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Social assistance and school dropouts : a study of the factors affecting school persistence of children… Brown, Micaela Margaret 1964

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f SOCIAL ASSISTANCE AND SCHOOL DROPOUTS A Study of the Factors A f f e c t i n g School Persistence of Children i n Families Receiving S o c i a l Assistance MICAELA BROWN ALLAN HALLADAY LTNNE McNIBCE ROBERT MORRITT MARY SELMAN Thesis Submitted i n P a r t i a l Fulfilment of the Requirements f o r the Degree of MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK i n the School of So c i a l Work Accepted as conforming to the standard required f o r the degree of Master of So c i a l Work School of S o c i a l Work 1964 The University of B r i t i s h Columbia In presenting t h i s thesis i n p a r t i a l fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the Library s h a l l make i t f r e e l y available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of th i s thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representatives. It i s understood that copying or publication of this thesis for f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my written permission. Department of The University of B r i t i s h Columbia, Vancouver 8, Canada. Date rflfu 7, f H f In presenting t h i s thesis i n p a r t i a l fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the Library s h a l l make i t f r e e l y available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of t h i s thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representatives. It i s understood that copying or publication of this thesis for f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my written permission. Department The University of B r i t i s h Columbia, Vancouver 8, Canada. In presenting t h i s thesis i n p a r t i a l fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the Library s h a l l make i t f r e e l y available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of t h i s thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representatives. It Is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my written permission. Department of The University of B r i t i s h Columbia, Vancouver 8, Canada. In presenting t h i s thesis i n p a r t i a l fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the Library s h a l l make i t f r e e l y available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of t h i s t h e s i s for scholarly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representatives. It i s understood that copying or publication of this thesis for f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my written permission. Department of ^^<a^o^v_ The University of B r i t i s h Columbia, Vancouver 8, Canada. Date In presenting t h i s thesis i n p a r t i a l fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the Library s h a l l make i t f r e e l y available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representatives. It i s understood that copying or publication of this thesis for f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my written permission. Department of The University of British-Columbia, Vancouver 8, Canada. Date Mry\^x|). i \a,\oi<  - v i -ABSTRACT In the last half century the way to f u l l self-development has become intimately bound up with the acquisition of an ever-lengthening formal education. Moreover, the successful operation of a democratic system demands a thinking people. Concern for the welfare of people on social assistance implies the promotion of equality of educational opportunity for their children. Failure to do so is both a betrayal of responsibil ity and a neglect of human resources which we can i l l afford. The school dropout has been singled out as the object of a great deal of publicity i n North America i n recent years. Although numerous studies have been undertaken to identify the characteristics of school dropouts, few studies have dealt specif ical ly with this problem as i t i s found in families in receipt of social assistance. The present study looks at the complex network of interacting forces: soc ia l , economic and educational, affecting these families and attempts to identify those factors which seem significant to school persistence. Il lustrations of the way in which these various forces actually do combine to encourage early school withdrawal i n public assistance families are c i ted. Two hundred and ninety families having children between the ages of 13 and 21 were selected from the public assistance caseload i n one area of Vancouver. Information regarding age, length of time on assistance, and family composition were obtained from assistance application forms. A sample of 27 families 1 having children between the ages of 15 and 21 were selected for interviewing. The interview schedules were designed to obtain specific items of information from the parents, the eldest chi ld s t i l l i n school and the eldest dropout and/or graduate, wherever they occurred. Analysis of these interviews shows that families on social assistance do not form a homogeneous group i n their attitudes toward school continuance. The proportion of dropouts i n public assistance families appears to be substantially higher than for the general population. School experience and parental motivation were found to be important factors in determining school persistence. Factors which were seen to be operative in determining the level of family motivation were feelings about receiving social assistance, parental attitudes to education, mobility, intra- famil ia l relationships, health and social relationships. There was a group of students whose prospects of graduating could have been materially improved by a higher level of family income and a more encouraging approach by the school or the Social Service Department. There are disturbing indications that neither the school system nor other social resources are a sufficient counterforce to offset negative parental attitudes i n families on public assistance. - v i i -ACKNOWLEDGMENTS We wish to express our appreciation to the Vancouver Social Service Department and, part icularly , Mr. E . Sopp, d i s tr i c t supervisor of the South Unit and members of his staff for their cooperation and help in carrying out the survey required for this study. We further appreciate the voluntary participation of the 27 families in this study, who gave many hours of their time and careful consideration to the questions put to them i n the interviews. F i n a l l y , we extend our gratitude to Dr.Leonard Marsh and to Mr. Michael Wheeler of the School of Social Work for their continued interest, direction and encourage^ ment • - i i -TABLE OF CONTENTS Chapter 1, The School Dropout: A Social Problem Page Identification of the school dropout problem. Social and economic aspects. Occupational opportunities- Delinquency and dropouts.. Values and aspirations of low income families. Scope and method of study . . < 1 Chapter 2. Characteristics of Social Assistance Families  i n the Survey Profile of survey sample. Patterns of application & r social assistance. Hari ta l status of family heads. Age of heads of families. Family s ize . Profi le of interview sample.. 31 Chapter 3.. Family Influences on School Persistence Family health. Housing conditions and residential mobility. Parents* attitude to education. Grade retardation. Effects of marginal income. Effects of receiving social assistance *. 53 Chapter 4. The Children's Views and Experiences Profile of children interviewed. School experience. Participation i n ac t iv i t i e s . Feelings about social assistance. Outlook on l i f e . The dropouts, their reasons and subsequent employment history 83 Chapter 5. Parental Influences and Children's School Experiences: Their Combined Effect on School Persistence Predicting school persistence or withdrawal. Case examples • 137 Chapter 6. Conclusions and Recommendations ,176 Appendices: A. Questionnaire to parents 196 B. Questionnaire to children in school 198 C. Questionnaire to dropouts 200 D. Questionnaire to graduates. 202 E . Letter to families requesting interview. . . . . . . . . . 204 F . Survey Schedules 205 G. Table 46. Distribution of A l l Children at Home by Age, Sex, Family Type - Survey Sample. . . . 207 Table 47. Type of Housing Occupied by Families Interviewed Showing Rent Paid, Number of Persons in Home, Number of Bedrooms: 208 (i) Subsidized Housing, ( i i ) Non-Subsidized Housing, ( i i i ) Owner Occupied 209 H. Letter to the Editor: Vancouver Sun 210 I . Bibliography. 213 - i i i -TABLES IN THE TEXT  Tables Page 1. Characteristics Identified by 20 Studies as Typical..... 16 2. Children Attending School as a Proportion of A l l Children at Home by Education Level of Family Head: B r i t i s h Columbia 21 3. Children Attending School as a Proportion of A l l Children at Home by Income Level of Family Head: B r i t i s h Columbia 23 3A. School Dropouts from S o c i a l Assistance Families. Selection of Sample f o r Interviewing 29 4. Families with Children at Home: Vancouver, South Unit C i t y S o c i a l Service Department, and Survey Sample.. 32 5. Place of B i r t h of Family Head, Survey Sample 33 6. Reason Given f o r Application, Survey Sample... 34 7. Assets of Families at Time of Most Recent Application f o r S o c i a l Assistance, Survey Sample.... 1 35 8* Duration of Current Period on Assistance Compared with Number of Previous Applications, Survey Sample,.... 38 9, Date of F i r s t Application f o r S o c i a l Assistance, Survey Sample. 