Family correlates of career maturity attitudes in rural high school students with learning disabilities

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Virginia Tech


This study focused on influential factors affecting the career maturity attitudes of rural high school students with learning disabilities. A variety of variables were studied in each of the following areas: personal demographics, learning disability characteristics, ability/achievement levels, vocational preparation, and family characteristics. Variables from each of the clusters were entered into a variables selection program designed to depict the best combination of variables for use in a multiple regression equation. Through this process the twenty seven original variables were refined into a final combined pool of the eight most powerful variables which impacted upon the student's career maturity attitudes. The eight top contributors were entered into a multiple regression equation to determine their relative contributions to career maturity attitudes. Family appeared to play an important role in the career maturity attitudes of this sample as variables from the family cluster accounted for four of the eight variables selected for the final equation. Two of the those family variables were the family systems constructs of adaptability and cohesion, as measured by the Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scale (FACES II).

To gain further insight regarding the impact of family dynamics on the functioning of students with learning disabilities, six stepwise multiple regression equations were also run, one for each scale of the Career Maturity Inventory-Attitude Scale. The results suggested a small but negative relationship exists between perceived family adaptability and career maturity attitudes. Students who perceived their families as less adaptable, or less flexible, tended to demonstrate higher career maturity attitudes. Cohesion, however, demonstrated a positive and stronger relationship, showing closer bonds among family members to be an important element supporting maturity in the student's career attitudes.