Looking toward the future

Authors: 
Devorah Shamah and K. A. MacTavish

Historically, educational and occupational aspirations and attainment of rural youth lagged behind those of their urban and suburban counterparts (Gandara, Guitierrez & O’Hara, 2001; Cobb, McIntire & Pratt, 1989; Sewell, 1964). More recent research (Haller & Virkler, 1993; Howley, 2006) suggests that the difference may not be as great as previously thought, making the question of how rural residence shapes adolescence particularly relevant. This study focused on middle adolescence (ages 14-18), a developmental stage during which youth make important decisions that affect aspirations and attainment as they move into adulthood. A latent class analysis was used. The three resulting classes each included a range of sense of purpose scores despite differing occupational and educational aspirations.

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