39 10, M a r i t a l Status of Family Heads: Metropolitan Vancouver Compared with Survey Sample, 40 11, Number of Children at Home F i f t e e n Tears and Older, by M a r i t a l Status of Family Head: Metropolitan Vancouver and Survey Sample, • 41 12, Age of Family Heads, Survey Sample 43 13, Size of Family, Number of Children i n Family, Survey Sample, 44 14, Average Number of Children i n Family According to Age of Family Head, Survey Sample, 45 14B. Number of Children i n Family According to Age of Family Head, Survey Sample....... 46 15, Families by Marital Status and Age of Head Showing Age Di s t r i b u t i o n of A l l Children at Home f o r Survey Sample.. 46 16, D i s t r i b u t i o n of Children by Age According to Type of Family, Survey Sample. 47 17. Primary Reason Given f o r Receiving S o c i a l Assistance, Interview Sample 48 18. Marital Status of Family Heads: Interview Sample 50 19. Place of B i r t h of Family Head: Interview Sample 51 20. Number of Children i n Family Compared with Age of Head of Family 52 21. Health of Families, Interview Sample* 54 22. Type of Accommodation Showing Relationship Between Average Rent Paid and Degree of Crowding by Subsidized and Non-Subsidized Housing 57 23• Educational Level Compared with Age of Family Head, Interview Sample. 61 24. Parents 1 Attitude to Children Continuing i n School, Interview Sample. • •• 63 25. Parents* Interest i n Education, Interview Sample. ..... 65 26. Parents* Attitudes Toward the School* Interview Sample. 66 27. Parental Interest i n Education Compared with Attitude Towards School, Interview Sample 68 28. Degree of Grade Retardation of Children, Interview Sample. • 73 29. Relation Between Children Aged 15-21 i n the Interview Sample and Number Actually Interviewed. ............... 83 29A. Parents' Attitude to S o c i a l Assistance According to Year of F i r s t Application f o r S o c i a l Assistance, Interview Sample. •• 78 29B. Attitudes to S o c i a l Assistance According to Length of Current Period on Assistance by One- and Two-Parent Families, Interview Sample. 78 30. Age D i s t r i b u t i o n of A l l Children Interviewed. 84 31. Programs of Enrolment of Students i n School, Interview Sample* 86 32. Programs of Enrolment of Students Who Have Dropped Out of School, Interview Sample. 89 Tables Page 33. Grade Retardation of Students i n School, Interview Sample, 93 34• Students Who Have Dropped Out of School, Grade Retardation, Interview Sample. • 95 35• Student Evaluation of Progress of Students in'School, Interview Sample. 96 36, Students* Average Grades: In School, Interview Sample,. 97 37, Students Who Have Dropped Out of School, Evaluation of Past School Progress, ....................... 98 38, Students Who Have Dropped Out of School, Average Grade While Attending, Interview Sample............... 98 39, Students i n School, Evaluation of School Fairness, a Measure of School Experience, Interview Sample, .... 102 40, Students Who Have Dropped Out of School, Evaluation of School Fairness, a Measure of School Experience, Interview Sample, ., • 104 41* Stated Reasons f o r Leaving School, Interview Sample....128 42. Children Aged 14-24 L i v i n g at Home and at School, Canada , 1951... 138 43. Relationship Between Parental Educational Experience, Child School Experience and the Pro b a b i l i t y of Student Graduation, Interview Sample. 139 44. Relation Between Family Motivation and Children* s Actual School Status or Predicted Status, Interview Sample. ..153 45. I n t r a f a m i l i a l Relationships, Interview Sample 178 TABLES IN THE APPENDIX 46., Appendix G. D i s t r i b u t i o n of A l l Children at Home by Age, Sex, and Family Type, Survey Sample. ........ 207 47. Type of Housing Accommodation of Families Interviewed Showing Rent Paid, Number of Bedrooms, Number of Persons i n Home, i n : ( i ) Subsidized Housing, ( i i ) Non-Subsidized Housing, ( i i i ) Owned Home. 208) 209) CHAPTER 1. THE SCHOOL DROPOUT: A SOCIAL PROBLEM. No longer is there any doubt that the increasing number of early school-leavers and unemployed youth in this nation constitute a major social and economic problem. With increasing regularity their public v i s i b i l i t y is i l lustrated in newspaper flashes such as the following: Already in their tens of thousands, these young school casualities l ine up hopelessly outside employment offices, crowd restlessly into pool halls and juke-box joints. They cost tax payers staggering sums in unemployment and welfare benefits and many authorities add in juvenile delinquency and crime. As such they constitute a national catastrophe. And yet their rea l tragedy defies measurement in dollars and cents. It l i es in ab i l i t i e s of mind and hand they f a l l to develop; the potential they never real ize .^ The late president of the United States, John E.Kennedy, sounded the alarm in these words: The future of any country which is dependent upon the w i l l and wisdom of i t s citizens is damaged, and irreparably damaged, whenever any of i t s children i s not educated to the ful lest extent of his capacity from grade school through graduate school. Today an estimated four out of ten students w i l l not even f in ish high school - and that is a waste we cannot afford.'2 Before the concept of human resources or effective manpower u t i l i za t ion became important in our thinking there was l i t t l e concern expressed over the loss of potential talent i n our population. The space race and cold war have sensitized us to the possible shortage of manpower talent. The problem of Hamilton Spectator, Hamilton, Ontario. August 24, 1963. John F . Kennedy as quoted in Schreiber, Daniel; "Juvenile Delinquency and the School Dropout Problem", Federal Probation, vol.27 (Sept. 1963), p.19. - 2 -locating, motivating and financing maximum use of human resources has arisen. Those at the other end of the academic scale also claim our attention; those of limited intel lectual endowment. The majority of students, however, f a l l between these two extremes and no group is immune from the incidence of school dropouts. These young children may find d i f f i cu l ty in mastering academic programs in the school or because of personal, f inancial or social deprivation, their maximum use of educational opportunities is impeded. When they prematurely withdraw from the school system they are usually vocationally unprepared and too personally immature to find and hold satisfying positions of employment. There is a humanitarian as well as an economic aspect to the problem. Those excluded from the regular labor force experience a great deal of individual frustration: In a society where personality is organized around work, where the worker depends upon his job for his very ties to the world, and where an ab i l i ty to perform the role of provider rests upon his job, anything that threatens that role i s catastrophic not only economically but personally as wel l .* What is the problem of the school dropout and for whom? The potential dropout i n the school system is often distinguished as a trouble maker, seat f i l l e r and frequently a general nuisance by teaching personnel and school administration.. Raising the number of years that must be spent i n school has created the problem of what to do with the non-academic young person, or the poorly motivated ch i ld . . They do poorly in 1 Bernard, Jessie; Social Problems at Midcentury. New York, Rinehart and Winston, 1961, p.393. - 3 -school because they are confined to a routine which appears to have l i t t l e connection with l i f e as they see i t . School is seen, therefore, as l i t t l e more than a custodial inst i tut ion. Truancy may be an escape from this frustration or the enforced endurance of humiliating fa i lure . In the employment office the school dropout is a recurrent nightmare. Because of his lack of vocational preparation for employment and few personal qualifications to sustain his act iv i ty in a job, he is d i f f i cu l t to place and frequently requests new placements more often. In the courts he appears with monotonous regularity. In short there are few social agencies at which he does not c a l l on his shopping tour for resources to help him channel his energies into productive and satisfying l i f e experiences. We see a fai lure i n our elementary and secondary schools to effectively engage or educate children from families in the lower reaches of our status system. Previously this aroused l i t t l e concern because alienated adolescents could leave school and be absorbed into a vast unskilled and semi-ski l led labour force. The manual labour positions had to be f i l l ed? somebody had to do society's less pleasant work. The school helped to make the prospects of these unappealing jobs more bearable by making education i t s e l f an i rr i tant for children from cultural ly deprived and academically unsophisticated families• Changes in the avai labi l i ty of employment opportunities and i n the social and personal requirements for adjustment to - 4 -a complex society have occurred more ra p i d l y than the exi s t i n g i n s t i t u t i o n a l capacity to cope. Hence some educational and welfare programs exist as an anachronism i n our society. What i s the role and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of s o c i a l work? T r a d i t i o n a l l y the role of s o c i a l work has been to deal with and help f i n d solutions to s o c i a l problems: S o c i a l work, as a profession, concerned with the t o t a l welfare of people, recognizes that education i s a v i t a l part of that t o t a l welfare. It i s important then that (social workers) examine those aspects of t h e i r own profession which are related to education and that they explore ways i n which through t h e i r profession they can strengthen the opportunities of the student i n t h i s country. 