Social Psychology of Education

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 345–359 | Cite as

‘I am–we are’: personal and social pathways to further study, work and family life

Article

Abstract

This project explores the apparent layers in motivation for young people’s plans in order to extend Pathways Theory. We bring together personal, relational and group motivation to explain the planned pathways to study, work and family life. Location was an Australian town, close to the national socio-economic average, to control broad social factors. Participants (N = 78) were 12 to 18 year-old girls and boys (mean age 14.5 years). Results provide little support for popular explanations based on demographic factors (age, gender, family background) and broad personal indicators of self esteem and mood. Instead, the results support proposed differential explanations for pathways to study, work and family life. In particular, personal aspects of identity and self concepts, social expectations and group identity influence young people’s pathways to further study. Group uniqueness explains pathways to paid work, yet experience of higher education tends to limit plans for family life. Findings support inclusion of personal, relational and group motivations in developing innovative theories of pathways motivation. Ongoing work considers common and distinct explanations across socio-economic contexts.

Keywords

Personal and social identity Motivation Adolescents Planned behavior 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2002). Social capital and social wellbeing. Canberra: AGPS.Google Scholar
  2. Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2006). Socio-Economic Indicators for Areas. Canberra: AGPS.Google Scholar
  3. Baum A. (eds) (1997) Cambridge handbook of psychology, health & medicine. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UKGoogle Scholar
  4. Boekaerts M. (1996) Personality and the psychology of learning. European Journal of Personality 10(5): 377–404CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bornholt L.J. (2000) Social and personal aspects of self knowledge: A balance of individuality and belonging. Learning & Instruction 10: 415–429CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bornholt L.J. (2001) Self-concepts, usefulness and behavioral intentions in the social context of schooling. Educational Psychology 21: 67–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bornholt, L. J. (2005a). Motivation spiral models (MSM) in the context of reading, movement and social activities. Paper at the Australasian Human Development Association AHDA Conference in Perth, Western Australia.Google Scholar
  8. Bornholt, L. J. (2005b). ASK-KIDS self concept inventory. Test and test manual. Melbourne: ACER Press.Google Scholar
  9. Bornholt L.J. (2005c) Aspects of self knowledge about activities: An integrated model of self concepts. European Journal of Psychological Assessment 21: 156–164CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bornholt, L. J. (2007). ASK-Q inventory and I-ASK inventory for adolescents and adults. Watervale Systems.Google Scholar
  11. Bornholt L.J., Goodnow J.J. (1999) Cross-generation perceptions of academic competence: Parental perceptions and adolescent self disclosure. Journal of Adolescent Research 14: 427–446CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bornholt L.J., Ingram A. (2001) Personal and social identity in children’s self-concepts about drawing. Educational Psychology 21(2): 151–167CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Bornholt L.J., Piccolo A. (2005) Individuality, belonging and children’s self concepts: A motivational spiral model of self evaluations, performance and participation in physical activities. Applied Psychology: An International Review 54: 516–537Google Scholar
  14. Bornholt, L. J., & Wilson, R. (2007). A mediated model of aspects of self knowledge (M-ASK): Children’s participation in learning activities across social contexts. Applied Psychology. An International Review, 56 302–318.Google Scholar
  15. Bornholt L.J., Gientzotis J., Cooney G.H. (2004) Understanding choice behaviors: Pathways from school to university with changing aspirations and opportunities. Social Psychology of Education 7: 211–228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Eccles J., Wigfield A. (2002) Motivational beliefs, values and goals. Annual Review of Psychology 53(1): 109–132CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Emler, N. (2001). The costs and causes of low self-esteem. York, UK: J. R. Rowntree.Google Scholar
  18. Fiske S.T., Taylor S.E. (1991) Social cognition (2nd ed). McGraw-Hill, New York, USAGoogle Scholar
  19. Gientzotis, J., & Bornholt, L. J. (2005). Citizenship as a sense of belonging and identity of place for adolescents and young adults in urban communities. Paper presented at the Australasian Human Development Association AHDA Conference in Perth.Google Scholar
