Research in Higher Education

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 155-187

Dropouts and turnover: The synthesis and test of a causal model of student attrition

  • John P. BeanAffiliated withOffice of Program Review, University of Nebraska—Lincoln

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The purpose of this research is to investigate the determinants of student attrition in institutions of higher education. A causal model was developed which synthesized research findings on turnover in work organizations and on student attrition. Questionnaires were distributed to university freshmen (N = 1,171). The data was analyzed using multiple regression and path analysis. The regressions produced anR 2 = .36 for females and .27 for males. Findings indicate that three surrogate measures for pay were significantly related to intent to leave for both sexes and that the theories and determinants developed in research on turnover are useful in studies of student attrition.