significance at the 01 level a value of 13*277 is required. Therefore, the null hypothesis that there is no difference in the perceptions of the three groups can be rejected at the .01 level of significance.






65

TABLE 17

PERCEPTIONS OF THE FAMILY SYSTEM


MDTA Other
Dropouts Dropouts Graduates


N % N % N

Total 25 100.0 25 100.0 25 100.0

High 5 20.0 4 16.0 15 60.0

Medium 7 35.0 6 24.0 5 20.0

Low 13 52.0 15 60.0 5 20.0

14.67



Hypothesis Number 6

Table 18 shows the mean, standard deviation, and range of the self-concept scores for each of the three groups. The t test for the significance of differences in group means yielded values of -0.68 for MDTA dropputs versus other dropouts; -1.39 for MDTA dropouts versus graduates; and -0.73 for other dropouts versus graduates. Each t test involved forty-eight degrees of freedom. To establish significance at the .05 level, a value of 2.69 for each test is required. Therefore, the null hypothesis that there is no difference in the self-concept of the three groups is supported at the .05 level.






66

TABLE 18

NUMBER, RANGE, MEAN, STANDARD DEVIATION, AND t FOR IAV SELF-CONCEPT SCORES


Groups compared N Range Mean So Do So Es t


MDTA dropouts 25 110-228 175.24 32.02
8*58 -0,68
Other dropout& 25 117-223 181.04 27.20


MDTA dropouts 25 110-228 175.24 32.02
7.90 -1.39
Graduates 25 140-222 186.24 21.72


Other dropouts 25 117-223 181.04 27.20
7.11 -0.73
Graduates 25 140-222 186.24 21.72



Hypothesis Number 7,

Table 19 shows the mean, standard deviation, and range of the discrepancy scores for each of the three groups, The t test far the significance of differences in group means yielded values of 0.55 for MDTA dropouts versus other dropouts; 1.14 for MDTA dropouts versus graduates; and 0.66 for other dropouts versus graduates Each t test Involved forty-eight degrees of freedom. To establish significance at the .05 level, a value of 2*69 for each t test is required. Therefore, the null hypothesis that there is no difference in the selfacceptance of the three groups is supported at the .05 level.






67

TABLE 19

NumBER, RANGE, MEAN, STANARD DEVIATION, AND t FOR IAV DISCREPANCY SCORES


Groups compared N Range Mean So Do S. E. t


MDTA dropouts 25 5-99 46.04 27.867.0 .5

Other dropouts 25 0-77 42.12 20.84

?IDTA dropouts 25 5-99 46.04 27.866.9 14

Graduates 25 8-62 38.72 14.32

other dropouts 25 0-78 42.12 20.845.6 06

Graduates 25 8-62 38.72 14.32




Hypothesis Number 8,

Table 20 shows the Mean, standard deviation, and range of the ideal self-scores for each of the three groups. The t test for the significance of differences in group means yielded values of -1.43 for MDTA dropouts versus other dropouts; -0.*35 for MDTA dropouts versus graduates; and 1.07 for other dropouts versus graduates. Each t test involved forty-eight degrees of freedom. To establish significance at the .05 level, a value of 2.69 for each t test is required. Therefore, the null hypothesis that there is no difference in the perceptions of ideal self of the three groups is supported at the .05 level.






68


TABLE 20

NUMBER, RANGE, W~AN, STANDARD DEVIATION, AND t FOR I1W
IDEAL SELF-SCORES


Groups compared N Range Mean S. D. S. E. t


J4TA dropouts 25 154-245 210.4 23.04
6.61 -1.43
Other dropouts 25 163-2" 219.84 22.72


MDTA dropouts 25 154-245 210.40 23.04
6.72 -.0.35
Graduates 25 130-243 212.72 23.48


Other dropouts 25 163-244 219.84 22.72
6.67 1.07
Graduates 25 130-243 212.72 23.48







Eight specific hypotheses were tested. One of these related to differences in the two dropout groups in reasons for leaving school. The other seven related to differences among the two dropout groups and the graduate group relating to perceptions of the educational system perceptions of economic values, perceptions of personal relationships, perceptions of family relations, and perceptions of self-concept, selfacceptance, and ideal self.* Six of the null hypotheses were supported and two were rejected on the basis of data reported.,

Significant differences were found in perceptions of the educational system and in perceptions of the family system. Inspection of






69


the X 2 tables relating to these areas (Table 13 and Table 16) shows that both dropout groups indicated perceptions of the two system which were lower relative to conformity to societal expectations than those of the graduate group.

There was no significant difference in the reasons for dropping out of the W)TA dropouts and the other dropouts. There were no significant differences among the three groups in perceptions of economic values, personal relationships, self-concept,, ideal self, and discrepancy between self-concept and ideal self.















Vle DISCUSSION AND INTERPRETATION In this chapter the findings of the present study are related to those of earlier studies discussed in Chapter III, and the theoretical and practical implications are discussed* Following this discussion, suggestions for further analyses of available data and for additional empirical research are made.



Theoretical IMlications

The review of previous research reported in Chapter III

showed that there are two major schools of thinking on causes of deviant behavior in general,, and on dropping out of school in particular* One of these focuses upon the personality system; the other, upon socialization and the demands of the social system. If personality is seen as patterned by cultural values and social meanings acting upon the nonspecific base of the genetic make-up of the organism, then personality is a product of the exposure of biological organisms to the socialization process* The socialization process or, for that matter, all social behavior is accomplished through the interaction of personalities. Thus, the interaction of personalities and the socialization process are interrelated to the extent that one would not exist without the other. These relationships between personality and social structure and function are apparent from the writings of Talcott Parsons*


70





71


Figure 2 on page 72 is presented in an effort to illustrate

the relationships among personality interaction, and social structure and function. The upper diagram shows how social structure and its functional demands dictate to the individual and form patterns for the development of personality., The arrows point toward the limits of deviance from societal norms which will be tolerated by the social structure. The lower diagram shows how the interaction of individual personalities in striving to achieve micro-functions influences the development of social structure. The arrows point toward the societal structure and norms defined by the interaction of personality systems and altered through innovating behavior which proves to be generally functional for members of the macro-system. One way of viewing the different schools of thinking is that the structure-function school stees the process as deductive from society to personality while the other school of thinking sees it as inductive from the individual personality to society

When the findings of the present study are interpreted in the light of previous research, support for both points of view is evident. At the same time that the macro-society structure and function places demands and limitations on micro-systems (interacting personalities),

micro-system innovations influence the structure and function of the macro-society. This integrated viewpoint of the macro-system and micro-systems points to the importance of subsystems such as the family, the educational system the economy and the pear system as mediating factors in the development of the goals and means pursued in achieving societal functions. In this framework personality acts as a selecting





72



Macro-Society Structure Functions


Defines limits Functions

0 0 0 0 0 0 a 0 0 0 0 i

Personality Systems





Macro-Society Structure Functions Defines ts


Functions




Personality Systems






Fig. 2.-Relationships among personality, interaction, and social structure





73


machanim when alternative demands and expectations confront movibers of the system.

In Chapter 11 four types of social conditions were mentioned as contributing to social deviance. The first of these involved

or inappropriate socialization. Since the family is the primary socializing agency in this country$ it seems appropriate to relate elements of family structure to faulty socialization and deviant behavior.

The findings of the present study show that the lack of close family relations is associated with early discontinuance of public school attendance Less than half of the members of the two dropout

groups resided with both parents at the time of leaving school and nearly one fourth of the MDTA dropouts lived in homes where neither parent was present* It seems that, for some youth, dropping out of school is related to inadequate primary socialization resulting from the lack of a whole familyg rather than to a need for ago gratification as was suggested by Cervantes., The lack of a whole family may also contribute to societally inappropriate behavior in that young persons may be socialized to premature labor market participation

which necessitates withdrawal from the educational system.

inappropriate socialization of this type may also occur in

whole families when the functional demands of the family subsystem differ from those of the macro-system. The two dropout groups studied here were found to have family orientations which deviated from societal norm with considerably greater frequency than members of the graduate group. This difference was statistically significant at.





74


the .01 level of Probability*

sertrand reported that family systm values and expectations of rural Louisiana youth which differed from those of the educational system (and of the macro-sy .stem) often led to early dicniuneOf education. Bowmaan and Matthews, in their study of urban youth in Illinois, reported that the parents of school dropouts placed a low value upon educational system participation. An important interpretation of the findings of the present as well as previous studies is that the values and orientations developed in the family are more important as a determinant. of behavior than those of the society* That is, both dropouts and graduates were found to conform to family norms whether or not these agreed with societal norms.

conflicting expectations and demands of multiple subsystems are involved in the second category of social conditions contributing to deviant behavior. The findings relating to school dropouts show that such conflict exists between demands of the economic system and of the educational system and between demands of the family system and of the educational system. Each of these systemic deands may be in conformity with societal expectations, yet conformity to one may be accompanied by nonconformity to another,, Conformity to societal, family, and/or economic subsystem norms which call for labor market participation at an early age may result in nonconformity to the .educational subsystem and to societal norms calling for high school attendance, when faced with competing demands of systems, individual behavior is influenced by the actor's perceptions of self and of the generalized others which were developed in the Socialization process.





75


In the case of conflict between economic and educational danands, some persons withdrew completely from school, others worked part time while attending regular school classes, others entered training programs such as NDTA, and others managed to remain in school and deferred economic system demands. Differences in family orientations along with differences in personality seem to be related to the course of behavior selected.

The third condition fostering social deviance, mentioned in Chapter II, involved the existence of latent dysfunctions for subsystems associated with functions of a social system. The exclusion of expectant mothers from school attendance fits this model,* One half of the sixteen female dropouts studied reported that they left schol because of pregnancy* Most of these girls indicated that they would have liked to remain in school, but that school regulations forced them to drop out. The sanctions imposed by society in attempting to facilitate functions of the educational system result in a dysfunction for members of a subgroup (pregnant students) and in a latent dysfunction for society in the fom of nongraduation from high school.

Burchinal, in his study of married high school age girls in lowa, reported that about forty per cent of the girls admitted to being pregnant prior to marriage. Burchinal hypothesized that early marriage would be related to poor family relations, personality defects and to extent of hetersexual involvement. His data supported only the hypothesis relating to hetersexua. involvement* It seems that the value system and behavioral expectations of the family and/or the





76


subculture may be involved here. If, in the family, girls are taught that their role is to find a good man, get married, and raise a family$ it may be expected that interest in the opposite sex will be intensified and will be developed at an early age. in this situation positive family relationships with internalization of family behavioral expectations could lead to early pregnancy, marriage and discontinuance of schooling.

It should be noted here that if micro-system behavior proves to be functional for enough subsystem members, it can lead to changes in the macro-societal structure and function as suggested in the lower diagram in Figure 2. page 72, That isq if large enough numbers of youth and their families find high school age marriage and pregnancy to be functional for their immediate goals, the societal norms and structure may need to change to provide for such behavior.

The fourth category of conditions described in Chapter Il Involved inaccurate or inappropriate self-concepts with incorrect definitions of social situation. One of the aims of the research reported here was to investigate the relationships among certain conscious aspects of personality included in the self-concept, the pressures of selected social subsystems, and behavior in the educational system which deviates from societal expectations. It was expected that, when certain social characteristics were held constant, persons behaving in a deviant manner would be found to have lower concepts of self in terms of societal standards than nondeviantse Previous research by Reckless, Schwartz mid Tangri, and Lichter has shown a definite relationship between self-concept and deviant behavior. The





77


present study showed no significant differences in the self-concepts of three groups of youth representing different levels of conformity to societal expectations concerning the educational system, However, slight differences which were found were in the expected direction. Members-of the two dropout (deviant) groups scored lower than graduates (nondeviants) on measures of self-concept, ideal self, and discrepancy between self-concept and ideal self* It has been noted that the social self or self-system develops as a result of the socialization process. Self-concept and/or personality is usually measured in terms of societal norms and expectations, It, therefore, seems logical that persons who have been socialized to a set of expectations different from those of the society (as frequently occurs in underprivileged, disadvantaged families) may be expected to rate low on measures of self-concept or personality. Two factors may have contributed to the lack of significant differences In the present study: (1) small numbers of subjects are involved, and (2) the self-concept may be correlated with factors for which the study groups were matched.


Pract4cmkl

The theoretical implications of high school age pregnancy were discussed above, If this form of societal dysfunction is to be avoided either the societal norm, the form of sanctions, or the

subgroup norms mist be changed. However, all of these are highly institutionalized and any change may be expected to come about slowly. Some possible alternative outcomes could be (1) that the societal norms relating to education would change so that persons would finish





78


high school before they were old enough to have children# (2) that the educational system norms would change so that expectant mothers and mothers would be able to continue in high school, and (3) that the subgroup would be resocialized to the societal norms. Obviously, the latter is the method of choice and is being pursued in a number of government programs at this time.

The findings of this research generally agree with those

reported by Bowman and Matthews in their longitudinal study in niinois. They concluded that potential dropouts may be kept in the school system through the provision of counseling for vocational adjustment for boys and guidance in marriage and social adjustment for girls. However, the present study showed that dropouts were considerably less likely than graduates to have made use of school counseling services. This may be because such services are not offered until too late. If guidance is offered only in senior high school, many of the dropouts would have left school before having any opportunity for counseling. If school counseling services are to be effective in cutting the dropout rate,, they must be offered prior to entrance into senior high school and some means must be found to motivate students to take advantage of the services. The same factors which cause persons to deviate from expectations concerning school attendance are very likely to contribute to their nonuse of guidance facilities as well.

A number of researchers have found that many dropouts could see little or no relationship between the courses taught in school and their occupational objectives. Bowman and Matthews, Ray, Ryan,





79


and Parker, Watson, and Stinchcombe-all reported that dropouts could not see how the school curriculum prepared them for labor market competition. The present findings suggest essentially the same thing. The implications of this are, of course, that school personnel need to show how the course material relates to the world of work and/or examine their offerings to see if a relationship does exist,

The MDTA training programs appear to be filling a need which is not met by1he regular educational system. Trainees in these programs have a better idea of what to expect in labor market participation and generally express confidence that the training is preparing them to compete in the economic subsystem. It seems unfortunate that training of this type is offered only to youth who have dropped out of school or have graduated from high school only to find that their training has not prepared them to get a job.


Suggestions for Further Study

In the present study data were collected for thirty-one high school graduates who were enrolled in MDTA programs. The study had been designed with the assumption that only school dropouts were involved in these programs and data for these MDTA graduates were not used in the analysis, However, it is believed that additional analysis using four groups instead of three may shed more light upon the relationships among the demands of social subsystems* These graduates have achieved the societal norm for minimal educational attainment,, yet are not considered to be prepared for participation in the economic subsystem. This suggests that the educational subsystem lacks

adequate linkage to the ec0M)Mic subsystem-





80


Another area which should be explored with the present data is an item analysis of the questionnaire. Items which have high discriminatory power should be identified and the instrument should be revised to eliminate nondiscriminatory items. Once this has been done it would be highly desirable to replicate the study with other groups of young persons to see if the relationships found here also hold in other areas.

The findings of the study relating to self-concept, use of school counseling services, and teen-age pregnancy all point toward a need for additional empirical research. The relationship of selfconcept to other variables such as intelligence, socio-economic level, age, and residence should be explored, Factors contributing to early pregnancy should also be investigated. Of particular interest are the family and subgroup norms regarding premarital pregnancy. Finally, the availability and utilization of school counseling services should be investigated. The findings of this and other studies suggest that counseling services are being provided for those who may be considered to have the least need for the services. If these sex,rices are available only in senior high school they come too late to be of assistance to potential dropouts. Many of the school dropouts have already left school before reaching this stage in the educational system.














VII. SUMRY AND CONCLUSIONS

This study was conducted to investigate selected factors

related to the educational attainment of young person in an urban setting. A structural-functional framework in waich functional expectations of specific subsystems were related to the general societal functional expectations for each type of subsystem was USed. That is, for example, the specific expectations of families of school dropouts in St. Petersburg, Florida, were related to the societal expectations relative to the family in general. Certain conscious aspects of personality, referred to as the self-ystem, were also studied to explore the possibility that selective conformity to competing systemic norms may be related to self-concept. Data were collected using questionnaires and a measure of self-concept and ideal self for three groups of youth residing in the Greater St. Petersburg, Florida area. These groups ware made up of (1) persons who had dropped out of school and were currently trainees in a Manpower Development and Training Act program (2) a group of school dropouts matched with the first group for residence, age, race, sex, and intelligence level, and (3) a group

of recent high school graduates, matched with the other two groups for residence, age, race, sex, and intelligence level.

The two dropout groups were found to differ significantly from the graduate group in their family orientations and in their values



81





82

concerning the educational system. Parents of dropouts participated less in school activities, were less concerned that their children

finish school and were more likely to have been widowed or divorced at the time the respondent left school, Graduates generally rated their schools higher, were more likely to consider the lack of a high school education a great disadvantage, had higher grades in school, and used school counseling services to a greater extent. Although previous studies have shown self-concept and self-acceptance to be related to deviant behavior, no significant differences were found among the three groups in the present study* Graduates did tend to score slightly higher on the measures used, but differences were not statistically significant. It is possible that differences may have been obscured by the small numbers and by the matching process.

In general, the findings of this study supplement and support those of Bertrand and of Bowman and Matthews* There is considerable evidence to support the idea that conflicting demands and expectations of functional subsystems contribute to early discontinuance of education. This is particularly evident when the family system expectations are at odds with those of the educational system The part which the selfsystem plays in determining which alternative course of behavior persons follow is not clear from the present studio

The findings reported here point toward the need for additional empirical study of the role of personality in social behavior of family socialization and teenage pregnancy,, and of the nature and availability of school counseling services*








































APPENDIX





84


Page 1

QUESTIONNAIRE ON SCHOOL ATTENDANCE Form 1 Name

1. At the time you dropped out of school did you live:

[n (a) In Pinellas County

C7 (b) Other Florida County (Name)

C7 (c) Other state (Nam)

2. Marital status:

M (a) single (d) Married

(b) Separated (e) Divorced

(c) Widowed

3* Number of children

4. When did you drop out of school? Month Year

5a What was the highest grade you completed? Grade

6. What were your reasons for dropping out of school? (ME more than
one reason number in order of importance.)

M (a) Needed at home Ullness$ death, etc.)

r7 (b) Financial need (for clothes books,, etc.)

M (c) Lack of interest (doesn't like school)
[M (d) Health

M (e) Military Service

r7 (f) Take a job

M (g) marriage

r7 (h) Pregnancy

W Others (Specify)





85


QUESTIONNAIRE ON SCHOOL ATT~ENDANCE FORM 1 (Continued) Page 2

7. Which of your parents, if either, approved of your dropping out of
school?

S(a) Father only EL (b) Mother only (c) Both

(L d) Neither

If either or both parents did niot approve, did they do anything to

prevent you from dropping? [E] (a) Yes (b)C No

Explain

8. Are you sorry you left school? ( a) Yes (b) No

Explain

9. Would anything have caused you to decide to remain in school?

C] (a) Yes EL (b) No If yes, what?_________10. what grades did you repeat while in school?__________________3 None
11. which teacher has had the most influence on you? Name_____Subject(s) or position:_ __________ Explain_ ___12, During your last year in school, what was your grade average?

[n (a) A [M (b) B EL (c) C ~J (d) D Q (e F

13. How did you get to school?

EL (a) School bus EL (d) Walked

EL (b) own car [Z (e) Public transportation

EL(c) Parent's car





86



QESTIONNAIRE ON SCHOOL ATTENDANCE FORM 1 (Continued) Page 3

14. 3h your opinion, how much of a disadvantage to success is the lack

of a high school education?

S(a) Great r7 Wb Moderate Q (c) Little or no
disadvantage

15. Do you consider the last regular school you attended to be:

C (a) Excellent W b Good ~J (c) Fair W]Cd Poor

16. How many of the teachers in the school you last attended did you

feel were interested in the students? M Ca) All of them

jj(b) Most of them (c) A few of them r7 Wd One only

S(e) None

17. How many of the teachers in the school you last attended did you

feel were fair to the students? [D (a) All of them

W Mb ost of them (c) A few of them W d One only

( e) None

18. Was there a special person in the school you last attended whose

Job was to advise students about Jobs and how to prepare for them?

EJ (a) Yes ID (b) No [D (c) Don't know

19. If yes to Question 18, did you use the guidance program?

[:3 (a) Yes [Df Wb No

20. If yes to Question 19, was it:

~J(a) Very helpful fJ(b) Of som help [ ( c) Little or
no help
21.* Since dropping out of regular school, have you attended other types

of schools or training programs? (0 (a) Yes Q0 Wb No





87

QUESTIONNAIRE ON SCHOOL ATTENDANCE FORM 1 (Continued) Page 4

22. ME yes to Question 219 give schools and length of time attended.

(a) (b) (c)

23. Do you plan further education or training?

C3 (a) Yes M (b) No (c) Undecided

If yes, what type?

24. During the last year you were in school, did you do any work for

pay?

(M (a) Yes (b) No If yes 9

(1) What type of work did you do?

(2) How much money did you earn during the year? $

(3) How many days did you stay out of school to work for pay?

Days

(4) Approximately how many hours per week did you work during

non-school hours during the regular term? Hours

(5) During the samter? Hours

25. During yaw last school year, did you stay out of school to do

unpaid work? [3 (a) Yes M (b) No

If yes, approximately how many days did this prevent you from

attending school? Days

26. How did you get along with your teachers? M (a) Liked most of

them (b) Disliked most of them (c) No special feeling either way







QUESTIO)NNAIE ON SCHOOL ATTENDANCE FORM 1 (Continued) Page 5
27. Did any teacher ever visit your home? 0J (a) Yes C 3(b) No 28. If yes to Question 27, was it for any particular reasons associated
with the school? [3 (a). Yes fJ Wb No Explain____29. During your last year in school, were most of your best friends
EJ (a) In school or [EJ Wb Out of school?
30. Did you find it easy to make friends in school? EJ (a) Ye
W~ b No Explain___________ _______31. Did you find it difficult to speak out in class? ~J(a) Yes
[ W(b No Explain___________ _______32, During your last year in school, did your parents usually,
occasionally, or never attend school events such as athletic
contests, plays, and PTA meetings?
MJ (a) Usually [:J (b Occasionally (J(c) Never 33. Are you working for pay at the present time? (J (a) Yes
MJ (b) No If yes, what type of work are you doing?_ ___34. Did you try to get work after dropping out of school? MJ (a) Yes
M (b No If yes$ how long did it take to get your first job
after starting to look?________ ___________




89

QUESTIONNAIRE ON SCHOOL ATTENDANCE FORM 1 (Continued) Page 6
35. List the jobs you have held for at least a month since leaving
school?
(a) Type of work________ jMIn~foyed________W1~ Type of -work I ~i$oyed_ ______(c) Type of work____________ mooyed________36. What job do you hope to make your life's work?
____________________________r7 Don t know
(1) will your present training be enough for this type of work?
ED (a) Ye r.7 Wb No (] c) Undecided
(2) Can you get that kind of work ar-,nd here?
[E] (a) Yes [D1 Wb No [D (c) Don't know 37. At w3esentq do you plan to make your permaanent home:
S(a) in this county
WJ(b In Florida (outside this county)
(J c) outside Florida, or
W~ d Undecided
38. What was your family situation at the time you dropped from school?
[El (a) Living with both parents
ID (b) Living with widowed parent, which one?_ ______El(c) Living with divorced or separated parent, which one?


WJCd Living with remarried parent, which one?_______() e) Adopted or living with foster parents
El Mf Other, explain_________ __________





90


QUESTIONNAIRE ON SCHOOL ATTENDANCE FORM 1 (Continued) Page 7

39. What is or was your father's or stepfather's line of work?

Mother's or stepmother's

40. What is the highest schooling completed by your father or

stepfather? Mother or stepmother?

41. How many times have your parents moved from one county to another

in the last ton years?

42* Did your mother generally work outside of your home?

M (a) Yes [:3 W No

43& Did either parent live away from home for six months or more?

(a) Yes (b) No

If yes to Question 43, was this because of military service or

illness? C] (a) Yes (b) No

45* First marriage for father: (a) Yes (b) No

46. First marriage for mother: 0 (a) Yes [j (b) No

47, Father or mother ever divorced or deserted before you left school?

0 (a) Yes 0 (b) No

48, Father or mother ever widowed before you left school: 0 (a) Yes

0 (b) No

49. Approximate present ages of children in your family:

11 .V -.2
50. How many of these left school before graduating from high school?



51e How many of the children of your family were arrested for

delinquency at any time?





91


QUESTIONNAIRE ON SCHOOL M'TENDANCE FORM 1 (Continued) Page 8

52. Which two individuals influenced you most to leave school?

(Mark 1"1 for the one who was most influential, "12" for the second):

Father Mother, Relative, Friend, Teacher,

Other (name)_________________________





92


Page 1


QUESTIONNAIRE ON SCHOOL ATTENDANCE Form II


Name

1. Marital status:

(a) Single 0 (d) Married

[3 (b) Separated 0 (e) Divorced

0 (c) Widowed

2. Number of children

3. if you had decided to drop out of high school would your parents have

approved? [D (a) Father only Ej (b) Mother only

0 (c) Both 0 (d) Neither

,4, Did you repeat any grades while In school? Which ones?

In None
5. Which teacher has had the most influence on you? Name

Subject(s) or position: Explain



6. During your last year in school, what was your grade average?

0 (a) A 0 (b) B 0 (c) C 0 (d) D E3 (e) F 7* How did you get to school?

0 (a) School bus (d) Walked

E3 (b) Own car (e) Public transportation

C3 (c) Parent's car




Full Text
LIST OF FIGURES
Figure Page
1. The Interchanges Between the Nuclear Family and the
Functional Subsystems of Society 11
2. Relationships Among Personality, Interaction, and Social
Structure 72
vii


73
mechanism when alternative demands and expectations confront members
of the system.
In Chapter H four types of social conditions were mentioned
as contributing to social deviance. The first of these involved
inadequate or inappropriate socialization. Since the family is the
primary socializing agency in this country, it seems appropriate to
relate elements of family structure to faulty socialization and de
viant behavior.
The findings of the present study show that the lack of close
family relations is associated with early discontinuance of public
school attendance. Less than half of the members of the two dropout
groups resided with both parents at the time of leaving school and
nearly one fourth of the MDTA dropouts lived in homes where neither
parent was present. It seems that, for some youth, dropping out of
school is related to inadequate primary socialization resulting from
the lack of a whole family, rather than to a need for ego gratifica
tion as was suggested by Cervantes. The lack of a whole family may
also contribute to societally inappropriate behavior in that young
persons may be socialized to premature labor market participation
which necessitates withdrawal from the educational system.
inappropriate socialization of this type may also occur in
whole families when the functional demands of the family subsystem
differ from those of the macro-system. The two dropout groups studied
here were found to have family orientations which deviated from socie
tal norms with considerably greater frequency than members of the
graduate group. This difference was statistically significant at


48
average for all three groups was "C." Table 2 shows that both MDTA
dropouts and graduates were somewhat more likely to consider the lack
of a high school education a great disadvantage in life.
TABLE 2
DEGREE OF DISADVANTAGE IN NOT HAVING A HIGH SCHOOL EDUCATION
MDTA
Dropouts
Other
Dropouts
Graduates
N %
N %
N %
Total
25
100.0
25
100.0
25
100.0
Great disadvantage
18
72.0
14
56.0
21
84.0
Moderate
6
24.0
8
32.0
2
8.0
Little or none
1
4.0
3
12.0
2
8.0
Table 3 reveals that MDTA dropouts used school counseling
services to a lesser degree than either other dropouts or graduates.
Only about one fourth of the MDTA dropouts received counseling compared
with more than two fifths of the other dropouts and slightly over
three fourths of the graduates. One fifth of the MDTA group and about
one eighth of each of the other groups indicated that they did not know
whether or not their school had a guidance counselor.


11
4-
Nuclear Family
4
Wages
Labor >-
Economy
Goods
Family Assets >
4 Leadership
Loyalty %
Nuclear Family
< Decisions
Compliance >
Polity
4
Nuclear Family
4
Support
Group Participation
Identity
Adherence
>
Community
>
4
Nuclear Family
4
Specification of Standards
Acceptance of Standards
Approval
Conformity
>
Value System
>
/
Fig* 1.The interchanges between the nuclear family and the functional
subsystems of society*
1
Bell and Vogel, p.
10.


16
Another problem related to the functional requirements of sub
systems is pointed out by Bertrand. Where geographic, economic,
cultural, or other factors prevent close linkage between the school
and family systems and where the behavioral expectations of the school
systems differ from those internalized in the family system, youth may
adjust by dropping out of school. This is especially true where certain
types of people are denied recognition and excluded from informal types
of participation in the school system. In Bertrand's words, "it is
readily seen that partial structures or elements in the school social
system might be dysfunctional to both school and national educational
goals."'1'
Bertrand summarized his analysis in the following words:
The dropping out of high school of a mentally and physically
capable student can be explained In terms of the functional
requirements for adjustment in his primary social systems. Where
the family has a value-orientation which is dysfunctional to local
and national education systems, it is easy to comprehend why the
children in the family would drop out of school. The local school
system becomes dysfunctional to the national educational system (in
a latent way, perhaps) when mechanisms are present in the system
which tend to discriminate against certain students. The ramifications
of contradictory functional requirements of school and family systems
with regard to a particular student might vary infinitely. However,
presumably, the system representing the dominant value orientation
of a given individual or of the authority figures in his social
organizational complex would determine a student's ultimate
behavior.
Social Deviance
Bredemeier and Stephenson suggest that the simplest explanation
for social deviance is that certain members were not socialized to the
^Bertrand, p. 232.
2
Bertrand, p. 233.


9
5. There must be procedures for dealing with emotional crises, for
harmonizing the goals of individuals with the values of the
society, and for maintaining a sense of purpose.
Bell and Vogel, in their analysis of the family as a social system,
suggest that the family system serves general functions for the total
society and specific functions for other social systems. General societal
functions include replacement of members, primary socialization, and
maintaining motivation for participation within the society. Specific
functions may be, for example, personality formation, status conferral,
2
and tension management for an individual member.
If an element of the social system interferes with the accomplish
ment of one or more of the system's needs, it is said to have a
"dysfunction." Merton defines dysfunctions as "those observed consequences
3
which lessen the adaptation or adjustment of the system." Both functions
and dysfunctions may occur intentionally or unintentionally. Those which
are intended are generally referred to as manifest while those which are
unintended are referred to as latent. In Merton's formulation latent
4
functions and dysfunctions are also defined as being unrecognized.
Subsystems relate to other subsystems or are connected to one
another through what Loomis calls "systemic linkage." This refers to
"the process whereby one or more of the elements of at least two social
systems is articulated in such a manner that the two systems in some way
1Ibid.. p. 14.
2
Norman W. Bell and Ezra F. Vogel, A Modern Introduction to the
Family (Glencoe, Illinois: The Free Press of Glencoe, 1960), p. 6.
3
Merton, p. 51.
4Ibid.


91
QUESTIONNAIRE ON SCHOOL ATTENDANCE FORM 1 (Continued) Page 8
52. Which two individuals influenced you most to leave school?
(Mark "l" for the one who was most influential, "2 for the second):
Father Mother Relative Friend Teacher ,
Other (name)


25
that inner or self-controls determine adherence to social standards and
are of greater importance to conforming behavior than outer social controls.^
Reckless vises the findings of Nye and Reiss to support his
hypothesis that conforming behavior is related to a favorable self-
concept* A good self-concept is viewed as representing internalization
of positive societal values and includes acceptance of the proper concern
which significant others have had for the individual. It acts to
prevent the person from yielding to pushes and pulls toward delinquent
2
behavior.
Swartz and Tangri, in a test of Reckless^ hypothesis, followed
136 boys over a four year period. They found that those having a poor
self-concept were much more likely to have been involved in delinquent
behavior. However, they suggest that instead of resulting in low
resistance to deviant influences the poor self-concept may lead to a
rejection of rejectors. In this situation the individual would
associate with others who offered more rewarding experiences. Thus,
the youth having a poor self-concept may reject the standards of school
3
and family and accept those of a delinquent gang.
Llchter, et aL reported on clinical analyses of 105 white
referrals to a counseling agency. These were described as intellectually
capable high school students who were potential dropouts. The authors
1Albert J. Reiss, Jr., "Delinquency as the Failure of Personal
and Social Controls," American Sociological Review. XVI (April, 1951),
195-206.
^Walter C. Reckless, The Crime Problem. Grd ed. ; Mew York:
Appleton-Century-Crofts, Inc., 1961), pp. 342-345.
3Michael Schwartz and Sandra S. Tangri, "A Note on Self-Concept
as an Insulator Against Delinquency," American Sociological Review,
XXX (1965), 922-926.