  20. Harter S. (1998) The Development of self-representations. In: Damon W. (eds) Handbook of child psychology. Wiley, New York, USAGoogle Scholar
  21. Heckhausen, J. (2000). Developmental regulation across the lifespan: An action-phase model of engagement and disengagement with developmental goals. In J. Heckhausen (Ed.), Motivational psychology of human development: Developing motivation and motivating development. Advances in psychology, 131. New York, NY, USA: Elsevier Science.Google Scholar
  22. Heckhausen J., Brim O.G. (1997) Perceived problems for self and others: Self-protection by social downgrading throughout adulthood. Psychology and Ageing 12(4): 610–619CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Heckhausen J., Dweck C.S. (1996) Motivation and self-regulation across the lifespan. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UKGoogle Scholar
  24. Hofer B.K., Pintrich P.R. (2002) Personal epistemology: The psychology of beliefs and knowing. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, NJ, USAGoogle Scholar
  25. Hogg, M. A., & Abrams, D. (Eds.). (1993). Group motivation. Social psychological perspectives. London: Harvester Wheatsheaf.Google Scholar
  26. James, R. (2001) Students’ changing expectations of higher education and the consequences of mismatches with the reality, Management responses to changing student expectations. Paper for OECD-IMHE conference at Queensland University of Technology.Google Scholar
  27. Kline P. (2000) The handbook of psychological testing (2nd ed). Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  28. Lewis A., Maras P., Simonds L. (2000) Young children working together: A measure of individualism/collectivism. Child: Health, Care and Development 26(3): 229–238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lovibond, P. F., & Lovibond, S. H. (1995). DASS depression anxiety stress scale (for details see the University of NSW web-site http://www.unsw.edu.au).
  30. Maras P. (2007) ‘But no one in my family has been to University’ Aiming higher: School students’ attitudes to higher education. Australian Educational Researcher 34(3): 1–90Google Scholar
  31. Maras P., Kutnick P. (1999) Emotional and behavioral difficulties in schools: Consideration of relationships between theory and practice Social Psychology of Education 3: 135–143Google Scholar
  32. Maras P., Carmichael K., Patel S., Wills J. (2007) ‘The trouble with Year 10’: 13–16 year-old school students’ attitudes to higher education. Social Psychology of Education 10: 375–397CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Maras P., Lewis P., Simonds L. (1999) Elephants, donuts and hamburgers: Young children co-operating to co-operate and co-operating to compete in two primary schools. Educational Psychology 19(3): 245–258CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. OECD. (2007). Education at a glance OECD indicators: The output of educational institutions and the impact of learning, pp. 1–456.Google Scholar
  35. Robinson R. (2004) Pathways to completion: Patterns of progression through a university degree. Higher Education 47: 1–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Robinson R.A., Bornholt L.J. (2007) Pathways theory of progression through higher education. Australian Journal of Educational & Developmental Psychology 7: 49–62Google Scholar
  37. Rosenberg M., Pearlin L.I. (1978) Social class and self-esteem among children and adults. American Journal of Sociology 84: 53–77CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Ryan R.M., Deci E.L. (2006) Self-regulation and the problem of human autonomy: Does psychology need choice, self-determination, and will?. Journal of Personality 74: 1557–1586CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Tajfel, H. (1978). The psychological structure of intergroup relations. In H. Tajfel (Ed.), Differentiation between social groups: Studies in the social psychology of intergroup relations. London, UK: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  40. Tajfel, H., & Turner, J. C. (1979). An integrative theory of intergroup conflict. In W. G. Austin & S. Worchel (Eds.), The social psychology of intergroup relations. Chicago, USA: Nelson Hall.Google Scholar
  41. Van Knippenberg, A., & Ellemers, N. (1993). Strategies in intergroup relations. In M. A. Hogg & D. Abrams (Eds.), Group motivation. Social psychological perspectives. London, UK: Harvester Wheatsheaf.Google Scholar
  42. Vinson, T. (2004). Community adversity and resilience: The distribution of social disadvantage in Victoria and New South Wales and the mediating role of social cohesion. Melbourne: Ignatius Centre for Social Policy and Research.Google Scholar
  43. Wigfield A., Eccles J.S. (2000) Expectancy-value theory of achievement motivation. Contemporary Educational Psychology 25: 68–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. J. Bornholt
    • 1
  • P. M. Maras
    • 2
  • R. A. Robinson
    • 3
  1. 1.Watervale SystemsPotts Point, SydneyAustralia
  2. 2.University of GreenwichLondonUK
  3. 3.University of SydneySydneyAustralia

Personalised recommendations