1 S o c i a l work has f a l l e n into the trap of too frequently specifying personal rather than i n s t i t u t i o n a l inadequacies as the cause of s o c i a l problems. This myopic view has caused them to look within the individual and the family s i t u a t i o n f o r causes of deviancy and malfunctioning and thus to l i m i t t h e i r remedial e f f o r t s to these targets. They have become preoccupied with r e h a b i l i t a t i o n and amelioration at the expense of the prevention of s o c i a l problems. For too long i t has waited f o r the c l i e n t to come to the place from which services are dispensed. S o c i a l work enunciates two main professional purposes; (1) to help people i n need, and (2) to bring about s o c i a l change to reduce the number of people i n need of help. There i s now, more acutely than ever, the necessity of looking behind the presenting problems to discover the s o c i a l and economic processes that started these persons on t h e i r search f o r ambulance services. 1 Poole, Florence;"Working with parents of School Children," S o c i a l Work i n the Schools - Selected Papers, New York, N.A.S.W. p. - 5 -The purpose of t h i s study i s to take the f i r s t step i n understanding the underlying causes of premature withdrawal from school i n a limi t e d group. By focusing our inquest upon those families presently i n receipt of s o c i a l assistance there i s an attempt to i d e n t i f y those factors which i n addition to a marginal income influence a child's motivation and a b i l i t y to make optimum use of educational opportunities. The study endeavours to consider the meaning of being a member of a low status, disadvantaged, minority group and i t s influence upon the aspirations and a b i l i t i e s of these youths and t h e i r f a m i l i e s . The question of the adequacy of exis t i n g i n s t i t u t i o n s to meet t h e i r needs i n the educational f i e l d i s then posed. Some Socio-economic Aspects of the School Dropout Problem Like any s o c i a l problem, the problem of school dropouts i s highly complex and i t s analysis must take account of many dif f e r e n t f a c tors. Today, i t i s common to regard the c h i l d who quits school before graduating as i n v i t i n g nothing but trouble f o r himself and the community, and since t h i s idea i s so widely held i t seems espe c i a l l y desirable to subject i t to c r i t i c a l examination. Although the dropout may be accused of not making the most of his opportunities and of depriving his generation of more developed talents, i t should be kept i n mind that if he has reached the l e g a l school-leaving age he has broken no law. Technically, though, under no circumstances does dropping out constitute a 'norm-violation*; nor can i t be taken f o r granted that the youngster has invariably done the 'wrong' thing i n qu i t t i n g . There are, i n b r i e f , presumably acceptable reasons f o r deciding to drop out, - 6 -and anyone is within his^ rights to hold and exercise them.l The very fact that the holding power of the schools has steadily improved emphasizes the necessity of looking at other aspects of the problem. In the United States in 1890, eight per cent of youth of high school age were attending school and six per cent were graduating. In I960 85 per cent were attending and 69 per cent were graduating.2 A historic summary; census by census from 1871 to 1951 i n Canada, shows a steady growth in percentage of those aged five to 19 attending school from 50.1 per cent in 1871 to 66.6 per cent i n 1951.5 In 1961 in Br i t i sh Columbia 83.4 per cent of children in the home between the ages of 15 and 18 years were attending school.4 Schrieber suggests that the essence of the dropout problem is not so much the number or proportion of dropouts as that the world to which they seek entrance has drast ical ly , and rather incredibly, changed. For example, u n t i l recent years the dropout was an essential part of the economy f i l l i n g a continuously large demand for unskilled labour. This is no longer true in Canada as is evident from changes which have occurred since World War II in the composition of the labour force. In the nine years Schreiber, Daniel; "Juvenile Delinquency and the School Dropout Problem", Federal Probation, vol.27 (Sept.,1963) p.15. p Williams, Percy, ¥ . ; Our Dropouts. Baltimore, Maryland State Department of. Education, 1963, p . l . y Canada, Dominion Bureau of Statist ics Education Division; A Graphic Presentation of Canadian Education (Sept.1961), p.10. ^ Source: Census of Canada, 1961. p r i o r to 1958-59 the professional category increased by 71 per cent whereas the semi-skilled and uns k i l l e d increased by only 19:per. cent and those engaged i n agriculture, f i s h i n g , logging, trapping and mining decreased by 27 per cent. 1 Canada has imported large numbers of s k i l l e d and professional workers while many of her own people remained untrained f o r technical r o l e s . Another reason f o r the age-old problem of school withdrawal coming into prominence now i s the fact that t h i s decade i s bearing an unprecedented population load i n the adolescent-young adult range. The babies of the post-war baby boom w i l l be passing through the schools and into the labour market t h i s decade. At present, young persons are entering the Canadian labour force at a rate of 35,000-40,000 per year. It i s estimated that a peak of 50,000-60,000 entries per year w i l l be reached by about 1965. 2 Occupational trends must be related to changing patterns of education. Providing the present pattern p e r s i s t s , the educational q u a l i f i c a t i o n s of a l l those young Canadians entering the labour force i n 1965 w i l l be as follows: One t h i r d w i l l have l e f t school with no more than a f u l l elementary school education. Another one t h i r d w i l l have dropped out before obtaining a junior matriculation standing or i t s equivalent. Less than 20 per cent of the new entrants w i l l have senior matriculation standing and only s i x per cent w i l l have completed The Canadian Welfare Council; F i r s t P r i o r i t y : The Welfare of People, (March, 1961) p.23 2 Ibid., p.22. a univ e r s i t y or college course. 1 Thus i t would seem apparent that although more children go to school longer than ever "before, t h i s has not kept pace with the demands of automation f o r highly s k i l l e d and educated workers. Before turning to another aspect of t h i s problem, two questions must be raised even though they cannot be dealt with here. One i s the question as to whether the schools are, or should be, preparing young people to move into the labour force. The other question i s whether Grade 12 education i s necessary f o r a l l the jobs f o r which i t i s now a requirement. Wilensky and Lebeaux i n the Industrial Society and  S o c i a l Welfare point up an important aspect of the problem. This aspect i s very much a part of the major focus of t h i s study - the dropout from the s o c i a l assistance family. "The lower-class boy, disadvantaged i n the struggle f o r status measured by middle-class values, anxious about the fact that he and his family seem to have lo3t that struggle, has a problem of adjustment."2 More and more has the school been the block f o r him as education has increased i n prestige and s o c i a l value. The significance of t h i s f o r individual development has been explored i n another study where i t i s suggested that because of the increased importance of education i n our society, Loc. c i t . Wilensky, H. and C. Lebeaux; Industrial Society and S o c i a l Welfare, New York, Russell Sage Foundation, 1958, p. 193. - 9 -school provides a s p e c i a l focus f o r r e b e l l i o n and c o n f l i c t formation f o r boys. 1 Consciously a f r a i d that they cannot be successful and w i l l get hurt t r y i n g to achieve; they seek security i n withdrawal. This may i n turn be aggravated by the stress of moving from one s o c i a l class to another f o r the lower-class c h i l d . For some of these boys educational and occupational achievement may be threatening to them because i t involves competing with and the surpassing of t h e i r fathers. Occupational Opportunities of School Dropouts The repercussions of dropping out of school can be serious. F i r s t of a l l , a sizable percentage of dropouts experience employment d i f f i c u l t i e s . Secondly, dropouts tend to be more susceptible to delinquency than are high school graduates. These repercussions w i l l be discussed i n turn. Employment opportunities f o r high school dropouts are decreasing as automation reduces the demand fo r uns k i l l e d labour, and as industry increasingly demands higher l e v e l s of education f o r the employees who run the complex machinery. The employment problems of the dropout have been summed up by E l i Cohen: Compared to high school graduates, dropouts suffer greater unemployment, take longer to f i n d jobs, get poorer jobs, and earn less money. Untrained and incompletely educated, they are often underemployed, face the prospect of a l i f e t i m e of blind a l l e y jobs, and sometimes remain chronically unemployed. They are Litcher, Solomon 0.; The Drop-Outs, Glencoe, The Free Press of Glencoe, 1962, p.248. 