29
and general socioeconomic level (all lower class) Although Cervantes'
study was limited to members of the lower class, he states that "they
[dropouts) interpenetrate the total class structureCervantes hypo
thesized that the school dropout's family background would be character
ized by primary relationships to a smaller degree than that of the
graduate. He concluded from his study findings that *
a lower class youth who does not experience in the family "a state
of well-being and pleasurable satisfaction" ... is not as likely
to continue his subordinate role as a domestic dependent but will
likely seek to terminate the dependency by making himself economically
independent. One not having basic needs of personal recognition,
friendly intercommunication, and various pleasurable experiences
realized in the family system will seek to satisfy these needs out
side of the family ... turns to peers. ... That the family in Amer
ica is pro-academic and peers more ahti-academic seems probable.
Long term interpersonal problems at home are probably mirrored in
troubled school situations.
Bowman and Matthews analyzed data collected over an eight-year
period in a longitudinal study of 487 students who potentially would
graduate from the Quincy, Illinois, Public Schools in 1958. Of these,
55 moved and had to be dropped from the study. Of the remaining 432, 138
(31.4%) dropped out before graduation. The following hypotheses were
tested:
1. More boys than girls will drop out of school.
2. The dropouts will have lower Intellectual ability than stayins.
3. Family socioeconomic status of the dropouts will be lower than
class average.
4. The dropouts will be inferior to a control group matched on
age, sex, intelligence, and social status with regard to:
(a) Personal and social adjustment
(b) School adjustment
^Lucius F. Cervantes, The Dropout: Causes and Cures (Aral Arbor:
The university of Michigan Press, 1965), p. 5.
2
Cervantes, p. 222.


table of contents
Page
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ii
LIST OF TABLES vl
LIST OF FIGURES vli
Chapter
I. INTRODUCTION 1
Extent of the Problem 2
Age and Grade Level of Dropouts ...... 4
Manpower Development Training Programs .... 4
St. Petersburg, Florida, Manpower Development and
Training Program ........ 5
The Present Study ;. . ...... 6
II. THEORETICAL APPROACH 7
Structure-Function Theory ....... 7
The Social Self or Personality System .... 13
Conflicting Demands of Social Subsystems ... 15
Social Deviance ......... 16
Goals and Means ......... 18
Summary 21
III. PREVIOUS RESEARCH 22
Descriptions of the Nature, Extent, and Consequences
of the Dropout Problem ....... 22
Studies Related to Personality 24
Studies Related to Demands of Social Systems . 28
Significance of the Present Study 33
IV.METHODOLOGY 35
The Samples ... 36
Data Collection 39
Analysis 41
iv


55
in school activities One could hardly expect the parents of a youth to
participate In his school activities if he lived elsewhere. Two fifths
of the graduates) three fifths of the MDTA dropouts, and almost seven
tenths of the other dropouts indicated that their parents never partici
pated in school activities
There was no difference in family size among the three study
groups. The average family had four children, including the respondent.
However, Table 9 shows that members of the dropout groups were more
likely to be only children than were those in the graduate group.
TABLE 9
NUMBER OP CHILDREN 3N FAMILY
MDTA
Dropouts
Other
Dropouts
Graduates
N %
N %
N %
Total
25
100.0
25
100.0
25
100.0
One
5
20.0
4
16.0
0

Two or three
7
28.0
9
36.0
14
56.0
Four or five
5
20.0
7
28.0
7
28.0
Six or seven
3
12.0
2
8.0
1
4.0
Eight or over
4
16.0
3
12.0
3
12.0
Not reported or
did not know
1
4.0
0

0

Economic Area
The vocational objectives reported by respondents were placed in


5
St. Petersburg, Florida Manpower
Development and Training Program
The St. Petersburg, Florida, Manpower Development and Training
program is administered jointly by the local Youth Opportunity Office
(affiliated with the United States Employment Service) and the Pinellas
County Department of Public Instruction. Recruiting, aptitude testing,
and screening of trainees are performed by the Youth Opportunity Office.
This office also evaluates the trainees* financial needs and arranges for
subsistence allowances for those meeting certain criteria. The training
center itself is operated by public instruction personnel.
Upon admission to the program each trainee is assigned to a basic
education class. This includes Instruction in communications, mathematics,
and employer-employee relationships. At the end of six weeks an
achievement test is administered and those who are functioning at an
acceptable level for their particular training area are released.
Students who have not achieved a suitable level remain in basic education
for an indefinite period.
During the fiscal year 1964-65, 447 disadvantaged young persons
were enrolled in youth training programs of varying lengths. This
included training for the following occupations: shipping and receiving,
sales work, general office, small engine repair, auto body repair, auto
mechanics, and cooperative education. The cooperative education program
involves combined classroom and on-the-job training in a variety of
occupations including child monitor, laboratory assistant, dental
assistant, and nurse's aid.
Of the 447 enrollees, 185 (41.4%) terminated before completing


66
TABLE 18
NUMBER,
RANGE, MEAN, STANDARD
SELF-CONCEPT
DEVIATION, AND t FOR
SCORES
IAV
Groups compared
N Range
Mean S. D.
S. E.
t
MDTA dropouts
25
110-228
175.24
32.02
8.58
-0.68
Other dropouts
25
117-223
181.04
27.20
MDTA dropouts
25
110-228
175.24
32.02
7.90
-1.39
Graduates
25
140-222
186.24
21.72
Other dropouts
25
117-223
181.04
27.20
7.11
-0.73
Graduates
25
140-222
186.24
21.72
Hypothesis Number
7
Table 19 ,
shows
the mean,
standard deviation, and
range of
the
discrepancy scores for
each of the three groups.
The t
test for
the
significance of differences in group means yielded values of 0,55 for
MDTA dropouts versus other dropouts; 1.14 for MDTA dropouts versus
graduates; and 0.66 for other dropouts versus graduates. Each t
test involved forty-eight degrees of freedom. To establish signifi
cance at the .05 level, a value of 2.69 for each t test is required.
Therefore, the null hypothesis that there is no difference in the self
acceptance of the three groups is supported at the .05 level.


33
the labor market demands. Under cultural conditions he concentrates
upon the concept of "adolescent inferiority." Psychological conditions
emphasized involve the exposure to failure of persons who have inter
nalized success norms.1
Significance of the Present Study
The present study includes the self-concept aspect of the
personality system along with the family, peer, and school systems in
a structural-functional framework. Although these systems have been
studied separately relative to the dropout problem, none of the previous
research has included personality as a mediating system in a structural-
functional framework. The self-system may be viewed as predisposing
individuals to a particular course of behavior when faced with com
peting expectations. Reckless and others, in the research reviewed
above, have attempted to show how a good self-concept (good in terms
of societal values) acts as an insulator against deviant behavior.
Bowman has pointed out a different way in which personality may relate
to societal functions. He suggests that discontented, poorly adjusted
persons often strive for achievement and make significant contributions
to the accomplishment of societal goals.1 The study reported here, by
including the self-system, should contribute to a greater understanding
of seeming inconsistencies in the structural-functional approach.
Another way in which the current undertaking differs from ear
lier efforts is that it includes three, rather than two, levels of par-
^Bowman, op. cit.


64
TABLE 16
PERCEPTIONS RELATING TO PERSONAL RELATIONS
MDTA Other
Dropouts Dropouts Graduates
N
%
N
%
N
%
Total
25
100.0
25
100.0
25
100.0
High
13
52.0
15
60.0
17
68.0
Medium and Low
12
48.0
10
40.0
8
32.0
X2 1.33
Hypothesis Number 5
Perceptions of family relations for the three study groups are
shown in Table 17. The chi-square test for significance of differences
in perceptions of family relations by the three groups yielded a value
of 14.67 with four degrees of freedom. To establish significant dif
ferences at the .05 level a value of 9.488 is required and for signi
ficance at the ,01 level a value of 13.277 is required. Therefore, the
null hypothesis that there is no difference in the perceptions of the
three groups can be rejected at the .01 level of significance.


82
concerning the educational system. Parents of dropouts participated
less in school activities, were less concerned that their children
finish school, and were more likely to have been widowed or divorced
at the time the respondent left school. Graduates generally rated
their schools higher, were more likely to consider the lack of a high
school education a great disadvantage, had higher grades in school,
and used school counseling services to a greater extent. Although
previous studies have shown self-concept and self-acceptance to be
related to deviant behavior, no significant differences were found
among the three groups in the present study. Graduates did tend to
score slightly higher on the measures used, but differences were not
statistically significant. It is possible that differences may have
been obscured by the small numbers and by the matching process.
m general, the findings of this study supplement and support
those of Bertrand and of Bowman and Matthews. There is considerable
evidence to support the idea that conflicting demands and expectations
of functioned subsystems contribute to early discontinuance of education.
This is particularly evident when the family system expectations are
at odds with those of the educational system. The part which the self
system plays in determining which alternative course of behavior persons
follow is not clear from the present study.
The findings reported here point toward the need for additional
empirical study of the role of personality in social behavior, of fam
ily socialization and teenage pregnancy, and of the nature and avail
ability of school counseling services.


IV. METHODOLOGY
The three categories of youth studied represent three dif
ferent levels of participation in the educational system: those who
withdrew before completion of high school and have not pursued addi
tional training, those who withdrew prematurely but were enrolled in
Manpower Development and Training Act (MDTA) programs as of June,
1966, and those who remained in school and attained high school
graduation. In the following discussion these will be referred to
as the MDTA dropout group, the other dropout group, and the graduate
group.
Prior to selecting the samples and collecting data, it was
necessary to obtain approval from each of the agencies involved. The
basic design had to be approved first by the director of the local
health department which provided partial financial support, office
space, and clerical assistance. In order to have access to United
States Employment Service Test results, it was necessary to negotiate
a research agreement involving the regional office of the United
States Employment Service and both State and Local Offices of the
Florida State Employment Service. Finally, approval had to be se
cured from the local Department of Public Instruction and from the
director of the Manpower Development Training Center.
It was originally planned to administer the data-collecting
instruments to graduating seniors at the local high schools. How-
35


QUESTIONNAIRE ON SCHOOL ATTENDANCE FORM 1 (Continued) Page 5
27. Did any teacher ever visit your home? I t (a) Yes It (b) No
28. If yes to Question 27, was it for any particular reasons associated
with the school? (a) Yes (b) No Explain
29. During your last year in school, were most of your best friends
I 1 (a) In school or (b) Out of school?
30. Did you find it easy to make friends in school? a (a) Yes
(b) No Explain
31. Did you find it difficult to speak out in class? a (a) Yes
(b) No Explain
32. During your last year in school, did your parents usually,
occasionally, or never attend school events such as athletic
contests, plays, and PTA meetings?
(a) Usually (b) Occasionally I I (c) Never
33. Are you working for pay at the present time? (a) Yes
(b) No If yes, what type of work are you doing?
34. Did you try to get work after dropping out of school? (a) Yes
I I (b) No If yes, how long did it take to get your first job
after starting to look?


71
Figure 2 on page 72 is presented in an effort to illustrate
the relationships among personality, interaction, and social structure
and function. The upper diagram shows how social structure and its
functional demands dictate to the individual and form patterns for the
development of personality. The arrows point toward the limits of
deviance from societal norms which will be tolerated by the social
structure. The lower diagram shows how the interaction of individual
personalities in striving to achieve micro-functions influences the
development of social structure. The arrows point toward the societal
structure and norms defined by the interaction of personality systems
and altered through innovating behavior which proves to be generally
functional for members of the macro-system. One way of viewing the
different schools of thinking is that the structure-function school
sees the process as deductive from society to personality while the
other school of thinking sees it as inductive from the individual
personality to society.
When the findings of the present study are interpreted in the
light of previous research, support for both points of view is evident.
At the same time that the macro-society structure and function places
demands and limitations on micro-systems (interacting personalities),
micro-system innovations influence the structure and function of the
macro-society. This integrated viewpoint of the macro-system and
micro-systems points to the importance of subsystems such as the family,
the educational system, the economy, and the peer system as mediating
factors in the development of the goals and means pursued in achieving
societal functions. In this framework personality acts as a selecting


62
Hypothesis Number 2
Perceptions of the educational system for the three study
groups are presented in Table 14. The chi-square test for signifi
cance of differences in perceptions of the educational system by the
three groups yielded a value of 10.69 with four degrees of freedom.
For significance at the .05 level a value of 9.488 is required. There
fore, the null hypothesis that there is no difference in the perceptions
of the three groups is rejected at the .05 level of significance.
TABLE 14
PERCEPTIONS OF THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM
MDTA Other
Dropouts Dropouts Graduates
N
%
N
%
N
%
Total
25
100.0
25
100.0
25
100.0
High
3
12.0
4
16.0
9
36.0
Medium
5
20.0
8
32.0
10
40.0
Low
17
68.0
13
52.0
6
24.0
X2 = 10.69
Hypothesis Number 3
Values relating to the economic system are shown in Table 15.
The chi-square test for significance of differences in perceptions of
economic values by the three groups yielded a value of 3.39 with four
degrees of freedom. To establish significant differences at the .05


41
answers* When the IAV was returned, inquiries necessary to complete
the questionnaire were made. The non-MDTA samples were surveyed in
the same way except that the interviews were individual or in groups
of two or three. These were carried out at the Youth Opportunity
Center, in an office supplied by the local health department, or in
the respondent's home.
Analysis
Data were analyzed by IBM machine processing, and tests of
significance were performed using a computer at the University of
Florida Computer Center. The following null hypotheses were tested:
1. There is no difference in reasons for dropping out of school
of the MDTA dropout group and the other dropout group.
2. There is no difference in perceptions of the educational
system of the MDTA dropout group, the other dropout group,
and the graduate group.
3. There is no difference in perceptions of economic values
of the MDTA dropout group, the other dropout group, and the
graduate group.
4. There Is no difference in perceptions of personal relationships
of the MDTA dropout group, the other dropout group, and the
graduate group.
5. There is no difference in perceptions of the family structure-
function of the MDTA dropout group, the other dropout group,
and the graduate group.
6. There is no difference in self-concept of the MDTA dropout
group, the other dropout group, and the graduate group.


104
Sherif, Muzafer and Sherif, Carolyn W. Reference Groups: Explorations
Into Conformity and Deviation of Adolescents. New York: Harper
and Row, 1964.
Sherif, Muzafer and Cantril, Hadley. The Psychology of Ego-Involvements.
New York: Wiley, 1947.
Stetler, Henry G. Comparative Study of Negro and White Dropouts in
Selected Connecticut High Schools. Hartford: State of Con
necticut Commission on Civil Rights, 1959.
Strauss, Anselm L. Mirrors and Masks. The Search for Identity.
Glencoe, Illinois: The Free Press of Glencoe, 1959.
Walsh, Ann Marie. Self Concepts of Bright Boys With Learning Difficul
ties. Columbia, New York: Bureau of Publications, Teachers
College, 1956.
Watson, Goodwin (ed.). No Room at the Bottom: Automation and the
Reluctant Learner. Washington: National Association for
Education, 1963.
Winch, Robert E. The Modem Family. New York: Holt, Rinehart and
Winston, 1964.
Wylie, Ruth C. The Self Concept. A Critical Survey of Pertinent Re
search Literature. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press,
1961.
Youmans, E. Grant. The Rural School Dropout, A Ten Year Follow-up
Study of Eastern Kentucky Youth. Lexington, Kentucky: Uni
versity of Kentucky, 1963.
Articles and Periodicals
Bates, Alan P. and Babchuk, Nicholas. "The Primary Group: A Reap
praisal," The Sociological Quarterly. II (July, 1961), 181-191.
Bertrand, Alvin. "The Stress Strain Element of Social Systems: A
Micro Theory of Conflict and Change," Social Forces, XLII
(October, 1963), 1-8.
Bertrand, Alvin L. "School Attendance and Attainment: Function and
Dysfunction of School and Family Social Systems," Social
Forces. XL (March, 1962) 228-233.
Bills, Robert E. "Acceptance of Self as Measured by Interviews and the
Index of Adjustment and Values," Journal of Consulting Psychology.
XVIII (1954), 22.


SELECTED FACTORS RELATED TO THE
SOCIAL ADJUSTMENT OF SCHOOL
DROPOUTS IN A METROPOLITAN SETTING
By
ALBERT JOHN ENDSLEY WILSON, III
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF
THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE
DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
December, 1966


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The writer wishes to express his sincere appreciation to
Dr. Irving L. Webber, to Dr. E. Wilbur Bock, and to Dr. Joseph S.
Vandiver. All of these men contributed guidance and encourage
ment on a general level and each contributed in his own particular
way. Dr. Webber deserves special mention for his patience and
wise counsel; Dr. Bock, for being a source of knowledge and
understanding of social theory; and Dr. Vandiver, for his astute
suggestions and constructive criticisms. Sincere appreciation is
also due to Dr. Albert M. Barrett for his comments and suggestions
concerning the personality system.
Special credit is due Dr. John T. Obenschain, Director of
the Pinellas County Health Department, for suggesting the topic of
the research, for providing office space, equipment, clerical help,
partial financial support, and for his advice and encouragement.
The major portion of financial support for this project
was provided by the Bureau of Research of the Florida State Board
of Health through National Institutes of Health grant, number 5431,
"Training for Public Health Research."
The research reported here could not have been done without
the assistance of Florida State Employment Service and Manpower
Development Training Center personnel. Special thanks go to Mr.
ii

Henry Richards, Mr. Ronald Brock, Mr. Howard Lindsey, Mrs. Patricia
Penrose, and Mrs. Mary Wallace of the Employment Service and to Mr.
Robert Anderson and Mr. Jerry Andrews of the Manpower Development
Training Center for their assistance in collecting data for the study.
The two persons who remain to be mentioned here deserve par
ticular recognition and expression of gratitude. Dr. Albert V.
Hardy, Director of the Bureau of Research, Florida State Board of
Health has been a source of inspiration and encouragement. My wife,
Nera, acted as a research assistant, advisor, secretary, proofreader,
and sympathizer throughout the endeavor.
iii

table of contents
Page
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ii
LIST OF TABLES vl
LIST OF FIGURES vli
Chapter
I. INTRODUCTION 1
Extent of the Problem 2
Age and Grade Level of Dropouts ...... 4
Manpower Development Training Programs .... 4
St. Petersburg, Florida, Manpower Development and
Training Program ........ 5
The Present Study ;. . ...... 6
II. THEORETICAL APPROACH 7
Structure-Function Theory ....... 7
The Social Self or Personality System .... 13
Conflicting Demands of Social Subsystems ... 15
Social Deviance ......... 16
Goals and Means ......... 18
Summary 21
III. PREVIOUS RESEARCH 22
Descriptions of the Nature, Extent, and Consequences
of the Dropout Problem ....... 22
Studies Related to Personality 24
Studies Related to Demands of Social Systems . 28
Significance of the Present Study 33
IV.METHODOLOGY 35
The Samples ... 36
Data Collection 39
Analysis 41
iv

Chapter Page
V. FINDINGS 46
Descriptive Summary 46
Marital Status and Number of Children . 46
Education 47
Personal Relations 51
Family .. 54
Economic Area ..... 55
Summary 58
Statistical Analysis 59
Hypothesis Number 1 61
Hypothesis Number 2 62
Hypothesis Number 3 62
Hypothesis Number 4 63
Hypothesis Number 5 .. 64
Hypothesis Number 6 ........ 65
Hypothesis Number 7 ........ 66
Hypothesis Number 8 ........ 67
Summary .......... 68
VI. DISCUSSION AND INTERPRETATION 70
Theoretical Implications ........ 70
Practical Implications 77
Suggestions for Further Study ...... 7S
VII. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS 81
APPENDIX 83
BIBLIOGRAPHY . 102
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 109
v

LIST OF TABLES
Table Page
1. Number of Children by Educational Status 47
2. Degree of Disadvantage in Not Having a High School Educa
tion 48
3. Knowledge and Use of School Counseling Services ... 49
4. Ratings of Last Regular School Attended ...... 50
5. Primary Reason for Leaving School ........ 51
6. Delinquency Status of Children in Family 52
7. Person Perceived as Having the Most Influence on Respon
dent in Making the Decision to Leave School .... 53
8. Family Situation at the Time Respondent Left School . 54
9.Number of Children in Family 55
10. Vocational Objective by Broad Occupational Level ... 56
11. Occupational Level of Father or Stepfather ..... 57
12. Occupational Level of Mother or Stepmother ..... 58
13. Reasons Reported for Dropping Out of School 61
14. Perceptions of the Educational System 62
15. Values Relating to the Economic System 63
16. Perceptions Relating to Personal Relations ..... 64
17. Perceptions of the Family System 65
18. Number, Range, Mean, Standard Deviation, and t for IAV
Self-Concept Scores .... 66
19. Number, Range, Mean, Standard Deviation, and t for IAV
Discrepancy Scores ............ 67
20. Number, Range, Mean, Standard Deviation, and t for IAV
Ideal Self-Scores 68
vi

LIST OF FIGURES
Figure Page
1. The Interchanges Between the Nuclear Family and the
Functional Subsystems of Society 11
2. Relationships Among Personality, Interaction, and Social
Structure 72
vii

I, INTRODUCTION
The research reported In this dissertation is a study of young
persons who have recently left school and are either entering the labor
market or pursuing additional training. Attention is focused upon
school dropoutsthose who discontinued regular school attendance prior
to high school graduation. Since high school graduation is both a
cultural and statistical norm for minimal education in this country,
the dropout may be viewed as deviant and as being dysfunctional to the
social system. Lucius Cervantes summarized the position of the school
dropout as "clumsily dysfunctional in the computer precise, machine
oriented, communication saturated society. His muscles are a drug on
the market, his truncated education makes him inadequate to qualify for
available jobs} he is in no position to bargain for himself and has
little chance to develop himself within an expanding socioeconomic
universe."1
Three groups of young persons, representing three levels of
conformity to the norm of high school graduation, were studied.
School records, state employment service records, a questionnaire
relating to perceptions of school, family, and peer relationships,
2
and the self-rating section of the "index of Adjustment and Values"
1Lucius Cervantes, The Dropout: Causes and Cures (Ann Arbor:
University of Michigan Press, 1965), p. 196.
^Robert E. Bills, "Index of Adjustment and Values. Manual."
Mimeographed by the College of Education (University: University of
Alabama, n.d.).
1

2
were used. The three groups were comprised of (1) local school dropouts
who are in the labor market and not engaged in a training program,
(2) local school dropouts who are engaged in a Manpower Development and
Training Act program for disadvantaged youth, and (3) local high school
graduatesthose who have attained the societal norm for minimal education.
Extent of the Problem
Although the proportion of the population graduating from high
school is increasing, the United States Department of Labor estimated
that there were about 3,000,000 school dropouts aged sixteen through
twenty-one in this country as of February, 1963.1 In 1963 unemployment
was high among all young people, but it was much higher for school
dropouts than for high school graduates. The most recent figures
contained in the 1963 manpower report indicate that about 350,000 persons
age sixteen and over dropped out of school between January and October of
1961. Of these it was estimated that twenty-seven percent were unemployed
as of October, 1961, compared with eighteen percent of the 1961 graduates.
The U.S. Department of Labor suggests that the same factors which con
tributed to the dropout's early discontinuance of his education also
compound the difficulty which he has in finding employment due to
limited education. Some such factors are inability to learn, difficulty
in adapting to the school environment, emotional instability,
inadequate motivation, and limited cultural development in under-
^U.S. Department of Labor, Manpower Report of the President and a
Report on Manpower Requirements. Resources. Utilization, and Training.
Transmitted to the Congress, March 1966 (Washingtons U.S. Government
Printing Office, 1966), p. 91.

3
privileged homes.1
The 1966 annual manpower report indicated that about 550,000
teenagers entered the labor market during the year 1965 and that this
p
was about three times the average for the previous four years.
According to the report, "Economic and manpower forecasters had for many
years been looking forward, apprehensively, to a tidal wave* of postwar
babies expected to enter the labor force and swell unemployment in
3
1965." However, teenage employment rose so much that the rate of
unemployment actually decreased slightly during 1965 although it continued
at an entirely unacceptable level.
The Labor Department estimated in October, 1964, that there were
about 700,000 out-of-school youth (ages sixteen through twenty-one)
looking for work and unable to find it. An additional 300,000 early
school leavers aged sixteen through twenty-one were not working and not
even looking for work. (To be counted as unemployed by the Labor
Department a person must be looking for work.) About one fifth of the
nonparticipants in the labor force were physically or mentally disabled.
Another one fifth were awaiting induction into the armed forces and one
fourth were involved in training programs. The remaining thirty-five
1U.S. Department of Labor, Manpower Report of the President and a
Report on Manpower Requirements, Resources Utilization, and Training.
Transmitted to the Congress, March 1963 (Washington: U.S. Government
Printing Office, 1963), pp. 41, 42.
^There appears to be some inconsistency in the figures reported in
the two U.S. Department of Labor reports. Apparently this is because of
differences in the age limits of the 350,000 dropouts over age sixteen
mentioned in the 1963 report and the 550,000 "teenagers" mentioned in the
1966 report. Also, the 1963 report seems to imply that all dropouts
entered the labor force.
3
U.S. Department of Labor, 1966, p. 24.

4
percent had a variety of reasons for not seeking work, including a
belief that they could not find Jobs.1
Age and Grade Level of Dropouts
Of the three million dropouts aged sixteen to twenty-one in 1963,
nearly one fourth had not gone beyond the eighth grade and two thirds
had withdrawn from school before completing the tenth grade. About two
fifths of all dropouts were below the normal grade level for their age
at the time they left school. Approximately one third of the early
school leavers had withdrawn before reaching the age of sixteen. Of these,
2
about 400,000 dropped out when they were fourteen or under.
Manpower Development Training Programs
The Manpower Development and Training Act, passed in 1962 and
amended in 1965, represents an effort to salvage some of the potential
skills of unemployed and untrained youth. Training programs under this
act have always had two objectivesto enable workers to qualify for
current job openings and, in so doing, to help meet the economy's need
for trained workers. In 1965, the act was revised to place more emphasis
upon training of disadvantaged workers and potential workers who are
lacking in marketable job skills. During the fiscal year 1967, one
fourth of the trainees are to be disadvantaged youth, forty percent
disadvantaged adults, and the remaining thirty-five percent are to be
3
selected on the basis of aptitude to learn skills in short supply.
13bid., p. 90.
2
Ibidi p# 91*

5
St. Petersburg, Florida Manpower
Development and Training Program
The St. Petersburg, Florida, Manpower Development and Training
program is administered jointly by the local Youth Opportunity Office
(affiliated with the United States Employment Service) and the Pinellas
County Department of Public Instruction. Recruiting, aptitude testing,
and screening of trainees are performed by the Youth Opportunity Office.
This office also evaluates the trainees* financial needs and arranges for
subsistence allowances for those meeting certain criteria. The training
center itself is operated by public instruction personnel.
Upon admission to the program each trainee is assigned to a basic
education class. This includes Instruction in communications, mathematics,
and employer-employee relationships. At the end of six weeks an
achievement test is administered and those who are functioning at an
acceptable level for their particular training area are released.
Students who have not achieved a suitable level remain in basic education
for an indefinite period.
During the fiscal year 1964-65, 447 disadvantaged young persons
were enrolled in youth training programs of varying lengths. This
included training for the following occupations: shipping and receiving,
sales work, general office, small engine repair, auto body repair, auto
mechanics, and cooperative education. The cooperative education program
involves combined classroom and on-the-job training in a variety of
occupations including child monitor, laboratory assistant, dental
assistant, and nurse's aid.
Of the 447 enrollees, 185 (41.4%) terminated before completing

6
their training programs. An attempt was made by the training center
staff to determine the reasons for withdrawal. For more than one fifth
of the program dropouts the records simply show "did not return." Another
one fifth discontinued training to take jobs, most often in a vocational
area unrelated to the training. Lack of interest was indicated for
another thirteen percent; disciplinary action, for nearly nine percent;
and moved away, for six percent. The rest of the terminations were
blamed on a variety of reasons including "unsuited," misplaced in training
area, in jail, unemployable, and illness.1
The Present Study
A situation in which relatively large numbers of potentially
capable youth behave in a dysfunctional or deviant manner provides an
excellent setting for the testing and extension of existing theory and
knowledge relating to the functions of social systems. In the following
chapters literature relating to school attendance, socialization, and
the structure and function of social systems and of the personality
system is reviewed. Specific hypotheses are developed, and empirical
research designed to test these hypotheses is reported.
Manpower Development and Training Center, Bay Campus, Bayboro
Harbor, St. Petersburg, Florida, "MDTA Youth Program 1964-65" (Mimeo
graphed, undated, pages unnumbered), first page.

II. THEORETICAL APPROACH
In the following discussion basic concepts relating to structure-
function theory, socialization, and the social self are reviewed.
Illustrative material is also introduced to show how the present study
relates to this framework.
Structure-Function Theory
The theoretical framework used here is basically structural-
functional and stems largely from the work of Talcott Parsons. The
structural-functional approach views the basic unit of study as the
social system (society), which is composed of interdependent subsystems
(sometimes referred to as systems also) such as the educational system
and the family system. Social conduct is analysed in terms of its
contribution to the maintenance of the social system or for its
characteristics in the structure of the system.
Persistent orderly patterns of interaction among interdependent
elements constitute social structure. As interaction occurs, subsystems
contribute to the accomplishment of the goals of the system as a whole,
thus achieving "social functions." Whan an element of a social system
contributes to the accomplishment of one or more social needs of the
system, it is said to have a "function." Merton defines functions as
"those observed consequences which make for the adaptation or adjustment
7

8
of a given system."'*
Bertrand suggests that:
There are certain needs that every group or system, regardless
of type, must fulfill. Following Johnson, Bales, Parsons, Shils,
and others, these may be listed as: (1) pattern-maintenance and
tension-management; (2) adaptation; (3) goal attainment; and
(4) integration.
Rodgers cites six functioned prerequisites for the continuance of
any social group. These are: (1) maintenance of biological functioning
of group members; (2) reproduction of new group members; (3) socialization
of new members; (4) production and distribution of goods and services;
(5) maintenance of internal and external order; and (6) maintenance of
3
meaning and motivation for group activity.
Winch comments that "each sociologist who has thought about basic
4
societal functions has come up with his own list." He suggests the
following list of necessary functions as being generally agreed upon:
1. Replacements for dying members of the society must be provided.
2. Goods and services must be produced and distributed for the
support of the members of the society.
3. There must be provision for accommodating conflicts and main
taining order, internally and externally.
4. Human replacements must be trained to become participating
members of the society.
"''Robert K. Merton, Social Theory and Social Structure (Glencoej
The Free Press, 1963), pp. 121-122.
2
Alvin L. Bertrand, "School Attendance and Attainment: Function
and Dysfunction of School and Family Social Systems," Social Forces. XL
(March, 1962), 229.
3
Roy H. Rodgers, "Toward a Theory of Family Development," Journal
of Marriage and the Family. XXVI (August, 1964), 266. The six functions
presented by Rodgers are from John Bennett and Melvin Tumin, Social Life
(New York: A.A. Knopf, 1948), p. 49.
4
Robert F. Winch, The Modern Family (New York: Holt, Rinehart,
and Winston, 1964), p. 7.

9
5. There must be procedures for dealing with emotional crises, for
harmonizing the goals of individuals with the values of the
society, and for maintaining a sense of purpose.
Bell and Vogel, in their analysis of the family as a social system,
suggest that the family system serves general functions for the total
society and specific functions for other social systems. General societal
functions include replacement of members, primary socialization, and
maintaining motivation for participation within the society. Specific
functions may be, for example, personality formation, status conferral,
2
and tension management for an individual member.
If an element of the social system interferes with the accomplish
ment of one or more of the system's needs, it is said to have a
"dysfunction." Merton defines dysfunctions as "those observed consequences
3
which lessen the adaptation or adjustment of the system." Both functions
and dysfunctions may occur intentionally or unintentionally. Those which
are intended are generally referred to as manifest while those which are
unintended are referred to as latent. In Merton's formulation latent
4
functions and dysfunctions are also defined as being unrecognized.
Subsystems relate to other subsystems or are connected to one
another through what Loomis calls "systemic linkage." This refers to
"the process whereby one or more of the elements of at least two social
systems is articulated in such a manner that the two systems in some way
1Ibid.. p. 14.
2
Norman W. Bell and Ezra F. Vogel, A Modern Introduction to the
Family (Glencoe, Illinois: The Free Press of Glencoe, 1960), p. 6.
3
Merton, p. 51.
4Ibid.

10
and on some occasions may be viewed as a single unit."1
Bell and Vogel list the basic functional subsystems of society as
the family, economy, polity, community, and the value system. Each of
these may, of course, contain a number of smaller subsystems. The
relationship between the basic functional subsystems is conceived of
2
by Bell and Vogel as "a series of functional interchanges." The chart
on page 11 was used to illustrate the nature of these interchanges
between the nuclear family and other subsystems.
The structural-functional approach has been criticized as not
3
dealing with dynamics and change. However, Merton points out that
this shortcoming is not inherent in functional theory but stems "from
the concern of early anthropological functionalists to counteract
preceding tendencies to write conjectural histories of non-literate
4
societies." Unfortunately, this historical anthropological practice
has carried over to the work of some modem sociologists.
5
Merton views the concept of dysfunction as implying strain or
tension at the structural level and as being basic to the study of
change. Dysfunctions may be contained within a stable structure, they
may exert enough pressure to bring about changes in the institution-
^Charles P. Loomis, Social Systems: Essays on Their Persistence
and Change (New York: D. Van Nostrand Co., 1960), p. 5.
2
Bell and Vogel, p. 8.
3
Reuben Hill and D. A. Hansen, "The Identification of Conceptual
Frameworks Utilized in Family Study," Marriage and Family Living, XXII
(November, 1960), 304.
^Merton, p. 53.
5
Ibid., p. 51.

11
4-
Nuclear Family
4
Wages
Labor >-
Economy
Goods
Family Assets >
4 Leadership
Loyalty %
Nuclear Family
< Decisions
Compliance >
Polity
4
Nuclear Family
4
Support
Group Participation
Identity
Adherence
>
Community
>
4
Nuclear Family
4
Specification of Standards
Acceptance of Standards
Approval
Conformity
>
Value System
>
/
Fig* 1.The interchanges between the nuclear family and the functional
subsystems of society*
1
Bell and Vogel, p.
10.

12
alized patterns of behavior, or they may result in the disintegration
of the system. Changes may be of such nature as to reduce the dys
functional aspect or they may involve institutional changes which
result in a redefinition of system objectives. Bredemeier and Ste
phenson have pointed out that "almost anything conceivable may be
expressed in patterned behavior; but if it is seriously disfunctional
sic7, the group that institutionalizes it will fail to survive."1
It was stated earlier that social structure is based upon a
systematic web of institutionalized patterns of interaction and that
subsystems are connected through systemic linkage. Loomis has identi
fied the basic structural elements of social systems as: "(1) knowledge;
(2) sentiment; (3) end, goal or objective; (4) norm; (5) status-roles
2
(position); (6) rank; (7) power; (8) sanction; and (9) facility."
Social subsystems are linked together through the sharing of one or
more of these structural elements. For example, the family system and
the educational system may share a common goal and/or a common norm.
Bertrand, in his study of school dropouts, looked upon the local
school system as being closely linked to the national educational system
as well as maintaining close ties with the local community system. He
saw the family as being "bonded to the community and school in a greater
3
or lesser manner depending upon its particular orientation."
1Harry C. Bredemeier and Richard M. Stephenson, The Analysis of
Social Systems (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., 1962), p. 178.
^Loomis, p. 5.
3
Bertrand, p. 230.

13
The Social Self or Personality Systran
Functional patterns of Interaction are perpetuated through the
process of socialization, in which individuals learn to act in conformity
to the norms of the social systems to which they belong. In this social
ization process a self-conception is developed. Consideration of this
aspect is of sociological significance in that it contributes to the
understanding of the interaction between the socialized person and his
social environment.1 The cultural milieu to which the individual is
exposed in the socialization process is reflected in "what he pays
attention to (cognition), what he feels (cathexis), and What he thinks
2
is right* (evaluation)."
The role of the personality system, which acts as a mediating
or pivotal point in the course of social action, is frequently ignored
or discredited in sociological analyses. In Parsons' words,
Durkheim and the other sociologists have failed, in their concen
tration on the social Systran as a system to consider systematically
the implications of the fact that it is the Interaction of personal
ities which constitutes the social systems with which they have been
dealing, and that, therefore, adequate analysis of motivational pro
cess in such a system must reckon with the problems of personality.3
Parsons suggests that the internalization of the sociocultural
environment is the central core of the personality system and that gene
tic makeup is a nonspecific base from which personality develops. Cul-
4
tural values and social meanings set the pattern of this development. The
conscious, role related perceptions which make up Parsons' concept of te
1Bredemeier and Stephenson, p. 75.
2Ibld.. p.80.
3
Talcott Parsons, Social Structure and Personality (New York: The
Free Press of Glencoe, 1964), p. 20.
pp. 7982.

