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Family Influences on Dropout Behavior in One California High School

Russell W. Rumberger, Rita Ghatak, Gary Poulos, Philip L. Ritter and Sanford M. Dornbusch
Sociology of Education
Vol. 63, No. 4 (Oct., 1990), pp. 283-299
DOI: 10.2307/2112876
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2112876
Page Count: 17
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Family Influences on Dropout Behavior in One California High School
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Abstract

Research has investigated a wide range of factors associated with dropout behavior, including family-related factors. However, most investigations of family-related factors have relied on structural measures, such as socioeconomic status, parental education, and family income. Such measures reveal little about the processes by which families influence students' achievement. This study explores in greater detail a series of variables that reveal some of the mechanisms by which families influence students' decisions to drop out of school. The results suggest that families exert an important influence on dropout behavior, just as they do on other measures of students' academic achievement. Compared to other students, even other students who have similar demographic and grade profiles, dropouts are more likely to come from families in which they have to make decisions on their own and in which their parents are less involved in their education.

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