1 - 10 -vulnerable, dispensable, and unwanted i n our work f o r c e . l Three aspects of these employment problems w i l l be examined - the r e l a t i o n between dropouts and unemployment, the types of occupations dropouts tend to have, and the significance of these jobs i n t h e i r everyday l i v e s . It may be said with certainty that rates of unemploy-ment among dropouts are considerably higher than among high school graduates. The Canadian Senate Committee on Manpower and Employment reported the following s t a t i s t i c s f o r February, I960; The t o t a l unemployment rate i n Canada at that time was some nine per cent of the t o t a l labour force. The unemployment rate among those who had completed secondary school was three per cent. Among those who had completed primary school but not secondary, the rate was eight per cent. And among those who had not completed primary school, the unemployment rate was 19 per cent.2 A c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of the t o t a l number of unemployed at that time by le v e l s of schooling throws additional l i g h t on the relationship between educational l e v e l s and unemployment. In February, I960, some 44 per cent of a l l unemployed persons had not completed public school. An additional 26 per cent had only 1 Cohen, E l i j "The Employment Needs of Urban Youth, "Vocational Guidance Quarterly, vol.10 (Winter, 1962), p.87. p Canada, Senate? Proceedings of the Senate Committee on  Manpower and Employment, No.l, p.30, cited i n Canadian Welfare Council, " F i r s t P r i o r i t y : The Welfare of People", submission to the Special Committee of the Senate on Manpower and Employment, Ottawa, 1961, p.24. - 11 -a grade 8 education. Twenty-two per cent had had some secondary education. 1 This means that 92 per cent of Canada's unemployed had not finished high school. Daniel Schreiber, Director of the School Dropout Project sponsored by the National Education Association i n the United States, reported i n 1963 that two-thirds of the unemployed i n t h i s country have less than a high school education.^ This figure i s considerably lower than the Canadian proportion. Regardless of the differences i n figures between the two countries, i t i s obvious that unemployment rates among dropouts are considerably higher than among high-school graduates, and t h i s i s a matter of j u s t i f i a b l e concern. The problem i s not merely one of greater unemployment, but of the type of employment secured by school dropouts. Dropouts often obtain short-term or seasonal-type jobs. The Dominion Bureau of S t a t i s t i c s reported i n I960 that school dropouts from the lower grades tend to obtain employment i n unskil l e d and labouring occupations, while those dropping out from the higher grades are more l i k e l y to s e t t l e into occupations of a semi-skilled, commercial, or c l e r i c a l nature.5 A study i n the United States of 350,000 students who dropped out of school between January and October of 1961 also points out the tendency 1 L o c . c i t . 2 Schreiber, Daniel; "The Dropout and the Delinquent: Promising Practices Gleaned from a Year of Study," Phi Delta Eappan, vol . 44 (February, 1963), p.216. ^ Dominion Bureau of S t a t i s t i c s ; "Student Progress Through the Schools, I960," Catalogue No. 81-513» p.46. f o r dropouts to end up i n labouring and semi-skilled occupations. Many women obtained farm-type labouring jobs or jobs i n private households or other service work.l Many children i n the lower-income group are limited as f a r as vocational planning i s concerned by a lack of knowledge of job opportunities, and also, of course, by the fact that they may have had to discontinue t h e i r education and accept any available job i n order to a s s i s t i n the support of the family.2 The significance of the type of job dropouts engage i n i s far-reaching. I f a youth has been forced by lack of knowledge of job opportunities or by f i n a n c i a l pressure or i n s u f f i c i e n t education to take employment which does not use a l l h i s a b i l i t i e s , h is r e s u l t i n g f r u s t r a t i o n and boredom may have an adverse effect on other areas of his l i f e . Underemployment of a man's potential, to say nothing of unemployment, may be threatening to his self-esteem as well as to his economic s i t u a t i o n . The repercussions that the lack of a s a t i s f y i n g job may have f o r an ind i v i d u a l has been summed up by the Canadian Welfare Council as follows: The lack of a s a t i s f y i n g job at an adequate wage can do serious damage to family morale and s o l i d a r i t y . It may lead to deterioration i n the individual's capacity f o r g a i n f u l employment and thus create dependency. It can undermine an individual's self-respect and parental status i n the home, especially i n a society where we Schiffman, Jacobj "Employment of High School Graduates and Dropouts i n 1961,"'Monthly labor Review, v o l . 85 (May, 1962), pp.505-506. Bach, Prank; "Vocational Problems of the Young Offender," Master of Soc i a l Work Thesis, University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1961, p. 20. properly expect each individual to assume responsibil ity, as far as possible, for meeting his own needs and those of his family. And i t can be equally damaging to young people who are entering the labour market for the f i r s t time and who are beginning to establish new homes and families.1 Delinquency and School Dropouts Although i t is not possible to establish any causal relationship between dropouts and delinquency, several studies have established the fact that most sentenced delinquents are dropouts.^ On the other hand, there are many school dropouts who do not become delinquents. Some stat is t ics w i l l help to i l lustrate these statements. In a recent study of dropouts carried out in Seattle, Washington, i t was found that 35 per cent of the dropouts became involved with the courts. In another study carried out in Bridgeport, Connecticut, i t was found that 24 per cent of the dropouts were similarly involved. According to these studies, there were large percentages of dropouts (from 65 per cent to 76 per cent) who did not become delinquents. But on the other hand, in Seattle the delinquency rate amongst dropouts was 12 times that of those who stayed in school, and in Bridgeport i t was eight times that of stay-ins.5- And so averaging the two, we could say that the delinquency rate was 10 times greater amongst dropouts than i t was amongst graduates. 1 Canadian Welfare Council; "First Pr ior i ty : The Welfare of People," Submission to the Special Committee of the Senate on Manpower and Employment, Ottawa, 1961, p. 5. p Schreiber, Daniel; "Juvenile Delinquency and the School Dropout Problem," Federal Probation, vo l . 27 (September, 1963), p.18. 3 ^ Loc . c i t . - 14 -In a Canadian study e n t i t l e d "Vocational Problems of the Young Offender," Prank Bach found that of 40 inmates of New-Haven, only three had completed high s c h o o l , 1 While the large majority of school dropouts do not become delinquents, most delinquents on the other hand are school dropouts. It has been found that there are factors i n the school s i t u a t i o n which lead to both dropping-out and to juvenile delinquency. These factors have been l i s t e d by William C.Kvaraceus. He states that the school s i t u a t i o n of the p o t e n t i a l l y delinquent c h i l d displays the following c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s : 1. Shows d i s l i k e f o r school. 2. Resents school routine and r e s t r i c t i o n . 3. Disinterested i n school programme. 4. Is f a i l i n g i n a number of subjects. 5. Has repeated one or more grades. 6. Has attended many diff e r e n t schools. 7. Intends to leave school as soon as the law allows. 8. Has limited academic a b i l i t y . 9. Feels he does not 'belong' i n the classroom. 10. Does not participate i n organized extra-curricular a c t i v i t i e s . 11. Has only vague academic or vocational plans. 12. Attends special classes f o r retarded pupils. 13. Truants from school.2 Bach, op. c i t . . p.50 Kvaraceus, William? Juvenile Delinquency, Washington National Education Association cited i n Brook, George C.J. "High School Drop-Outs - 15 -Brook maintains that, i f i n addition to the foregoing, the c h i l d seriously and pers i s t e n t l y misbehaves, destroys school material or property, i s cruel and bullying, or has temper tantrums i n the classroom, he i s l i k e l y to become a juvenile delinquent. 1 These are admittedly tentative indications of a common ground occupied by dropouts and delinquents. Factors Associated With Premature School Leaving Previous sections of t h i s chapter have considered the nature of the school dropout problem and some of the s o c i a l , economic, and occupational implications f o r the individuals affected. The following sections w i l l review those factors which various studies have found to be t y p i c a l l y associated with premature school leaving with special reference to the influence of low family income. Table 1 shows the frequency with which eight major char a c t e r i s t i c s of school dropouts are i d e n t i f i e d i n 20 diff e r e n t studies undertaken i n the U.S.A. Brook? op. c i t . , p.34 - 16 -Table 1. Characteristics of School Dropouts as  Revealed by 20 Studies , 1 Characteristic " d W <tf JH Mr-1Q: I I <D EH SB -H o o ,0 5B t) w • ai co CO 03 Low-Income Family X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 15 Low Achievement X X X X X X X X X X X X 12 Discouraged or f a i l ing X X X X X X 6 Non-Participation x x x X X X X 7 in Act iv i t ies Dissatisfied with Teaching X X X X X X X 7 Feeling of not Belonging X X X X X X 6 Weak or Broken Home A i i i X o Lure of Job X X X X X 5 Poor educational achievement appears to be characteristic of many school dropouts, but i t would be quite wrong to assume that most school dropouts are of low intelligence. The problem is not so simple as that. For example, one study notes that 56.5 per cent R.A. and L.M. Tessener; Nat.Assoc. of Sec.School Principals Bul le t in , "Review of the Literature on School Dropouts," vol.42, No.238 (May 1958), p.144. The exact t i t l e s of the studies referred to i n the above table are included in the bibliography of the present study. - 17 -of dropouts "were under-achieving in relation to their ab i l i ty as determined by intelligence t e s t ing , 1 only 41.7 per cent were performing up to the level of their ab i l i ty and 1.8 per cent were described as over-achieving, ( i . e . Achieving at a higher level than they were capable of on the basis of intelligence test scores). Closely related to level of achievement is a limited a b i l i t y to read, of the 13,715 dropouts examined in the same study 45 per cent read at the sixth grade level or below^ despite the fact that 50 per cent of the dropouts had average or above average intell igence. The study reveals moreover that 54.6 per cent of the dropouts had been held back i n elementary or junior high school and 35 per cent of them had had to repeat one or more elementary grades.5 Under-achievement for one reason or another appears to be a characteristic of the school dropout• Under-achievement is usually associated with irregularity of school attendance. The Maryland study shows that 60 per cent of dropouts attended Irregularly in the last f u l l school year, and in the year in which they dropped out a mere 27 per cent attended regularly. It is interesting to note that almost 60 per cent of the absences in the year in which they dropped out are described as "unlawful absence."5 Maryland State Department of Education; Our Dropouts, The  Maryland Cooperative Study of Dropouts, June 1963, Table 18, Mental A b i l i t y and Achievement. 