14
personality system are also basic to the "self" described by Mead1 and
2
Cooley.
Mead views the self as a result of social experience which is not
and could not be present at birth. He designates two stages in the de
velopment of the self. The first involves the specific experiences of
the individual in interacting with others. The second involves not only
particular individual attitudes and experiences but a set of socialized
attitudes and expectations relating to the generalized other, or the
3
social group as a whole.
Prom the system point of view, behavior must be predictable;
therefore, systems are structured and persons are related to than in a
manner which assures some degree of consistency in the expectations to
which persons are exposed. From the point of view of individuals in the
system, consistency is also essential if they are to know how to act in
a given social situation.
Members of a social group are usually socialized in such a
manner that they value certain internalized definitions (social norms)
more highly than others. That is, in the early stages of socialization
the socializing systems determine a hierarchy of social definitions
which the socialized member adheres to. Bredemeier and Stephenson
suggest the following example of this:
In the family, for example, the child may learn that obedience to
his father takes precedence over obedience to playmates, that
'"George Herbert Mead, Mind, Self, and Society, Edited by Charles
W. Morris (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1934).
2
Charles Horton Cooley, Human Nature and the Social Order (rev.
ed.; New York: Charles Scribner's, 1922).
3
Mead, passim.

15
occupational skills are to be valued more than social dancing
skills, that it is more reprehensible to strike than to berate, or
that classical music is to be preferred to popular music. In this
way people learn not only what courses of action they may legitimately
pursue, but which are to take precedence when they are faced with
several alternative, norraatively sanctioned choices.1
Conflicting Demands of Social Subsystems
If a person internalizes conflicting definitions of equal value,
he cannot take one desired course of action without violating another.
Demands which conflict with internalized standards may also threaten
favorable self-conceptions. Therefore, persons confronted with either
multiple conflicting demands of equal normative value or with demands
which conflict with their internalized standards may avoid or reject
2
such demands in order to maintain their favorable self-conceptions.
Bertrand, in the study cited earlier, reported that "the
findings leave little doubt that educational attendance and attainment
3
is a problem of contradictory functional requirements of social systems."
He points out that the family system sets certain behavioral standards
which must be internalized by members if they are to become adjusted to
the system. Those who adopt a different set of values are considered
misfits and are dysfunctional to the family system, although they may
be functional to the total social system or to other subsystems. Thus,
a member who remains in school may be dysfunctional to the family whose
norm is to discontinue schooling prematurely.
^Rredemeier and Stephenson, p. 77.
2
Bredemeier and Stephenson, pp. 77-80.
3
Bertrand, p. 232.

16
Another problem related to the functional requirements of sub
systems is pointed out by Bertrand. Where geographic, economic,
cultural, or other factors prevent close linkage between the school
and family systems and where the behavioral expectations of the school
systems differ from those internalized in the family system, youth may
adjust by dropping out of school. This is especially true where certain
types of people are denied recognition and excluded from informal types
of participation in the school system. In Bertrand's words, "it is
readily seen that partial structures or elements in the school social
system might be dysfunctional to both school and national educational
goals."'1'
Bertrand summarized his analysis in the following words:
The dropping out of high school of a mentally and physically
capable student can be explained In terms of the functional
requirements for adjustment in his primary social systems. Where
the family has a value-orientation which is dysfunctional to local
and national education systems, it is easy to comprehend why the
children in the family would drop out of school. The local school
system becomes dysfunctional to the national educational system (in
a latent way, perhaps) when mechanisms are present in the system
which tend to discriminate against certain students. The ramifications
of contradictory functional requirements of school and family systems
with regard to a particular student might vary infinitely. However,
presumably, the system representing the dominant value orientation
of a given individual or of the authority figures in his social
organizational complex would determine a student's ultimate
behavior.
Social Deviance
Bredemeier and Stephenson suggest that the simplest explanation
for social deviance is that certain members were not socialized to the
^Bertrand, p. 232.
2
Bertrand, p. 233.

17
cultural prescriptions and proscriptions of the social system. This
could involve either inadequate socialization to definitions appropriate
to the systems in which the socialized individual acts or adequate so
cialization to definitions inappropriate to systems in which he acts.1
This faulty socialization may be randomly distributed within a
social system. Specific individuals may have unique experiences which
interfere with socialization or which result in atypical socialization,
or they may be biologically unfit for socialization.
An individual's biological system may be idiosyncratic in the sense
that it inhibits or prevents socialization even under the most
favorable circumstances. Little empirical evidence is available
concerning the role of the biological system in predisposing indi
viduad s to inadequate socialization. Mental deficiency seems to
be the clearest case of biological inadequacy, but other conditions
may be pertinent as well.
Situations more appropriate to study by sociologists than the
random idiosyncratic individual cases are those in which entire groups
or categories of persons experience faulty socialization. The study of
such groups yields insights on the ways in which the social system
affects different persons in different ways depending upon their position
in the society.
Social deviance is known to be distributed in a predictable
pattern and is known to vary from one society to another and in the
same society over time. Factors in the social structure which expose
members to a high risk of faulty socialization are therefore of con
siderable significance.
1Bredemeier and Stephenson, p. 126.
2Ibid., p. 127.

18
Deviant behavior may also result from strains related to the
arrangement of social structure even when participants are adequately
and appropriately socialized. It was noted earlier that persons faced
with conflicting expectations may respond by rejecting or ignoring such
demands. When this happens the individual may deviate by either
withdrawing from participation or by acting in a manner which differs
from the institutionalized expectations.1
Conflicting values and norms may result from participation in
different subsystems. For example, Gouldner found that norms governing
leadership positions in certain labor unions conflicted with those of
the larger society. Married union leaders were especially affected by
this conflict in which they were expected to be good providers and
family companions while sacrificing all personal goals for the benefit
2
of the union. The previous discussion of the competing normative values
in the family and school systems also fits this framework.
Goals and Means
Robert Merton views high prevalence of deviant behavior as a
result of culturally induced motivations for goals which cannot be
accomplished legitimately by members of certain groups due to lack of
access to culturally approved means. In this framework he attempts
"to determine how the social and cultural structure generates pressure
for socially deviant behavior upon people variously located in that
3
structure."
1Bredemeier and Stephenson, pp. 126-128.
p
Alvin W. Gouldner, "Attitudes of Progressive Trade Union
Leaders," American Journal of Sociology, LIT (1947), 389-392.
^Merton, pp. 121-122.

19
Merton regards some departures from Institutional norms as the
beginning of new patterns of behavior. These may develop within
subsystems having norms at odds with those of the society. He suggests:
It may, therefore, be misleading to describe non-conformity with
particular social institutions merely as deviant behavior; it
may represent the beginning of a new alternative pattern, with
its own distinctive claims to moral validity.
Merton identifies two basic elements of social structure which
he describes as being separable for purposes of analysis although they
merge in actuality. The first of these includes the "culturally
defined goals, purposes, and Interests, held out as legitimate
2
objectives for all or for diversely located members of the society."
These objectives are ordered according to some system of val lies and
constitute the things worth striving for. In effect, they make up a
frame of reference for aspirations. The second element in Mertons
framework includes the definition, regulation, and control of acceptable
modes of accomplishing these objectives. These institutionalized norms
limit ones choice of methods for achieving cultural goals. However,
Merton points out that "they (the norms) are subject to a wide gamut
of control. They may represent definitely prescribed or preferential
3
or permissive or proscribed patterns of behavior."
Mertons formulation involves five possible types of individual
adaptation to cultural pressures relating to goals and means. The
model which Merton presents is basically an ideal type at the macro-
Hferton, p. 122.
23bid., p. 132.
3
Ibidmj p 133#

20
functional level. In his formulation, adaptation is viewed in terms
of all societal norms relating to goals arid means. This framework is
scaled down here to view adaptation in terms of specific norms relating
to goals and means within subsystems such as the school or the family.
The most prevalent type of adaptation is conformity in which
individuals accept the evilturally defined goals and adhere to the pre
scribed norms in striving to reach these goals. The second type of
adaptation is Innovation in which individuals accept the culturally
defined goals but reject the institutionalized norms governing their
efforts to attain the goals. In the area focused upon in this work a
person who accepts the goal of obtaining a high school diploma but
uses as his means an equivalency examination or adult education classes
would be considered an innovator. He has rejected the institutionalized
means involving attendance at a regular high school. The third type
of adaptation, ritualism, involves the rejection or scaling down of
cultural goals along with rigid acceptance of the institutionalized
means. The youth who remains in high school but fails to apply him
self to the extent necessary for graduation falls into this category.
The fourth type of adaptation, retreatism, involves the rejection of
both cultural goals and institutionalized means. Merton suggests that
"this mode of adaptation is most likely to occur when both the cultural
goals and institutional practices have been thoroughly assimilated by
the individual and imbued with affect and high value, but accessible
institutional avenues are not productive of success."1 The school
dropout who withdraws because his early socialization has not prepared
him for participation in the school system or because the demands of
^Merton, p. 153.

21
other subsystems prevent full participation in the school system
belongs in this category. The final type of adaptation suggested by
Merton is rebellion, in which individuals reject both existing goals
and means and endeavor to establish a new or greatly modified social
structure. This may occur viven the institutional system bars large
numbers from satisfying the cultural goals or, in other words, when the
institutionalized patterns of behavior prove to be dysfunctional for
a large population.1
Summary
On the basis of the above discussion it is apparent that
early discontinuance of education may be viewed theoretically as
both dysfunctional and deviant behavior for the social system. In
this framework four types of conditions are seen as operating, either
independently or in combinations to produce social deviance in the
form of dropping out of school. These types are:
1. Those involving inadequate or inappropriate socialization.
2. Those involving conflicting expectations and demands of
multiple social subsystems.
3. Those involving the existence of latent dysfunctions for
subsystems associated with functions of a system.
4. Those involving inaccurate or inappropriate self-conceptions
with Incorrect definitions of social situations.
1Merton, pp. 131-160

III. PREVIOUS RESEARCH
A survey of the literature reveals increasing attention to the
school dropout problem by educators, psychologists, economists, and
sociologists. A number of publications in this area have been limited
to descriptive accounts and have not attempted to relate findings to
theoretical frameworks. Some of these reports attempt to relate the
descriptive findings to possible solutions or courses of action.
Other studies involve varying degrees of integration of the empirical
data within a theoretical framework. Most of the works reviewed here
fall under three broad categories of major concentration. These are:
(1) descriptions of the nature, extent, and consequences of the dropout
problem, (2) studies related to personality, and (3) studies related
to demands of social systems.
Descriptions of the Nature, Extent, and Consequences
of the Dropout Problem
One of the most prolific sources of descriptive data concerning
school dropouts is the united States Department of Labor. This agency
publishes an annual report on manpower conditions in the United States,
m these reports particular attention is given to the problems of
young workers, especially those who have poor preparation for labor
market participation. Manpower reports for recent years were dis
cussed in Chapter I.
Neisser presented a general overview of the dropout situation
22

23
in the United States in the early 1960's. She reported that almost
all dropouts prior to leaving school were working below capacity, were
failing In their studies, and were not participating in school activities.
She indicated that it is the relatively unstable youth who does poorly
in school and eventually drops out. In addition, Neisser stated that
"some educators and sociologists believe that a significant cause for
the failure and subsequent school leaving of the deprived child is that
the customs and languages of the middle class, on which our educational
system is based, are alien to him."1
In 1960 Youmans interviewed 307 males who had been enrolled
in the eighth grade in eleven rural Kentucky counties in 1950. More
than half of these had dropped out before completing high school. Half
of those interviewed had moved to urban areas in southern Ohio or in
other parts of Kentucky. Compared with the dropouts, the graduates
were employed at higher level occupations, indicated higher level of
aspirations, participated more in community organizations, and had
2
a more optimistic outlook in life.
Other descriptive summaries of the plight of school dropouts
3
have been presented by Dillon who emphasized problems of the school system,
1Edith G. Neisser, School Failures and Dropouts (New York: Public
Affairs Pamphlets, 1963), p. S.
2E. Grant Youmans, The Rural School Dropout, a Ten Year Follow
up study of Eastern Kentucky Youth (Lexington, Kentucky: University
of Kentucky, 1963).
^Harold J. Dillon, Early School Leavers: A Major Educational
Problem (New York: National Child! Labor Committee, ca. 1949).

24
1 2
Duncan who emphasized unemployment problems, and Stetler who
concentrated on differences in white and nonwhite dropouts. In
general, all of these suggest that the school dropout is in a position
of great disadvantage as far as labor market competition is concerned.
Studies Related to Personality
The psychological and social psychological characteristics of
school dropouts have been popular topics among researchers concerned with
the problem. Reports particularly applicable to the present research
are discussed here.
Nye studied 2,350 children aged nine through twelve in three
medium-sized towns in the state of Washington. He concluded that
deviant behavior was related to internal and external controls more
than to social class, subgroup identification, pull of peers, psychogenic
factors, or poor environmental conditions. Nye views the social
control system as being composed of both internal and external controls.
Lack of social control may be the result of poor inner control (mental
and notional conditions), poor outer control (faulty socialization),
3
or a combination of the two.
Reiss, using a framework similar to Nye's,studied juvenile
delinquents in Cook County, Illinois, to determine differences between
conformists and nonconformists to probation requirements. He concluded
^Beverly Duncan, "Dropouts and the Unemployed Journal of
Political Economy, LXXUI (April, 1965), 121-134.
2
Henry G. Stetler, Comparative Study of Negro and White Drop
outs in Selected Connecticut High Schools (Hartford: State' of
Connecticut Commission on Civil Rights, 1959).
3
P. Ivan Nye, Family Relationships and Delinquent Behavior
(New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 1958).

25
that inner or self-controls determine adherence to social standards and
are of greater importance to conforming behavior than outer social controls.^
Reckless vises the findings of Nye and Reiss to support his
hypothesis that conforming behavior is related to a favorable self-
concept* A good self-concept is viewed as representing internalization
of positive societal values and includes acceptance of the proper concern
which significant others have had for the individual. It acts to
prevent the person from yielding to pushes and pulls toward delinquent
2
behavior.
Swartz and Tangri, in a test of Reckless^ hypothesis, followed
136 boys over a four year period. They found that those having a poor
self-concept were much more likely to have been involved in delinquent
behavior. However, they suggest that instead of resulting in low
resistance to deviant influences the poor self-concept may lead to a
rejection of rejectors. In this situation the individual would
associate with others who offered more rewarding experiences. Thus,
the youth having a poor self-concept may reject the standards of school
3
and family and accept those of a delinquent gang.
Llchter, et aL reported on clinical analyses of 105 white
referrals to a counseling agency. These were described as intellectually
capable high school students who were potential dropouts. The authors
1Albert J. Reiss, Jr., "Delinquency as the Failure of Personal
and Social Controls," American Sociological Review. XVI (April, 1951),
195-206.
^Walter C. Reckless, The Crime Problem. Grd ed. ; Mew York:
Appleton-Century-Crofts, Inc., 1961), pp. 342-345.
3Michael Schwartz and Sandra S. Tangri, "A Note on Self-Concept
as an Insulator Against Delinquency," American Sociological Review,
XXX (1965), 922-926.

26
reported that financial reasons, health problems, and limited intelligence
were not important but that personality defects interfered with
functioning in school as well as in the family and in general social
relationships.1
Brookover, Thomas, and Paterson studied 1,050 white seventh
graders in an urban setting to test the following hypotheses:
(1) Self-concept is related to academic performance,
(2) Self-concept of school ability may be divided into several
specific self-concepts relating to specific subject areas
and these are better predictors of performance in relevant
areas than the general self-concept,
(3) One's self-concept of ability agrees with his perception of
others' evaluations of his ability.
Only the first of these was entirely supported by the findings.
The second hypothesis was supported for males in mathematics, social
studies, and science, but for females in social studies only. The
third hypothesis held for a campo site of significant others including
2
parents, peers, and teachers but not for specific significant others.
Wyer, in a similar study, reported that self-acceptance and
parental acceptance were related to academic effectiveness in males
^"Solomon Lichter, et aL, The Drop-Outs (New York: The Free
Press of Glencoe, 1962).
2
Brookover, Wilbur B., Shaller Thomas, and Ann Paterson, "Self
Concept of Ability and School Achievement," Sociology of Education,
XXXVU (Spring, 1964), 271-278.

27
but not in females*'*'
Walsh reported that low achievers in school were found to feel
less free to pursue their own interests, less free to express their own
feelings, and less adequate In responding to environmental stimuli than
2
students whose achievement was in line with their capacity.
McCabe studied one hundred seminarians with age, sex, intelli
gence, and educational background controlled to test the relationship
between self-concept and vocational interest* He found that agreement
between self-concept and perceptions of a particular occupation were
3
not significantly related to interest in that occupation*
The effect of social interaction on self-concept among 101 male
college students was investigated by Mania* He concluded that indivi
duals* self-concepts were influenced by others* perceptions of them, but
4
that one*a self-concept had no effect upen others' perceptions of him*
Bowman reviewed a number of situations which have been found to
produce mental conflict and stress in children and showed that these
psychologically malfunctioned, circumstances frequently lead to societally
eufunctional behavior* He suggests that persons who are poorly adjusted
or who have low self-esteem may put forth extra effort and be highly
1Robert 3* Wyer, Jr*, "Self Acceptance, Discrepancy Between
Parents* Perceptions of Their Children and Goal Seeking Effectiveness,"
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, II (September, 1965),
311-316.
2
Ann Marie Walsh, Self Concepts of Bright Bovs with Learning
Difficulties (Columbia, New Yorks Bureau of Publications, Teachers
College, 1956)*
3
Sheridan P, McCabe, The self Concept and Vocational Interest
(Washington, D* C*t The Catholic University of America Press,' 1958).
4
Melvin Mania, "Social Interaction and the Self Concept,"
Journal of Abnormal Social Psychology. LI (November, 1955), 362-370*

28
productive members of society.1
Studies Related to Demands of Social Systems
Studies which relate early discontinuance of education
to the conflicting demands and values of social subsystems are reviewed
in this section.
Bertrand, in the study cited earlier, used a structural
functional theoretical framework in testing hypotheses relating to
competing value orientations in the family and school subsystems. He
surveyed 369 high school students in eight white rural Louisiana high
schools and sixty-eight dropouts aged 16-19 from the same schools. For
the student group questionnaires were administered in the classroom, and
for the dropout group both home visits and mailed questionnaires were
used. More than forty percent of the dropouts could not be reached. They
had either moved away or could not be located. Bertrand concluded from
his findings that dropping out of school is related to differences in
family and school value systems and to different behavioral expectations
2
in the home and school settings.
Cervantes investigated the family backgrounds, peer-group rela
tionships, school experiences, and personality characteristics of
twenty-five matched pairs of dropouts and graduates in each of six urban
areas. The groups were matched on the basis of age, sex, Intelligence,
1
Claude C. Bowraan> "Eufunctional Aspects of Stress-Producing
Situations," Journal of Health and Hitman Behavior, VI (1965), 243-247.
2
Alvin L. Bertrand, "School Attendance and Attainment: Function
and Dysfunction of School and Family Social Systems," Social Forces, XL
(March, 1962), 228-233.

29
and general socioeconomic level (all lower class) Although Cervantes'
study was limited to members of the lower class, he states that "they
[dropouts) interpenetrate the total class structureCervantes hypo
thesized that the school dropout's family background would be character
ized by primary relationships to a smaller degree than that of the
graduate. He concluded from his study findings that *
a lower class youth who does not experience in the family "a state
of well-being and pleasurable satisfaction" ... is not as likely
to continue his subordinate role as a domestic dependent but will
likely seek to terminate the dependency by making himself economically
independent. One not having basic needs of personal recognition,
friendly intercommunication, and various pleasurable experiences
realized in the family system will seek to satisfy these needs out
side of the family ... turns to peers. ... That the family in Amer
ica is pro-academic and peers more ahti-academic seems probable.
Long term interpersonal problems at home are probably mirrored in
troubled school situations.
Bowman and Matthews analyzed data collected over an eight-year
period in a longitudinal study of 487 students who potentially would
graduate from the Quincy, Illinois, Public Schools in 1958. Of these,
55 moved and had to be dropped from the study. Of the remaining 432, 138
(31.4%) dropped out before graduation. The following hypotheses were
tested:
1. More boys than girls will drop out of school.
2. The dropouts will have lower Intellectual ability than stayins.
3. Family socioeconomic status of the dropouts will be lower than
class average.
4. The dropouts will be inferior to a control group matched on
age, sex, intelligence, and social status with regard to:
(a) Personal and social adjustment
(b) School adjustment
^Lucius F. Cervantes, The Dropout: Causes and Cures (Aral Arbor:
The university of Michigan Press, 1965), p. 5.
2
Cervantes, p. 222.

30
(c) Work adjustment
(d) Marital adjustment
(e) Achievement values and aspirations
5. Those students dropping out of school at an early age will be
lower on ability, personality, and., social status measures than
those dropping out at later ages*"
Of the above hypotheses, numbers 2 through 4 were supported* Number
one was rejected and number five was rejected except for early drop
out boys.
When interviewed six months after leaving school the dropouts
indicated the following reasons for early discontinuance of schooling:
Percentages
1. Just didnt like
2* Academic failure
3* Poor social adjustment
4* To work, poor finances
5* Pregnancy
6* Teachers unfair
7. Others
21
20
18
16
9
6
10
The authors interpret these reasons as Indicating that the
dropouts "do not see education as a means to practical ends, that they
do not value education in itself, and that they feel rejected by, and
have rejected, the school* * The dropouts also reported that a
majority of their parents were either indifferent to, or took no active
3
interest in their continuing in school*" When dropouts were compared
with graduates using the Semantic Differential they were found to place
lower values on self, father, and school* Bowman and Matthews conclude
that "guidance in sexual adjustment, marriage, and family living for
^Paul H* Bowman and Charles V. Matthews, Motivations of Youth for
Leaving School (Quincy, Illinois: University of Chicago, 1960), pp. 1-2.
2
Ibid.* pp. 6-7.
3.
Ibid., p. 7

31
girls, and counseling for vocational adjustment for boys are of prime
importance for potential dropouts."1
Burchinal studied married and unmarried high school age girls
in nine Iowa communities to investigate the relationship between adoles
cent role deprivation and teenage marriages. He hypothesized that
marriage would be related to dissatisfaction with parental relations,
to the intervening variable of personality, and to the length and in
tensity of heterosexual involvement. The only hypothesis supported
by the data was the one relating to length and seriousness of hetero
sexual involvement. Married girls dated earlier, went steady earlier,
had more boy friends, and were in love more often than unmarried girls.
Almost two fifths of the married girls had been pregnant prior to
marriage. Family structure did not differ significantly for the two
groups. About four fifths of each group came from unbroken families.
Differences were found in the occupational and educational levels of
2
fathers, both being lower for the married girls.
In another study, Burchinal related the independent variables
of family type and social class to the dependent variables of adoles
cent characteristics and school social relationships. He reported no
significant differences by family type for social relationships and
for selected personality characteristics. The five classes of family
types used were unbroken, mother only, mother and stepfather, both
1Ibld.. p. 8.
2
Lee G. Burchinal, "Adolescent Role Deprivation and High School
Age Marriage," Marriage and Family Living, XXI (November, 1959), 378-
384.

32
parents remarried, and father and stepmother.1
Ray, Ryan, and Parker investigated the school dropout problem
among native youth in three Alaskan villages. School records, personal
interviews, and observations of an anthropologist were used to compare
dropouts and graduates from the local schools for the period 1950 to
1960. One of the objectives of this study was to provide teachers and
administrators with a greater understanding of the problems of students
from an atypical subculture who are faced with an entirely different
2
set of values in the education system. The authors comment that "in
daily living, values enable one to place, in order of importance, his
3
manifold goals and means of achieving them!
The Alaskan native student, in contrast to non-native students,
made the decision to drop out without discussing the matter with par
ents, friends, or school personnel. At the time he left school, he
had no real concept of the nature of the labor market and of the dif
ficulties he would face in finding work. Ray, Ryan, and Parker sum
marize the condition of the Alaskan native dropout as being malcontent,
unemployed, and lacking direction. He would like to return to school,
but not to a school of the type which he left. Most of the dropouts
were described as being of at least average intelligence and as being
4
motivated to improve their status.
Watson, in his subjective summary, suggested that young persons
can see no relationship between the courses taught in schools and
1Liee G. Burchinal, "Characteristics of Adolescents From Unbro
ken, Broken, and Reconstituted Families," Journal of Marriage and the
Family, XXVI (February, 1964), 44-51.
2
C. K. Ray, J. Ryan, and S. Parker, Alaskan Native Secondary School
Dropouts (College, Alaska: University of Alaska, 1962).
3Ibid., p. 52. 4Ibid.. pp. 346-348.

33
the labor market demands. Under cultural conditions he concentrates
upon the concept of "adolescent inferiority." Psychological conditions
emphasized involve the exposure to failure of persons who have inter
nalized success norms.1
Significance of the Present Study
The present study includes the self-concept aspect of the
personality system along with the family, peer, and school systems in
a structural-functional framework. Although these systems have been
studied separately relative to the dropout problem, none of the previous
research has included personality as a mediating system in a structural-
functional framework. The self-system may be viewed as predisposing
individuals to a particular course of behavior when faced with com
peting expectations. Reckless and others, in the research reviewed
above, have attempted to show how a good self-concept (good in terms
of societal values) acts as an insulator against deviant behavior.
Bowman has pointed out a different way in which personality may relate
to societal functions. He suggests that discontented, poorly adjusted
persons often strive for achievement and make significant contributions
to the accomplishment of societal goals.1 The study reported here, by
including the self-system, should contribute to a greater understanding
of seeming inconsistencies in the structural-functional approach.
Another way in which the current undertaking differs from ear
lier efforts is that it includes three, rather than two, levels of par-
^Bowman, op. cit.

34
tlcipation in the school system. Training programs such as the St.
Petersburg MDTA project have not been in operation for very long. This
study sheds light on the nature of participants in this program and
compares them with other school dropouts and with high school graduates.

IV. METHODOLOGY
The three categories of youth studied represent three dif
ferent levels of participation in the educational system: those who
withdrew before completion of high school and have not pursued addi
tional training, those who withdrew prematurely but were enrolled in
Manpower Development and Training Act (MDTA) programs as of June,
1966, and those who remained in school and attained high school
graduation. In the following discussion these will be referred to
as the MDTA dropout group, the other dropout group, and the graduate
group.
Prior to selecting the samples and collecting data, it was
necessary to obtain approval from each of the agencies involved. The
basic design had to be approved first by the director of the local
health department which provided partial financial support, office
space, and clerical assistance. In order to have access to United
States Employment Service Test results, it was necessary to negotiate
a research agreement involving the regional office of the United
States Employment Service and both State and Local Offices of the
Florida State Employment Service. Finally, approval had to be se
cured from the local Department of Public Instruction and from the
director of the Manpower Development Training Center.
It was originally planned to administer the data-collecting
instruments to graduating seniors at the local high schools. How-
35

36
ever, the local school board has a policy prohibiting the use of any
personality tests in the school system, (The Index of Adjustment and
Values is considered to be a type of personality test,) The school
authorities also indicated that they could not release names and ad
dresses of either graduates or dropouts for use in obtaining the
necessary data. Fortunately these records are provided to the local
employment service office and, under the conditions of the research
agreement, they were made available through that office. The local
Department of Public Instruction was aware of this arrangement.
The Samples
One of the primary aims of this research was to examine
characteristics which differentiate those who do not achieve the
normative minimal educational level from those who do. It is known
that variables such as age, race, sex, residence, and intelligence
level may operate to give spurious relationships or to obscure other
relationships. Therefore, it was desirable that the graduate group,
the MDTA dropout group, and the other dropout group be as similar
as possible with respect to such variables. The MDTA group was snail
enough for all members to be included in the study and also represented
the mid-point in the range of education. For these reasons, the MDTA
dropout group was used as a "standard" population and the other two
groups were matched with it on the variables mentioned aboveage,
race, sex, residence, and intelligence level.

37
Members of all three groups resided in the Greater St. Petersburg
area. St. Petersburg is the major city in a predominantly urban county,
Pinellas County, Florida (over 90% of the 374,655 county residents
resided in urban areas in I960).1 The area differs from the state
as a whole and from the nation in that it has a much larger proportion,
of elderly persons and a smaller proportion of nonwhites. Between
1950 and 1960 the county population increased by 135 percent. Recent
population estimates indicate continued growth since 1960, but at a
slower pace. In 1966 the Pinellas County Planning Office estimated
the population of the county as 447,853 and that of St. Petersburg
as 201,851. Most of this population growth has been the result of
migration from other states. The 1960 census showed that almost forty
percent of the persons over five years of age residing in Pinellas
County in 1960 had lived in a different state five years earlier.
Frames for selecting the other dropout and the graduate samples
were developed using records from the local Florida State Employment
Service Youth Opportunity Center. Intelligence level was determined
by the "G" score of the United States Employment Service General
Aptitude Test Battery using the relatively broad categories of under
85, 85-104, 105-114, and 115 or over. These scores are roughly
equivalent to IQ scores yielded by widely used intelligence tests
such as the Wechsler. It is the practice of the local youth employment
office to screen members of each high school graduating class and to
1U. S. Bureau of the Census, U. S, Census of Population; 1960,
Vol. I, Characteristics of the Population, Part 11, Florida (Washington:
U. S. Government Printing Office, 1963), p. 132.

38
administer the General Aptitude Test Battery to those planning to
enter the labor market upon graduation. This screening and testing
is done in the schools and nonresponse is negligible. There is a
similar program for dropouts but the nonresponse is much greater.
Monthly dropout lists are provided by each of the local junior and
senior high schools and the dropouts are requested by letter to
report to an employment service counselor. Those who respond are
administered the test battery. The sampling frames, stratified for
age, race, sex, and "G" scores, were made up of participants in these
employment service programs.
An unanticipated finding was that fully one half of the
disadvantaged youth in the MDTA programs had completed high school.
This program was conceived originally for the training of school
dropouts; however, "disadvantaged" high school graduates are not
excluded. The MDTA group was studied near the end of the training period
and had dwindled to about sixty percent of its original size. This is
in keeping with the earlier experience of the program (it was reported
in Chapter I that in the fiscal year 1964-65, 41.4 percent of the enrollees
terminated before completion of training). It appears that those who
had dropped out of regular school were also more likely to drop out of
the MDTA program, leaving a relatively higher proportion of graduates
among those remaining to complete the program.
The MDTA trainee who has completed high school differs fren the
dropout trainee in that he has conformed to the societal expectations
for minimal schooling. He also differs fren other high school grad
uates in that he has been designated as disadvantaged and not equipped
for labor market competition. It was therefore decided to eliminate

39
these graduates from the study. The MDTA study group which remained
was comprised of thirteen white males, seven colored males, four white
females, and four colored females, for a total of twenty-eight trainees.
Three of the white males were subsequently dropped from the sample
because no graduates having comparable "G" scores could be located. All
of these scored below eighty on the intelligence test. The final number
(25) was considerably smaller than expected, and without matched
sampling would have prevented any meaningful analysis. However, the
use of matched groups eliminated the need for dividing the samples by
age, sex, race, and intelligence, thus maintaining table cells of ade
quate although minimal size for the planned analysis.
Data Collection
Two questionnaires, one for graduates and one for dropouts,
were developed for collection of data relating to the respondents'
perceptions of school, family, and peer systems.^ Both instruments
were designed for group administration and differ only in that the
dropout form contains additional questions concerning reasons for
having dropped out of school. A number of items on these questionnaires
were adapted for the present study from those used by Bertrand in his
2
study of rural Louisiana youth. Respondents were asked to provide
information on family and personal background, school and work exper
iences, future vocational and educational plans, and peer relations.
^Copies of the questionnaires appear in Appendix.
2
Alvin L, Bertrand, "A Study of Rural Education in Selected
Areas of Louisiana: Schedule I, Schedule II, Schedule III." (Baton
Rouge, Louisiana: Department of Sociology, Louisiana State University,
mimeographed, undated.)

40
The "Index of Adjustment and Values" (IAV) developed by R. E.
Bills was used to obtain measures of self-concept and ideal self-concept.1
This instrument consists of a list of forty-nine personality traits.
Space is provided for the respondent to answer three questions about
himself for each item. These questions are: (1) How often are you this
sort of person, (2) how do you feel about being this way, and (3) how
much of the time would you like this trait to be characteristic of you?
Preliminary testing of the instrument revealed that the second question
was often misunderstood and contributed little to the planned analysis.
Therefore, it was decided to eliminate question number two and to use
only self and ideal self-ratings in the analysis. The discrepancy be
tween these two ratings seems to provide a more valid indicator of
self-acceptanee than does the answer to question two, "How do you feel
about being this way?" Answers to the two questions used are recorded
on a five-point scale ranging from "seldom" to "most of the time."
Bills describes the IAV as reflecting "cumulative affects of inter
personal relations" and as "assessing current status of the perceptions
of self."2
Questionnaires were completed by the MDTA students in groups of
from five to ten at the training center. As each respondent finished
his questionnaire, he turned it in to the researcher and was given an
IAV to fill out. While he was working on this the researcher looked
over the completed questionnaire, noting any omissions or unclear
1A copy of the IAV appears in Appendix.
2
Robert E. Bills, "Index of Adjustment and Values. Manual."
Mimeographed by the College of Education (University: University of
Alabama, undated), p. 5.

41
answers* When the IAV was returned, inquiries necessary to complete
the questionnaire were made. The non-MDTA samples were surveyed in
the same way except that the interviews were individual or in groups
of two or three. These were carried out at the Youth Opportunity
Center, in an office supplied by the local health department, or in
the respondent's home.
Analysis
Data were analyzed by IBM machine processing, and tests of
significance were performed using a computer at the University of
Florida Computer Center. The following null hypotheses were tested:
1. There is no difference in reasons for dropping out of school
of the MDTA dropout group and the other dropout group.
2. There is no difference in perceptions of the educational
system of the MDTA dropout group, the other dropout group,
and the graduate group.
3. There is no difference in perceptions of economic values
of the MDTA dropout group, the other dropout group, and the
graduate group.
4. There Is no difference in perceptions of personal relationships
of the MDTA dropout group, the other dropout group, and the
graduate group.
5. There is no difference in perceptions of the family structure-
function of the MDTA dropout group, the other dropout group,
and the graduate group.
6. There is no difference in self-concept of the MDTA dropout
group, the other dropout group, and the graduate group.

