Ecological Factors Affecting Hispanic Urban Middle School and High School Adolescents’ College and Career Aspirations
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This mixed methods study investigates how ecological factors influence the decisions urban Hispanic middle school and high school adolescents make concerning their college and career aspirations. I examine the academic aspirations, career aspirations, the influence of peers, teachers, and parents of seventh-, eighth-, ninth-, and tenth-grade urban Hispanic adolescents, and gender roles in college and career aspirations through the lens of Bronfenbrenner’s ecological subsystems theory. Participants took the Student Career Assessment (SCA) survey consisting of Likert-type multiple choice questions and open-ended questions to assess their college and career aspirations. Quantitatively analyzed data examined the extent urban Hispanic middle school and high school adolescents were influenced by items on scales of encouragement, literacy, and education and whether there were differences by gender and grade level. Student responses as to why they chose a specific career were analyzed qualitatively. Combined results for urban Hispanic middle school and high school adolescents show a) both genders are interested in finishing high school and going to college, b) Hispanic females are encouraged more than males to pursue their college and career aspirations, c) more females than males know their career aspiration, but the majority of students do not know how to prepare for their chosen career, e) females have more confidence in their literacy skills than males. The more confidence Hispanic high school students have in their literacy skills, the more likely they are to graduate from high school. Implications for future research should involve conducting studies in the areas of college and career aspirations of urban Hispanic adolescents using random sampling. More gender studies involving the college and career aspirations of urban Hispanic adolescents would significantly add to the current body of knowledge.
Urban Hispanic Middle School Students
Urban Hispanic High School Students
Adolescent College and Career Aspirations
Hostrup, Judy Ann (2011). Ecological Factors Affecting Hispanic Urban Middle School and High School Adolescents’ College and Career Aspirations. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from