Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Social Contexts, Self, and Adolescent Expectations of Success in the View of the Bioecological Model
by Del Rosso, Paulette F, Ph.D., Rutgers The State University of New Jersey, School of Graduate Studies, 2019, 240; 13813497
Abstract (Summary)

Current practices in education focus on academic achievement in order to prepare students for the important task of career pursuit. Students’ ability to imagine their futures is important to realizing future goals. Social science researchers recognize the complexity of the multiple environments in which students function and the effects of those environments on future expectations. The Bronfenbrenner’s (Bronfenbrenner & Ceci, 1994) bioecological systems theory portrays the influences of social contexts on development and learning. This dissertation used Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological systems theory to test a model of adolescent expectations of success with multiple contextual influences (self constructs, parents, peers, school, and culture). Self-determination theory was used as an additional interpretive lens. Race/culture, socioeconomic status, gender, and age were used as controls.

This was a quantitative analysis that incorporated data from The Alfred P. Sloan Study of Youth and Social Development, 1992–1997 (United States) (Schneider, 2013), which asked adolescents vital questions about education, relationships, careers, and adult success. The dynamic relationship between these influences was explored through structural equation modeling (SEM). Reliability and validity of latent constructs was examined and models were tested for invariance.

Research hypotheses addressed the predictive impact of contextual variables on adolescent expectations of future success. Mediation between self-esteem and social context variables was explored within models. Hypotheses also addressed the impact of demographics and age of cohort (young vs. old) on self and social context variables.

Results demonstrated that self-esteem had a positive relationship with expectations of success and with the social context variables of parent autonomy support, student teacher relationship, and peer shared values. It was demonstrated that self-esteem also acted as a mediator for parent autonomy support, student teacher relationship, and peer shared values in their positive impact on adolescent expectations of success.

The models that were specified and tested gave insight into the relative contributions of the various influences on expectations of success and the relative sources of future goal formation in the adolescent academic and social world. These results provide insight for school programming, school counseling, teacher education, and parent and teacher supports towards the building of productive relationships with adolescents.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Mayer, Matthew
Commitee: Chinn, Clark, O'Donnell, Angela, Chiu, Chia-Yi, Cleary, Timothy
School: Rutgers The State University of New Jersey, School of Graduate Studies
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- New Jersey
Source: DAI-A 81/3(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational psychology
Keywords: Adolescent, Bioecological, Future orientation, Self-determination, Self-esteem, Structural equation modeling
Publication Number: 13813497
ISBN: 9781088325902
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