42
7. There is no difference in self-acceptance of the MDTA dropout
group, the other dropout group, and the graduate group.
8. There is no difference in perceptions of the ideal self of
the MDTA dropout group, the other dropout group, and the grad
uate group.
In testing hypotheses two through five, perceptions and beha
vioral patterns reported by respondents were clustered under the
headings of educational values, economic values, personal relations,
and family relations. Each of these clusters yielded an index of
conformity to the societal norms and expectations for that particular
system.
The cluster of responses included under the heading of educa-
cational values is composed of answers to the following questions:
1. Are you sorry you left school?
2. Would anything have caused you to remain in school?
3. What grades did you repeat while in school?
4. Which teacher has had the most influence on you?
5. During your last year in school, what was your grade average?
6. In your opinion, how much of a disadvantage to success is the
lack of a high school education?
7. Do you consider the last regular school you attended to be
excellent, good, fair, or poor?
8. How many of the teachers in the school you last attended did
you feel were interested in the students?
9. How many of the teachers in the school you last attended did
you feel were fair to the students?

43
The first two questions were used for dropout groups only.
Respondents perceptions of economic values were measured using
a cluster of items which included:
1. Do you plan further education or training? If yes, what type?
2. During the last year you were in school, did you do any work
for pay? How much money did you earn during the year? How
many days did you stay out of school to work for pay?
3. Are you working for pay at the present time?
4. What job do you hope to make your life's work?
The cluster relating to personal relationships included the
following questions:
1. How did you get along with your teachers?
2. During your last year in school, were most of your best
friends in school or out of school?
3. Did you find it easy to make friends in school?
4. Did you find it difficult to speak out in class?
Perceptions of family structure and function were elicited
from the following questions:
1. Which of your parents, if either, approved of your dropping
out of school?
2. If either or both parents did not approve, did they do any
thing to prevent you from dropping out of school?
3. During your last year in school, did your parents usually,
occasionally, or never attend school events such as athletic
contests, plays, and P. T. A. meetings?
4. What was your family situation at the time you graduated or

44
dropped from school?
5. How many times have your parents moved from one county to
another in the last ten years?
6. Did your mother generally work outside of your home?
7. Did either parent live away from home for six months or more?
If yes, was this because of military service or illness?
8. Has your father been married more than one time?
9. Has your mother been married more than one time?
10. Was either parent ever divorced or deserted before you left
school?
11. Was either parent ever widowed before you left school?
The two forms of the questionnaire contained alternate wording for
graduates and dropouts on the first two items in this cluster.
Data relating to educational values, economic values, and
family relations permitted the use of three categories of conformity
(high, medium, and low). In the personal relations area it was
necessary to combine the low and medium categories because one of
the study groups had only one member in the low category.
In testing hypothesis one, responses to a single questionnaire
itemwhat were your reasons for dropping out of schoolwere used.
In testing hypotheses six through eight, IAV scores on self-concept,
ideal self, and discrepancy between perceived self-concept and ideal
self-concept were used.
The chi-square test was used to test the significance of dif
ferences in group perceptions for hypotheses one through five (related
to nominal level data). The t test for significance of differences in

45
group means was used for hypotheses six through eight. The .05 level
of significance was used for rejection of the null hypotheses.

V. FINDINGS
The three study groups were matched for age, race, sex,
intelligence level, and residence. Therefore, in the analysis which
follows, the data have not been analyzed by these characteristics.
This analysis is presented in two major sections. The first section
provides a descriptive summary; the second, a statistical analysis in
which the specific hypotheses are tested.
Descriptive Summary
Each of the three study groups included seventeen males and
eight fanales. Among males white persons outnumbered nonwhites ten to
seven, while among females the races were equally represented. There is
no statistical difference in the mean intelligence score for the three
groups. The MDTA group "G" scores ranged from 60 to 123 with a mean of
94.0, the other dropout group had a range of 57 to 124 with a mean
of 92.8, and the graduate group had a range from 70 to 117 with a mean
of 94.2. All of the respondents were aged 16 through 21 and had had
recent participation in the educational system.
Marital Status and
Number of Children
MDTA dropouts were much more likely to be married than either
other dropouts or graduates. More than one third of the MDTA group
compared with less than one sixth of both the other dropouts and
graduates indicated that they were married at the time of the interview.
46

47
One MDTA respondent and three other dropout respondents were separated
or divorced. None of the graduates fell into this category.
Table 1 shows that members of both dropout groups were more likely
to have children than members of the graduate group. The MDTA group
reported a total of thirteen children; the other dropouts, twelve
children; and the graduates, a total of four children.
TABLE 1
NUMBER OF CHILDREN BY EDUCATIONAL STATUS
MDTA
Dropouts
Other
Dropouts
Graduates
N %
N %
N %
Toted
25
100.0
25
100.0
25
100.0
None
14
56.0
17
68.0
22
88.0
One
9
36.0
6
24.0
2
8.0
Two
2
8.0
0

1
4.0
Three
0

2
8.0
0

Education
By definition all of the graduates had completed high school
while all of the dropouts had failed to do so. None of the dropouts had
left school before completing the sixth grade. As a group the MDTA
trainees had attained a higher level of formal education than the other
dropout group. Over two thirds of the MDTA dropouts, compared with two
fifths of the other dropouts, had completed the tenth or eleventh grade.
Only one MDTA respondent reported an "F" average for his last year in
school compared with four of the other graduates. The modal grade

48
average for all three groups was "C." Table 2 shows that both MDTA
dropouts and graduates were somewhat more likely to consider the lack
of a high school education a great disadvantage in life.
TABLE 2
DEGREE OF DISADVANTAGE IN NOT HAVING A HIGH SCHOOL EDUCATION
MDTA
Dropouts
Other
Dropouts
Graduates
N %
N %
N %
Total
25
100.0
25
100.0
25
100.0
Great disadvantage
18
72.0
14
56.0
21
84.0
Moderate
6
24.0
8
32.0
2
8.0
Little or none
1
4.0
3
12.0
2
8.0
Table 3 reveals that MDTA dropouts used school counseling
services to a lesser degree than either other dropouts or graduates.
Only about one fourth of the MDTA dropouts received counseling compared
with more than two fifths of the other dropouts and slightly over
three fourths of the graduates. One fifth of the MDTA group and about
one eighth of each of the other groups indicated that they did not know
whether or not their school had a guidance counselor.

49
TABLE 3
KNOWLEDGE AND USE OP SCHOOL COUNSELING SERVICES
MDTA
Dropouts
Other
Dropouts
Graduates
N %
N %
N %
Total
25
100.0
25
100.0
25
100.0
Used it
7
28.0
11
44.0
19
76.0
Knew about it
but did not use it
9
36.0
6
24.0
1
4.0
Reported that
school had none
4
16-0
5
20.0
2
8.0
Did not know if
school had one or not
5
20.0
3
12.0
3
12.0
The majority of persons in all three groups reported that they
believed that most of the teachers in their schools were both interested
in and fair to the students. However, many of the respondents felt that
the school itself was not as good as they would have liked. Ratings of
the last regular school attended are shown in Table 4. Of the three
groups, the graduates were the most positive in their perceptions of the
school while the MDTA dropouts were the most negative.

50
TABLE 4
RATINGS OP
LAST REGULAR
SCHOOL ATTENDED
MDTA
Dropouts
Other
Dropouts
Graduates
N
%
N
%
N
%
Total
25
100.0
25
100.0
25
100.0
Excellent
7
28.0
7
28.0
9
36.0
Good
4
16.0
9
36.0
13
52.0
Pair or poor
14
56.0
9
36.0
3
12.0
The primary reason for leaving school reported by members of the
two dropout groups is shown in Table 5. Almost half of the MDTA group
indicated economic factors (needed at home, financial, or employment)
compared with about one sixth of the other dropouts. Other dropouts were
more likely than MDTA dropouts to mention lack of interest or pregnancy
as their primary reason for dropping out. It is noted that, for the
two dropout groups combined, one half of the sixteen female dropouts
left school because of pregnancy. Of those included in the "other"
category in Table 5, two of the MDTA dropouts and six of the other
dropouts specified difficulties with school work; two MDTA dropouts and
one other dropout mentioned personal relations problem. One male other
dropout indicated that he had to leave school because his girl friend
was pregnant, and one MDTA dropout did not specify any reason.

51
TABLE 5
PRIMARY REASON FOR LEAVING SCHOOL
MDTA Other
Dropouts Dropouts
N
%
N
%
Total
25
100.0
25
100.0
Needed at home
2
8.0
0

Financial
4
16.0
1
4.0
Lack of interest
4
16.0
7
28.0
Health
0

0

Employment
5
20.0
3
12.0
Marriage
2
8.0
1
4.0
Pregnancy
3
12.0
5
20.0
Other
5
20.0
6
32.0
Personal Relations
Respondents were asked if, during their last year in regular
school, most of their friends were in school or out of school. Although
differences were small, graduates were somewhat more likely and other
dropouts somewhat less likely than MDTA dropouts to report their friends
as being in school. Twenty-three graduates, twenty MDTA dropouts, and
nineteen other dropouts indicated this response. There was no difference
between the other dropout group and the graduate group as to ease in
making friends in school, but a greater proportion of MDTA dropouts
reported that it was easy to make friends in school. Although this

52
question was intended to relate to the last regular school attended, the
MDTA group may have been influenced by the friendly atmosphere at the
training center, which is considered a school by most of the trainees.
There was practically no difference among the three groups in responses
to the question, "During your last year in regular school did you find it
difficult to speak out in class?" About two fifths of each group gave a
positive response.
Table 6 shows that a greater proportion of MDTA dropouts than of
the other two groups reported a history of juvenile delinquency in the
family. The trainee and/or one or more of his siblings had been arrested
in more than one third of the families of the MDTA trainees. In addition,
four members of the MDTA group either refused to answer the question
concerning arrests or stated that they did not know.
TABLE 6
DELINQUENCY STATUS OF CHILDREN IN FAMILY
MDTA
Dropouts
Other
Dropouts
Graduates
N %
N %
N %
Total
25
100.0
25
100.0
25
100.0
No arrests
12
48.0
23
92.0
21
84.0
One or more
children arrested
9
36.0
2
8.0
4
16.0
Did not know or
not reported
4
16.0
0

0


53
Respondents in the two dropout groups were asked to identify the
person idiom they perceived as being the most influential in affecting
their decision to leave school. Slightly over two thirds of the MDTA
dropout group and about one half of the other dropout group indicated
that nobody had influenced them. The only other responses given by
MDTA dropouts were parent and friend, while the other dropouts mentioned
a variety of persons, including teachers and other relatives (see Table
7).
TABLE 7
PERSON PERCEIVED AS HAVING THE MOST INFLUENCE ON RESPONDENT IN MAKING THE
DECISION TO LEAVE SCHOOL
MDTA Other
Dropouts Dropouts
)
N
%
N
%
Total
25
100.0
25
100.0
None
17
68.0
13
52.0
Parent
6
24.0
3
12.0
Relative other
than parent
0

1
4.0
Friend
2
8.0
1
4.0
Teacher
0

2
8.0
All of above
0

1
4.0
Other
0

4
16.0

54
Family
Table 8 reveals that both dropout groups were much more likely
than the graduate group to have lived In broken homes. Over three
fourths of the graduates, compared with about two fifths of the two
dropout groups, were living with both parents at the time they left
school.
TABLE 8
FAMILY SITUATION AT THE TIME RESPONDENT LEFT SCHOOL
MDTA
Dropouts
Other
Dropouts
Graduates
N %
N %
N %
Total
25
100.0
25
100.0
25
100.0
Living with:
Both parents
11
44.0
10
40.0
19
76.0
Widowed parent
5
20.0
4
16.0
2
8.0
Divorced or sep
arated parent
1
4.0
6
24.0
1
4.0
Remarried parent
2
8.0
3
12.0
2
8.0
Neither parent
(Foster parents
or relatives)
6
24.0
2
8.0
1
4.0
Almost one
fourth of
the MDTA dropouts
resided
with other
re la-
tlves or In a foster home.
It follows from the above statement that members of the two
dropout groups were less likely to report that their parents participated

55
in school activities One could hardly expect the parents of a youth to
participate In his school activities if he lived elsewhere. Two fifths
of the graduates) three fifths of the MDTA dropouts, and almost seven
tenths of the other dropouts indicated that their parents never partici
pated in school activities
There was no difference in family size among the three study
groups. The average family had four children, including the respondent.
However, Table 9 shows that members of the dropout groups were more
likely to be only children than were those in the graduate group.
TABLE 9
NUMBER OP CHILDREN 3N FAMILY
MDTA
Dropouts
Other
Dropouts
Graduates
N %
N %
N %
Total
25
100.0
25
100.0
25
100.0
One
5
20.0
4
16.0
0

Two or three
7
28.0
9
36.0
14
56.0
Four or five
5
20.0
7
28.0
7
28.0
Six or seven
3
12.0
2
8.0
1
4.0
Eight or over
4
16.0
3
12.0
3
12.0
Not reported or
did not know
1
4.0
0

0

Economic Area
The vocational objectives reported by respondents were placed in

56
categories patterned after those used by the U.S. Bureau of the Census.
These categories were then combined to form the following three levels
of occupations:
Level 1. Professional, technical, and kindred workers} managers,
officials, and proprietors, except farm.
Level II. Fanners and farm managers; clerical and kindred
worker; sales workers; craftsmen, foremen, and kindred
workers; operatives and kindred workers.
Level III. Private household workers; service workers except
private household; farm laborers and farm foremen;
laborers, except farm and mine.
TABLE 10
VOCATIONAL OBJECTIVE BY BROAD OCCUPATIONAL LEVEL
MDTA
Dropouts
Other
Dropouts
Graduates
N %
N %
N %
Total
25
100.0
25
100.0
25
100.0
Level I
3
12.0
4
16.0
8
32.0
Level II
14
56.0
8
32.0
7
28.0
Level III
4
16.0
3
12.0
2
8.0
Undecided
4
16.0
10
40.0
8
32.0
As expected, a greater proportion of graduates than of either
dropout group Indicated vocational objectives of the highest level.
MDTA trainees were more likely to have middle range occupational
objectives and were less likely to be undecided than either the other
dropouts or the graduates '(see Table 10}. These findings, of course,

57
reflect the vocational orientation of the MDTA program.
The classification system used for vocational objectives of
respondents was also applied to parents occupations. Table 11 shows
the distribution of occupational levels of fathers and Table 12 shows
that of mothers. It is apparent from these data that the three groups
do not differ greatly. This probably is a reflection of the fact that
the groups were matched for age, race, and intelligence, all of which
have some relationship to parents occupation. Five members of the
MDTA dropout group were unable to report the occupation of either
parent. This is the group in which a relatively large number were
living with persons other than parents at the time of leaving school.
TABLE 11
OCCUPATIONAL LEVEL OF FATHER OR STEPFATHER
MDTA
Dropouts
Other
Dropouts
Graduates
N %
N %
N %
Total
25
100.0
25
100.0
25
100.0
Level I
1
4.0
2
8.0
2
8.0
Level II
11
44.0
10
40.0
9
36.0
Level III
8
32.0
9
36.0
11
44.0
Did not know or
not reported
5
20.0
4
16.0
3
12.0

58
TABLE 12
OCCUPATIONAL LEVEL OP
MOTHER OR STEPMOTHER
MDTA
Other
Dropouts
Dropouts
Graduates
N %
N %
N %
Total
25
100.0
25
100.0
25
100.0
Level I
1
4.0
2
8.0
5
20.0
Level II
6
24.0
5
20.0
2
8.0
Level III
6
24.0
7
28.0
8
32.0
Housewife
7
28.0
11
44.0
10
40.0
Did not know or
not reported
5
20.0
0
m
0

There was also very little difference among the study groups
in the proportion of mothers who usually worked outside the home. In
the MDTA group seventeen reported working mothers compared with sixteen
in the other dropout group and fifteen in the graduate group.
Summary
In the foregoing account, selected characteristics of the three
study groups are described. Both of the dropout groups, when compared
with the graduate group, were found to differ in a number of respects.
They were more likely to have children, less likely to have made use of
the school counseling services, more likely to have come from broken
homes, more likely to be only children, less likely to report that
parents participated in school activities, and less likely to aspire to

59
high level vocational goals.
The MDTA dropout group differed from both the other dropout
group and the graduate group in that its members were more likely to be
married, more likely to have a low opinion of the last school attended,
more likely to report that it was easy to make friends in school, more
likely to have middle range occupational goals, less likely to be
undecided on vocational choice, and more likely to report involvement
by self or siblings in delinquent behavior.
The other dropouts differed from the other two groups in that
they were more likely to be separated or divorced and were less likely
to consider the lack of a high school education a great disadvantage.
Statistical Analysis
The descriptive findings reported above are used along with
certain other findings to develop clusters relating to four of the
eight specific hypotheses (see Chapter IV, Methodology). Hypothesis
number one relates to a single nominal level questionnaire item and
hypotheses number six through eight relate to scores on the IAV. (See
Appendix for copies of the questionnaires and the IAV.) The eight
hypotheses and the items used in testing than are:
1. There 3 no difference in reasons for dropping out of school
of the MDTA dropout group and the other dropout group. (Form I
questionnaire item 6.)
2. There is no difference in perceptions of the educational system
of the MDTA dropout group, the other dropout group, and the
graduate group. (Form I questionnaire items 8-12 and 14-17, and
Form II items 4-6 and 8-11.)

60
3. There is no difference in perceptions of economic values of the
MDTA dropout group, the other dropout group, and the graduate
group. (Form I questionnaire items 23, 24, 33, and 45 and Form
II items 17, 18, 27, and 28.)
4. There is no difference in perceptions of personal relationships
of the MDTA dropout group, the other dropout group, and the
graduate group. (Form I questionnaire items 26, 27, 28, and 31
and Form II items 20, 23, 24, and 25.)
5. There is no difference in perceptions of the family structure-
function of the MDTA dropout group, the other dropout group,
and the graduate group. (Form I questionnaire items 7, 32, 38,
41,
43,
44,
45,
46,
47,
and 48 and Form II items 3, 9, 30, 33,
35,
36,
37,
38,
39,
and
40.)
6. There is no difference in self-concept of the MDTA dropout
group, the other dropout group, and the graduate group. (IAV
self-concept scores.)
7. There is no difference in self-acceptance of the MDTA dropout
group, the other dropout group, and the graduate group. (IAV
discrepancy scores.)
8. There is no difference in perceptions of the ideal self of the
MDTA dropout group, the other dropout group, and the graduate
group. (IAV ideal self-scores.)
For hypotheses involving clusters, the cluster scores were
used to categorize respondents as being high, medium, or low relative
to the societal expectations applicable to the particular area or
system. The four cluster areas were educational values, economic
values, personal relations, and family relations. In one of the study

61
groups only one respondent fell Into the low category on personal re
lations. Therefore, it was necessary to combine the low and medium
cells of this area for statistical analysis.
Hypothesis Number 1
Table 13 shows the reasons reported for leaving school by
members of the MDTA dropout group and the other dropout group. The
chi-square test for significance of differences in reasons given by
the two groups yielded a value of 4.87 with three degrees of freedom.
Tc establish significant relationships at the .05 level a value of
7.815 is required. Therefore, the null hypothesis that there is no
difference in the reasons reported for the two groups is supported at
the .05 level of significance.
TABLE 13
REASONS REPORTED FOR DROPPING OUT OF SCHOOL
MDTA Other
Dropouts Dropouts
*
N
%
N
%
Total
25
100.0
25
100.0
Economic
11
44.0
4
16.0
Marriage or pregnancy
5
20,0
6
24.0
Lack of interest
4
16.0
7
28.0
Other
5
20.0
8
32.0
X2 = 4.87

62
Hypothesis Number 2
Perceptions of the educational system for the three study
groups are presented in Table 14. The chi-square test for signifi
cance of differences in perceptions of the educational system by the
three groups yielded a value of 10.69 with four degrees of freedom.
For significance at the .05 level a value of 9.488 is required. There
fore, the null hypothesis that there is no difference in the perceptions
of the three groups is rejected at the .05 level of significance.
TABLE 14
PERCEPTIONS OF THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM
MDTA Other
Dropouts Dropouts Graduates
N
%
N
%
N
%
Total
25
100.0
25
100.0
25
100.0
High
3
12.0
4
16.0
9
36.0
Medium
5
20.0
8
32.0
10
40.0
Low
17
68.0
13
52.0
6
24.0
X2 = 10.69
Hypothesis Number 3
Values relating to the economic system are shown in Table 15.
The chi-square test for significance of differences in perceptions of
economic values by the three groups yielded a value of 3.39 with four
degrees of freedom. To establish significant differences at the .05

63
level a value of 9.488 is required. Therefore, the null hypothesis that
there is no difference in the perceptions of the three groups is supported
at the .05 level of significance.
Table 15
VALUES RELATING
TO THE ECONOMIC SYSTEM
MDTA
Other
Dropouts
Dropouts
Graduates
N
%
N
%
N
%
Total
25
100.0
25
100.0
25
100.0
High
4
16.0
5
20.0
8
32.0
Medium
15
60.0
12
48.0
9
36.0
Low
6
24.0
8
32.0
8
32.0
X2= 3.39
Hypothesis Number 4
Perceptions of personal relations for the three study groups are
shown in Table 16. The chi-square test for significance of differences
in perceptions of personal relations by the three groups yielded a value
of 1.33 with two degrees of freedom. To establish significant differ
ences at the .05 level a value of 5.991 is required. Therefore, the
null hypothesis that there is no difference in the perceptions of the
three groups is supported at the .05 level of significance.

64
TABLE 16
PERCEPTIONS RELATING TO PERSONAL RELATIONS
MDTA Other
Dropouts Dropouts Graduates
N
%
N
%
N
%
Total
25
100.0
25
100.0
25
100.0
High
13
52.0
15
60.0
17
68.0
Medium and Low
12
48.0
10
40.0
8
32.0
X2 1.33
Hypothesis Number 5
Perceptions of family relations for the three study groups are
shown in Table 17. The chi-square test for significance of differences
in perceptions of family relations by the three groups yielded a value
of 14.67 with four degrees of freedom. To establish significant dif
ferences at the .05 level a value of 9.488 is required and for signi
ficance at the ,01 level a value of 13.277 is required. Therefore, the
null hypothesis that there is no difference in the perceptions of the
three groups can be rejected at the .01 level of significance.

65
TABLE 17
PERCEPTIONS OP THE FAMILY SYSTEM
MDTA Other
Dropouts Dropouts Graduates
N
%
N
%
N
%
Total
25
100.0
25
100.0
25
100.0
High
5
20.0
4
16.0
15
60.0
Medium
7
35.0
6
24.0
5
20.0
Low
13
52.0
15
60.0
5
20.0
X2 14.67
Hypothesis Number 6
Table 18 shows the mean, standard deviation, and range of the
self-concept scores for each of the three groups. The t test for the
significance of differences in group means yielded values of -0.68 for
MDTA dropouts versus other dropouts; -1.39 for MDTA dropouts versus
graduates; and -0.73 for other dropouts versus graduates. Each t test
involved forty-eight degrees of freedom. To establish significance at
the .05 level, a value of 2.69 for each test is required. Therefore,
the null hypothesis that there is no difference in the self-concept of
the three groups is supported at the .05 level.

66
TABLE 18
NUMBER,
RANGE, MEAN, STANDARD
SELF-CONCEPT
DEVIATION, AND t FOR
SCORES
IAV
Groups compared
N Range
Mean S. D.
S. E.
t
MDTA dropouts
25
110-228
175.24
32.02
8.58
-0.68
Other dropouts
25
117-223
181.04
27.20
MDTA dropouts
25
110-228
175.24
32.02
7.90
-1.39
Graduates
25
140-222
186.24
21.72
Other dropouts
25
117-223
181.04
27.20
7.11
-0.73
Graduates
25
140-222
186.24
21.72
Hypothesis Number
7
Table 19 ,
shows
the mean,
standard deviation, and
range of
the
discrepancy scores for
each of the three groups.
The t
test for
the
significance of differences in group means yielded values of 0,55 for
MDTA dropouts versus other dropouts; 1.14 for MDTA dropouts versus
graduates; and 0.66 for other dropouts versus graduates. Each t
test involved forty-eight degrees of freedom. To establish signifi
cance at the .05 level, a value of 2.69 for each t test is required.
Therefore, the null hypothesis that there is no difference in the self
acceptance of the three groups is supported at the .05 level.

67
TABLE 19
NUMBER, RANGE, MEAN, STANDARD DEVIATION, AND t FOR IAV
DISCREPANCY SCORES
Groups compared
N
Range
Mean
S. D.
S. E.
t
MDTA dropouts
25
5-99
46.04
27.86
7.10
0.55
Other dropouts
25
0-77
42.12
20.84
MDTA dropouts
25
5-99
46.04
27.86
6.39
1.14
Graduates
25
8-62
38.72
14.32
Other dropouts
25
0-78
42.12
20.84
5.16
0.66
Graduates
25
8-62
38.72
14.32
Hypothesis Number 8
Table 20 shows the mean, standard deviation, and range of the
ideal self-scores for each of the three groups. The t test for the
significance of differences in group means yielded values of -1.43 for
MDTA dropouts versus other dropouts; -0.35 for MDTA dropouts versus
graduates; and 1.07 for other dropouts versus graduates. Each t test
involved forty-eight degrees of freedom. To establish significance
at the .05 level, a value of 2.69 for each t test is required. There
fore, the null hypothesis that there is no difference in the perceptions
of ideal self of the three groups is supported at the .05 level.

68
TABLE 20
NUMBER,
RANGE,
MEAN, STANDARD DEVIATION,
AND t FOR
IAV
IDEAL
SELF-SCORES
Groups compared
N
Range
Mean
S. D.
S. E.
t
MDTA dropouts
25
154-245
210.40
23.04
6.61
-1.43
Other dropouts
25
163-244
219.84
22.72
MDTA dropouts
25
154-245
210.40
23.04
6.72
-0.35
Graduates
25
130-243
212.72
23.48
Other dropouts
25
163-244
219.84
22.72
6.67
1.07
Graduates
25
130-243
212.72
23.48
Summary
Eight specific hypotheses were tested. One of these related to
differences in the two dropout groups in reasons for leaving school.
The other seven related to differences among the two dropout groups and
the graduate group relating to perceptions of the educational system
perceptions of economic values, perceptions of personal relationships,
perceptions of family relations, and perceptions of self-concept, self
acceptance, and ideal self. Six of the null hypotheses were supported
and two were rejected on the basis of data reported.
Significant differences were found in perceptions of the educa
tional system and in perceptions of the family system. Inspection of

69
2
the X tables relating to these areas (Table 13 and Table 16) shows
that both dropout groups Indicated perceptions of the two systems which
were lower relative to conformity to societal expectations than those
of the graduate group.
There was no significant difference in the reasons for dropping
out of the HDTA dropouts and the other dropouts. There were no signi
ficant differences among the three groups in perceptions of economic
values, personal relationships, self-concept, ideal self, and discrep
ancy between self-concept and ideal self.

VI. DISCUSSION AND INTERPRETATION
In this chapter the findings of the present study are related
to those of earlier studies discussed in Chapter III, and the theore
tical and practical implications are discussed. Following this
discussion, suggestions for further analyses of available data and
for additional empirical research are made.
Theoretical Implications
The review of previous research reported in Chapter III
showed that there are two major schools of thinking on causes of de
viant behavior in general, and on dropping out of school in particular.
One of these focuses upon the personality system; the other, upon
socialization and the demands of the social system. If personality
is seen as patterned by cultural values and social meanings acting
upon the nonspecific base of the genetic make-up of the organism,
then personality is a product of the exposure of biological organisms
to the socialization process. The socialization process or, for
that matter, all social behavior is accomplished through the inter
action of personalities. Thus, the interaction of personalities
and the socialization process are interrelated to the extent that
one would not exist without the other. These relationships between
personality and social structure and function are apparent from the
writings of Talcott Parsons.
70

71
Figure 2 on page 72 is presented in an effort to illustrate
the relationships among personality, interaction, and social structure
and function. The upper diagram shows how social structure and its
functional demands dictate to the individual and form patterns for the
development of personality. The arrows point toward the limits of
deviance from societal norms which will be tolerated by the social
structure. The lower diagram shows how the interaction of individual
personalities in striving to achieve micro-functions influences the
development of social structure. The arrows point toward the societal
structure and norms defined by the interaction of personality systems
and altered through innovating behavior which proves to be generally
functional for members of the macro-system. One way of viewing the
different schools of thinking is that the structure-function school
sees the process as deductive from society to personality while the
other school of thinking sees it as inductive from the individual
personality to society.
When the findings of the present study are interpreted in the
light of previous research, support for both points of view is evident.
At the same time that the macro-society structure and function places
demands and limitations on micro-systems (interacting personalities),
micro-system innovations influence the structure and function of the
macro-society. This integrated viewpoint of the macro-system and
micro-systems points to the importance of subsystems such as the family,
the educational system, the economy, and the peer system as mediating
factors in the development of the goals and means pursued in achieving
societal functions. In this framework personality acts as a selecting

72
Personality Systems
Macro-Society Structure
Fig. 2.Relationships among personality, interaction, and social struc
ture

73
mechanism when alternative demands and expectations confront members
of the system.
In Chapter H four types of social conditions were mentioned
as contributing to social deviance. The first of these involved
inadequate or inappropriate socialization. Since the family is the
primary socializing agency in this country, it seems appropriate to
relate elements of family structure to faulty socialization and de
viant behavior.
The findings of the present study show that the lack of close
family relations is associated with early discontinuance of public
school attendance. Less than half of the members of the two dropout
groups resided with both parents at the time of leaving school and
nearly one fourth of the MDTA dropouts lived in homes where neither
parent was present. It seems that, for some youth, dropping out of
school is related to inadequate primary socialization resulting from
the lack of a whole family, rather than to a need for ego gratifica
tion as was suggested by Cervantes. The lack of a whole family may
also contribute to societally inappropriate behavior in that young
persons may be socialized to premature labor market participation
which necessitates withdrawal from the educational system.
inappropriate socialization of this type may also occur in
whole families when the functional demands of the family subsystem
differ from those of the macro-system. The two dropout groups studied
here were found to have family orientations which deviated from socie
tal norms with considerably greater frequency than members of the
graduate group. This difference was statistically significant at

74
the .01 level of probability.
Bertrand reported that family system values and expectations
of rural Louisiana youth which differed freon those of the educational
system (and of the macro-system) often led to early discontinuance of
education. Bowman and Matthews, in their study of urban youth in
Illinois, reported that the parents of school dropouts placed a low
value upon educational system participation. An important inter
pretation of the findings of the present as well as previous studies
is that the values and orientations developed in the family are more
important as a determinant of behavior than those of the society.
That is, both dropouts and graduates were found to conform to family
norms whether or not these agreed with societal norms.
Conflicting expectations and demands of multiple subsystems
are Involved in the second category of social conditions contributing
to deviant behavior. The findings relating to school dropouts show
that such conflict exists between demands of the economic system and
of the educational system and between demands of the family system
and of the educational system. Each of these systemic demands may
be in conformity with societal expectations, yet conformity to one
may be accompanied by nonconformity to another. Conformity to societal,
family, and/or economic subsystem norms which call for labor market
participation at an early age may result in nonconformity to the edu
cational subsystem and to societal norms calling for high school
attendance. When faced with competing demands of systems, Individual
behavior is influenced by the actors perceptions of self and of the
generalized others which were developed in the socialization process.

