Social Psychology of Education

, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 353–376 | Cite as

Understanding Place-bound Students: Correlates and Consequences of Limited Educational Opportunities

  • Nancy Shields


This study explores the concept of the ‘place-bound’ student, defined as perceived difficulty in leaving the immediate geographic area to attend school. Based on the literature, it was hypothesized that students who perceived greater difficulty would have fewer financial resources, higher external control orientation, greater attachment to family and romantic partners, and greater attachment to place. Finally, those who perceived greater difficulty were expected to be less successful academically, have lower adjustment to college scores, and have less satisfactory relationships with their parents. Availability of financial resources was not related to perceived difficulty in leaving the area. Attachment to persons and place were not related to being place-bound, except for women. For women, attachment to a romantic partner lead to greater perceived difficulty in leaving the area. However, another aspect of attachment to place, ‘rootedness,’ had highly significant effects. Women who were higher on external control were also more likely to have a greater perception of difficulty in leaving the area. More place-bound students were not found to be at a disadvantage in terms of academic performance or adjustment to the university. The findings regarding students’ relationships with their parents were interesting and contrary to prediction. Men who perceived greater difficulty reported much more satisfactory relationships with their mothers and fathers. It is suggested that these men might have chosen to stay in the area to attend school in order to remain near their families.


Geographic Area Academic Performance Financial Resource Education Research Great Difficulty 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nancy Shields
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of Missouri-St. LouisSt. LouisUSA

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