Early antecedents, developmental trajectories and mechanisms involved in dropping out of school and marginalization from society


Main funder


Funds granted by main funder (€)

438 874,00


Funding program

Research post as Academy Research Fellow, AoF (Academy of Finland)


Project timetable

Project start date: 01/09/2019

Project end date: 31/08/2024


Summary

Dropping out of education, and, as a consequence, marginalization from the society is not a serious problem for the individual but also for the society. This research proposal has following objectives: (1) What are the key predictors and early antecedents of dropping out from upper secondary and vocational education? (2) Is it possible to identify different kinds of developmental trajectories leading to dropping out of education later on? (3) What are the key mechanisms involved in dropping out of education?
Our current understanding about early markers of dropping out is limited, because longitudinal studies on dropping out have typically spanned only over short periods of time. The present research proposal is unique in sense that is satisfies this criterion. The present project will use data of the School Path Study (Vasalampi & Aunola, 2016-2020) and the First Steps Study (Lerkkanen et al., 2006-2015). The School Path is a continua of the First Steps, in which approximately 2,000 children are followed from kindergarten to the end of lower secondary school. It includes a broad range of measures of students’ skills, motivation, social relations, and adjustment (tests, parents, teachers, and students). In the School Path study, the same youth are followed after the transition to post comprehensive school and their educational decisions, dropping out of school, and well-being during upper secondary education are assessed. Thus, together the follow-up of the participants comprise already a 13- year-period from kindergarten to the 3rd year of their upper secondary school/ vocational school.
To provide a basis for effective interventions in early school years, the present project places extra emphasis on the investigation of the mechanisms involved in dropping out. First, by using the longitudinal data the role of changes in students’ academic performance, well-being, motivation, student engagement, and problem behavior across different school transitions are studied. Second, registered information about societal support for participants’ health, learning, and studying will be integrated with longitudinal data and the role of the societal support and benefits will be examined. Finally, 100 qualitative interviews focusing on participants’ retrospective experiences about the key factors for their individual developmental trajectories will be collected. Such study will add substantially our scientific understanding of the dropping out of education and marginalization from the society.


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Last updated on 2019-15-05 at 12:20