75
In the case of conflict between economic and educational demands, some
persons withdrew completely from school, others worked part time while
attending regular school classes, others entered training programs
such as MDTA, and others managed to remain in school and deferred
economic system demands. Differences in family orientations along
with differences in personality seen to be related to the course of
behavior selected.
The third condition fostering social deviance, mentioned in
Chapter II, involved the existence of latent dysfunctions for sub
systems associated with functions of a social system. The exclusion
of expectant mothers from school attendance fits this model. One
half of the sixteen female dropouts studied reported that they left
school because of pregnancy. Most of these girls indicated that
they would have liked to remain in school, but that school regulations
forced them to drop out. The sanctions imposed by society in attemp
ting to facilitate functions of the educational system result in a
dysfunction for members of a subgroup (pregnant students) and in a
latent dysfunction for society in the form of nongraduation from high
school.
Burchinal, in his study of married high school age girls in
Iowa, reported that about forty per cent of the girls admitted to
being pregnant prior to marriage. Burchinal hypothesized that early
marriage would be related to poor family relations, personality defects
and to extent of hetersexual involvement. His data supported only
the hypothesis relating to hetersexual involvement. It seems that
the value system and behavioral expectations of the family and/or the

76
subculture may be involved here. If, in the family, girls are taught
that their role is to find a good man, get married, and raise a fam
ily, it may be expected that interest in the opposite sex will be
intensified and will be developed at an early age. In this situation,
positive family relationships with internalization of family behavioral
expectations could lead to early pregnancy, marriage, and discontinuance
of schooling.
It should be noted here that if micro-system behavior proves
to be functional for enough subsystem members, it can lead to changes
in the macro-societal structure and function as suggested in the lower
diagram in Figure 2, page 72. That is, if large enough numbers of
youth and their families find high school age marriage and pregnancy
to be functional for their immediate goads, the societal norms and
structure may need to change to provide for such behavior.
The fourth category of conditions described in Chapter II
involved inaccurate or inappropriate self-concepts with incorrect
definitions of social situation. One of the alms of the research
reported here was to investigate the relationships among certain
conscious aspects of personality included in the self-concept, the
pressures of selected social subsystems, and behavior in the educational
system which deviates from societal expectations. It was expected
that when certain social characteristics were held constant, persons
behaving in a deviant manner would be found to have lower concepts of
self in terms of societal standards than nondeviants. Previous re
search by Reckless, Schwartz and Tangri, and Lichter has shown a
definite relationship between self-concept and deviant behavior. The

77
present study showed no significant differences in the self-concepts
of three groups of youth representing different levels of conformity
to societal expectations concerning the educational system* However,
the slight differences which were found were in the expected direction*
Members of the two dropout (deviant) groups scored lower than gradu
ates (nondeviants) on measures of self-concept, ideal self, and dis
crepancy between self-concept and ideal self* It has been noted that
the social self or self-system develops as a result of the socialization
process. Self-concept and/or personality is usually measured in terms
of societal norms and expectations. It, therefore, seems logical that
persons who have been socialized to a set of expectations different
from those of the society (as frequently occurs in underprivileged,
disadvantaged families) may be expected to rate low on measures of
self-concept or personality. Two factors may have contributed to the
lack of significant differences in the present study: (1) small numbers
of subjects are involved, and (2) the self-concept may be correlated
with factors for which the study groups were matched.
Practical Implications
The theoretical implications of high school age pregnancy
were discussed above. If this form of societal dysfunction is to
be avoided either the societal norm, the form of sanctions, or the
subgroup norms must be changed. However, all of these are highly
institutionalized and any change may be expected to come about slowly.
Some possible alternative outcomes could be (1) that the societal
norms relating to education would change so that persons wsuld finish

78
high school before they were old enough to have children, (2) that the
educational system norms would change so that expectant mothers and
mothers would be able to continue in high school, and (3) that the sub
group would be resocialized to the societal norms* Obviously, the
latter is the method of choice and is being pursued in a number of gov
ernment programs at this time.
The findings of this research generally agree with those
reported by Bowman and Matthews in their longitudinal study in Illi
nois. They concluded that potential dropouts may be kept in the school
system through the provision of counseling for vocational adjustment
for boys and guidance in marriage and social adjustment for girls.
However, the present study showed that dropouts were considerably
less likely than graduates to have made use of school counseling
services. This may be because such services are not offered until
too late. If guidance is offered only in senior high school, many
of the dropouts would have left school before having any opportunity
for counseling. If school counseling services are to be effective in
cutting the dropout rate, they must be offered prior to entrance into
senior high school and some means must be found to motivate students
to take advantage of the services. The same factors which cause
persons to deviate from expectations concerning school attendance are
very likely to contribute to their nonuse of guidance facilities as
well.
A number of researchers have found that many dropouts could
see little or no relationship between the courses taught in school
and their occupational objectives. Bowman and Matthews, Ray, Ryan,

79
and Parker, Watson, and Stinchcombeall reported that dropouts could
not see how the school curriculum prepared them for labor market com
petition. The present findings suggest essentially the same thing.
The implications of this are, of course, that school personnel need
to show how the course material relates to the world of work and/or
examine their offerings to see if a relationship does exist.
The MDTA training programs appear to be filling a need which
is not met by tie regular educational system. Trainees in these pro
grams have a better idea of what to expect in labor market partici
pation and generally express confidence that the training is preparing
them to compete in the economic subsystem. It seems unfortunate that
training of this type is offered only to youth who have dropped out of
school or have graduated from high school only to find that their
training has not prepared them to get a job.
Suggestions for Further Study
In the present study data were collected for thirty-one high
school graduates who were enrolled in MDTA programs. The study had
been designed with the assumption that only school dropouts were in
volved in these programs and data for these MDTA graduates were not
used in the analysis. However, it is believed that additional analysis
using four groups instead of three may shed more light upon the rela
tionships among the demands of social subsystems. These graduates
have achieved the societal norm for minimal educational attainment,
yet are not considered to be prepared for participation in the eco
nomic subsystem. This suggests that the educational subsystem lacks
adequate linkage to the economic subsystem.

80
Another area which should be explored with the present data
is an item analysis of the questionnaire. Items which have high
discriminatory power should be identified and the instrument should
be revised to eliminate nondiscriminatory items. Once this has been
done it would be highly desirable to replicate the study with other
groups of young persons to see if the relationships found here also
hold in other areas.
The findings of the study relating to self-concept, use of
school counseling services, and teen-age pregnancy all point toward
a need for additional empirical research. The relationship of self-
concept to other variables such as intelligence, socio-economic level,
age, and residence should be explored. Factors contributing to early
pregnancy should also be investigated. Of particular interest are the
family and subgroup norms regarding premarital pregnancy. Finally,
the availability and utilization of school counseling services should
be investigated. The findings of this and other studies suggest that
counseling services are being provided for those who may be considered
to have the least need for the services. If these services are avail
able only in senior high school they come too late to be of assistance
to potential dropouts. Many of the school dropouts have already left
school before reaching this stage in the educational system.

VII. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
This study was conducted to investigate selected factors
related to the educational attainment of young persons In an urban
setting* A structural-functional framework in which functional ex
pectations of specific subsystems were related to the general societal
functional expectations for each type of subsystem was used* That is,
for example, the specific expectations of families of school dropouts
in St* Petersburg, Florida, were related to the societal expectations
relative to the family in general* Certain conscious aspects of per
sonality, referred to as the self-system, were also studied to explore
the possibility that selective conformity to competing systemic norms
may be related to self-concept* Data were collected using question
naires and a measure of self-concept and ideal self for three groups
of youth residing in the Greater St* Petersburg, Florida area. These
groups were made up of (1) persons who had dropped out of school and
were currently trainees in a Manpower Development and Training Act
program, (2) a group of school dropouts matched with the first group
for residence, age, race, sex, and intelligence level, and (3) a group
of recent high school graduates, matched with the other two groups for
residence, age, race, sex, and intelligence level.
The two dropout groups were found to differ significantly from
the graduate group in their family orientations and in their values
81

82
concerning the educational system. Parents of dropouts participated
less in school activities, were less concerned that their children
finish school, and were more likely to have been widowed or divorced
at the time the respondent left school. Graduates generally rated
their schools higher, were more likely to consider the lack of a high
school education a great disadvantage, had higher grades in school,
and used school counseling services to a greater extent. Although
previous studies have shown self-concept and self-acceptance to be
related to deviant behavior, no significant differences were found
among the three groups in the present study. Graduates did tend to
score slightly higher on the measures used, but differences were not
statistically significant. It is possible that differences may have
been obscured by the small numbers and by the matching process.
m general, the findings of this study supplement and support
those of Bertrand and of Bowman and Matthews. There is considerable
evidence to support the idea that conflicting demands and expectations
of functioned subsystems contribute to early discontinuance of education.
This is particularly evident when the family system expectations are
at odds with those of the educational system. The part which the self
system plays in determining which alternative course of behavior persons
follow is not clear from the present study.
The findings reported here point toward the need for additional
empirical study of the role of personality in social behavior, of fam
ily socialization and teenage pregnancy, and of the nature and avail
ability of school counseling services.


84
Page 1
QUESTIONNAIRE ON SCHOOL ATTENDANCE Form 1
Name
1. At the time you dropped out of school did you live:



(a) In Pinellas County
(b) Other Florida County (Name)
(c) Other state (Name)
2. Marital status:
I 1 (a) Single

(d) Married
11 (b) Separated

(e) Divorced
1 1 (c) Widowed
Number of children
When did you drop out of
school?
Month
Year
5. What was the highest grade you completed? Grade
6. What were your reasons for dropping out of school? (If more than
one reason number in order of importance.)
(a) Needed at home (illness, death, etc.)
(b) Financial need (for clothes, books, etc.)
(c) Lack of interest (doesnt like school)
(d) Health
(e) Military Service
(f) Take a job
I 1 (g) Marriage
(h) Pregnancy
(i) Others (Specify)

85
QUESTIONNAIRE ON SCHOOL ATTENDANCE FORM 1 (Continued) Page 2
7. Which of your parents, if either, approved of your dropping out of
school?
(a) Father only (b) Mother only (c) Both
(d) Neither
If either or both parents did not approve, did they do anything to
prevent you from dropping? (a) Yes (b) No
Explain
8. Are you sorry you left school? (a) Yes (b) No
Explain
9. Would anything have caused you to decide to remain in school?
(a) Yes I1 (b) No If yes, what?
10 What grades did you repeat while in school?
None
11.Which teacher has had the most influence on you? Name
Subject(s) or position: Explain
12. Curing your last year in school, what was your grade average?
(a) A (b) B (c) C (d) D I 7 (e) F
13. How did you get to school?
(a) School bus (d) Walked
(b) Own car (e) Public transportation
(c) Parent's car

86
QUESTIONNAIRE ON SCHOOL ATTENDANCE FORM 1 (Continued) Page 3
14* In your opinion, how much of a disadvantage to success is the lack
of a high school education?
(a) Great (b) Moderate (c) Little or no
disadvantage
15. Do you consider the last regular school you attended to be:
11 (a) Excellent (b) Good (c) Fair (d) Poor
16. How many of the teachers in the school you last attended did you
feel were interested in the students? a (a) All of then
(b) Most of then (c) A few of them (d) One only
(e) None
17. How many of the teachers in the school you last attended did you
feel were fair to the students? (a) All of them
(b) Most of then (c) A few of them I I (d) One only
(e) None
18. Was there a special person in the school you last attended whose
job was to advise students about jobs and how to prepare for then?
(a) Yes (b) No (c) Don't know
19. If yes to Question 18, did you vise the guidance program?
(a) Yes (b) No
20. If yes to Question 19, was it:
(a) Very helpful a (b) Of some help D (c) Little or
no help
21. Since dropping out of regular school, have you attended other types
of schools or training programs? a (a) Yes a (b) No

87
QUESTIONNAIRE ON SCHOOL ATTENDANCE FORM 1 (Continued) Page 4
22. If yes to Question 21, give schools and length of time attended.
(a)
(b)
(c)
23. Do you plan further education or training?
(a) Yes (b) No (c) Undecided
If yes, what type?
24. During the last year you were in school, did you do any vrork for
pay?
(a) Yes (b) No If yes,
(1) What type of work did you do?
(2) How much money did you earn during the year? $
(3) How many days did you stay out of school to work for pay?
Days
(4) Approximately how many hours per week did you work during
non-school hours during the regular term? Hours
(5) During the summer? Hours
25. During your last school year, did you stay out of school to do
unpaid work? (a) Yes (b) No
If yes, approximately how many days did this prevent you from
attending school? Days
. How did you get along with your teachers? (a) Liked most of
them (b) Disliked most of them (c) No special feel
ing either way
26

QUESTIONNAIRE ON SCHOOL ATTENDANCE FORM 1 (Continued) Page 5
27. Did any teacher ever visit your home? I t (a) Yes It (b) No
28. If yes to Question 27, was it for any particular reasons associated
with the school? (a) Yes (b) No Explain
29. During your last year in school, were most of your best friends
I 1 (a) In school or (b) Out of school?
30. Did you find it easy to make friends in school? a (a) Yes
(b) No Explain
31. Did you find it difficult to speak out in class? a (a) Yes
(b) No Explain
32. During your last year in school, did your parents usually,
occasionally, or never attend school events such as athletic
contests, plays, and PTA meetings?
(a) Usually (b) Occasionally I I (c) Never
33. Are you working for pay at the present time? (a) Yes
(b) No If yes, what type of work are you doing?
34. Did you try to get work after dropping out of school? (a) Yes
I I (b) No If yes, how long did it take to get your first job
after starting to look?

89
QUESTIONNAIRE ON SCHOOL ATTENDANCE FORM 1 (Continued) Page 6
35. List the jobs you have held for at least a month since leaving
school?
(a) Type of work
(b) Type of work_
(c) Type of work_
JifmS^empfoyed^
36. What job do you hope to make your lifes work?
Dont know
(1) Will your present training be enough for this type of work?
(a) Yes (b) No (c) Undecided
37.
38.
(2) Can you get that kind of work ar-'jnd here?
(a) Yes (b) No (c) Dont know
At present, do you plan to make your permanent home:
(a) In this county
(b) In Florida (outside this county)
(c) Outside Florida, or
a (d) Undecided
What was your family situation at the time you dropped from school?
(a) Living with both parents
(b) Living with widowed parent, which one?
(c) Living with divorced or separated parent, which one?
(d) Living with remarried parent, which one?
n (e) Adopted or living with foster parents
(f) Other, explain

90
QUESTIONNAIRE ON SCHOOL ATTENDANCE FORM 1 (Continued) Page 7
39. What is or was your father's or stepfather's line of work?
Mother's or stepmother's
40. What is the highest schooling completed by your father or
stepfather? Mother or stepmother?
41. How many times have your parents moved from one county to another
in the last ten years?
42. Did your mother generally work outside of your home?
(a) Yes (b) No
43. Did either parent live away from home for six months or more?
(a) Yes (b) No
44. If yes to Question 43, was this because of military service or
illness? (a) Yes (b) No
45. First marriage for father: (a) Yes (b) No
46. First marriage for mother: (a) Yes (b) No
47. Father or mother ever divorced or deserted before you left school?
(a) Yes 1 I (b) No
48. Father or mother ever widowed before you left school: a (a) Yes
I 1 (b) No
49. Approximate present ages of children in your family: ,
50. How many of these left school before graduating from high school?
51.How many of the children of your family were arrested for
delinquency at any time?

91
QUESTIONNAIRE ON SCHOOL ATTENDANCE FORM 1 (Continued) Page 8
52. Which two individuals influenced you most to leave school?
(Mark "l" for the one who was most influential, "2 for the second):
Father Mother Relative Friend Teacher ,
Other (name)

92
Page 1
QUESTIONNAIRE ON SCHOOL ATTENDANCE Form II
Name
1. Marital status:
(a) Single
(b) Separated
(c) Widowed
2. Number of children^
3. If you had decided to drop out of high school would your parents have
approved? (a) Father only (b) Mother only
(c) Both (d) Neither
4. Did you repeat any grades while in school? Which ones?
None
5. Which teacher has had the most influence on you? Name
Subject(s) or position: Explain
6* During your last year in school, what was your grade average?
(a) A (b) B (c) C (d) D a (e) F
7. How did you get to school?
(a) School bus
(b) Own car
a (c) Parents car
D (d) Married
(e) Divorced
(d) Walked
(e) Public transportation

93
QUESTIONNAIRE ON SCHOOL ATTENDANCE FORM II (Continued) Page 2
8. In your opinion, how much of a disadvantage to success is the lack
of a high school education?
(a) Great (b) Moderate (c) Little or no
disadvantage
9. Do you consider the last regular school you attended to be:
(a) Excellent (b) Good (c) Fair a (d) Poor
10. How many of the teachers in the school you last attended did you
feel were interested in the students? (a) All of them
(b) Most of them a (c) A few of them (d) One only
(e) None
11. How many of the teachers in the school you last attended did you
feel were fair to the students? a (a) All of them
(b) Most of them (c) A few of them (d) One only
(e) None
12. Was there a special person in the school you last attended whose
job was to advise students about jobs and how to prepare for them?
(a) Yes (b) No (c) Dont know
13. If yes to Question 12, did you use this guidance program?
(a) Yes D (b) No
14. If yes to Question 13, was it:
(a) Very helpful (b) Of seme help (c) Little or
no help
. Since finishing regular school, have you attended other types of
schools or training programs? (a) Yes (b) No
15

94
QUESTIONNAIRE ON SCHOOL ATTENDANCE FORM II (Continued) Page 3
16. If yes to Question 15, give schools and length of time attended.
(a)
(b)
(c)
17. Do you plan further education or training?
(a) Yes D (b) No (c) Undecided
If yes, what type?
13. During the last year you were in school, did you do any work for
pay? a (a) Yes (b) No If yes,
(1) What type of work did you do?
(2) How much money did you earn during the year? $
(3) How many days did you stay out of school to work for pay?
Days
(4) Approximately how many hours per week did you work during
non-school hours during the regular term? Hours
(5) During the summer? Hours
19. During your last school year, did you stay out of school to do
unpaid work? (a) Yes (b) No
If yes, approximately how many days did this prevent you from
attending school? Days
20. How did you get along with your teachers? (a) Liked most
of them (b) Disliked most of them a (c) No special
feeling either way

95
QUESTIONNAIRE ON SCHOOL ATTENDANCE FORM II (Continued) Page 4
21* Did any teacher ever visit your home? ( 1 (a) Yes 1 j (b) No
22.If yes to Question 21, was it for any particular reasons associated
with the school? (a) Yes (b) No Explain
23. During your last year in school, were most of your best friends
(a) In school or (b) Out of school?
24. Did you find it easy to make friends in school? a (a) Yes
No Explain
25. Did you find it difficult to speak out in class? (a) Yes
a (b) No Explain
26. During your last year in school, did your parents usually,
occasionally, or never attend school events such as athletic
contests, plays, and PTA meetings?
(a) Usually D (b) Occasionally (c) Never
27. Are you working for pay at the present time? a (a) Yes
(b) No If yes, what type of work are you doing?
28.What job do you hope to make your life's work?
Don't know
(1) Will your present training be enough for this type of work?
(a) Yes a (b) No (c) Undecided
(2) Can you get that kind of work around here?
a (a) Yes a (b) No a (c) Don't know

96
QUESTIONNAIRE ON SCHOOL ATTENDANCE FORM II (Continued) Page 5
29., At present, do you plan to make your permanent home:
D (a) In this county
(b) In Florida (outside this county)
(c) Outside Florida, or
(d) Undecided
30. What was your family situation at the time you finished school?
(a) Living with both parents
(b) Living with widowed parent, which one?
(c) Living with divorced or separated parent, which one?
(d) Living with remarried parent, which one?
(e) Adopted or living with foster parents
(f) Other, explain
31. What is or was your fathers or stepfather's line of work?
Mother's or stepmother's
32. What is the highest schooling completed by your father or
stepfather? Mother or stepmother?
33. How many times have your parents moved from one county to another
in the last ten years?
34. Did your mother generally work outside of your home?
(a) Yes (b) No
35. Did either parent live away from home for six months or more?
(a) Yes (b) No

97
QUESTIONNAIRE ON SCHOOL ATTENDANCE FORM II (Continued) Page 6
36, If yes to Question 35, was this because of military service or
illness? (a) Yes (b) No
37. Has your father been married more than one time? (a) Yes
1 f (b) No
38* Has your mother been married more than one time? (a) Yes
1 I (b) No
39. Was your father or mother ever divorced or deserted before you
finished school? (a) Yes (b) No
40. Was your father or mother ever widowed before you finished school?
(a) Yes (b) No
41. Approximate present ages of children in your family: .
42. How many of these left school before graduating from high school?
43. How many of the children of your family were arrested for
delinquency at any time?

98
SELF INSTRUCTIONS FOR IAV
There is a need for each of us to know more about ourselves, but
seldom do we have an opportunity to look at ourselves as we are or as
we would like to be. On this page is a list of terms that to a certain
degree describe people. Take each term separately and apply it to
yourself by completing the following sentence:
I AM A (AN) PERSON
The first word in the list is academic, so you would substitute this
term in the above sentence. It would read I am an academic person.
Then decide HOW MUCH OF THE TIME this statement is like you, i.e., is
typical or characteristic of you as an individual, and rate yourself by
placing an X on the line under the word which best describes you for
each part.
I am like this: I would like to be
this way:
a. academic
1. acceptable
2. accurate
3. alert
4. ambitious
5.annoying

99
IAV (Continued)
- 2 -
I am like this:
I would like to
be this way:
I
T3
I-)
£
3
w
id
u
8
r>?
-P
3
*8
a
0
p
I
5 "w
a
H
>1
H
5
n
id
8
+>
*8
a
0)
o
P
10
6.
busy
7.
calm
8.
charming
9.
clever
10.
competent
11.
confident
12.
considerate
13,
cruel
14.
democratic
15.
dependable
16.
economical
17.
efficient
18.
fearful
19.
friendly
20.
fashionable
21.
helpful
22.
intellectual
23.
kind

100
IAV (Continued)
- 3 -
I am like this:
24. logical
25. meddlesome
26. merry
27. mature
28. nervous
29. normal
30. optimistic
31. poised
32. purposeful
33. reasonable
34. reckless
35. responsible
36. sarcastic
37. sincere
38. stable
39. studious
40. successful
41.
o
t-H
O
CO
>1
r-t
8
H
W
S
8
I
I
1?
o
3
o
I
m
o
+>
01
I would like to be
this way:
! s
ai
co
n
1
5
n
u
8
5
ts
a
01
o
I
8

s
stubborn

48. competitive
LO
if* if>
O Ln *
ff § g ff
I 1 | 5
(1)
Seldom
H
Occasionally
H*
About % the time
£
ID
A good deal of
£
the time
H*
w
Most of the time
Seldom
H
Occasionally
§
About h. the time
rt £
S' o.
H*
1/1 M
1 1-
A good deal of
i &
the time
K
h (+
o
sr
i
**
i
H
O
Most of the time
IAV (Continued)

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Books
Allport, F. H. Theories of Perception and the Concept of Structure.
New Yorks Wiley, 1955.
Becker, Howard and Boskoff, Alvin (eds.). Modem Sociological Theory.
New Yorks Dryden Press, 1957.
Bell, Norman W. and Vogel, Ezra P. A Modem Introduction to the &mHy.
Glencoe, Illinois: The Free Press of Glencoe, 1960.
Bennett, John and Tumin, Melvin. Social Life. New Yorks A. A. Knopf,
1948.
Blau, Peter M. Exchange and Power in Social Life. New York: John
Wiley and Son, 1964.
Bowman, Paul H. and Matthews, Charles V. Motivations of Youth for
Leaving School. Quincy, Illinois: University of Chicago,
1960.
Bredemeier, Harry C. and Stephenson, Richard M. The Analysis of Social
Systems. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., 1962.
Cervantes, Lucius P. The Dropout: Causes and Cures. Ann Arbor: The
University of Michigan Press, 1965.
Conant, James B. Slums and Suburbs. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1961.
Cooley, Charles Horton. Human Nature and the Social Order, rev. ed.
New York: Charles Scribners, 1922.
Dillon, Harold J. Early School Leavers; A Major Educational Problem.
New York: National Child Labor Committee, ca. 1949.
Gouldner, Alvin W. and Gouldner, Helen P. Modem Sociology. New York:
Harcourt, Brace, and World, Inc., 1963.
Hathaway, S. R. and Monachesi, E. D. Adolescent Personality and Behavior.
MMPI Patterns of Normal. Delinquent and Dropout. Minneapolis:
university of Minnesota Press, 1963.
Hovland, Carl L. and Rosenberg, Milton J. Attitude Organization and
Change. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1960.
102

103
Lichter, Solomon 0., et al. The Drop Outs. New York: The Free Press
of Glencoe, 1962.
Lindesmith, A. R. and Strauss, L. Social Psychology. New York:
Dryden Press, 1949.
Loomis, Charles P. Social Systems: Essays on Their Persistence and
Change. New York: D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc., 1960.
Loomis, Charles P. and Loomis, Zona K. Modem Social Theories.
Princeton: D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc., 1965.
McCabe, Sheridan P. The Self Concept and Vocational Interest. Wash
ington, D. C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 1958.
Mead, George Herbert:. Mind. Self, and Society. Edited by Charles W.
Morris. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1934.
Merton, Robert K. Social Theory and Social Structure. Glencoe: The
Free Press, 1963.
Neisser, Edith G. School Failures and Dropouts. New York: Public
Affairs Pamphlets, 1963.
Nye, F. Ivan. Family Relationships and Delinquent Behavior. New York:
John Wiley and Sons, Ihe., 1958.
Parsons, Talcott. Social Structure and Personality. New York: The
Free Press of Glencoe, 1964.
. The Structure of Social Action. New York: McGraw-Hill Book
Company, Inc., 1937.
Parsons, Talcott and Shils, Edward A. (ed.) Toward a General Theory of
Action. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press,
1951.
Parsons, Talcott and Bales, Robert F. Family, Socialization and
Interaction Process. Glencoe: The Free Press, 1955.
Ray, Charles K., Ryan, Joan, and Parker, Seymour. Alaskan Native Secon
dary School Dropouts. College, Alaska: University of Alaska,
1962.
Reckless, Walter C. The Crime Problem. 3rd ed. New York: Appleton-
Century-Crofts, Inc., 1961.
Rogers, Carl R. Client-Centered Therapy. New York: Houghton Mifflin
Company, 1957.
Rosenblith, Judy F. and Allinsmith, Wesley. The Causes of Behavior:
Readings in Child Development and Educational Psychology.
Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1963.

104
Sherif, Muzafer and Sherif, Carolyn W. Reference Groups: Explorations
Into Conformity and Deviation of Adolescents. New York: Harper
and Row, 1964.
Sherif, Muzafer and Cantril, Hadley. The Psychology of Ego-Involvements.
New York: Wiley, 1947.
Stetler, Henry G. Comparative Study of Negro and White Dropouts in
Selected Connecticut High Schools. Hartford: State of Con
necticut Commission on Civil Rights, 1959.
Strauss, Anselm L. Mirrors and Masks. The Search for Identity.
Glencoe, Illinois: The Free Press of Glencoe, 1959.
Walsh, Ann Marie. Self Concepts of Bright Boys With Learning Difficul
ties. Columbia, New York: Bureau of Publications, Teachers
College, 1956.
Watson, Goodwin (ed.). No Room at the Bottom: Automation and the
Reluctant Learner. Washington: National Association for
Education, 1963.
Winch, Robert E. The Modem Family. New York: Holt, Rinehart and
Winston, 1964.
Wylie, Ruth C. The Self Concept. A Critical Survey of Pertinent Re
search Literature. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press,
1961.
Youmans, E. Grant. The Rural School Dropout, A Ten Year Follow-up
Study of Eastern Kentucky Youth. Lexington, Kentucky: Uni
versity of Kentucky, 1963.
Articles and Periodicals
Bates, Alan P. and Babchuk, Nicholas. "The Primary Group: A Reap
praisal," The Sociological Quarterly. II (July, 1961), 181-191.
Bertrand, Alvin. "The Stress Strain Element of Social Systems: A
Micro Theory of Conflict and Change," Social Forces, XLII
(October, 1963), 1-8.
Bertrand, Alvin L. "School Attendance and Attainment: Function and
Dysfunction of School and Family Social Systems," Social
Forces. XL (March, 1962) 228-233.
Bills, Robert E. "Acceptance of Self as Measured by Interviews and the
Index of Adjustment and Values," Journal of Consulting Psychology.
XVIII (1954), 22.

105
Bills, Robert E. "A Comparison of Scores on the Index of Adjustment
and Values with Behavior in Level-of-Aspiration Tasks," Journal
of Consulting Psychology. XVII (1953), 206-212.
Bills, R. E., Vance, E. L., and McLean, 0. W. "An Index of Adjustment
and Values," Journal of Consulting Psychology, XV (1951), 257-
261.
Bowman, Claude C. "Eufunctional Aspects of Stress-Producing Situations"
Journal of Health and Human Behavior, VT (Winter, 1965), 243-247.
Brookover, Wilbur B., Thomas, Shailer, and Paterson, Ann. "Self Concept
of Ability and School Achievement," Sociology of Education.
XXXVII (Spring, 1964), 271-278.
Burchinal, Lee G. "Adolescent Role Deprivation and High School Age Mar
riage," Marriage and Family Living, XXI (November, 1959), 378-
384.
. "Characteristics of Adolescents From Unbroken, Broken, and
Reconstituted Families," Journal of Marriage and the Family,
XXVI (February, 1964), 44-51.
Cervantes, Lucius F. "Family Background, Primary Relationships, and
the High School Dropout," Journal of Marriage and the Family.
XXXII (May, 1965), 121-134.
. "The Isolated Nuclear Family and the Dropout," Sociological
Quarterly, VI (Spring, 1965), 103-118.
Croone, D. P., Stephens, M., and Kelley, R. "The Validity and Equiva
lence of Tests of Self-Acceptance," Journal of Psychology.
(1961), 101-112.
Dinitz, Simon, Reckless, Walter C., and Kay, Barbara. "The Good Boy
in a High Delinquency Area," Journal of Criminal Law, Criminol
ogy and Police Science, XLVIII (1957), 22-24.
. "A Self Gradient Among Potential Delinquents," Journal of
Criminal Law, Criminology and Police Science, XLIX (1958), 231.
Duncan, Beverly. "Dropouts and the Unemployed," Journal of Political
Economy, LXXIII (April, 1965), 121-134.
Elder, Glenn H., Jr. "Family Structure and Educational Attainment,"
American Sociological Review. XXX (February, 1965). 81-96.
Engel, Mary. "The Stability of the Self-Concept in Adolescence,"
Journal of Abnormal Psychology, LVTII (1959), 211-215.
Finesinger, J. E. "The Needs of Youth: The Physical and Psychological
Factors in Adolescent Behavior," Psychiatry, VII, 45-57.

106
Friedman, I. "Phenomenal, Ideal, and Projected Conceptions of Self,"
Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology. LI (1955), 611-615,
Gouldner, Alvin W. "Attitudes of Progressive* Trade Union Leaders,"
American Journal of Sociology. LII (1947), 389-392,
Gunderson, E. K. E. and Johnson, L, C. "Past Experience, Self Evaluation,
and Present Adjustment," Journal of Social Psychology. LXVI
(1965), 241-249.
Haas, Harold I. and Machs, M. L, "Self Concept and Reaction of Others,"
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. I, 100,
Hill, Reuben and Hansen, Donald A. "The Identification of Conceptual
Frameworks Utilized in Family Study," Marriage and Family
Living. XXII (November, 1960), 299-311.
Kaplan, Bert. "Projective Techniques and the Theory of Action,"
Merrill-Palmer Quarterly of Behavior and Development. IX
(January, 1963), 3-10.
Manis, Melvin. "Social interaction and the Self-Concept," Journal of
Abnormal Social Psychology. LI (November, 1955), 362-370.
Matthews, R., Hardyck, C., and Serbin, J. R. "Self-Organization As a
Factor in the Performance of Selected Cognitive Tasks," Journal
of Abnormal and Social Psychology. XLVIII (1953), 500-502.
Miller, Kent S. and Worchel, P. "The Effects of Need Achievement and
Self-Ideal Discrepancy on Performance Under Stress," Journal
of Personality. XXV (1956), 176-190.
Miyamoto, S. F., Dombusch, S. M. "A Test of Interactionist Hypotheses
of Self-Conception," American Journal of Sociology, LXI (1956),
399-403.
Mussen, H. M. and Jones, M. C. "Self Conceptions, Motivations, and
Interpersonal Attitudes of Late and Early Maturing Boys,"
Child Development. XXVIII (1957), 243-256.
Nahlnsky, Irwin D. "The Self-Ideal Correlation as a Measure of Gener
alized Self Satisfaction," The Psychological Record. XVI
(January, 1966), 55-64.
Perkins, Hugh V. "Factors Influencing Change in Children's Self-Con
cepts," Child Development. XXIX (1958), 221-230.
. "Teachers' and Peers' Perceptions of Children's Self-Conceits,"
Child Development. XXIX (1958), 203-220.
Piers, E. V. and Harris, D. B. "Age and Self-Concepts in Children,"
Journal of Educational Psychology. LV (April, 1964), 91-95.

107
Reckless, Walter, Dinitz, Simon, and Murray, Allen. "Self Concept
as an Insulator against Delinquency," American Sociological
Review. XXI (1959), 745.
Reiss, Albert. "Delinquency as the Failure of Personal and Social Con
trols," American Sociological Review. XVI (April, 1951)^195-206.
Rogers, Roy H. "Toward a Theory of Family Development," Journal of
Marriage and the Family. XXVI (August, 1964), 262-270.
Schwartz, Michael and Tangri, Sandra S. "A Note on Self-Concept as an
Insulator Against Delinquency," American Sociological Review.
XXX (1965), 922-926.
Sears, Pauline. "Level of Aspiration in Relation to Some Variables of
Personality: Clinical Studies," Journal of Social Psychology.
XIV (1941), 311-336.
Short, James F., Jr. "Perceived Opportunities, Gang Membership, and
Delinquency," American Sociological Review, XXX (1965), 56.
Sjoberg, Gideon. "Contradictory Functional Requirements and Social
Systems," Conflict Resolution, LV (June, 1960), 198-208.
Taylor, D. M. "Changes in Self-Concept Without Psychotherapy,"
Journal Consulting Psychology. XIX (1955), 205-209.
Thibaut, John W. and Strickland, L. H. "Psychological Set and Social
Conformity," Journal of Personality, XXV (December, 1956), 115-129.
Tuddenham, R. "Correlates of Yielding to a Distorted Group Norm,"
Journal of Personality, XXVII (1959), 272-284.
Turner, Ralph H. "The Problems of Social Dimensions in Personality,"
Pacific Sociological Review. (Fall, 1961), 57-62.
Wyer, Robert S., Jr. "Self Acceptance, Discrepancy Between Parents'
Perceptions of Their Children and Goal Seeking Effectiveness,"
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, II (September,
1965), 311-316.
Other Sources
Bertrand, Alvin L. "A Study of Rural Education in Selected Areas of
Louisiana: Schedule I, Schedule II, Schedule HI." Baton
Rouge, Louisiana: Department of Sociology, Louisiana State
University, Undated. (Mimeographed.)
Bertrand, Alvin L. and Smith, Marion B. "Environmental Factors and
School Attendance: A Study in Rural Louisiana." Bulletin No.
533. Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Agricultural Extension Service,
1960.

108
Bills, Robert E. "Index of Adjustment and Values. Manual." University:
College of Education, University of Alabama, Undated. (Mimeo
graphed.)
Hand, Will Mason. "A Comparison and Analysis of Scores in Self and
Social Adjustment Made on California Test of Personality and
the Bemreuter Personality Inventory." Thesis. Gainesville:
University of Florida, 1950.
Mannheim, Betty F. "An Investigation on the Interrelations of Reference
Groups, Membership Groups, and Self Image: A Test of the
Cooley-Mead Theory of Self." Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation,
University of Illinois, 1957.
Manpower Development and Training Center, Bay Campus, Bayboro Harbour,
St, Petersburg, Florida. "MDTA Youth Program 1964-1965." Un
dated (Mimeographed.)
U. S. Bureau of the Census. U. S. Census of Population. 1960, Vol. I.
Characteristics of the Population. Part 11, Florida. Washington:
U. S. Government Printing Office, 1963.
U. S. Department of Labor. Manpower Report of the President and a
Report on Manpower Requirements, Resources, Utilization, and
Training. Transmitted to Congress. March, 1963. Washington:
U. S. Government Printing Office, 1963.
U. S. Department of Labor. Manpower Report of the President and a
Report on Manpower Requirements, Resources. Utilization, and
Training. Transmitted to Congress. March, 1966. Washington:
U. S. Government Printing Office, 1966.
U. S. Department of Labor. Schoolor What Else? Washington: U. S.
Government Printing Office, 1962.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
Albert John Endsley Wilson, III, was born October 9, 1934, at
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He graduated from St. Petersburg High School,
St. Petersburg, Florida, in June, 1952, and received the degree of
Associate of Arts from St. Petersburg Junior College in June, 1954.
After receiving the degree of Bachelor of Science from Florida State
University in June, 1956, he was employed as a vocational counselor
with the Florida State Employment Service. In 1957, he was awarded a
grant from the U. S. Office of Vocational Rehabilitation for graduate
study and enrolled in the Graduate School of the University of Florida.
The following August he received the degree of Master of Rehabilitation
Counseling. From August, 1958, until February, 1961, he worked as a
counselor for the Florida Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. At
this time, he enrolled in the Graduate School of Florida State Univer
sity where he worked as a research assistant in the Department of
Sociology. From June, 1961, until September, 1963, he was employed as
a research associate with the Florida State Board of Health and the
Pinellas County Health Department. He then resumed graduate studies
at Florida State University with a training grant from the Florida
State Board of Health. From September, 1965, until the present time,
109

110
he has pursued his work toward the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at
the University of Florida.
Albert John Endsley Wilson, III, Is married to the former
Nera Kennedy. He Is a member of the American Sociological Associa
tion, the Southern Sociological Society, the American Public Health
Association, and Alpha Kappa Delta.