2 Our Dropouts, Table 19, Reading Grade Level. J Our Dropouts, Table 21, Retentions. - 18 -Another common cha r a c t e r i s t i c of the school drop-out i s lack of p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n a t h l e t i c or extra-curricular a c t i v i t i e s at school. The Maryland study establishes that f u l l y two-thirds of the dropouts did not participate i n a t h l e t i c s or extra-curricular a c t i v i t i e s . 1 Lack of p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n school s o c i a l a c t i v i t i e s may be merely one other aspect of the sense of a l i e n a t i o n from school and peers which i s mentioned i n a number of d i f f e r e n t studies as ch a r a c t e r i s t i c of the dropout. It appears that i t i s more ch a r a c t e r i s t i c df the drop-out than the non-dropout to be of low i n t e l l i g e n c e . However, various studies while agreeing that t h i s i s so, d i f f e r as to the degree to which i t i s so. Snepp found that the scholastic aptitude of those who l e f t school was below the average of a l l students i n high school as measured by the Otis Test of Mental A b i l i t y , 1 but Cantoni's study found there was only a small difference between the I.Q. of the dropout (92.3) and the I.Q. of the graduate (101.6) as measured on the Zuhlman-Anderson Intelligence Test.3 The Maryland study points out that 50.2 per cent of the dropouts had below average intelligence,4 which i s about what one would expect to f i n d i n a cross-section of the general public. No d e f i n i t i v e relationship between low inte l l i g e n c e and early school leaving can be determined from 1 Our Dropouts, Table 17, Attendance. 2 Snepp, Daniel W.J "Can We Salvage the Drop-outs?," The Clearing House, 31 (September. 1956), pp.49-54. ^ Cantoni, Louis J . J "Stay-Ins Get Better Jobs", Personnel and  Guidance Journal, 33, (May 1955), pp.351-3. ^ Our Dropouts, Table 18, Mental A b i l i t y and Achievement. - 19 -th i s l a t t e r f i g u r e . What i s perhaps an area of greater significance i s revealed i n Palmore's study 1 which indicates that approximately one t h i r d of 384 dropout children of "lower class and assistance f a m i l i e s " studied had average or above average i n t e l l i g e n c e . There i s l i t t l e doubt that teachers represent a most important factor i n the l i v e s of children and adolescents. Not only w i l l they affect personality and adjustment of the pupil, but they w i l l also determine to a degree the reaction of the student to the subject matter and play a role i n school retention or dropping out.2 It i s ch a r a c t e r i s t i c of dropouts to be i l l - d i s p o s e d towards t h e i r teachers and to have been unable to get along with them to a much greater degree than those who remained i n school. The school dropout has a greater than average chance of being born to parents who were themselves dropouts. The Maryland study investigated the educational l e v e l of the parents of the dropouts and concluded there was a relationship between educational levels of parents and that of t h e i r children. It established that the best educated parents had to an extremely high degree, the best educated children. At the other end of the scale, t h i s same study revealed that f u l l y 80.3 per cent of the fathers of dropouts were ^ Palmore, Erdman; Soc i a l Security B u l l e t i n , (October 1963), "Factors Associated with School Dropouts and Juvenile Delinquency among Lower-Class Children", p.6. Tressner, R.A. and L.M.; "Review of the Literature of School Dropouts," The National Association of Secondary School Principal's  B u l l e t i n , (May 1958), pp.147-148. - 20 -themselves dropouts, and 78.5 per cent of mothers of dropouts were themselves dropouts before graduation from high s c h o o l . 1 A further c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the school dropout i s the fact that his parents are l i k e l y to be unskilled workers. ¥. L. Gragg i n his study observes that "Pupils whose parents pursue managerial, c l e r i c a l , professional and semi-professional occupations are much more l i k e l y to graduate than pupils whose parents are engaged i n unskilled labour and c e r t a i n service occupations with low incomes." 2 The Maryland study confirms t h i s observation. It established that only 6.5 per cent of the parents of the dropouts studied were c l a s s i f i e d oceupationally as "Professional, Owner, Manager,"5 whereas, by contrast, i n excess of 13 per cent of the t o t a l labour force of Vancouver f a l l into t h i s same occupational category.4 The important influence of the parents* l e v e l of education on the amount of schooling achieved by the children i s indicated i n Table 2. This table, which draws on B r i t i s h Columbia data, shows that the proportion of children aged 15 -18 years attending school i s almost twice as great i n families Our Dropouts, Table 6, Educational Level achieved by Father, Table 7, Educational Level achieved by Mother, p Gragg, W.L.J A Dropout or a High School Graduate, Education Digest, 15, Sept. 1949, pp.30-31. Quoted i n National Assoc. of Secondary School, Principals B u l l e t i n , (May 1958), p.144. ^ Our Dropouts, Table 4, Occupation of Head of Household. ^ Dominion Bureau of S t a t i s t i c s , Census of Canada? Population  and Housing Characteristics by Census Tracts. Vancouver, Queen*s Printer, 1961. • 21 ~ with a Severalty- graduate as head a© i t is In families who®© head baa received no fov&al schooling at a l l . The Alffsrsnoss are not as marked but are nevertaslesa significant for families with Intansffitiate lovels of ©ducatio»| for examalA-, in families whos© head ha® only 5th -year or more elanentavy eduoatioa tha proportion of children 15 - IS years attending school is 7? psr cent compared with nearly 88 per cent of children in families whose head ha© oespletsA 4th and • 5th year '©©aomdary education. (British Colombia, 1961) Sehoolia^ of Hoad M » , ,„, S < « M, , „ 3$ - 18 years 19 -.Forcantag© Total ....a*.School fotal. • 24 years BartiaiYtage t^ t. School.,.. So schooling 1057 53,8 1021 9.3 less than 5th year' 3811 6?.3 396 15.6 5th year and over mm : 145S4 20.3 • 1st and 2nd year 20072 82.7 9352 24.9 3rd year 7959 86.2 3357 . 31.8 4th and 5th y©ar 15417 87.9 7452 36.2 Some University 3892 90.3 1936 47.2 University Bags*©® 3871 94.7 1843 67.6 Sources Census of Canada, If61. Adapted frost fable - 22 -The differences are even more s t r i k i n g f o r children s t i l l attending school i n the 19 - 24 year age group. This group would include children taking vocational and technical courses and attending University as well as a small minority who are retarded i n high school or who have dropped out of school and returned. It i s noteworthy that two out of three children i n thi s age group from families whose head i s a university graduate w i l l be continuing t h e i r education compared with only one out of f i v e children from families whose head has only f i f t h year or more elementary education. In summary, i t seems clear that motivation to- continue i n school i s d i r e c t l y related to the educational attainment of parents. Children of more educated parents a t t a i n more education than the average. A similar influence appears to be at work with regard to family income; the higher the income the greater the chance of continuing i n school. According to Table 3, three out of four children between the ages of 15 - 18 years w i l l be attending school i n B r i t i s h Columbia from families whose head earns less than $2,000.00 per annum compared with more than nine out of 10 children from families with incomes of $10,000.00 or more. S i m i l a r l y , the chances of continuing one's education a f t e r the age of 19 appears to be almost twice as great f o r children i n families with incomes of $7,000.00 - $10,000.00 as i t i s f o r children from families with less than $5,000.00 per annum. These various relationships between the educational attainment of children on the one hand and parents' education, - 23 -occupation and income, on the other, have considerable significance f o r the problem of school dropouts among families receiving s o c i a l assistance. An important question concerns the interpretation to be placed upon these relationships. Table 3. Children attending School as a Proportion of a l l Children at Home by Specified Income  Levels of Wage Earner Family Heads. ( B r i t i s h Columbia, 1961) Children at Home by Age Income Levels of 15 - 18 Years . 