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Social origins, academic performance, and occupational aspirations/expectations of high school graduates of Western Australia

Malik, Ranbir S. (1981) Social origins, academic performance, and occupational aspirations/expectations of high school graduates of Western Australia. Masters by Research thesis, Murdoch University.

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A sample of 1514 twelfth year students from 21 different high schools, randomly selected, was taken to test a) the principal claim that social origin plays an important role in young adults’ occupational expectations; and b) equally a strong claim that educational achievement mediates between social backgrounds and occupational expectations, especially in an industrialized society. Western Australia included. To assess the extent to which socioeconomic status (SES) and educational achievement affect students' occupational expectations statistical techniques of cross tables, correlation coefficients and multiple regression are employed. In the final chapter path models have been prepared on the following key variables: SES, self-conception, achievement motivation, school type, academic performance, educational aspirations and occupational aspirations.

The results of this study indicate that academic performance of high school students in Western Australia is moderately influenced by SES and achievement motivation. The influence of school type attended by the students and self-conception have been found to exert a weak influence on their academic performance at high school level.

Educational aspirations of this randomly select group are strongly influenced by their academic performance, moderately influenced by social backgrounds, achievement motivation, self-conception, and significant others’ influence (SOI) and weakly influenced by school type and the sex of the respondents.

This study has demonstrated that students' occupational aspirations/ expectations are more strongly influenced by students’ performance at high school level and educational aspirations than by their social backgrounds. That is, the main path to occupational expectations is via academic performance at high school level and educational aspirations. A weak causal relationship between social origins and occupational aspirations/expectations and a strong causal relationship of academic performance and educational aspirations; with occupational aspirations/expectations tend to support the argument that in Western Australia achievement elements rather than ascriptive elements are more influential in students’ occupational aspirations/expectations.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters by Research)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Education
Notes: Note to the author: If you would like to make your thesis openly available on Murdoch University Library's Research Repository, please contact: Thank you.
Supervisor(s): Currie, Jan
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