This dissertation was prepared tinder the direction of the
chairman of the candidate's supervisory committee and has been
approved by all members of that committee. It was submitted to
the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and to the Graduate
Council, and was approved as partial fulfillment of the require
ments for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
December 17, 1966
Dean, Graduate School
Supervisory Committee:
fc&VHvf (f LjtjJblLC'
Chairman



II. THEORETICAL APPROACH
In the following discussion basic concepts relating to structure-
function theory, socialization, and the social self are reviewed.
Illustrative material is also introduced to show how the present study
relates to this framework.
Structure-Function Theory
The theoretical framework used here is basically structural-
functional and stems largely from the work of Talcott Parsons. The
structural-functional approach views the basic unit of study as the
social system (society), which is composed of interdependent subsystems
(sometimes referred to as systems also) such as the educational system
and the family system. Social conduct is analysed in terms of its
contribution to the maintenance of the social system or for its
characteristics in the structure of the system.
Persistent orderly patterns of interaction among interdependent
elements constitute social structure. As interaction occurs, subsystems
contribute to the accomplishment of the goals of the system as a whole,
thus achieving "social functions." Whan an element of a social system
contributes to the accomplishment of one or more social needs of the
system, it is said to have a "function." Merton defines functions as
"those observed consequences which make for the adaptation or adjustment
7


105
Bills, Robert E. "A Comparison of Scores on the Index of Adjustment
and Values with Behavior in Level-of-Aspiration Tasks," Journal
of Consulting Psychology. XVII (1953), 206-212.
Bills, R. E., Vance, E. L., and McLean, 0. W. "An Index of Adjustment
and Values," Journal of Consulting Psychology, XV (1951), 257-
261.
Bowman, Claude C. "Eufunctional Aspects of Stress-Producing Situations"
Journal of Health and Human Behavior, VT (Winter, 1965), 243-247.
Brookover, Wilbur B., Thomas, Shailer, and Paterson, Ann. "Self Concept
of Ability and School Achievement," Sociology of Education.
XXXVII (Spring, 1964), 271-278.
Burchinal, Lee G. "Adolescent Role Deprivation and High School Age Mar
riage," Marriage and Family Living, XXI (November, 1959), 378-
384.
. "Characteristics of Adolescents From Unbroken, Broken, and
Reconstituted Families," Journal of Marriage and the Family,
XXVI (February, 1964), 44-51.
Cervantes, Lucius F. "Family Background, Primary Relationships, and
the High School Dropout," Journal of Marriage and the Family.
XXXII (May, 1965), 121-134.
. "The Isolated Nuclear Family and the Dropout," Sociological
Quarterly, VI (Spring, 1965), 103-118.
Croone, D. P., Stephens, M., and Kelley, R. "The Validity and Equiva
lence of Tests of Self-Acceptance," Journal of Psychology.
(1961), 101-112.
Dinitz, Simon, Reckless, Walter C., and Kay, Barbara. "The Good Boy
in a High Delinquency Area," Journal of Criminal Law, Criminol
ogy and Police Science, XLVIII (1957), 22-24.
. "A Self Gradient Among Potential Delinquents," Journal of
Criminal Law, Criminology and Police Science, XLIX (1958), 231.
Duncan, Beverly. "Dropouts and the Unemployed," Journal of Political
Economy, LXXIII (April, 1965), 121-134.
Elder, Glenn H., Jr. "Family Structure and Educational Attainment,"
American Sociological Review. XXX (February, 1965). 81-96.
Engel, Mary. "The Stability of the Self-Concept in Adolescence,"
Journal of Abnormal Psychology, LVTII (1959), 211-215.
Finesinger, J. E. "The Needs of Youth: The Physical and Psychological
Factors in Adolescent Behavior," Psychiatry, VII, 45-57.


21
other subsystems prevent full participation in the school system
belongs in this category. The final type of adaptation suggested by
Merton is rebellion, in which individuals reject both existing goals
and means and endeavor to establish a new or greatly modified social
structure. This may occur viven the institutional system bars large
numbers from satisfying the cultural goals or, in other words, when the
institutionalized patterns of behavior prove to be dysfunctional for
a large population.1
Summary
On the basis of the above discussion it is apparent that
early discontinuance of education may be viewed theoretically as
both dysfunctional and deviant behavior for the social system. In
this framework four types of conditions are seen as operating, either
independently or in combinations to produce social deviance in the
form of dropping out of school. These types are:
1. Those involving inadequate or inappropriate socialization.
2. Those involving conflicting expectations and demands of
multiple social subsystems.
3. Those involving the existence of latent dysfunctions for
subsystems associated with functions of a system.
4. Those involving inaccurate or inappropriate self-conceptions
with Incorrect definitions of social situations.
1Merton, pp. 131-160


38
administer the General Aptitude Test Battery to those planning to
enter the labor market upon graduation. This screening and testing
is done in the schools and nonresponse is negligible. There is a
similar program for dropouts but the nonresponse is much greater.
Monthly dropout lists are provided by each of the local junior and
senior high schools and the dropouts are requested by letter to
report to an employment service counselor. Those who respond are
administered the test battery. The sampling frames, stratified for
age, race, sex, and "G" scores, were made up of participants in these
employment service programs.
An unanticipated finding was that fully one half of the
disadvantaged youth in the MDTA programs had completed high school.
This program was conceived originally for the training of school
dropouts; however, "disadvantaged" high school graduates are not
excluded. The MDTA group was studied near the end of the training period
and had dwindled to about sixty percent of its original size. This is
in keeping with the earlier experience of the program (it was reported
in Chapter I that in the fiscal year 1964-65, 41.4 percent of the enrollees
terminated before completion of training). It appears that those who
had dropped out of regular school were also more likely to drop out of
the MDTA program, leaving a relatively higher proportion of graduates
among those remaining to complete the program.
The MDTA trainee who has completed high school differs fren the
dropout trainee in that he has conformed to the societal expectations
for minimal schooling. He also differs fren other high school grad
uates in that he has been designated as disadvantaged and not equipped
for labor market competition. It was therefore decided to eliminate


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The writer wishes to express his sincere appreciation to
Dr. Irving L. Webber, to Dr. E. Wilbur Bock, and to Dr. Joseph S.
Vandiver. All of these men contributed guidance and encourage
ment on a general level and each contributed in his own particular
way. Dr. Webber deserves special mention for his patience and
wise counsel; Dr. Bock, for being a source of knowledge and
understanding of social theory; and Dr. Vandiver, for his astute
suggestions and constructive criticisms. Sincere appreciation is
also due to Dr. Albert M. Barrett for his comments and suggestions
concerning the personality system.
Special credit is due Dr. John T. Obenschain, Director of
the Pinellas County Health Department, for suggesting the topic of
the research, for providing office space, equipment, clerical help,
partial financial support, and for his advice and encouragement.
The major portion of financial support for this project
was provided by the Bureau of Research of the Florida State Board
of Health through National Institutes of Health grant, number 5431,
"Training for Public Health Research."
The research reported here could not have been done without
the assistance of Florida State Employment Service and Manpower
Development Training Center personnel. Special thanks go to Mr.
ii




78
high school before they were old enough to have children, (2) that the
educational system norms would change so that expectant mothers and
mothers would be able to continue in high school, and (3) that the sub
group would be resocialized to the societal norms* Obviously, the
latter is the method of choice and is being pursued in a number of gov
ernment programs at this time.
The findings of this research generally agree with those
reported by Bowman and Matthews in their longitudinal study in Illi
nois. They concluded that potential dropouts may be kept in the school
system through the provision of counseling for vocational adjustment
for boys and guidance in marriage and social adjustment for girls.
However, the present study showed that dropouts were considerably
less likely than graduates to have made use of school counseling
services. This may be because such services are not offered until
too late. If guidance is offered only in senior high school, many
of the dropouts would have left school before having any opportunity
for counseling. If school counseling services are to be effective in
cutting the dropout rate, they must be offered prior to entrance into
senior high school and some means must be found to motivate students
to take advantage of the services. The same factors which cause
persons to deviate from expectations concerning school attendance are
very likely to contribute to their nonuse of guidance facilities as
well.
A number of researchers have found that many dropouts could
see little or no relationship between the courses taught in school
and their occupational objectives. Bowman and Matthews, Ray, Ryan,


63
level a value of 9.488 is required. Therefore, the null hypothesis that
there is no difference in the perceptions of the three groups is supported
at the .05 level of significance.
Table 15
VALUES RELATING
TO THE ECONOMIC SYSTEM
MDTA
Other
Dropouts
Dropouts
Graduates
N
%
N
%
N
%
Total
25
100.0
25
100.0
25
100.0
High
4
16.0
5
20.0
8
32.0
Medium
15
60.0
12
48.0
9
36.0
Low
6
24.0
8
32.0
8
32.0
X2= 3.39
Hypothesis Number 4
Perceptions of personal relations for the three study groups are
shown in Table 16. The chi-square test for significance of differences
in perceptions of personal relations by the three groups yielded a value
of 1.33 with two degrees of freedom. To establish significant differ
ences at the .05 level a value of 5.991 is required. Therefore, the
null hypothesis that there is no difference in the perceptions of the
three groups is supported at the .05 level of significance.


30
(c) Work adjustment
(d) Marital adjustment
(e) Achievement values and aspirations
5. Those students dropping out of school at an early age will be
lower on ability, personality, and., social status measures than
those dropping out at later ages*"
Of the above hypotheses, numbers 2 through 4 were supported* Number
one was rejected and number five was rejected except for early drop
out boys.
When interviewed six months after leaving school the dropouts
indicated the following reasons for early discontinuance of schooling:
Percentages
1. Just didnt like
2* Academic failure
3* Poor social adjustment
4* To work, poor finances
5* Pregnancy
6* Teachers unfair
7. Others
21
20
18
16
9
6
10
The authors interpret these reasons as Indicating that the
dropouts "do not see education as a means to practical ends, that they
do not value education in itself, and that they feel rejected by, and
have rejected, the school* * The dropouts also reported that a
majority of their parents were either indifferent to, or took no active
3
interest in their continuing in school*" When dropouts were compared
with graduates using the Semantic Differential they were found to place
lower values on self, father, and school* Bowman and Matthews conclude
that "guidance in sexual adjustment, marriage, and family living for
^Paul H* Bowman and Charles V. Matthews, Motivations of Youth for
Leaving School (Quincy, Illinois: University of Chicago, 1960), pp. 1-2.
2
Ibid.* pp. 6-7.
3.
Ibid., p. 7


98
SELF INSTRUCTIONS FOR IAV
There is a need for each of us to know more about ourselves, but
seldom do we have an opportunity to look at ourselves as we are or as
we would like to be. On this page is a list of terms that to a certain
degree describe people. Take each term separately and apply it to
yourself by completing the following sentence:
I AM A (AN) PERSON
The first word in the list is academic, so you would substitute this
term in the above sentence. It would read I am an academic person.
Then decide HOW MUCH OF THE TIME this statement is like you, i.e., is
typical or characteristic of you as an individual, and rate yourself by
placing an X on the line under the word which best describes you for
each part.
I am like this: I would like to be
this way:
a. academic
1. acceptable
2. accurate
3. alert
4. ambitious
5.annoying


53
Respondents in the two dropout groups were asked to identify the
person idiom they perceived as being the most influential in affecting
their decision to leave school. Slightly over two thirds of the MDTA
dropout group and about one half of the other dropout group indicated
that nobody had influenced them. The only other responses given by
MDTA dropouts were parent and friend, while the other dropouts mentioned
a variety of persons, including teachers and other relatives (see Table
7).
TABLE 7
PERSON PERCEIVED AS HAVING THE MOST INFLUENCE ON RESPONDENT IN MAKING THE
DECISION TO LEAVE SCHOOL
MDTA Other
Dropouts Dropouts
)
N
%
N
%
Total
25
100.0
25
100.0
None
17
68.0
13
52.0
Parent
6
24.0
3
12.0
Relative other
than parent
0

1
4.0
Friend
2
8.0
1
4.0
Teacher
0

2
8.0
All of above
0

1
4.0
Other
0

4
16.0


31
girls, and counseling for vocational adjustment for boys are of prime
importance for potential dropouts."1
Burchinal studied married and unmarried high school age girls
in nine Iowa communities to investigate the relationship between adoles
cent role deprivation and teenage marriages. He hypothesized that
marriage would be related to dissatisfaction with parental relations,
to the intervening variable of personality, and to the length and in
tensity of heterosexual involvement. The only hypothesis supported
by the data was the one relating to length and seriousness of hetero
sexual involvement. Married girls dated earlier, went steady earlier,
had more boy friends, and were in love more often than unmarried girls.
Almost two fifths of the married girls had been pregnant prior to
marriage. Family structure did not differ significantly for the two
groups. About four fifths of each group came from unbroken families.
Differences were found in the occupational and educational levels of
2
fathers, both being lower for the married girls.
In another study, Burchinal related the independent variables
of family type and social class to the dependent variables of adoles
cent characteristics and school social relationships. He reported no
significant differences by family type for social relationships and
for selected personality characteristics. The five classes of family
types used were unbroken, mother only, mother and stepfather, both
1Ibld.. p. 8.
2
Lee G. Burchinal, "Adolescent Role Deprivation and High School
Age Marriage," Marriage and Family Living, XXI (November, 1959), 378-
384.


III. PREVIOUS RESEARCH
A survey of the literature reveals increasing attention to the
school dropout problem by educators, psychologists, economists, and
sociologists. A number of publications in this area have been limited
to descriptive accounts and have not attempted to relate findings to
theoretical frameworks. Some of these reports attempt to relate the
descriptive findings to possible solutions or courses of action.
Other studies involve varying degrees of integration of the empirical
data within a theoretical framework. Most of the works reviewed here
fall under three broad categories of major concentration. These are:
(1) descriptions of the nature, extent, and consequences of the dropout
problem, (2) studies related to personality, and (3) studies related
to demands of social systems.
Descriptions of the Nature, Extent, and Consequences
of the Dropout Problem
One of the most prolific sources of descriptive data concerning
school dropouts is the united States Department of Labor. This agency
publishes an annual report on manpower conditions in the United States,
m these reports particular attention is given to the problems of
young workers, especially those who have poor preparation for labor
market participation. Manpower reports for recent years were dis
cussed in Chapter I.
Neisser presented a general overview of the dropout situation
22


20
functional level. In his formulation, adaptation is viewed in terms
of all societal norms relating to goals arid means. This framework is
scaled down here to view adaptation in terms of specific norms relating
to goals and means within subsystems such as the school or the family.
The most prevalent type of adaptation is conformity in which
individuals accept the evilturally defined goals and adhere to the pre
scribed norms in striving to reach these goals. The second type of
adaptation is Innovation in which individuals accept the culturally
defined goals but reject the institutionalized norms governing their
efforts to attain the goals. In the area focused upon in this work a
person who accepts the goal of obtaining a high school diploma but
uses as his means an equivalency examination or adult education classes
would be considered an innovator. He has rejected the institutionalized
means involving attendance at a regular high school. The third type
of adaptation, ritualism, involves the rejection or scaling down of
cultural goals along with rigid acceptance of the institutionalized
means. The youth who remains in high school but fails to apply him
self to the extent necessary for graduation falls into this category.
The fourth type of adaptation, retreatism, involves the rejection of
both cultural goals and institutionalized means. Merton suggests that
"this mode of adaptation is most likely to occur when both the cultural
goals and institutional practices have been thoroughly assimilated by
the individual and imbued with affect and high value, but accessible
institutional avenues are not productive of success."1 The school
dropout who withdraws because his early socialization has not prepared
him for participation in the school system or because the demands of
^Merton, p. 153.


80
Another area which should be explored with the present data
is an item analysis of the questionnaire. Items which have high
discriminatory power should be identified and the instrument should
be revised to eliminate nondiscriminatory items. Once this has been
done it would be highly desirable to replicate the study with other
groups of young persons to see if the relationships found here also
hold in other areas.
The findings of the study relating to self-concept, use of
school counseling services, and teen-age pregnancy all point toward
a need for additional empirical research. The relationship of self-
concept to other variables such as intelligence, socio-economic level,
age, and residence should be explored. Factors contributing to early
pregnancy should also be investigated. Of particular interest are the
family and subgroup norms regarding premarital pregnancy. Finally,
the availability and utilization of school counseling services should
be investigated. The findings of this and other studies suggest that
counseling services are being provided for those who may be considered
to have the least need for the services. If these services are avail
able only in senior high school they come too late to be of assistance
to potential dropouts. Many of the school dropouts have already left
school before reaching this stage in the educational system.


34
tlcipation in the school system. Training programs such as the St.
Petersburg MDTA project have not been in operation for very long. This
study sheds light on the nature of participants in this program and
compares them with other school dropouts and with high school graduates.


37
Members of all three groups resided in the Greater St. Petersburg
area. St. Petersburg is the major city in a predominantly urban county,
Pinellas County, Florida (over 90% of the 374,655 county residents
resided in urban areas in I960).1 The area differs from the state
as a whole and from the nation in that it has a much larger proportion,
of elderly persons and a smaller proportion of nonwhites. Between
1950 and 1960 the county population increased by 135 percent. Recent
population estimates indicate continued growth since 1960, but at a
slower pace. In 1966 the Pinellas County Planning Office estimated
the population of the county as 447,853 and that of St. Petersburg
as 201,851. Most of this population growth has been the result of
migration from other states. The 1960 census showed that almost forty
percent of the persons over five years of age residing in Pinellas
County in 1960 had lived in a different state five years earlier.
Frames for selecting the other dropout and the graduate samples
were developed using records from the local Florida State Employment
Service Youth Opportunity Center. Intelligence level was determined
by the "G" score of the United States Employment Service General
Aptitude Test Battery using the relatively broad categories of under
85, 85-104, 105-114, and 115 or over. These scores are roughly
equivalent to IQ scores yielded by widely used intelligence tests
such as the Wechsler. It is the practice of the local youth employment
office to screen members of each high school graduating class and to
1U. S. Bureau of the Census, U. S, Census of Population; 1960,
Vol. I, Characteristics of the Population, Part 11, Florida (Washington:
U. S. Government Printing Office, 1963), p. 132.


Henry Richards, Mr. Ronald Brock, Mr. Howard Lindsey, Mrs. Patricia
Penrose, and Mrs. Mary Wallace of the Employment Service and to Mr.
Robert Anderson and Mr. Jerry Andrews of the Manpower Development
Training Center for their assistance in collecting data for the study.
The two persons who remain to be mentioned here deserve par
ticular recognition and expression of gratitude. Dr. Albert V.
Hardy, Director of the Bureau of Research, Florida State Board of
Health has been a source of inspiration and encouragement. My wife,
Nera, acted as a research assistant, advisor, secretary, proofreader,
and sympathizer throughout the endeavor.
iii


24
1 2
Duncan who emphasized unemployment problems, and Stetler who
concentrated on differences in white and nonwhite dropouts. In
general, all of these suggest that the school dropout is in a position
of great disadvantage as far as labor market competition is concerned.
Studies Related to Personality
The psychological and social psychological characteristics of
school dropouts have been popular topics among researchers concerned with
the problem. Reports particularly applicable to the present research
are discussed here.
Nye studied 2,350 children aged nine through twelve in three
medium-sized towns in the state of Washington. He concluded that
deviant behavior was related to internal and external controls more
than to social class, subgroup identification, pull of peers, psychogenic
factors, or poor environmental conditions. Nye views the social
control system as being composed of both internal and external controls.
Lack of social control may be the result of poor inner control (mental
and notional conditions), poor outer control (faulty socialization),
3
or a combination of the two.
Reiss, using a framework similar to Nye's,studied juvenile
delinquents in Cook County, Illinois, to determine differences between
conformists and nonconformists to probation requirements. He concluded
^Beverly Duncan, "Dropouts and the Unemployed Journal of
Political Economy, LXXUI (April, 1965), 121-134.
2
Henry G. Stetler, Comparative Study of Negro and White Drop
outs in Selected Connecticut High Schools (Hartford: State' of
Connecticut Commission on Civil Rights, 1959).
3
P. Ivan Nye, Family Relationships and Delinquent Behavior
(New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 1958).


8
of a given system."'*
Bertrand suggests that:
There are certain needs that every group or system, regardless
of type, must fulfill. Following Johnson, Bales, Parsons, Shils,
and others, these may be listed as: (1) pattern-maintenance and
tension-management; (2) adaptation; (3) goal attainment; and
(4) integration.
Rodgers cites six functioned prerequisites for the continuance of
any social group. These are: (1) maintenance of biological functioning
of group members; (2) reproduction of new group members; (3) socialization
of new members; (4) production and distribution of goods and services;
(5) maintenance of internal and external order; and (6) maintenance of
3
meaning and motivation for group activity.
Winch comments that "each sociologist who has thought about basic
4
societal functions has come up with his own list." He suggests the
following list of necessary functions as being generally agreed upon:
1. Replacements for dying members of the society must be provided.
2. Goods and services must be produced and distributed for the
support of the members of the society.
3. There must be provision for accommodating conflicts and main
taining order, internally and externally.
4. Human replacements must be trained to become participating
members of the society.
"''Robert K. Merton, Social Theory and Social Structure (Glencoej
The Free Press, 1963), pp. 121-122.
2
Alvin L. Bertrand, "School Attendance and Attainment: Function
and Dysfunction of School and Family Social Systems," Social Forces. XL
(March, 1962), 229.
3
Roy H. Rodgers, "Toward a Theory of Family Development," Journal
of Marriage and the Family. XXVI (August, 1964), 266. The six functions
presented by Rodgers are from John Bennett and Melvin Tumin, Social Life
(New York: A.A. Knopf, 1948), p. 49.
4
Robert F. Winch, The Modern Family (New York: Holt, Rinehart,
and Winston, 1964), p. 7.


68
TABLE 20
NUMBER,
RANGE,
MEAN, STANDARD DEVIATION,
AND t FOR
IAV
IDEAL
SELF-SCORES
Groups compared
N
Range
Mean
S. D.
S. E.
t
MDTA dropouts
25
154-245
210.40
23.04
6.61
-1.43
Other dropouts
25
163-244
219.84
22.72
MDTA dropouts
25
154-245
210.40
23.04
6.72
-0.35
Graduates
25
130-243
212.72
23.48
Other dropouts
25
163-244
219.84
22.72
6.67
1.07
Graduates
25
130-243
212.72
23.48
Summary
Eight specific hypotheses were tested. One of these related to
differences in the two dropout groups in reasons for leaving school.
The other seven related to differences among the two dropout groups and
the graduate group relating to perceptions of the educational system
perceptions of economic values, perceptions of personal relationships,
perceptions of family relations, and perceptions of self-concept, self
acceptance, and ideal self. Six of the null hypotheses were supported
and two were rejected on the basis of data reported.
Significant differences were found in perceptions of the educa
tional system and in perceptions of the family system. Inspection of


VI. DISCUSSION AND INTERPRETATION
In this chapter the findings of the present study are related
to those of earlier studies discussed in Chapter III, and the theore
tical and practical implications are discussed. Following this
discussion, suggestions for further analyses of available data and
for additional empirical research are made.
Theoretical Implications
The review of previous research reported in Chapter III
showed that there are two major schools of thinking on causes of de
viant behavior in general, and on dropping out of school in particular.
One of these focuses upon the personality system; the other, upon
socialization and the demands of the social system. If personality
is seen as patterned by cultural values and social meanings acting
upon the nonspecific base of the genetic make-up of the organism,
then personality is a product of the exposure of biological organisms
to the socialization process. The socialization process or, for
that matter, all social behavior is accomplished through the inter
action of personalities. Thus, the interaction of personalities
and the socialization process are interrelated to the extent that
one would not exist without the other. These relationships between
personality and social structure and function are apparent from the
writings of Talcott Parsons.
70


67
TABLE 19
NUMBER, RANGE, MEAN, STANDARD DEVIATION, AND t FOR IAV
DISCREPANCY SCORES
Groups compared
N
Range
Mean
S. D.
S. E.
t
MDTA dropouts
25
5-99
46.04
27.86
7.10
0.55
Other dropouts
25
0-77
42.12
20.84
MDTA dropouts
25
5-99
46.04
27.86
6.39
1.14
Graduates
25
8-62
38.72
14.32
Other dropouts
25
0-78
42.12
20.84
5.16
0.66
Graduates
25
8-62
38.72
14.32
Hypothesis Number 8
Table 20 shows the mean, standard deviation, and range of the
ideal self-scores for each of the three groups. The t test for the
significance of differences in group means yielded values of -1.43 for
MDTA dropouts versus other dropouts; -0.35 for MDTA dropouts versus
graduates; and 1.07 for other dropouts versus graduates. Each t test
involved forty-eight degrees of freedom. To establish significance
at the .05 level, a value of 2.69 for each t test is required. There
fore, the null hypothesis that there is no difference in the perceptions
of ideal self of the three groups is supported at the .05 level.


This dissertation was prepared tinder the direction of the
chairman of the candidate's supervisory committee and has been
approved by all members of that committee. It was submitted to
the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and to the Graduate
Council, and was approved as partial fulfillment of the require
ments for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
December 17, 1966
Dean, Graduate School
Supervisory Committee:
fc&VHvf (f LjtjJblLC'
Chairman


49
TABLE 3
KNOWLEDGE AND USE OP SCHOOL COUNSELING SERVICES
MDTA
Dropouts
Other
Dropouts
Graduates
N %
N %
N %
Total
25
100.0
25
100.0
25
100.0
Used it
7
28.0
11
44.0
19
76.0
Knew about it
but did not use it
9
36.0
6
24.0
1
4.0
Reported that
school had none
4
16-0
5
20.0
2
8.0
Did not know if
school had one or not
5
20.0
3
12.0
3
12.0
The majority of persons in all three groups reported that they
believed that most of the teachers in their schools were both interested
in and fair to the students. However, many of the respondents felt that
the school itself was not as good as they would have liked. Ratings of
the last regular school attended are shown in Table 4. Of the three
groups, the graduates were the most positive in their perceptions of the
school while the MDTA dropouts were the most negative.


27
but not in females*'*'
Walsh reported that low achievers in school were found to feel
less free to pursue their own interests, less free to express their own
feelings, and less adequate In responding to environmental stimuli than
2
students whose achievement was in line with their capacity.
McCabe studied one hundred seminarians with age, sex, intelli
gence, and educational background controlled to test the relationship
between self-concept and vocational interest* He found that agreement
between self-concept and perceptions of a particular occupation were
3
not significantly related to interest in that occupation*
The effect of social interaction on self-concept among 101 male
college students was investigated by Mania* He concluded that indivi
duals* self-concepts were influenced by others* perceptions of them, but
4
that one*a self-concept had no effect upen others' perceptions of him*
Bowman reviewed a number of situations which have been found to
produce mental conflict and stress in children and showed that these
psychologically malfunctioned, circumstances frequently lead to societally
eufunctional behavior* He suggests that persons who are poorly adjusted
or who have low self-esteem may put forth extra effort and be highly
1Robert 3* Wyer, Jr*, "Self Acceptance, Discrepancy Between
Parents* Perceptions of Their Children and Goal Seeking Effectiveness,"
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, II (September, 1965),
311-316.
2
Ann Marie Walsh, Self Concepts of Bright Bovs with Learning
Difficulties (Columbia, New Yorks Bureau of Publications, Teachers
College, 1956)*
3
Sheridan P, McCabe, The self Concept and Vocational Interest
(Washington, D* C*t The Catholic University of America Press,' 1958).
4
Melvin Mania, "Social Interaction and the Self Concept,"
Journal of Abnormal Social Psychology. LI (November, 1955), 362-370*


6
their training programs. An attempt was made by the training center
staff to determine the reasons for withdrawal. For more than one fifth
of the program dropouts the records simply show "did not return." Another
one fifth discontinued training to take jobs, most often in a vocational
area unrelated to the training. Lack of interest was indicated for
another thirteen percent; disciplinary action, for nearly nine percent;
and moved away, for six percent. The rest of the terminations were
blamed on a variety of reasons including "unsuited," misplaced in training
area, in jail, unemployable, and illness.1
The Present Study
A situation in which relatively large numbers of potentially
capable youth behave in a dysfunctional or deviant manner provides an
excellent setting for the testing and extension of existing theory and
knowledge relating to the functions of social systems. In the following
chapters literature relating to school attendance, socialization, and
the structure and function of social systems and of the personality
system is reviewed. Specific hypotheses are developed, and empirical
research designed to test these hypotheses is reported.
Manpower Development and Training Center, Bay Campus, Bayboro
Harbor, St. Petersburg, Florida, "MDTA Youth Program 1964-65" (Mimeo
graphed, undated, pages unnumbered), first page.


96
QUESTIONNAIRE ON SCHOOL ATTENDANCE FORM II (Continued) Page 5
29., At present, do you plan to make your permanent home:
D (a) In this county
(b) In Florida (outside this county)
(c) Outside Florida, or
(d) Undecided
30. What was your family situation at the time you finished school?
(a) Living with both parents
(b) Living with widowed parent, which one?
(c) Living with divorced or separated parent, which one?
(d) Living with remarried parent, which one?
(e) Adopted or living with foster parents
(f) Other, explain
31. What is or was your fathers or stepfather's line of work?
Mother's or stepmother's
32. What is the highest schooling completed by your father or
stepfather? Mother or stepmother?
33. How many times have your parents moved from one county to another
in the last ten years?
34. Did your mother generally work outside of your home?
(a) Yes (b) No
35. Did either parent live away from home for six months or more?
(a) Yes (b) No


44
dropped from school?
5. How many times have your parents moved from one county to
another in the last ten years?
6. Did your mother generally work outside of your home?
7. Did either parent live away from home for six months or more?
If yes, was this because of military service or illness?
8. Has your father been married more than one time?
9. Has your mother been married more than one time?
10. Was either parent ever divorced or deserted before you left
school?
11. Was either parent ever widowed before you left school?
The two forms of the questionnaire contained alternate wording for
graduates and dropouts on the first two items in this cluster.
Data relating to educational values, economic values, and
family relations permitted the use of three categories of conformity
(high, medium, and low). In the personal relations area it was
necessary to combine the low and medium categories because one of
the study groups had only one member in the low category.
In testing hypothesis one, responses to a single questionnaire
itemwhat were your reasons for dropping out of schoolwere used.
In testing hypotheses six through eight, IAV scores on self-concept,
ideal self, and discrepancy between perceived self-concept and ideal
self-concept were used.
The chi-square test was used to test the significance of dif
ferences in group perceptions for hypotheses one through five (related
to nominal level data). The t test for significance of differences in


107
Reckless, Walter, Dinitz, Simon, and Murray, Allen. "Self Concept
as an Insulator against Delinquency," American Sociological
Review. XXI (1959), 745.
Reiss, Albert. "Delinquency as the Failure of Personal and Social Con
trols," American Sociological Review. XVI (April, 1951)^195-206.
Rogers, Roy H. "Toward a Theory of Family Development," Journal of
Marriage and the Family. XXVI (August, 1964), 262-270.
Schwartz, Michael and Tangri, Sandra S. "A Note on Self-Concept as an
Insulator Against Delinquency," American Sociological Review.
XXX (1965), 922-926.
Sears, Pauline. "Level of Aspiration in Relation to Some Variables of
Personality: Clinical Studies," Journal of Social Psychology.
XIV (1941), 311-336.
Short, James F., Jr. "Perceived Opportunities, Gang Membership, and
Delinquency," American Sociological Review, XXX (1965), 56.
Sjoberg, Gideon. "Contradictory Functional Requirements and Social
Systems," Conflict Resolution, LV (June, 1960), 198-208.
Taylor, D. M. "Changes in Self-Concept Without Psychotherapy,"
Journal Consulting Psychology. XIX (1955), 205-209.
Thibaut, John W. and Strickland, L. H. "Psychological Set and Social
Conformity," Journal of Personality, XXV (December, 1956), 115-129.
Tuddenham, R. "Correlates of Yielding to a Distorted Group Norm,"
Journal of Personality, XXVII (1959), 272-284.
Turner, Ralph H. "The Problems of Social Dimensions in Personality,"
Pacific Sociological Review. (Fall, 1961), 57-62.
Wyer, Robert S., Jr. "Self Acceptance, Discrepancy Between Parents'
Perceptions of Their Children and Goal Seeking Effectiveness,"
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, II (September,
1965), 311-316.
Other Sources
Bertrand, Alvin L. "A Study of Rural Education in Selected Areas of
Louisiana: Schedule I, Schedule II, Schedule HI." Baton
Rouge, Louisiana: Department of Sociology, Louisiana State
University, Undated. (Mimeographed.)
Bertrand, Alvin L. and Smith, Marion B. "Environmental Factors and
School Attendance: A Study in Rural Louisiana." Bulletin No.
533. Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Agricultural Extension Service,
1960.


90
QUESTIONNAIRE ON SCHOOL ATTENDANCE FORM 1 (Continued) Page 7
39. What is or was your father's or stepfather's line of work?
Mother's or stepmother's
40. What is the highest schooling completed by your father or
stepfather? Mother or stepmother?
41. How many times have your parents moved from one county to another
in the last ten years?
42. Did your mother generally work outside of your home?
(a) Yes (b) No
43. Did either parent live away from home for six months or more?
(a) Yes (b) No
44. If yes to Question 43, was this because of military service or
illness? (a) Yes (b) No
45. First marriage for father: (a) Yes (b) No
46. First marriage for mother: (a) Yes (b) No
47. Father or mother ever divorced or deserted before you left school?
(a) Yes 1 I (b) No
48. Father or mother ever widowed before you left school: a (a) Yes
I 1 (b) No
49. Approximate present ages of children in your family: ,
50. How many of these left school before graduating from high school?
51.How many of the children of your family were arrested for
delinquency at any time?


