Self-image and educational plans of adolescents from two contrasting communities

A C Petersen, J L Wilson, Pamela A Sarigiani

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This study examined self-image and educational plans in adolescents from two communities differing in geographic location (rural vs. suburban), socioeconomic status, educational attainment of adults, and unemployment level, differences hypothesized to affect their educational plans and self-image. Young adolescents in the eighth grade were sampled as part of two larger longitudinal studies (rural, n = 234; suburban, n = 253). Each adolescent reported educational plans and completed three scales from the Self-Image Questionnaire for Young Adolescents (SIQYA). The links of self-image and educational plans to parental educational attainment also were considered. Adolescent educational plans and self-image were consistently and significantly lower in the rural community. Within the rural sample, young adolescents with lower aspirations also had lower self-image. Self-image and educational plans were related to parental educational attainment primarily in the rural sample. These results suggested that community context may influence the nature of adolescent development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-55
JournalJournal of Early Adolescence
StatePublished - 1990


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