19 - 24 Years Wage Earner Family Heads Total Percentage at School Total Percentage at School Under $2,000 5594 74.2 2890 19.2 $2,000 - $2,999 5199 77.5 2769 20.8 $3,000 - $3,999 10534 80.0 5056 22.0 $4,000 - $4,999 13530 83.9 5895 25.2 $5,000 - $5,999 9260 85.6 4031 29.6 $6,000 - $6,999 5728 87.8 2400 37.0 $7,000 - $9,999 4793 91.5 2104 48.5 $10,000 and Over 2076 94.9 1150 64.2 A l l Income Groups 56714 83.4 26295 28.8 Source: Census of Canada, 1961. Adapted from Table Do children from families of high socio-economic status receive a greater stimulus to continue t h e i r education from the perception of the connection between educational achievement and occupation or are the superior economic advantages which they enjoy the c r i t i c a l factor? Are these various family influences strong enough to keep untalented children i n school and prevent talented children from continuing t h e i r education? The Special Problem of the Low Income Family A number of studies have examined the incidence of premature school withdrawal among children from low income fa m i l i e s . One such study of 18,500 former recipients of the Aid to Dependent Children program i n the United States revealed that 71 per cent of the boys and 61 per cent of the g i r l s had dropped out of school before age 18 without graduating. 1 These figures are notably higher than f o r the general population of school-leaving age. A smaller study of dropouts i n 70 secondary schools of I l l i n o i s indicated that 72 per cent of a l l youths who dropped out of high school came from families of low income.2 Another study claims a dropout rate f o r lowest income schools which i s 20 times greater than the dropout rate i n the highest income schools i n a large U.S. city.5 The greatest d i f f e r e n t i a l 1 Blackwell, G.W. and W.L. Godwin; "Social Class and Economic Problems of Adolescents," High School Journal. (March 1952), quoted i n N.A..S.S.P. Journal 1958, p.144. 2 Hand, Harold C ; "Do School Costs Drive Out the Youth of the Poor?" Progressive Education 28, (Jan. 1951), p.89-93 - quoted N.A.S.S.P. B u l l e t i n , May 1958, p.143. 3 ' Sexton, P a t r i c i a Cayo; "Social Class and Pupil Turnover Rates, Journal of Educational Sociology,(November 1959), vol.33,No.3, pp.131-134. rate of dropout in Vancouver i n the year 1961-1962 was ,6 per cent of the school enrolment in a high income area, as opposed to 28.8 per cent in a low one. 1 Parental attitudes to the school and education as such are important in their influence on children's attitude and performance in the school. Sometimes school is seen by parents as merely vocational training or as a panacea for a l l their i l l s . If i t is not seen as a positive value, or the expectations of i t are unreal, and i f the goals and values of the educational system are not meaningful to the parents, one can expect a negative or apathetic reaction to school on the part of the children. Education is looked to as a possible means of breaking the chain'of economic dependency, subsistence l i v ing and their concomitant problems, which are found in families who have been in receipt of public assistance for long periods of t ime. 2 If the negative forces in operation in such families work to discourage a child from completing his education, we cannot count on breaking the dependency cycle by means of our present education and welfare services. Alex Inkeles points out one aspect of the perpetuation of dependency when he says, "Not only is the horizon restricted for the individual of lower status, himself; he also tends to insure his se l f perpetuation by restr ic t ing the horizon of his children and others who share his 1 Pupil Withdrawal Survey; (Sept. 1961 - August 31, 1962),Dept. of Research and Special Services, Vancouver School Board. 2 Spence, John William, and Brown, Beverley Blakej Measurement  of Need in Social Assistance, Master of Social Work thesis, University of Br i t i sh Columbia, 1962, p.98. - 26 -disadvantaged s t a t u s . " 1 In addition to the problem of s o c i a l dependency created by lack of education and s k i l l s , i t i s important to recognize other reasons f o r wishing to educate our whole population, including what Prank Riessman c a l l s the c u l t u r a l l y deprived or disadvantaged c h i l d . In the f i r s t place, those people who are not educated are a neglected resource and are denied the p o s s i b i l i t y of f u l l s e l f - r e a l i z a t i o n . Secondly, i f these young people are denied education because of factors beyond t h e i r control, we are betraying our proclaimed purpose of providing equal opportunity f o r a l l . For children from low-income families mere equality of access to educational f a c i l i t i e s may be t o t a l l y i n s u f f i c i e n t to ensure true equality i n the chances of l i f e . S o c i a l and psychological barriers may stand i n the way of t h e i r taking advantage of education offered. It i s clear that while cer t a i n attitudes and behaviour may not be conducive to achieving success i n school or i n a vocation, these attitudes and behaviour are a response to the environment i n which one l i v e s and the influences that surround one. Davis has said, "The behaviour which we regard as 'delinquent' or • s h i f t l e s s * or 'unmotivated' i n slum groups i s usually pe r f e c t l y r e a l i s t i c , adaptive and — i n slum l i f e — respectable response to r e a l i t y . " 2 I f the same thesis i s applied to families on Inkeles, Alex; "Industrial Man: The Relation of Status to Experience. Perception and Value," The American Journal of Sociology, (July I960) vol.66, No.l, pp.1-31. p Davis, A l l i s o n :; S o c i a l Class Influences upon Learning, Harvard University Press, 1961, p.11. - 27 -So c i a l Assistance, are we providing an equal opportunity to th e i r children, i f no account i s taken of t h e i r s o c i a l handicaps? Thirdly, education i s seen as a means of combatting those s o c i a l i l l s of prejudice and intolerance as well as a n t i - i n t e l l e c t u a l i s m . Method of Study In October, 1963, the South Unit of the Vancouver C i t y S o c i a l Service Department was serving a t o t a l of approximately 5,000 cases made up of single recipients, couples and families with children. The f i l e s of these families were drawn (approximately 690) and b r i e f l y examined to determine those families with children aged 13 to 21 years. The l a t t e r group comprised 290 fa m i l i e s . Some 100 f i l e s of families with children could not be examined because they were not available i n the agency f o r a variety of reasons. Some were i n use i n the Central Office or the Medical D i v i s i o n , and others could not be traced i n the time available. These one hundred f i l e s would probably have included approximately 42 families with children between 13 and 21 years. The 13 to 21 age range was chosen because i t includes those children most vulnerable to dropout pressures as well as those old enough to have l e f t school either as dropouts or graduates. The study was intended to gather information on all three groups: (a) children s t i l l i n school and i n the process of developing interests, ideas and experiences l i k e l y to influence t h e i r continuing t h e i r formal education; (b) children Riessman, Frank? The C u l t u r a l l y Deprived Child, Harper and Brothers, New York, 1961, p.3. - 28 -who had left school before completing grade 12; (c) children who had graduated from grade 12. A schedule was completed for each of the 290 families with children aged 13-21 years, recording such information as marital status and age of parents, number and ages of children in family and length of time on Social Assistance. (See Appendix F . ). This information is presented in tabular form and analyzed in Chapter Two. As the study progressed i t was evident that time would not permit the interviewing of children aged 13 and 14 years and accordingly the universe from which i t was planned to draw the interview sample was reduced to those families with children aged 15 to 21 years. This group comprised 225 families made up of 146 one-parent families and 79 two-parent families. These families were then strat i f ied according to year of f i r s t reported application for Social Assistance. For purposes of more intensive research, interview schedules v r e r e designed for parents, children in school, children who withdrew before completing grade 12, and high school graduates. Twenty-seven families were interviewed. Where possible the oldest child in school, the oldest dropout and the oldest graduate in each family were selected for interview. Selection of families for the interview sample was made on the following basis. After s trat i f icat ion of families according to year of f i r s t application (pre 1955, 1955-1959, 1960-1963) every third family of the two-parent families was selected to give a tota l of 24 and every fourth family of the - 29 -one-parent families was selected to give a total of 36. Altogether 16 families were drawn from the group that applied for Social Assistance before 1955, another 16 from those who applied between 1955 and 1959, and 28 from those who applied between I960 and 1963. Table 3A # School Dropouts from Social Assistance Families  Selection of Sample for Interviewing 2-Parent Families 1-Parent Families Year of F i r s t Number in Number in Application Total Sample Total Sample Pre 1955 17 3 40 5 1955-1959 16 3 41 5 1960-1963 46 6 65 8 Total: 79 12 146 18 Prior to approaching these families, five families were drawn from the f i