52
question was intended to relate to the last regular school attended, the
MDTA group may have been influenced by the friendly atmosphere at the
training center, which is considered a school by most of the trainees.
There was practically no difference among the three groups in responses
to the question, "During your last year in regular school did you find it
difficult to speak out in class?" About two fifths of each group gave a
positive response.
Table 6 shows that a greater proportion of MDTA dropouts than of
the other two groups reported a history of juvenile delinquency in the
family. The trainee and/or one or more of his siblings had been arrested
in more than one third of the families of the MDTA trainees. In addition,
four members of the MDTA group either refused to answer the question
concerning arrests or stated that they did not know.
TABLE 6
DELINQUENCY STATUS OF CHILDREN IN FAMILY
MDTA
Dropouts
Other
Dropouts
Graduates
N %
N %
N %
Total
25
100.0
25
100.0
25
100.0
No arrests
12
48.0
23
92.0
21
84.0
One or more
children arrested
9
36.0
2
8.0
4
16.0
Did not know or
not reported
4
16.0
0

0



28
productive members of society.1
Studies Related to Demands of Social Systems
Studies which relate early discontinuance of education
to the conflicting demands and values of social subsystems are reviewed
in this section.
Bertrand, in the study cited earlier, used a structural
functional theoretical framework in testing hypotheses relating to
competing value orientations in the family and school subsystems. He
surveyed 369 high school students in eight white rural Louisiana high
schools and sixty-eight dropouts aged 16-19 from the same schools. For
the student group questionnaires were administered in the classroom, and
for the dropout group both home visits and mailed questionnaires were
used. More than forty percent of the dropouts could not be reached. They
had either moved away or could not be located. Bertrand concluded from
his findings that dropping out of school is related to differences in
family and school value systems and to different behavioral expectations
2
in the home and school settings.
Cervantes investigated the family backgrounds, peer-group rela
tionships, school experiences, and personality characteristics of
twenty-five matched pairs of dropouts and graduates in each of six urban
areas. The groups were matched on the basis of age, sex, Intelligence,
1
Claude C. Bowraan> "Eufunctional Aspects of Stress-Producing
Situations," Journal of Health and Hitman Behavior, VI (1965), 243-247.
2
Alvin L. Bertrand, "School Attendance and Attainment: Function
and Dysfunction of School and Family Social Systems," Social Forces, XL
(March, 1962), 228-233.


92
Page 1
QUESTIONNAIRE ON SCHOOL ATTENDANCE Form II
Name
1. Marital status:
(a) Single
(b) Separated
(c) Widowed
2. Number of children^
3. If you had decided to drop out of high school would your parents have
approved? (a) Father only (b) Mother only
(c) Both (d) Neither
4. Did you repeat any grades while in school? Which ones?
None
5. Which teacher has had the most influence on you? Name
Subject(s) or position: Explain
6* During your last year in school, what was your grade average?
(a) A (b) B (c) C (d) D a (e) F
7. How did you get to school?
(a) School bus
(b) Own car
a (c) Parents car
D (d) Married
(e) Divorced
(d) Walked
(e) Public transportation


10
and on some occasions may be viewed as a single unit."1
Bell and Vogel list the basic functional subsystems of society as
the family, economy, polity, community, and the value system. Each of
these may, of course, contain a number of smaller subsystems. The
relationship between the basic functional subsystems is conceived of
2
by Bell and Vogel as "a series of functional interchanges." The chart
on page 11 was used to illustrate the nature of these interchanges
between the nuclear family and other subsystems.
The structural-functional approach has been criticized as not
3
dealing with dynamics and change. However, Merton points out that
this shortcoming is not inherent in functional theory but stems "from
the concern of early anthropological functionalists to counteract
preceding tendencies to write conjectural histories of non-literate
4
societies." Unfortunately, this historical anthropological practice
has carried over to the work of some modem sociologists.
5
Merton views the concept of dysfunction as implying strain or
tension at the structural level and as being basic to the study of
change. Dysfunctions may be contained within a stable structure, they
may exert enough pressure to bring about changes in the institution-
^Charles P. Loomis, Social Systems: Essays on Their Persistence
and Change (New York: D. Van Nostrand Co., 1960), p. 5.
2
Bell and Vogel, p. 8.
3
Reuben Hill and D. A. Hansen, "The Identification of Conceptual
Frameworks Utilized in Family Study," Marriage and Family Living, XXII
(November, 1960), 304.
^Merton, p. 53.
5
Ibid., p. 51.


89
QUESTIONNAIRE ON SCHOOL ATTENDANCE FORM 1 (Continued) Page 6
35. List the jobs you have held for at least a month since leaving
school?
(a) Type of work
(b) Type of work_
(c) Type of work_
JifmS^empfoyed^
36. What job do you hope to make your lifes work?
Dont know
(1) Will your present training be enough for this type of work?
(a) Yes (b) No (c) Undecided
37.
38.
(2) Can you get that kind of work ar-'jnd here?
(a) Yes (b) No (c) Dont know
At present, do you plan to make your permanent home:
(a) In this county
(b) In Florida (outside this county)
(c) Outside Florida, or
a (d) Undecided
What was your family situation at the time you dropped from school?
(a) Living with both parents
(b) Living with widowed parent, which one?
(c) Living with divorced or separated parent, which one?
(d) Living with remarried parent, which one?
n (e) Adopted or living with foster parents
(f) Other, explain


106
Friedman, I. "Phenomenal, Ideal, and Projected Conceptions of Self,"
Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology. LI (1955), 611-615,
Gouldner, Alvin W. "Attitudes of Progressive* Trade Union Leaders,"
American Journal of Sociology. LII (1947), 389-392,
Gunderson, E. K. E. and Johnson, L, C. "Past Experience, Self Evaluation,
and Present Adjustment," Journal of Social Psychology. LXVI
(1965), 241-249.
Haas, Harold I. and Machs, M. L, "Self Concept and Reaction of Others,"
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. I, 100,
Hill, Reuben and Hansen, Donald A. "The Identification of Conceptual
Frameworks Utilized in Family Study," Marriage and Family
Living. XXII (November, 1960), 299-311.
Kaplan, Bert. "Projective Techniques and the Theory of Action,"
Merrill-Palmer Quarterly of Behavior and Development. IX
(January, 1963), 3-10.
Manis, Melvin. "Social interaction and the Self-Concept," Journal of
Abnormal Social Psychology. LI (November, 1955), 362-370.
Matthews, R., Hardyck, C., and Serbin, J. R. "Self-Organization As a
Factor in the Performance of Selected Cognitive Tasks," Journal
of Abnormal and Social Psychology. XLVIII (1953), 500-502.
Miller, Kent S. and Worchel, P. "The Effects of Need Achievement and
Self-Ideal Discrepancy on Performance Under Stress," Journal
of Personality. XXV (1956), 176-190.
Miyamoto, S. F., Dombusch, S. M. "A Test of Interactionist Hypotheses
of Self-Conception," American Journal of Sociology, LXI (1956),
399-403.
Mussen, H. M. and Jones, M. C. "Self Conceptions, Motivations, and
Interpersonal Attitudes of Late and Early Maturing Boys,"
Child Development. XXVIII (1957), 243-256.
Nahlnsky, Irwin D. "The Self-Ideal Correlation as a Measure of Gener
alized Self Satisfaction," The Psychological Record. XVI
(January, 1966), 55-64.
Perkins, Hugh V. "Factors Influencing Change in Children's Self-Con
cepts," Child Development. XXIX (1958), 221-230.
. "Teachers' and Peers' Perceptions of Children's Self-Conceits,"
Child Development. XXIX (1958), 203-220.
Piers, E. V. and Harris, D. B. "Age and Self-Concepts in Children,"
Journal of Educational Psychology. LV (April, 1964), 91-95.


12
alized patterns of behavior, or they may result in the disintegration
of the system. Changes may be of such nature as to reduce the dys
functional aspect or they may involve institutional changes which
result in a redefinition of system objectives. Bredemeier and Ste
phenson have pointed out that "almost anything conceivable may be
expressed in patterned behavior; but if it is seriously disfunctional
sic7, the group that institutionalizes it will fail to survive."1
It was stated earlier that social structure is based upon a
systematic web of institutionalized patterns of interaction and that
subsystems are connected through systemic linkage. Loomis has identi
fied the basic structural elements of social systems as: "(1) knowledge;
(2) sentiment; (3) end, goal or objective; (4) norm; (5) status-roles
2
(position); (6) rank; (7) power; (8) sanction; and (9) facility."
Social subsystems are linked together through the sharing of one or
more of these structural elements. For example, the family system and
the educational system may share a common goal and/or a common norm.
Bertrand, in his study of school dropouts, looked upon the local
school system as being closely linked to the national educational system
as well as maintaining close ties with the local community system. He
saw the family as being "bonded to the community and school in a greater
3
or lesser manner depending upon its particular orientation."
1Harry C. Bredemeier and Richard M. Stephenson, The Analysis of
Social Systems (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., 1962), p. 178.
^Loomis, p. 5.
3
Bertrand, p. 230.


85
QUESTIONNAIRE ON SCHOOL ATTENDANCE FORM 1 (Continued) Page 2
7. Which of your parents, if either, approved of your dropping out of
school?
(a) Father only (b) Mother only (c) Both
(d) Neither
If either or both parents did not approve, did they do anything to
prevent you from dropping? (a) Yes (b) No
Explain
8. Are you sorry you left school? (a) Yes (b) No
Explain
9. Would anything have caused you to decide to remain in school?
(a) Yes I1 (b) No If yes, what?
10 What grades did you repeat while in school?
None
11.Which teacher has had the most influence on you? Name
Subject(s) or position: Explain
12. Curing your last year in school, what was your grade average?
(a) A (b) B (c) C (d) D I 7 (e) F
13. How did you get to school?
(a) School bus (d) Walked
(b) Own car (e) Public transportation
(c) Parent's car


99
IAV (Continued)
- 2 -
I am like this:
I would like to
be this way:
I
T3
I-)
£
3
w
id
u
8
r>?
-P
3
*8
a
0
p
I
5 "w
a
H
>1
H
5
n
id
8
+>
*8
a
0)
o
P
10
6.
busy
7.
calm
8.
charming
9.
clever
10.
competent
11.
confident
12.
considerate
13,
cruel
14.
democratic
15.
dependable
16.
economical
17.
efficient
18.
fearful
19.
friendly
20.
fashionable
21.
helpful
22.
intellectual
23.
kind


17
cultural prescriptions and proscriptions of the social system. This
could involve either inadequate socialization to definitions appropriate
to the systems in which the socialized individual acts or adequate so
cialization to definitions inappropriate to systems in which he acts.1
This faulty socialization may be randomly distributed within a
social system. Specific individuals may have unique experiences which
interfere with socialization or which result in atypical socialization,
or they may be biologically unfit for socialization.
An individual's biological system may be idiosyncratic in the sense
that it inhibits or prevents socialization even under the most
favorable circumstances. Little empirical evidence is available
concerning the role of the biological system in predisposing indi
viduad s to inadequate socialization. Mental deficiency seems to
be the clearest case of biological inadequacy, but other conditions
may be pertinent as well.
Situations more appropriate to study by sociologists than the
random idiosyncratic individual cases are those in which entire groups
or categories of persons experience faulty socialization. The study of
such groups yields insights on the ways in which the social system
affects different persons in different ways depending upon their position
in the society.
Social deviance is known to be distributed in a predictable
pattern and is known to vary from one society to another and in the
same society over time. Factors in the social structure which expose
members to a high risk of faulty socialization are therefore of con
siderable significance.
1Bredemeier and Stephenson, p. 126.
2Ibid., p. 127.


69
2
the X tables relating to these areas (Table 13 and Table 16) shows
that both dropout groups Indicated perceptions of the two systems which
were lower relative to conformity to societal expectations than those
of the graduate group.
There was no significant difference in the reasons for dropping
out of the HDTA dropouts and the other dropouts. There were no signi
ficant differences among the three groups in perceptions of economic
values, personal relationships, self-concept, ideal self, and discrep
ancy between self-concept and ideal self.


3
privileged homes.1
The 1966 annual manpower report indicated that about 550,000
teenagers entered the labor market during the year 1965 and that this
p
was about three times the average for the previous four years.
According to the report, "Economic and manpower forecasters had for many
years been looking forward, apprehensively, to a tidal wave* of postwar
babies expected to enter the labor force and swell unemployment in
3
1965." However, teenage employment rose so much that the rate of
unemployment actually decreased slightly during 1965 although it continued
at an entirely unacceptable level.
The Labor Department estimated in October, 1964, that there were
about 700,000 out-of-school youth (ages sixteen through twenty-one)
looking for work and unable to find it. An additional 300,000 early
school leavers aged sixteen through twenty-one were not working and not
even looking for work. (To be counted as unemployed by the Labor
Department a person must be looking for work.) About one fifth of the
nonparticipants in the labor force were physically or mentally disabled.
Another one fifth were awaiting induction into the armed forces and one
fourth were involved in training programs. The remaining thirty-five
1U.S. Department of Labor, Manpower Report of the President and a
Report on Manpower Requirements, Resources Utilization, and Training.
Transmitted to the Congress, March 1963 (Washington: U.S. Government
Printing Office, 1963), pp. 41, 42.
^There appears to be some inconsistency in the figures reported in
the two U.S. Department of Labor reports. Apparently this is because of
differences in the age limits of the 350,000 dropouts over age sixteen
mentioned in the 1963 report and the 550,000 "teenagers" mentioned in the
1966 report. Also, the 1963 report seems to imply that all dropouts
entered the labor force.
3
U.S. Department of Labor, 1966, p. 24.




15
occupational skills are to be valued more than social dancing
skills, that it is more reprehensible to strike than to berate, or
that classical music is to be preferred to popular music. In this
way people learn not only what courses of action they may legitimately
pursue, but which are to take precedence when they are faced with
several alternative, norraatively sanctioned choices.1
Conflicting Demands of Social Subsystems
If a person internalizes conflicting definitions of equal value,
he cannot take one desired course of action without violating another.
Demands which conflict with internalized standards may also threaten
favorable self-conceptions. Therefore, persons confronted with either
multiple conflicting demands of equal normative value or with demands
which conflict with their internalized standards may avoid or reject
2
such demands in order to maintain their favorable self-conceptions.
Bertrand, in the study cited earlier, reported that "the
findings leave little doubt that educational attendance and attainment
3
is a problem of contradictory functional requirements of social systems."
He points out that the family system sets certain behavioral standards
which must be internalized by members if they are to become adjusted to
the system. Those who adopt a different set of values are considered
misfits and are dysfunctional to the family system, although they may
be functional to the total social system or to other subsystems. Thus,
a member who remains in school may be dysfunctional to the family whose
norm is to discontinue schooling prematurely.
^Rredemeier and Stephenson, p. 77.
2
Bredemeier and Stephenson, pp. 77-80.
3
Bertrand, p. 232.


76
subculture may be involved here. If, in the family, girls are taught
that their role is to find a good man, get married, and raise a fam
ily, it may be expected that interest in the opposite sex will be
intensified and will be developed at an early age. In this situation,
positive family relationships with internalization of family behavioral
expectations could lead to early pregnancy, marriage, and discontinuance
of schooling.
It should be noted here that if micro-system behavior proves
to be functional for enough subsystem members, it can lead to changes
in the macro-societal structure and function as suggested in the lower
diagram in Figure 2, page 72. That is, if large enough numbers of
youth and their families find high school age marriage and pregnancy
to be functional for their immediate goads, the societal norms and
structure may need to change to provide for such behavior.
The fourth category of conditions described in Chapter II
involved inaccurate or inappropriate self-concepts with incorrect
definitions of social situation. One of the alms of the research
reported here was to investigate the relationships among certain
conscious aspects of personality included in the self-concept, the
pressures of selected social subsystems, and behavior in the educational
system which deviates from societal expectations. It was expected
that when certain social characteristics were held constant, persons
behaving in a deviant manner would be found to have lower concepts of
self in terms of societal standards than nondeviants. Previous re
search by Reckless, Schwartz and Tangri, and Lichter has shown a
definite relationship between self-concept and deviant behavior. The


108
Bills, Robert E. "Index of Adjustment and Values. Manual." University:
College of Education, University of Alabama, Undated. (Mimeo
graphed.)
Hand, Will Mason. "A Comparison and Analysis of Scores in Self and
Social Adjustment Made on California Test of Personality and
the Bemreuter Personality Inventory." Thesis. Gainesville:
University of Florida, 1950.
Mannheim, Betty F. "An Investigation on the Interrelations of Reference
Groups, Membership Groups, and Self Image: A Test of the
Cooley-Mead Theory of Self." Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation,
University of Illinois, 1957.
Manpower Development and Training Center, Bay Campus, Bayboro Harbour,
St, Petersburg, Florida. "MDTA Youth Program 1964-1965." Un
dated (Mimeographed.)
U. S. Bureau of the Census. U. S. Census of Population. 1960, Vol. I.
Characteristics of the Population. Part 11, Florida. Washington:
U. S. Government Printing Office, 1963.
U. S. Department of Labor. Manpower Report of the President and a
Report on Manpower Requirements, Resources, Utilization, and
Training. Transmitted to Congress. March, 1963. Washington:
U. S. Government Printing Office, 1963.
U. S. Department of Labor. Manpower Report of the President and a
Report on Manpower Requirements, Resources. Utilization, and
Training. Transmitted to Congress. March, 1966. Washington:
U. S. Government Printing Office, 1966.
U. S. Department of Labor. Schoolor What Else? Washington: U. S.
Government Printing Office, 1962.


23
in the United States in the early 1960's. She reported that almost
all dropouts prior to leaving school were working below capacity, were
failing In their studies, and were not participating in school activities.
She indicated that it is the relatively unstable youth who does poorly
in school and eventually drops out. In addition, Neisser stated that
"some educators and sociologists believe that a significant cause for
the failure and subsequent school leaving of the deprived child is that
the customs and languages of the middle class, on which our educational
system is based, are alien to him."1
In 1960 Youmans interviewed 307 males who had been enrolled
in the eighth grade in eleven rural Kentucky counties in 1950. More
than half of these had dropped out before completing high school. Half
of those interviewed had moved to urban areas in southern Ohio or in
other parts of Kentucky. Compared with the dropouts, the graduates
were employed at higher level occupations, indicated higher level of
aspirations, participated more in community organizations, and had
2
a more optimistic outlook in life.
Other descriptive summaries of the plight of school dropouts
3
have been presented by Dillon who emphasized problems of the school system,
1Edith G. Neisser, School Failures and Dropouts (New York: Public
Affairs Pamphlets, 1963), p. S.
2E. Grant Youmans, The Rural School Dropout, a Ten Year Follow
up study of Eastern Kentucky Youth (Lexington, Kentucky: University
of Kentucky, 1963).
^Harold J. Dillon, Early School Leavers: A Major Educational
Problem (New York: National Child! Labor Committee, ca. 1949).


51
TABLE 5
PRIMARY REASON FOR LEAVING SCHOOL
MDTA Other
Dropouts Dropouts
N
%
N
%
Total
25
100.0
25
100.0
Needed at home
2
8.0
0

Financial
4
16.0
1
4.0
Lack of interest
4
16.0
7
28.0
Health
0

0

Employment
5
20.0
3
12.0
Marriage
2
8.0
1
4.0
Pregnancy
3
12.0
5
20.0
Other
5
20.0
6
32.0
Personal Relations
Respondents were asked if, during their last year in regular
school, most of their friends were in school or out of school. Although
differences were small, graduates were somewhat more likely and other
dropouts somewhat less likely than MDTA dropouts to report their friends
as being in school. Twenty-three graduates, twenty MDTA dropouts, and
nineteen other dropouts indicated this response. There was no difference
between the other dropout group and the graduate group as to ease in
making friends in school, but a greater proportion of MDTA dropouts
reported that it was easy to make friends in school. Although this


87
QUESTIONNAIRE ON SCHOOL ATTENDANCE FORM 1 (Continued) Page 4
22. If yes to Question 21, give schools and length of time attended.
(a)
(b)
(c)
23. Do you plan further education or training?
(a) Yes (b) No (c) Undecided
If yes, what type?
24. During the last year you were in school, did you do any vrork for
pay?
(a) Yes (b) No If yes,
(1) What type of work did you do?
(2) How much money did you earn during the year? $
(3) How many days did you stay out of school to work for pay?
Days
(4) Approximately how many hours per week did you work during
non-school hours during the regular term? Hours
(5) During the summer? Hours
25. During your last school year, did you stay out of school to do
unpaid work? (a) Yes (b) No
If yes, approximately how many days did this prevent you from
attending school? Days
. How did you get along with your teachers? (a) Liked most of
them (b) Disliked most of them (c) No special feel
ing either way
26


57
reflect the vocational orientation of the MDTA program.
The classification system used for vocational objectives of
respondents was also applied to parents occupations. Table 11 shows
the distribution of occupational levels of fathers and Table 12 shows
that of mothers. It is apparent from these data that the three groups
do not differ greatly. This probably is a reflection of the fact that
the groups were matched for age, race, and intelligence, all of which
have some relationship to parents occupation. Five members of the
MDTA dropout group were unable to report the occupation of either
parent. This is the group in which a relatively large number were
living with persons other than parents at the time of leaving school.
TABLE 11
OCCUPATIONAL LEVEL OF FATHER OR STEPFATHER
MDTA
Dropouts
Other
Dropouts
Graduates
N %
N %
N %
Total
25
100.0
25
100.0
25
100.0
Level I
1
4.0
2
8.0
2
8.0
Level II
11
44.0
10
40.0
9
36.0
Level III
8
32.0
9
36.0
11
44.0
Did not know or
not reported
5
20.0
4
16.0
3
12.0


56
categories patterned after those used by the U.S. Bureau of the Census.
These categories were then combined to form the following three levels
of occupations:
Level 1. Professional, technical, and kindred workers} managers,
officials, and proprietors, except farm.
Level II. Fanners and farm managers; clerical and kindred
worker; sales workers; craftsmen, foremen, and kindred
workers; operatives and kindred workers.
Level III. Private household workers; service workers except
private household; farm laborers and farm foremen;
laborers, except farm and mine.
TABLE 10
VOCATIONAL OBJECTIVE BY BROAD OCCUPATIONAL LEVEL
MDTA
Dropouts
Other
Dropouts
Graduates
N %
N %
N %
Total
25
100.0
25
100.0
25
100.0
Level I
3
12.0
4
16.0
8
32.0
Level II
14
56.0
8
32.0
7
28.0
Level III
4
16.0
3
12.0
2
8.0
Undecided
4
16.0
10
40.0
8
32.0
As expected, a greater proportion of graduates than of either
dropout group Indicated vocational objectives of the highest level.
MDTA trainees were more likely to have middle range occupational
objectives and were less likely to be undecided than either the other
dropouts or the graduates '(see Table 10}. These findings, of course,


74
the .01 level of probability.
Bertrand reported that family system values and expectations
of rural Louisiana youth which differed freon those of the educational
system (and of the macro-system) often led to early discontinuance of
education. Bowman and Matthews, in their study of urban youth in
Illinois, reported that the parents of school dropouts placed a low
value upon educational system participation. An important inter
pretation of the findings of the present as well as previous studies
is that the values and orientations developed in the family are more
important as a determinant of behavior than those of the society.
That is, both dropouts and graduates were found to conform to family
norms whether or not these agreed with societal norms.
Conflicting expectations and demands of multiple subsystems
are Involved in the second category of social conditions contributing
to deviant behavior. The findings relating to school dropouts show
that such conflict exists between demands of the economic system and
of the educational system and between demands of the family system
and of the educational system. Each of these systemic demands may
be in conformity with societal expectations, yet conformity to one
may be accompanied by nonconformity to another. Conformity to societal,
family, and/or economic subsystem norms which call for labor market
participation at an early age may result in nonconformity to the edu
cational subsystem and to societal norms calling for high school
attendance. When faced with competing demands of systems, Individual
behavior is influenced by the actors perceptions of self and of the
generalized others which were developed in the socialization process.


100
IAV (Continued)
- 3 -
I am like this:
24. logical
25. meddlesome
26. merry
27. mature
28. nervous
29. normal
30. optimistic
31. poised
32. purposeful
33. reasonable
34. reckless
35. responsible
36. sarcastic
37. sincere
38. stable
39. studious
40. successful
41.
o
t-H
O
CO
>1
r-t
8
H
W
S
8
I
I
1?
o
3
o
I
m
o
+>
01
I would like to be
this way:
! s
ai
co
n
1
5
n
u
8
5
ts
a
01
o
I
8

s
stubborn


SELECTED FACTORS RELATED TO THE
SOCIAL ADJUSTMENT OF SCHOOL
DROPOUTS IN A METROPOLITAN SETTING
By
ALBERT JOHN ENDSLEY WILSON, III
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF
THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE
DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
December, 1966


45
group means was used for hypotheses six through eight. The .05 level
of significance was used for rejection of the null hypotheses.


32
parents remarried, and father and stepmother.1
Ray, Ryan, and Parker investigated the school dropout problem
among native youth in three Alaskan villages. School records, personal
interviews, and observations of an anthropologist were used to compare
dropouts and graduates from the local schools for the period 1950 to
1960. One of the objectives of this study was to provide teachers and
administrators with a greater understanding of the problems of students
from an atypical subculture who are faced with an entirely different
2
set of values in the education system. The authors comment that "in
daily living, values enable one to place, in order of importance, his
3
manifold goals and means of achieving them!
The Alaskan native student, in contrast to non-native students,
made the decision to drop out without discussing the matter with par
ents, friends, or school personnel. At the time he left school, he
had no real concept of the nature of the labor market and of the dif
ficulties he would face in finding work. Ray, Ryan, and Parker sum
marize the condition of the Alaskan native dropout as being malcontent,
unemployed, and lacking direction. He would like to return to school,
but not to a school of the type which he left. Most of the dropouts
were described as being of at least average intelligence and as being
4
motivated to improve their status.
Watson, in his subjective summary, suggested that young persons
can see no relationship between the courses taught in schools and
1Liee G. Burchinal, "Characteristics of Adolescents From Unbro
ken, Broken, and Reconstituted Families," Journal of Marriage and the
Family, XXVI (February, 1964), 44-51.
2
C. K. Ray, J. Ryan, and S. Parker, Alaskan Native Secondary School
Dropouts (College, Alaska: University of Alaska, 1962).
3Ibid., p. 52. 4Ibid.. pp. 346-348.


43
The first two questions were used for dropout groups only.
Respondents perceptions of economic values were measured using
a cluster of items which included:
1. Do you plan further education or training? If yes, what type?
2. During the last year you were in school, did you do any work
for pay? How much money did you earn during the year? How
many days did you stay out of school to work for pay?
3. Are you working for pay at the present time?
4. What job do you hope to make your life's work?
The cluster relating to personal relationships included the
following questions:
1. How did you get along with your teachers?
2. During your last year in school, were most of your best
friends in school or out of school?
3. Did you find it easy to make friends in school?
4. Did you find it difficult to speak out in class?
Perceptions of family structure and function were elicited
from the following questions:
1. Which of your parents, if either, approved of your dropping
out of school?
2. If either or both parents did not approve, did they do any
thing to prevent you from dropping out of school?
3. During your last year in school, did your parents usually,
occasionally, or never attend school events such as athletic
contests, plays, and P. T. A. meetings?
4. What was your family situation at the time you graduated or


18
Deviant behavior may also result from strains related to the
arrangement of social structure even when participants are adequately
and appropriately socialized. It was noted earlier that persons faced
with conflicting expectations may respond by rejecting or ignoring such
demands. When this happens the individual may deviate by either
withdrawing from participation or by acting in a manner which differs
from the institutionalized expectations.1
Conflicting values and norms may result from participation in
different subsystems. For example, Gouldner found that norms governing
leadership positions in certain labor unions conflicted with those of
the larger society. Married union leaders were especially affected by
this conflict in which they were expected to be good providers and
family companions while sacrificing all personal goals for the benefit
2
of the union. The previous discussion of the competing normative values
in the family and school systems also fits this framework.
Goals and Means
Robert Merton views high prevalence of deviant behavior as a
result of culturally induced motivations for goals which cannot be
accomplished legitimately by members of certain groups due to lack of
access to culturally approved means. In this framework he attempts
"to determine how the social and cultural structure generates pressure
for socially deviant behavior upon people variously located in that
3
structure."
1Bredemeier and Stephenson, pp. 126-128.
p
Alvin W. Gouldner, "Attitudes of Progressive Trade Union
Leaders," American Journal of Sociology, LIT (1947), 389-392.
^Merton, pp. 121-122.


75
In the case of conflict between economic and educational demands, some
persons withdrew completely from school, others worked part time while
attending regular school classes, others entered training programs
such as MDTA, and others managed to remain in school and deferred
economic system demands. Differences in family orientations along
with differences in personality seen to be related to the course of
behavior selected.
The third condition fostering social deviance, mentioned in
Chapter II, involved the existence of latent dysfunctions for sub
systems associated with functions of a social system. The exclusion
of expectant mothers from school attendance fits this model. One
half of the sixteen female dropouts studied reported that they left
school because of pregnancy. Most of these girls indicated that
they would have liked to remain in school, but that school regulations
forced them to drop out. The sanctions imposed by society in attemp
ting to facilitate functions of the educational system result in a
dysfunction for members of a subgroup (pregnant students) and in a
latent dysfunction for society in the form of nongraduation from high
school.
Burchinal, in his study of married high school age girls in
Iowa, reported that about forty per cent of the girls admitted to
being pregnant prior to marriage. Burchinal hypothesized that early
marriage would be related to poor family relations, personality defects
and to extent of hetersexual involvement. His data supported only
the hypothesis relating to hetersexual involvement. It seems that
the value system and behavioral expectations of the family and/or the


93
QUESTIONNAIRE ON SCHOOL ATTENDANCE FORM II (Continued) Page 2
8. In your opinion, how much of a disadvantage to success is the lack
of a high school education?
(a) Great (b) Moderate (c) Little or no
disadvantage
9. Do you consider the last regular school you attended to be:
(a) Excellent (b) Good (c) Fair a (d) Poor
10. How many of the teachers in the school you last attended did you
feel were interested in the students? (a) All of them
(b) Most of them a (c) A few of them (d) One only
(e) None
11. How many of the teachers in the school you last attended did you
feel were fair to the students? a (a) All of them
(b) Most of them (c) A few of them (d) One only
(e) None
12. Was there a special person in the school you last attended whose
job was to advise students about jobs and how to prepare for them?
(a) Yes (b) No (c) Dont know
13. If yes to Question 12, did you use this guidance program?
(a) Yes D (b) No
14. If yes to Question 13, was it:
(a) Very helpful (b) Of seme help (c) Little or
no help
. Since finishing regular school, have you attended other types of
schools or training programs? (a) Yes (b) No
15


47
One MDTA respondent and three other dropout respondents were separated
or divorced. None of the graduates fell into this category.
Table 1 shows that members of both dropout groups were more likely
to have children than members of the graduate group. The MDTA group
reported a total of thirteen children; the other dropouts, twelve
children; and the graduates, a total of four children.
TABLE 1
NUMBER OF CHILDREN BY EDUCATIONAL STATUS
MDTA
Dropouts
Other
Dropouts
Graduates
N %
N %
N %
Toted
25
100.0
25
100.0
25
100.0
None
14
56.0
17
68.0
22
88.0
One
9
36.0
6
24.0
2
8.0
Two
2
8.0
0

1
4.0
Three
0

2
8.0
0

Education
By definition all of the graduates had completed high school
while all of the dropouts had failed to do so. None of the dropouts had
left school before completing the sixth grade. As a group the MDTA
trainees had attained a higher level of formal education than the other
dropout group. Over two thirds of the MDTA dropouts, compared with two
fifths of the other dropouts, had completed the tenth or eleventh grade.
Only one MDTA respondent reported an "F" average for his last year in
school compared with four of the other graduates. The modal grade


26
reported that financial reasons, health problems, and limited intelligence
were not important but that personality defects interfered with
functioning in school as well as in the family and in general social
relationships.1
Brookover, Thomas, and Paterson studied 1,050 white seventh
graders in an urban setting to test the following hypotheses:
(1) Self-concept is related to academic performance,
(2) Self-concept of school ability may be divided into several
specific self-concepts relating to specific subject areas
and these are better predictors of performance in relevant
areas than the general self-concept,
(3) One's self-concept of ability agrees with his perception of
others' evaluations of his ability.
Only the first of these was entirely supported by the findings.
The second hypothesis was supported for males in mathematics, social
studies, and science, but for females in social studies only. The
third hypothesis held for a campo site of significant others including
2
parents, peers, and teachers but not for specific significant others.
Wyer, in a similar study, reported that self-acceptance and
parental acceptance were related to academic effectiveness in males
^"Solomon Lichter, et aL, The Drop-Outs (New York: The Free
Press of Glencoe, 1962).
2
Brookover, Wilbur B., Shaller Thomas, and Ann Paterson, "Self
Concept of Ability and School Achievement," Sociology of Education,
XXXVU (Spring, 1964), 271-278.


13
The Social Self or Personality Systran
Functional patterns of Interaction are perpetuated through the
process of socialization, in which individuals learn to act in conformity
to the norms of the social systems to which they belong. In this social
ization process a self-conception is developed. Consideration of this
aspect is of sociological significance in that it contributes to the
understanding of the interaction between the socialized person and his
social environment.1 The cultural milieu to which the individual is
exposed in the socialization process is reflected in "what he pays
attention to (cognition), what he feels (cathexis), and What he thinks
2
is right* (evaluation)."
The role of the personality system, which acts as a mediating
or pivotal point in the course of social action, is frequently ignored
or discredited in sociological analyses. In Parsons' words,
Durkheim and the other sociologists have failed, in their concen
tration on the social Systran as a system to consider systematically
the implications of the fact that it is the Interaction of personal
ities which constitutes the social systems with which they have been
dealing, and that, therefore, adequate analysis of motivational pro
cess in such a system must reckon with the problems of personality.3
Parsons suggests that the internalization of the sociocultural
environment is the central core of the personality system and that gene
tic makeup is a nonspecific base from which personality develops. Cul-
4
tural values and social meanings set the pattern of this development. The
conscious, role related perceptions which make up Parsons' concept of te
1Bredemeier and Stephenson, p. 75.
2Ibld.. p.80.
3
Talcott Parsons, Social Structure and Personality (New York: The
Free Press of Glencoe, 1964), p. 20.
pp. 7982.


