A study of the educational and vocational goals of two hundred eighty-five rural youth in Virginia

TR Number



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Virginia Polytechnic Institute


This investigation is a study of educational and vocational goals of a selected sample of rural youth and the goals of their parents for them. Factors considered were sex, residence (farm or non-farm), level of living, size of family, and membership in certain rural youth organizations.

The sample consisted of 285 ninth and tenth grade rural Virginia students and their parents. The sample was chosen by criteria for selection of youths rather than parents. There were 144 boys and 141 girls; 141 students from farm families, 144 from non-farm; 96 students from “high” level of living, 96 from “middle”, 93 from “low” level of living; 143 students were members of rural youth organizations, 142 were non-members; 142 students were from small families, 144 from large families.

Questionnaires relating to educational and vocational goals were administered to the students and their parents. Parents were requested to answer as they hoped their child would answer.

The data revealed a statistically significant relationship between place of residence and educational aspirations: non-farm youth had higher aspirations than farm youth. A direct relationship existed between level of living and educational aspirations: the higher the level of living, the higher the aspirations. Students who were not members of the Future Farmers of America, Future Homemakers of America, or the 4-H Club placed a higher value on education than did students who were members of these organizations. Parents from the “middle” level of living group placed the highest value on education; parents from the “low” level of living group placed the least value on the importance of education.