l es of the South Unit for a t r i a l run in order to test the interview schedules. On the basis of these interviews certain revisions were made in the schedules. Of the 39 families in the sample who were approached i n i t i a l l y by le t ter , and subsequently by personal contact, 27 - 30 -agreed to pa r t i c i p a t e . In four cases i t was possible to interview only the parents because the children were unavailable. In one case the parent would only speak on the telephone, but the c h i l d was interviewed. The interview schedules were designed to provide f o r consistency of interviewing and recording among the f i v e interviewers, while at the same time permitting the maximum of latit u d e i n the development of answers to pa r t i c u l a r questions. Unless otherwise stated, the tables i n the text are based on information collected through the survey schedules. Information collected i n the interview i s analyzed i n Chapters Three and Pour. F i r s t , information on the parents interviewed i s presented and compared with corresponding data f o r the t o t a l universe of families from which the sample was drawn. Parental attitudes and expectations with regard to t h e i r children's education are then examined and following t h i s the experiences and aspirations of the children themselves are considered. The concluding chapter attempts to i d e n t i f y those factors i n the family, school, and personal situations of the children which s i g n i f i c a n t l y affect t h e i r chances of staying i n school. Throughout, special attention i s paid to the influence which l i v i n g on s o c i a l assistance has on children's completion of t h e i r formal schooling. CHAPTER 2. THE FAMILIES SELECTED FOR STUDY For purposes of this study families receiving social assistance and with one or more children thirteen years and older were designated as the "population at risk". The number of such families served by the South Unit of the Vancouver Social Service Department in October 1963 was something in excess of 300, but information could only be obtained from the f i l e s of 290 and this is accordingly the universe used for subsequent tabulations. These 290 families are referred to as the Survey Sample, and comprise a l i t t l e more than one-quarter of the total families with children receiving social assistance from the South Unit, and about one-half of one per cent of a l l families with children at home in the City of Vancouver (Table 4). Less than 30 per cent of family heads in the survey sample were born outside of Canada compared with a ratio of 35 per cent foreign born in the total c i ty population. It is perhaps note-worthy that exactly one-half of family heads in the sample who were born in Canada come from another province (Table 5). It is not known at what stage in their careers they came to Br i t i sh Columbia. Reasons for Applying for Social Assistance Common to the families who apply for social assistance is the fact of destitution but behind this condition may l i e any one or combination of a number of different circumstances. Need may result from inabi l i ty to find employment which in turn may be associated with limited educational or vocational qualifications - 32 -or a s k i l l which is no longer in demand, from mental or physical handicap or age. The chief-earner in the family may be incapacitated either temporarily or permanently by i l l -hea l th or be in prison; or the parents may be separated by divorce, desertion or mutual agreement, leaving one of them with tota l responsibil ity for earning a l i v ing and caring for the children. In such cases, i t sometimes proves impossible to combine the two responsibil i t ies and social assistance is sought to enable the remaining parent to stay home and care for the children. Table 4. Families with Children at Home Vancouver; South Unit City Social Service Department; and Survey Sample, (a) Families with Children at Home  Ho. 2£ Vancouver City 56,136 100 City Social Service Department, South Unit 749 1.3 Survey Sample 290 0.5 Source: Figures for Vancouver based on Dominion Bureau of Stat i s t ics , Census of Canada 1961; figures for South Unit City Social Service Department, and Survey Sample refer to 1963. - 3 3 -Table 5. Place of B i r t h of Family Head  Survey Sample Born i n Canadat B r i t i s h Columbia 68 Other Provinces 136 204 Born outside Canada; United Kingdom 32 Australia/New Zealand 2 Europe 3 9 United States 7 Asia 4 Wot Reported _2 _86 Total: 290 Each of these circumstances i s l i k e l y to exert a somewhat di f f e r e n t influence on the family applying f o r s o c i a l assistance and should therefore be included i n any consideration of the relationship between t h i s experience and the educational prospects of the children i n the family. Not only does th i s information have immediate value f o r the present study but i t would also seem desirable f o r ordinary purposes of program evaluation to report regularly and i n a systematic fashion the reasons f o r application f o r s o c i a l assistance. Unfortunately, - 34 -the reasons noted by City S o c i a l Service Department workers on the application forms are not s u f f i c i e n t l y well-defined or consistently enough recorded to permit any meaningful tabulations to be made from them. The categories most frequently used and the number of cases within each of them are shown i n table 6. Table 6. Reason Given f o r Application  Survey Sample • 1 One Parent Two Parent Total No. i No. * No. * Unemployment 42 22.58 61 58.66 103 35.52 Destitution 68 36.55 27 25.96 95 32.76 111 Health 20 10.76 10 9.62 30 10.34 Child Care 20 10.75 0 0.00 20 6.89 Desertion 13 6.99 0 0.00 13 4.49 Other 21 11.29 6 5.76 27 9.32 Not Given 2 1.08 0 0.00 2 .68 Tot a l : 186 100 104 100 290 100 Assets of Families That families are v i r t u a l l y destitute when they apply f o r s o c i a l assistance i s amply confirmed by the figures given i n Table 7. Nearly two-thirds of families f o r whom information i s reported had less than $10.00 i n cash or savings and only f i v e - 35 -per cent of families had property worth more than $3,000,00. Property in these cases would almost certainly refer to the homes occupied by applicants and as later sections of this study w i l l disclose, the quality of owner-occupied housing is very poor indeed. Table 7. Assets of Families at Time of Most Recent Application for Assistance Survey Sample Families Cash Assets Ho. % Less than $10.00 184 63.45 $10 - $100 51 17.59 $101 - $200 8 2.76 $201 - $500 7 2.41 Unknown _40 13.79 Total: 290 100 Families Value of Property Ho. $> Less than $200.00 17 5.86 $200 - $500 11 3.79 $501 - $1,000 8 2.76 $1,001 - $2,000 10 3.45 $2,001 - $3,000 7 2.42 $3,001-or more 26 5.52 Unknown |11 76.20 Total: 290 100 According to the regulations to the S o c i a l Assistance Act, assets to the value of $500.00 are permitted to families applying f o r s o c i a l assistance. Considering the overwhelming proportion i n t h i s sample who have l i t t l e more than a few d o l l a r s , the question arises whether families i n need know about t h i s entitlement or whether i t i s understood policy i n the S o c i a l Service Department to discourage applications f o r assistance u n t i l the family has exhausted p r a c t i c a l l y a l l of i t s resources. Whatever the reasons, i t would seem indisputable that the prospects of successful r e h a b i l i t a t i o n are diminished i f help i s withheld u n t i l the l a s t possible moment. Frequency of Need f o r Assistance Table 8, which compares the present length of time on S o c i a l Assistance with the number of previous applications, provides a valuable supplement to the information given i n the previous table. The nature of dependency and i t s effect on family morale and educational achievement must be considered not only i n r e l a t i o n to the t o t a l span of time over which a family has been known to a s o c i a l agency, but also i n terms of the frequency with which i t has had to apply f o r Assistance. T h i r t y -f i v e per cent of families i n the sample were receiving S o c i a l Assistance f o r the f i r s t time and almost one-half of these had been receiving i t less than one year; the remainder of t h i s group had been l i v i n g uninterruptedly on Assistance f o r periods ranging from one to seven years or more. It i s important to recognize that uninterrupted dependence on S o c i a l Assistance f o r a long period of time i s not necessarily a sign of gross s o c i a l - 37 -incompetence on the part of a family. For certain family re l a t i o n s such as the loss or incapacity of the chief-earner through separation or death or chronic i l l n e s s and the presence of young children i n the home, there may "be no alternative to the provision of long-term aid on a continuing basis, although even here the p o s s i b i l i t i e s of r e h a b i l i t a t i o n are often greater than i s commonly supposed or attempted. There are other situations which prompt grave misgivings about the effects of Assistance on morale. What, f o r example, are the implications of a history of repeated resort to S o c i a l Assistance? What are the circumstances of those twelve families whose current period on Assistance i s less than one year but who have received Assistance on more than f i v e d i f f e r e n t occasions before? Altogether 16 per cent of families i n the sample had been i n receipt of S o c i a l Assistance on f i v e separate occasions. Date of F i r s t Application f o r S o c i a l Assistance According to one popular stereotype the s o c i a l assistance family i s chronically dependent and consent to be so. This stereotype i s no d i f f e r e n t from most stereotypes i n being thoroughly misleading and stands i n