97
QUESTIONNAIRE ON SCHOOL ATTENDANCE FORM II (Continued) Page 6
36, If yes to Question 35, was this because of military service or
illness? (a) Yes (b) No
37. Has your father been married more than one time? (a) Yes
1 f (b) No
38* Has your mother been married more than one time? (a) Yes
1 I (b) No
39. Was your father or mother ever divorced or deserted before you
finished school? (a) Yes (b) No
40. Was your father or mother ever widowed before you finished school?
(a) Yes (b) No
41. Approximate present ages of children in your family: .
42. How many of these left school before graduating from high school?
43. How many of the children of your family were arrested for
delinquency at any time?


72
Personality Systems
Macro-Society Structure
Fig. 2.Relationships among personality, interaction, and social struc
ture


110
he has pursued his work toward the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at
the University of Florida.
Albert John Endsley Wilson, III, Is married to the former
Nera Kennedy. He Is a member of the American Sociological Associa
tion, the Southern Sociological Society, the American Public Health
Association, and Alpha Kappa Delta.


94
QUESTIONNAIRE ON SCHOOL ATTENDANCE FORM II (Continued) Page 3
16. If yes to Question 15, give schools and length of time attended.
(a)
(b)
(c)
17. Do you plan further education or training?
(a) Yes D (b) No (c) Undecided
If yes, what type?
13. During the last year you were in school, did you do any work for
pay? a (a) Yes (b) No If yes,
(1) What type of work did you do?
(2) How much money did you earn during the year? $
(3) How many days did you stay out of school to work for pay?
Days
(4) Approximately how many hours per week did you work during
non-school hours during the regular term? Hours
(5) During the summer? Hours
19. During your last school year, did you stay out of school to do
unpaid work? (a) Yes (b) No
If yes, approximately how many days did this prevent you from
attending school? Days
20. How did you get along with your teachers? (a) Liked most
of them (b) Disliked most of them a (c) No special
feeling either way


4
percent had a variety of reasons for not seeking work, including a
belief that they could not find Jobs.1
Age and Grade Level of Dropouts
Of the three million dropouts aged sixteen to twenty-one in 1963,
nearly one fourth had not gone beyond the eighth grade and two thirds
had withdrawn from school before completing the tenth grade. About two
fifths of all dropouts were below the normal grade level for their age
at the time they left school. Approximately one third of the early
school leavers had withdrawn before reaching the age of sixteen. Of these,
2
about 400,000 dropped out when they were fourteen or under.
Manpower Development Training Programs
The Manpower Development and Training Act, passed in 1962 and
amended in 1965, represents an effort to salvage some of the potential
skills of unemployed and untrained youth. Training programs under this
act have always had two objectivesto enable workers to qualify for
current job openings and, in so doing, to help meet the economy's need
for trained workers. In 1965, the act was revised to place more emphasis
upon training of disadvantaged workers and potential workers who are
lacking in marketable job skills. During the fiscal year 1967, one
fourth of the trainees are to be disadvantaged youth, forty percent
disadvantaged adults, and the remaining thirty-five percent are to be
3
selected on the basis of aptitude to learn skills in short supply.
13bid., p. 90.
2
Ibidi p# 91*


103
Lichter, Solomon 0., et al. The Drop Outs. New York: The Free Press
of Glencoe, 1962.
Lindesmith, A. R. and Strauss, L. Social Psychology. New York:
Dryden Press, 1949.
Loomis, Charles P. Social Systems: Essays on Their Persistence and
Change. New York: D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc., 1960.
Loomis, Charles P. and Loomis, Zona K. Modem Social Theories.
Princeton: D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc., 1965.
McCabe, Sheridan P. The Self Concept and Vocational Interest. Wash
ington, D. C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 1958.
Mead, George Herbert:. Mind. Self, and Society. Edited by Charles W.
Morris. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1934.
Merton, Robert K. Social Theory and Social Structure. Glencoe: The
Free Press, 1963.
Neisser, Edith G. School Failures and Dropouts. New York: Public
Affairs Pamphlets, 1963.
Nye, F. Ivan. Family Relationships and Delinquent Behavior. New York:
John Wiley and Sons, Ihe., 1958.
Parsons, Talcott. Social Structure and Personality. New York: The
Free Press of Glencoe, 1964.
. The Structure of Social Action. New York: McGraw-Hill Book
Company, Inc., 1937.
Parsons, Talcott and Shils, Edward A. (ed.) Toward a General Theory of
Action. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press,
1951.
Parsons, Talcott and Bales, Robert F. Family, Socialization and
Interaction Process. Glencoe: The Free Press, 1955.
Ray, Charles K., Ryan, Joan, and Parker, Seymour. Alaskan Native Secon
dary School Dropouts. College, Alaska: University of Alaska,
1962.
Reckless, Walter C. The Crime Problem. 3rd ed. New York: Appleton-
Century-Crofts, Inc., 1961.
Rogers, Carl R. Client-Centered Therapy. New York: Houghton Mifflin
Company, 1957.
Rosenblith, Judy F. and Allinsmith, Wesley. The Causes of Behavior:
Readings in Child Development and Educational Psychology.
Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1963.


Chapter Page
V. FINDINGS 46
Descriptive Summary 46
Marital Status and Number of Children . 46
Education 47
Personal Relations 51
Family .. 54
Economic Area ..... 55
Summary 58
Statistical Analysis 59
Hypothesis Number 1 61
Hypothesis Number 2 62
Hypothesis Number 3 62
Hypothesis Number 4 63
Hypothesis Number 5 .. 64
Hypothesis Number 6 ........ 65
Hypothesis Number 7 ........ 66
Hypothesis Number 8 ........ 67
Summary .......... 68
VI. DISCUSSION AND INTERPRETATION 70
Theoretical Implications ........ 70
Practical Implications 77
Suggestions for Further Study ...... 7S
VII. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS 81
APPENDIX 83
BIBLIOGRAPHY . 102
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 109
v


14
personality system are also basic to the "self" described by Mead1 and
2
Cooley.
Mead views the self as a result of social experience which is not
and could not be present at birth. He designates two stages in the de
velopment of the self. The first involves the specific experiences of
the individual in interacting with others. The second involves not only
particular individual attitudes and experiences but a set of socialized
attitudes and expectations relating to the generalized other, or the
3
social group as a whole.
Prom the system point of view, behavior must be predictable;
therefore, systems are structured and persons are related to than in a
manner which assures some degree of consistency in the expectations to
which persons are exposed. From the point of view of individuals in the
system, consistency is also essential if they are to know how to act in
a given social situation.
Members of a social group are usually socialized in such a
manner that they value certain internalized definitions (social norms)
more highly than others. That is, in the early stages of socialization
the socializing systems determine a hierarchy of social definitions
which the socialized member adheres to. Bredemeier and Stephenson
suggest the following example of this:
In the family, for example, the child may learn that obedience to
his father takes precedence over obedience to playmates, that
'"George Herbert Mead, Mind, Self, and Society, Edited by Charles
W. Morris (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1934).
2
Charles Horton Cooley, Human Nature and the Social Order (rev.
ed.; New York: Charles Scribner's, 1922).
3
Mead, passim.


19
Merton regards some departures from Institutional norms as the
beginning of new patterns of behavior. These may develop within
subsystems having norms at odds with those of the society. He suggests:
It may, therefore, be misleading to describe non-conformity with
particular social institutions merely as deviant behavior; it
may represent the beginning of a new alternative pattern, with
its own distinctive claims to moral validity.
Merton identifies two basic elements of social structure which
he describes as being separable for purposes of analysis although they
merge in actuality. The first of these includes the "culturally
defined goals, purposes, and Interests, held out as legitimate
2
objectives for all or for diversely located members of the society."
These objectives are ordered according to some system of val lies and
constitute the things worth striving for. In effect, they make up a
frame of reference for aspirations. The second element in Mertons
framework includes the definition, regulation, and control of acceptable
modes of accomplishing these objectives. These institutionalized norms
limit ones choice of methods for achieving cultural goals. However,
Merton points out that "they (the norms) are subject to a wide gamut
of control. They may represent definitely prescribed or preferential
3
or permissive or proscribed patterns of behavior."
Mertons formulation involves five possible types of individual
adaptation to cultural pressures relating to goals and means. The
model which Merton presents is basically an ideal type at the macro-
Hferton, p. 122.
23bid., p. 132.
3
Ibidmj p 133#


39
these graduates from the study. The MDTA study group which remained
was comprised of thirteen white males, seven colored males, four white
females, and four colored females, for a total of twenty-eight trainees.
Three of the white males were subsequently dropped from the sample
because no graduates having comparable "G" scores could be located. All
of these scored below eighty on the intelligence test. The final number
(25) was considerably smaller than expected, and without matched
sampling would have prevented any meaningful analysis. However, the
use of matched groups eliminated the need for dividing the samples by
age, sex, race, and intelligence, thus maintaining table cells of ade
quate although minimal size for the planned analysis.
Data Collection
Two questionnaires, one for graduates and one for dropouts,
were developed for collection of data relating to the respondents'
perceptions of school, family, and peer systems.^ Both instruments
were designed for group administration and differ only in that the
dropout form contains additional questions concerning reasons for
having dropped out of school. A number of items on these questionnaires
were adapted for the present study from those used by Bertrand in his
2
study of rural Louisiana youth. Respondents were asked to provide
information on family and personal background, school and work exper
iences, future vocational and educational plans, and peer relations.
^Copies of the questionnaires appear in Appendix.
2
Alvin L, Bertrand, "A Study of Rural Education in Selected
Areas of Louisiana: Schedule I, Schedule II, Schedule III." (Baton
Rouge, Louisiana: Department of Sociology, Louisiana State University,
mimeographed, undated.)


77
present study showed no significant differences in the self-concepts
of three groups of youth representing different levels of conformity
to societal expectations concerning the educational system* However,
the slight differences which were found were in the expected direction*
Members of the two dropout (deviant) groups scored lower than gradu
ates (nondeviants) on measures of self-concept, ideal self, and dis
crepancy between self-concept and ideal self* It has been noted that
the social self or self-system develops as a result of the socialization
process. Self-concept and/or personality is usually measured in terms
of societal norms and expectations. It, therefore, seems logical that
persons who have been socialized to a set of expectations different
from those of the society (as frequently occurs in underprivileged,
disadvantaged families) may be expected to rate low on measures of
self-concept or personality. Two factors may have contributed to the
lack of significant differences in the present study: (1) small numbers
of subjects are involved, and (2) the self-concept may be correlated
with factors for which the study groups were matched.
Practical Implications
The theoretical implications of high school age pregnancy
were discussed above. If this form of societal dysfunction is to
be avoided either the societal norm, the form of sanctions, or the
subgroup norms must be changed. However, all of these are highly
institutionalized and any change may be expected to come about slowly.
Some possible alternative outcomes could be (1) that the societal
norms relating to education would change so that persons wsuld finish


95
QUESTIONNAIRE ON SCHOOL ATTENDANCE FORM II (Continued) Page 4
21* Did any teacher ever visit your home? ( 1 (a) Yes 1 j (b) No
22.If yes to Question 21, was it for any particular reasons associated
with the school? (a) Yes (b) No Explain
23. During your last year in school, were most of your best friends
(a) In school or (b) Out of school?
24. Did you find it easy to make friends in school? a (a) Yes
No Explain
25. Did you find it difficult to speak out in class? (a) Yes
a (b) No Explain
26. During your last year in school, did your parents usually,
occasionally, or never attend school events such as athletic
contests, plays, and PTA meetings?
(a) Usually D (b) Occasionally (c) Never
27. Are you working for pay at the present time? a (a) Yes
(b) No If yes, what type of work are you doing?
28.What job do you hope to make your life's work?
Don't know
(1) Will your present training be enough for this type of work?
(a) Yes a (b) No (c) Undecided
(2) Can you get that kind of work around here?
a (a) Yes a (b) No a (c) Don't know


86
QUESTIONNAIRE ON SCHOOL ATTENDANCE FORM 1 (Continued) Page 3
14* In your opinion, how much of a disadvantage to success is the lack
of a high school education?
(a) Great (b) Moderate (c) Little or no
disadvantage
15. Do you consider the last regular school you attended to be:
11 (a) Excellent (b) Good (c) Fair (d) Poor
16. How many of the teachers in the school you last attended did you
feel were interested in the students? a (a) All of then
(b) Most of then (c) A few of them (d) One only
(e) None
17. How many of the teachers in the school you last attended did you
feel were fair to the students? (a) All of them
(b) Most of then (c) A few of them I I (d) One only
(e) None
18. Was there a special person in the school you last attended whose
job was to advise students about jobs and how to prepare for then?
(a) Yes (b) No (c) Don't know
19. If yes to Question 18, did you vise the guidance program?
(a) Yes (b) No
20. If yes to Question 19, was it:
(a) Very helpful a (b) Of some help D (c) Little or
no help
21. Since dropping out of regular school, have you attended other types
of schools or training programs? a (a) Yes a (b) No


BIBLIOGRAPHY
Books
Allport, F. H. Theories of Perception and the Concept of Structure.
New Yorks Wiley, 1955.
Becker, Howard and Boskoff, Alvin (eds.). Modem Sociological Theory.
New Yorks Dryden Press, 1957.
Bell, Norman W. and Vogel, Ezra P. A Modem Introduction to the &mHy.
Glencoe, Illinois: The Free Press of Glencoe, 1960.
Bennett, John and Tumin, Melvin. Social Life. New Yorks A. A. Knopf,
1948.
Blau, Peter M. Exchange and Power in Social Life. New York: John
Wiley and Son, 1964.
Bowman, Paul H. and Matthews, Charles V. Motivations of Youth for
Leaving School. Quincy, Illinois: University of Chicago,
1960.
Bredemeier, Harry C. and Stephenson, Richard M. The Analysis of Social
Systems. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., 1962.
Cervantes, Lucius P. The Dropout: Causes and Cures. Ann Arbor: The
University of Michigan Press, 1965.
Conant, James B. Slums and Suburbs. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1961.
Cooley, Charles Horton. Human Nature and the Social Order, rev. ed.
New York: Charles Scribners, 1922.
Dillon, Harold J. Early School Leavers; A Major Educational Problem.
New York: National Child Labor Committee, ca. 1949.
Gouldner, Alvin W. and Gouldner, Helen P. Modem Sociology. New York:
Harcourt, Brace, and World, Inc., 1963.
Hathaway, S. R. and Monachesi, E. D. Adolescent Personality and Behavior.
MMPI Patterns of Normal. Delinquent and Dropout. Minneapolis:
university of Minnesota Press, 1963.
Hovland, Carl L. and Rosenberg, Milton J. Attitude Organization and
Change. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1960.
102


V. FINDINGS
The three study groups were matched for age, race, sex,
intelligence level, and residence. Therefore, in the analysis which
follows, the data have not been analyzed by these characteristics.
This analysis is presented in two major sections. The first section
provides a descriptive summary; the second, a statistical analysis in
which the specific hypotheses are tested.
Descriptive Summary
Each of the three study groups included seventeen males and
eight fanales. Among males white persons outnumbered nonwhites ten to
seven, while among females the races were equally represented. There is
no statistical difference in the mean intelligence score for the three
groups. The MDTA group "G" scores ranged from 60 to 123 with a mean of
94.0, the other dropout group had a range of 57 to 124 with a mean
of 92.8, and the graduate group had a range from 70 to 117 with a mean
of 94.2. All of the respondents were aged 16 through 21 and had had
recent participation in the educational system.
Marital Status and
Number of Children
MDTA dropouts were much more likely to be married than either
other dropouts or graduates. More than one third of the MDTA group
compared with less than one sixth of both the other dropouts and
graduates indicated that they were married at the time of the interview.
46


58
TABLE 12
OCCUPATIONAL LEVEL OP
MOTHER OR STEPMOTHER
MDTA
Other
Dropouts
Dropouts
Graduates
N %
N %
N %
Total
25
100.0
25
100.0
25
100.0
Level I
1
4.0
2
8.0
5
20.0
Level II
6
24.0
5
20.0
2
8.0
Level III
6
24.0
7
28.0
8
32.0
Housewife
7
28.0
11
44.0
10
40.0
Did not know or
not reported
5
20.0
0
m
0

There was also very little difference among the study groups
in the proportion of mothers who usually worked outside the home. In
the MDTA group seventeen reported working mothers compared with sixteen
in the other dropout group and fifteen in the graduate group.
Summary
In the foregoing account, selected characteristics of the three
study groups are described. Both of the dropout groups, when compared
with the graduate group, were found to differ in a number of respects.
They were more likely to have children, less likely to have made use of
the school counseling services, more likely to have come from broken
homes, more likely to be only children, less likely to report that
parents participated in school activities, and less likely to aspire to


42
7. There is no difference in self-acceptance of the MDTA dropout
group, the other dropout group, and the graduate group.
8. There is no difference in perceptions of the ideal self of
the MDTA dropout group, the other dropout group, and the grad
uate group.
In testing hypotheses two through five, perceptions and beha
vioral patterns reported by respondents were clustered under the
headings of educational values, economic values, personal relations,
and family relations. Each of these clusters yielded an index of
conformity to the societal norms and expectations for that particular
system.
The cluster of responses included under the heading of educa-
cational values is composed of answers to the following questions:
1. Are you sorry you left school?
2. Would anything have caused you to remain in school?
3. What grades did you repeat while in school?
4. Which teacher has had the most influence on you?
5. During your last year in school, what was your grade average?
6. In your opinion, how much of a disadvantage to success is the
lack of a high school education?
7. Do you consider the last regular school you attended to be
excellent, good, fair, or poor?
8. How many of the teachers in the school you last attended did
you feel were interested in the students?
9. How many of the teachers in the school you last attended did
you feel were fair to the students?


84
Page 1
QUESTIONNAIRE ON SCHOOL ATTENDANCE Form 1
Name
1. At the time you dropped out of school did you live:



(a) In Pinellas County
(b) Other Florida County (Name)
(c) Other state (Name)
2. Marital status:
I 1 (a) Single

(d) Married
11 (b) Separated

(e) Divorced
1 1 (c) Widowed
Number of children
When did you drop out of
school?
Month
Year
5. What was the highest grade you completed? Grade
6. What were your reasons for dropping out of school? (If more than
one reason number in order of importance.)
(a) Needed at home (illness, death, etc.)
(b) Financial need (for clothes, books, etc.)
(c) Lack of interest (doesnt like school)
(d) Health
(e) Military Service
(f) Take a job
I 1 (g) Marriage
(h) Pregnancy
(i) Others (Specify)


2
were used. The three groups were comprised of (1) local school dropouts
who are in the labor market and not engaged in a training program,
(2) local school dropouts who are engaged in a Manpower Development and
Training Act program for disadvantaged youth, and (3) local high school
graduatesthose who have attained the societal norm for minimal education.
Extent of the Problem
Although the proportion of the population graduating from high
school is increasing, the United States Department of Labor estimated
that there were about 3,000,000 school dropouts aged sixteen through
twenty-one in this country as of February, 1963.1 In 1963 unemployment
was high among all young people, but it was much higher for school
dropouts than for high school graduates. The most recent figures
contained in the 1963 manpower report indicate that about 350,000 persons
age sixteen and over dropped out of school between January and October of
1961. Of these it was estimated that twenty-seven percent were unemployed
as of October, 1961, compared with eighteen percent of the 1961 graduates.
The U.S. Department of Labor suggests that the same factors which con
tributed to the dropout's early discontinuance of his education also
compound the difficulty which he has in finding employment due to
limited education. Some such factors are inability to learn, difficulty
in adapting to the school environment, emotional instability,
inadequate motivation, and limited cultural development in under-
^U.S. Department of Labor, Manpower Report of the President and a
Report on Manpower Requirements. Resources. Utilization, and Training.
Transmitted to the Congress, March 1966 (Washingtons U.S. Government
Printing Office, 1966), p. 91.


60
3. There is no difference in perceptions of economic values of the
MDTA dropout group, the other dropout group, and the graduate
group. (Form I questionnaire items 23, 24, 33, and 45 and Form
II items 17, 18, 27, and 28.)
4. There is no difference in perceptions of personal relationships
of the MDTA dropout group, the other dropout group, and the
graduate group. (Form I questionnaire items 26, 27, 28, and 31
and Form II items 20, 23, 24, and 25.)
5. There is no difference in perceptions of the family structure-
function of the MDTA dropout group, the other dropout group,
and the graduate group. (Form I questionnaire items 7, 32, 38,
41,
43,
44,
45,
46,
47,
and 48 and Form II items 3, 9, 30, 33,
35,
36,
37,
38,
39,
and
40.)
6. There is no difference in self-concept of the MDTA dropout
group, the other dropout group, and the graduate group. (IAV
self-concept scores.)
7. There is no difference in self-acceptance of the MDTA dropout
group, the other dropout group, and the graduate group. (IAV
discrepancy scores.)
8. There is no difference in perceptions of the ideal self of the
MDTA dropout group, the other dropout group, and the graduate
group. (IAV ideal self-scores.)
For hypotheses involving clusters, the cluster scores were
used to categorize respondents as being high, medium, or low relative
to the societal expectations applicable to the particular area or
system. The four cluster areas were educational values, economic
values, personal relations, and family relations. In one of the study


VII. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
This study was conducted to investigate selected factors
related to the educational attainment of young persons In an urban
setting* A structural-functional framework in which functional ex
pectations of specific subsystems were related to the general societal
functional expectations for each type of subsystem was used* That is,
for example, the specific expectations of families of school dropouts
in St* Petersburg, Florida, were related to the societal expectations
relative to the family in general* Certain conscious aspects of per
sonality, referred to as the self-system, were also studied to explore
the possibility that selective conformity to competing systemic norms
may be related to self-concept* Data were collected using question
naires and a measure of self-concept and ideal self for three groups
of youth residing in the Greater St* Petersburg, Florida area. These
groups were made up of (1) persons who had dropped out of school and
were currently trainees in a Manpower Development and Training Act
program, (2) a group of school dropouts matched with the first group
for residence, age, race, sex, and intelligence level, and (3) a group
of recent high school graduates, matched with the other two groups for
residence, age, race, sex, and intelligence level.
The two dropout groups were found to differ significantly from
the graduate group in their family orientations and in their values
81


48. competitive
LO
if* if>
O Ln *
ff § g ff
I 1 | 5
(1)
Seldom
H
Occasionally
H*
About % the time
£
ID
A good deal of
£
the time
H*
w
Most of the time
Seldom
H
Occasionally
§
About h. the time
rt £
S' o.
H*
1/1 M
1 1-
A good deal of
i &
the time
K
h (+
o
sr
i
**
i
H
O
Most of the time
IAV (Continued)


61
groups only one respondent fell Into the low category on personal re
lations. Therefore, it was necessary to combine the low and medium
cells of this area for statistical analysis.
Hypothesis Number 1
Table 13 shows the reasons reported for leaving school by
members of the MDTA dropout group and the other dropout group. The
chi-square test for significance of differences in reasons given by
the two groups yielded a value of 4.87 with three degrees of freedom.
Tc establish significant relationships at the .05 level a value of
7.815 is required. Therefore, the null hypothesis that there is no
difference in the reasons reported for the two groups is supported at
the .05 level of significance.
TABLE 13
REASONS REPORTED FOR DROPPING OUT OF SCHOOL
MDTA Other
Dropouts Dropouts
*
N
%
N
%
Total
25
100.0
25
100.0
Economic
11
44.0
4
16.0
Marriage or pregnancy
5
20,0
6
24.0
Lack of interest
4
16.0
7
28.0
Other
5
20.0
8
32.0
X2 = 4.87


40
The "Index of Adjustment and Values" (IAV) developed by R. E.
Bills was used to obtain measures of self-concept and ideal self-concept.1
This instrument consists of a list of forty-nine personality traits.
Space is provided for the respondent to answer three questions about
himself for each item. These questions are: (1) How often are you this
sort of person, (2) how do you feel about being this way, and (3) how
much of the time would you like this trait to be characteristic of you?
Preliminary testing of the instrument revealed that the second question
was often misunderstood and contributed little to the planned analysis.
Therefore, it was decided to eliminate question number two and to use
only self and ideal self-ratings in the analysis. The discrepancy be
tween these two ratings seems to provide a more valid indicator of
self-acceptanee than does the answer to question two, "How do you feel
about being this way?" Answers to the two questions used are recorded
on a five-point scale ranging from "seldom" to "most of the time."
Bills describes the IAV as reflecting "cumulative affects of inter
personal relations" and as "assessing current status of the perceptions
of self."2
Questionnaires were completed by the MDTA students in groups of
from five to ten at the training center. As each respondent finished
his questionnaire, he turned it in to the researcher and was given an
IAV to fill out. While he was working on this the researcher looked
over the completed questionnaire, noting any omissions or unclear
1A copy of the IAV appears in Appendix.
2
Robert E. Bills, "Index of Adjustment and Values. Manual."
Mimeographed by the College of Education (University: University of
Alabama, undated), p. 5.


54
Family
Table 8 reveals that both dropout groups were much more likely
than the graduate group to have lived In broken homes. Over three
fourths of the graduates, compared with about two fifths of the two
dropout groups, were living with both parents at the time they left
school.
TABLE 8
FAMILY SITUATION AT THE TIME RESPONDENT LEFT SCHOOL
MDTA
Dropouts
Other
Dropouts
Graduates
N %
N %
N %
Total
25
100.0
25
100.0
25
100.0
Living with:
Both parents
11
44.0
10
40.0
19
76.0
Widowed parent
5
20.0
4
16.0
2
8.0
Divorced or sep
arated parent
1
4.0
6
24.0
1
4.0
Remarried parent
2
8.0
3
12.0
2
8.0
Neither parent
(Foster parents
or relatives)
6
24.0
2
8.0
1
4.0
Almost one
fourth of
the MDTA dropouts
resided
with other
re la-
tlves or In a foster home.
It follows from the above statement that members of the two
dropout groups were less likely to report that their parents participated


79
and Parker, Watson, and Stinchcombeall reported that dropouts could
not see how the school curriculum prepared them for labor market com
petition. The present findings suggest essentially the same thing.
The implications of this are, of course, that school personnel need
to show how the course material relates to the world of work and/or
examine their offerings to see if a relationship does exist.
The MDTA training programs appear to be filling a need which
is not met by tie regular educational system. Trainees in these pro
grams have a better idea of what to expect in labor market partici
pation and generally express confidence that the training is preparing
them to compete in the economic subsystem. It seems unfortunate that
training of this type is offered only to youth who have dropped out of
school or have graduated from high school only to find that their
training has not prepared them to get a job.
Suggestions for Further Study
In the present study data were collected for thirty-one high
school graduates who were enrolled in MDTA programs. The study had
been designed with the assumption that only school dropouts were in
volved in these programs and data for these MDTA graduates were not
used in the analysis. However, it is believed that additional analysis
using four groups instead of three may shed more light upon the rela
tionships among the demands of social subsystems. These graduates
have achieved the societal norm for minimal educational attainment,
yet are not considered to be prepared for participation in the eco
nomic subsystem. This suggests that the educational subsystem lacks
adequate linkage to the economic subsystem.


I, INTRODUCTION
The research reported In this dissertation is a study of young
persons who have recently left school and are either entering the labor
market or pursuing additional training. Attention is focused upon
school dropoutsthose who discontinued regular school attendance prior
to high school graduation. Since high school graduation is both a
cultural and statistical norm for minimal education in this country,
the dropout may be viewed as deviant and as being dysfunctional to the
social system. Lucius Cervantes summarized the position of the school
dropout as "clumsily dysfunctional in the computer precise, machine
oriented, communication saturated society. His muscles are a drug on
the market, his truncated education makes him inadequate to qualify for
available jobs} he is in no position to bargain for himself and has
little chance to develop himself within an expanding socioeconomic
universe."1
Three groups of young persons, representing three levels of
conformity to the norm of high school graduation, were studied.
School records, state employment service records, a questionnaire
relating to perceptions of school, family, and peer relationships,
2
and the self-rating section of the "index of Adjustment and Values"
1Lucius Cervantes, The Dropout: Causes and Cures (Ann Arbor:
University of Michigan Press, 1965), p. 196.
^Robert E. Bills, "Index of Adjustment and Values. Manual."
Mimeographed by the College of Education (University: University of
Alabama, n.d.).
1


59
high level vocational goals.
The MDTA dropout group differed from both the other dropout
group and the graduate group in that its members were more likely to be
married, more likely to have a low opinion of the last school attended,
more likely to report that it was easy to make friends in school, more
likely to have middle range occupational goals, less likely to be
undecided on vocational choice, and more likely to report involvement
by self or siblings in delinquent behavior.
The other dropouts differed from the other two groups in that
they were more likely to be separated or divorced and were less likely
to consider the lack of a high school education a great disadvantage.
Statistical Analysis
The descriptive findings reported above are used along with
certain other findings to develop clusters relating to four of the
eight specific hypotheses (see Chapter IV, Methodology). Hypothesis
number one relates to a single nominal level questionnaire item and
hypotheses number six through eight relate to scores on the IAV. (See
Appendix for copies of the questionnaires and the IAV.) The eight
hypotheses and the items used in testing than are:
1. There 3 no difference in reasons for dropping out of school
of the MDTA dropout group and the other dropout group. (Form I
questionnaire item 6.)
2. There is no difference in perceptions of the educational system
of the MDTA dropout group, the other dropout group, and the
graduate group. (Form I questionnaire items 8-12 and 14-17, and
Form II items 4-6 and 8-11.)


LIST OF TABLES
Table Page
1. Number of Children by Educational Status 47
2. Degree of Disadvantage in Not Having a High School Educa
tion 48
3. Knowledge and Use of School Counseling Services ... 49
4. Ratings of Last Regular School Attended ...... 50
5. Primary Reason for Leaving School ........ 51
6. Delinquency Status of Children in Family 52
7. Person Perceived as Having the Most Influence on Respon
dent in Making the Decision to Leave School .... 53
8. Family Situation at the Time Respondent Left School . 54
9.Number of Children in Family 55
10. Vocational Objective by Broad Occupational Level ... 56
11. Occupational Level of Father or Stepfather ..... 57
12. Occupational Level of Mother or Stepmother ..... 58
13. Reasons Reported for Dropping Out of School 61
14. Perceptions of the Educational System 62
15. Values Relating to the Economic System 63
16. Perceptions Relating to Personal Relations ..... 64
17. Perceptions of the Family System 65
18. Number, Range, Mean, Standard Deviation, and t for IAV
Self-Concept Scores .... 66
19. Number, Range, Mean, Standard Deviation, and t for IAV
Discrepancy Scores ............ 67
20. Number, Range, Mean, Standard Deviation, and t for IAV
Ideal Self-Scores 68
vi


50
TABLE 4
RATINGS OP
LAST REGULAR
SCHOOL ATTENDED
MDTA
Dropouts
Other
Dropouts
Graduates
N
%
N
%
N
%
Total
25
100.0
25
100.0
25
100.0
Excellent
7
28.0
7
28.0
9
36.0
Good
4
16.0
9
36.0
13
52.0
Pair or poor
14
56.0
9
36.0
3
12.0
The primary reason for leaving school reported by members of the
two dropout groups is shown in Table 5. Almost half of the MDTA group
indicated economic factors (needed at home, financial, or employment)
compared with about one sixth of the other dropouts. Other dropouts were
more likely than MDTA dropouts to mention lack of interest or pregnancy
as their primary reason for dropping out. It is noted that, for the
two dropout groups combined, one half of the sixteen female dropouts
left school because of pregnancy. Of those included in the "other"
category in Table 5, two of the MDTA dropouts and six of the other
dropouts specified difficulties with school work; two MDTA dropouts and
one other dropout mentioned personal relations problem. One male other
dropout indicated that he had to leave school because his girl friend
was pregnant, and one MDTA dropout did not specify any reason.


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
Albert John Endsley Wilson, III, was born October 9, 1934, at
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He graduated from St. Petersburg High School,
St. Petersburg, Florida, in June, 1952, and received the degree of
Associate of Arts from St. Petersburg Junior College in June, 1954.
After receiving the degree of Bachelor of Science from Florida State
University in June, 1956, he was employed as a vocational counselor
with the Florida State Employment Service. In 1957, he was awarded a
grant from the U. S. Office of Vocational Rehabilitation for graduate
study and enrolled in the Graduate School of the University of Florida.
The following August he received the degree of Master of Rehabilitation
Counseling. From August, 1958, until February, 1961, he worked as a
counselor for the Florida Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. At
this time, he enrolled in the Graduate School of Florida State Univer
sity where he worked as a research assistant in the Department of
Sociology. From June, 1961, until September, 1963, he was employed as
a research associate with the Florida State Board of Health and the
Pinellas County Health Department. He then resumed graduate studies
at Florida State University with a training grant from the Florida
State Board of Health. From September, 1965, until the present time,
109


65
TABLE 17
PERCEPTIONS OP THE FAMILY SYSTEM
MDTA Other
Dropouts Dropouts Graduates
N
%
N
%
N
%
Total
25
100.0
25
100.0
25
100.0
High
5
20.0
4
16.0
15
60.0
Medium
7
35.0
6
24.0
5
20.0
Low
13
52.0
15
60.0
5
20.0
X2 14.67
Hypothesis Number 6
Table 18 shows the mean, standard deviation, and range of the
self-concept scores for each of the three groups. The t test for the
significance of differences in group means yielded values of -0.68 for
MDTA dropouts versus other dropouts; -1.39 for MDTA dropouts versus
graduates; and -0.73 for other dropouts versus graduates. Each t test
involved forty-eight degrees of freedom. To establish significance at
the .05 level, a value of 2.69 for each test is required. Therefore,
the null hypothesis that there is no difference in the self-concept of
the three groups is supported at the .05 level.


36
ever, the local school board has a policy prohibiting the use of any
personality tests in the school system, (The Index of Adjustment and
Values is considered to be a type of personality test,) The school
authorities also indicated that they could not release names and ad
dresses of either graduates or dropouts for use in obtaining the
necessary data. Fortunately these records are provided to the local
employment service office and, under the conditions of the research
agreement, they were made available through that office. The local
Department of Public Instruction was aware of this arrangement.
The Samples
One of the primary aims of this research was to examine
characteristics which differentiate those who do not achieve the
normative minimal educational level from those who do. It is known
that variables such as age, race, sex, residence, and intelligence
level may operate to give spurious relationships or to obscure other
relationships. Therefore, it was desirable that the graduate group,
the MDTA dropout group, and the other dropout group be as similar
as possible with respect to such variables. The MDTA group was snail
enough for all members to be included in the study and also represented
the mid-point in the range of education. For these reasons, the MDTA
dropout group was used as a "standard" population and the other two
groups were matched with it on the variables mentioned aboveage,
race, sex, residence, and intelligence level.