Factors associated with work attitudes and work behaviors of secondary agricultural education students in selected counties in Virginia

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Virginia Tech


Literature illustrates that work attitudes and work behaviors of young agricUltural workers are of major concern to employers, even exceeding their concern about academic skills students bring to the work environment. Little consistency is found in the research about the relationships of various factors to work attitudes and work behaviors of agricUltural education students.

The primary purpose of this study was to examine work attitUdes and work behaviors of students in secondary agricultural education programs in selected counties in Virginia and to assess the relationships and predictive value of certain variables to work attitudes and work behavior. The independent variables were gender, academic skills (reading, mathematics, and writing), supervision, work variety, nature (importance) of job, relationship of work and school, and learning on the job.

Survey methods were used to collect the data. The study participants consisted of 477 sophomore, junior, and senior students from three rural counties in Virginia. Descriptive statistics, factor analysis, Pearson product-moment correlation, and multiple regression analysis were used to analyze the data.

Factor analysis of the work attitude statements resulted in identification of three factors which were named cynicism about work, intrinsic motivation about work, and extrinsic motivation about work. Factor analysis of work behavior statements resulted in a single factor that had to do with honest behavior on the job.