Research on high school dropouts has largely focused on dropout prevention and the identification of risk factors that contribute to leaving school early. While the long-term prognosis of dropouts is often very poor, some individuals manage to change course and return for additional education later in life. In this exploratory qualitative study, five individuals who successfully returned for additional education and continued on to higher education were interviewed. Self-Determination Theory was used to analyze the data, which were examined for the decision-making processes that led to the changes in direction, and the factors that contributed most to facilitating their transitions. Overall, the participants followed similar stages of growth, and ultimately arrived at a turning point that resulted in their new directions. Several themes emerged from their stories, including the need for sufficient social capital, the significance of family and friends, the importance of taking responsibility, and overcoming previous negative experiences.
|Advisor:||Summers, Jessica J.|
|Commitee:||Legg Burross, Heidi, Rubinstein-Avila, Eliane B.|
|School:||The University of Arizona|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||MAI 49/03M, Masters Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Dropouts, GED, Motivation, Self-determination theory, Social capital|
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