Influences on high school adolescents' college and career aspirations and expectations
Moran, Katherine Meyer
MetadataShow full item record
Parental aspirations and expectations for adolescents have long been linked to academic achievement; however, the research does not distinguish between these two terms, which are significantly different, and the majority of studies in this area have been quantitative. The present study interviewed 30 high school juniors and seniors from working class and professional class backgrounds. The study focused on the extent to which and how adolescents report that their aspirations and expectations were influenced by their perceptions of their parents' and significant others' aspirations and expectations. Interviews were coded for the language of aspiration (e.g., "hope" and "want") and expectation (e.g., "ought" and "should"). Emergent themes from the interview analyses illustrated that adolescents perceived a spectrum of aspirations and expectations. Findings indicate adolescents learn of parents' aspirations and expectations through a combination of conversations with parents, observation of parents' involvement in the adolescents' academic process, and actions parents took toward their own higher education. Daughters frequently mentioned their mothers, and sons mentioned their fathers, as powerful positive or negative role models. Significant others, specifically guidance counselors, were integral to helping working class students make their parents' aspiration that their adolescent attends college into the adolescents' own reality.
Thesis (Ed.D.)--Boston University