Changes in personal characteristics of Mexican-American high school graduates and dropouts during the transition from junior high to high school
Pursley, Martha Blansitt
MetadataShow full item record
The high school dropout problem continues to result in adverse individual and social consequences. Dropping out of high school is an even greater problem among minority groups; in particular the Hispanic population. Hispanic youths drop out of school at more than twice the rate of non-Hispanic youth (U.S. Census Bureau, 1999). Among the Hispanic population, Mexican-American is the largest subgroup and they have the highest dropout rate (U.S. General Accounting Office, 1994). This disturbing phenomenon can lead to the unintentional perpetuation of discrimination for this ethnic group. This dissertation is the first study of dropout students that will look specifically at the Mexican-American students' personal characteristics, developmentally, that lead to the decision to drop out. The study controlled for dropout related family and school variables and explored longitudinal pattern differences in theoretically selected personal characteristics that could lead to the decision to drop out between Mexican-American dropouts and persisters as well as differences among dropouts between the base year (BY) measured when the students were in the eighth grade, the first follow-up (Fl) measured when the students were in the tenth grade. The expectations for the study were to: (1) explore the development of the personal characteristics of Mexican-American dropouts during the transition to high school, (2) discover which personal characteristics differed between dropouts and persisters, and (3) explore differences in the development of the personal characteristics of dropouts and persisters during the transition to high school. This sample for the study included 310 students that were selected from 1952 subjects in the existing database of NELS:88 that reported being Mexican-American. Half of the students in the study (n = 155) were high school dropouts. The other 155 subjects were matched to the dropouts by socioeconomic status, school urbanicity, school enrollment size and gender. To answer the research questions and test the hypotheses, effects of the two independent variables. Time and Status, on each of the dependent variables were examined by a 2x2 mixed design ANOVA. Results showed main effects of time and status and an interaction effect for educational aspiration, main effect of status for academic achievement, relationship with teachers, self-esteem, and locus of control, and a main effect of time for Spanish language proficiency, relationship with peers and locus of control. The results suggest important theoretical and educational implications. The transitional period between junior high and high school has detrimental effects on the development of personal characteristics of Mexican-American students. Educational aspiration as well as relationships related to the school environment deteriorate during this transitional period. The study discusses the need for changes in the training of teachers in order to reduce the number of dropout Mexican-American students. Future research endeavors can be surmised from this study. This study reveals that much more research is needed to discover the effect of ethnic identity and acculturation on the personal characteristics related to the persistence behavior of Mexican- American students.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Heroic contradictions: Religion, machismo and PTS among Mexican, Mexican American and Chicano Vietnam veterans Maples, Kayla (2019-05)Mexican American Vietnam veterans were often sent to war with high expectations for heroism and chances to prove their machismo. When they arrived, their Catholic upbringing clashed violently with their orders to kill the ...
Issues in Mexican American education: Addressing the academic needs of Mexican American students at the secondary level Alvarez, Ricky A (2010-12)In light of the growing number of ethnic minority adolescents in the United States, it has long been recognized that the level of educational attainment of Mexican-American students is below to that of other ethnic minority ...