need of te s t i n g against objective f a c t s . The data i n Table 9 contributes i n a small way to the establishment of a more fac t u a l picture. More than h a l f the families i n the sample f i r s t applied f o r assistance within the l a s t three years and another 25 per cent i n the l a s t eight years. The evidence of a chronically dependent group l i e s i n the eight per cent of families whose f i r s t a pplication f o r assistance was made between 14 and 34 years ago. It i s among - 38 -the children of such families that one would expect the greatest a t t r i t i o n of educational achievement and aspiration. Table 8 . Duration of Current Period on Assistance Compared with Number of Previous Applications Survey Sample Duration of Current Period on Assistance Number of Previous Applications. Less than 1 Yr. 1 Yr. to 3 Yrs. 3 Yrs. to 5 Yrs. 5; Yrs. to 7 Yrs. 7 Yrs. or More Not Reported Total No previous applications 47 23 16 11 5 0 102 ^ H it n 27 18 8 3 6 2 64 2 »• n it 22 10 3 0 0 2 37 j II it n 10 8 4 3 2 1 28 ^ n II II 6 3 2 2 1 2 16 5 to 10" 1 1 11 9 2 0 1 2 25 11 or more " 1 2 1 0 2 0 6 Not reported 3 2 0 2 12 T o t a l : 129 76 38 19 19 9 290 The sharp increase since the late 1950's i n the number of two-parent applications, both absolutely and i n r e l a t i o n to the number of applications from one-parent families i s noteworthy. This undoubtedly r e f l e c t s changing economic conditions leading to an increase i n unemployment f o r the unskilled worker which most heads of s o c i a l assistance families are. - 39 -Table 9. Date of First Application for Social Assistance Survey Sample One Parent Two Parent Total Tear No. f No. 1° No. 1° 1924 - 1929 2 1.07 0 .00 2 .68 1930 - 1934 0 .00 0 .00 0 .00 1935 - 1939 8 4.30 1 .96 9 3.10 1940 - 1944 2 1.08 2 1.93 4 1.38 1945 - 1949 5 2.68 3 2.88 8 2.76 1950 - 1954 31 16.67 11 10.58 42 14.48 1955 - 1959 52 27.96 21 20.19 73 25.18 1960 - 1963 86 46.24 66 63.46 152 52.42 Total: 186 100 104 100 290 100 Marital Status of Heads of Families Table 10 points up a significant difference in the family l i f e of the children in the survey sample compared with children in metropolitan Vancouver as a whole. If i t is conceded that child development is enhanced when both parents are in the home, the relatively disadvantaged position of the social assistance child emerges clearly from this table. Whereas more than 90$ of a l l families in Vancouver have both parents at home, only 35$ of the families in our survey sample enjoy this advantage. The table moreover provides a further commentary on the nature - 40 -of the circumstances which prompt the need f o r public a i d . Thirty-three per cent of the wives i n the sample are separated from t h e i r husbands or have been deserted compared with 2.6 per cent f o r the Vancouver population as a whole and more than 14 per cent are widowed compared with a rate of 4.5 per cent of widowed family heads f o r the t o t a l population. Table 11 shows the d i s t r i b u t i o n of children aged 15 years and older among the families of di f f e r e n t marital status f o r the survey sample and Metropolitan Vancouver. Table 10.Marital Status of Family Heads: Metropolitan Vancouver Compared with Survey Sample Mar i t a l Status Husband and Wife at Home Wife only at Home Husband only at Home Divorced Widowed Never Married T o t a l : Vancouver  No. jo of Total 178852 91.11 5043 2.56 1034 .53 2212 1.13 8745 4.46 414 .21 196300 100 Study Group No. % of Total 104 35.86 96 33.10 6 2.07 25 8.63 42 14.48 17 5.86 290 100 Source: Data f o r Vancouver derived from census of Canada, 1961', Table 74;data f o r survey sample derived from f i l e s of South Unit, C i t y S o c i a l Service Department. 41 -Table 11. Number of Children at Home F i f t e e n Years and Older. by Marital Status of Family Head Metropolitan Vancouver and Survey Sample. Children at Home Husband and Wife at Home One Parent only at Home Widowed Divorced Never Married 15 - 18 Years Survey Vancouver Sample 19 - 24 Years Survey Vancouver , Sample 33676 87.9 90 34.7 17927 83,. 3 25 33.8 1822 4.7 93 35.7 2029 5.3 39 14.8 752 2.0 24 9.3 42 0.1 14 5.4 1130 5.2 20 25.7 1966 9.1 18 21.0 446 2.1 6 8.1 53 0.2 9.4 Total: 38321 100.0 260 100.0 21522 100.0 76 100.0 Source: Figures f o r Metropolitan Vancouver derived from Census of Canada, 1961, Table 74. Age of Family Heads and Size of Family. The c r i t e r i o n used f o r selection of survey sample ( i . e . families with children 13 years or older) has produced a group of families at a r e l a t i v e l y advanced stage of family formation with correspondingly higher average ages of parents and above average numbers of children. The median age of the parents i n the sample i s 42 years, with one-parent families having, on an average, a median age four years younger than heads of two-parent fam i l i e s , (Table 12). The average number of children per family i n the sample i s 3.1 compared with an average of 1.2 children for a l l families i n Vancouver, (Table 13). It i s noteworthy that 12 per cent of families i n the sample have s i x or more children at home and almost 10 per cent of two-parent families are very large with seven or more children i n the home. Other studies indicate a negative co r r e l a t i o n between family size and average education of children; that i s , the larger the family the less education the individual children are l i k e l y to a t t a i n . 1 The relationship between size of family on f i n a n c i a l dependency on the one hand and educational achievement of the children on the other, i s c l e a r l y an area deserving intensive study among families receiving s o c i a l assistance. Considering the bias of the survey sample i n the d i r e c t i o n of older, and therefore larger families an attempt has been made to offset t h i s d i s t o r t i o n by comparing family sizes within s i m i l a r age groups f o r parents i n the survey sample and i n the Vancouver population generally (Table 14). The s t r i k i n g fact which emerges from t h i s comparison i s that male family heads between the ages of 35 - 44 years i n the survey sample See, f o r example, James N. Morgan et a l ; Income and Welfare i n the United States. McGraw-Hill Book Co. 1962. "The number of children i n the family i s a major factor influencing the l e v e l of education expected f o r children. Other things being equal, g i r l s and boys i n families with one or two children are expected to obtain a substantially higher l e v e l of education than those who are members of families having f i v e or more children." - 43 -have exactly twice as many children on an average as t h e i r counterparts i n the City as a whole, ( i . e . 4.7 children per family compared with 2 .3) . The differences i n family sizes f o r female family heads are equally s t r i k i n g . Although the evidence i s not conclusive there i s reason to believe that families i n the survey sample are somewhat younger than other families i n the C i t y with children 15 years or older, (Table 14B). If t h i s should prove true, the combination of unusually large numbers of children and r e l a t i v e l y young parents presents a set of circumstances l i k e l y to prove inimical to the educational development of children. Table 12. Age of Family Heads  Survey Sample T y P e o f F a m i i y A l l One- Parent Two- Parent Families No. * No. i No. g Under 25 years 4 2.2 2 1.9 6 2.1 2 5 - 3 4 years 18 9.7 4 3.9 22 7.5 35 - 44 years 96 51.6 35 33.6 131 45.2 45 - 54 years 48 25.8 35 33.6 83 28.6 5 5 - 6 5 years 14 7.5 17 16.4 31 10.7 Not Reported 6 3.2 11 10.6 17 5.9 T o t a l : 186 100.0 104 100.0 290 100.0 Median Age of One-Parent Families 41 Years Median Age of Two-Parent Families 45 Years Median Age of A l l Families i n Sample 42 Years One of the most disturbing features of the composition of families i n the sample i s the large proportion of children under 15 years of age. About two-thirds of the children are under 15 years and nearly 60 per cent of these l i v e i n families i n which there i s only one parent i n the home, (Tables 15-16). There are 143 children, or nearly 16 per cent of the t o t a l , who are under s i x years of age. These figures are disturbing because they underline the potential size and long-term nature of the problem of undeveloped human resources i n families dependent upon s o c i a l assistance. Table 13. Size of Family - Children Survey Sample Number of Children i n Family Type of Family ,1 2 3 4 5 6 7+ Total Families One-Parent Families 36 47 39 33 15 12 4 186 Two-Parent Families 20 19 21 17 8 9 10 104 Total Families 56 66 60 50 23 21 14 290 Average number of children per one-parent family 2.9 Average number of children per two-parent family 3.4 Average number of children per family ( t o t a l sample) 3.1 Average number of children per family, Vancouver C i t y ( a ) 1.2 (a) Based on Census of Canada, 1961, Table 52. - 45 -Table 14. Average Number of Children in Family According to Age of Head; Survey Sample Compared with Vancouver City Children per Family Male Heads Survey Age Vancouver Sample A l l Male Heads 1.4 3.5 Under 25 Years 0 .9 .5 25 - 34 Years 1.8 5 .0 35 - 44 Years 2.3 4 .7 45 - 54 Years 1.6 3 . 0 55 - 64 Years 0 .6 2.2 65 and Over 0 . 1 Female Heads A l l Female Heads 1.3 3 . 0 Under 25 Years 1.5 2.5 25 - 34 Years 2 .0 3.4 35 _ 44 Years 2.1 3 .4 45 - 54 Years 1.5 2.4 55 - 64 Years 0 .7 1.8 65 and Over 0 . 1 Source: Figures for Vancouver based on Census of Canada 1961. Bul let in 2.1-7 Table 74. £ 4 6 -Table 14B. Number of Children i n Family according to Age of Family Head - Survey Sample N u m b e r of C h i 1 d r e n Age of Family Head 1 2 3 4 5 6 7+ Total Under 25 Years 1 1 2 0 1 0 0 5 25 - 34 Years 0 3 10 4 3 1 2 23 35 - 44 Years 15 28 23 26 14 12 !4 132 45 - 54 Years 23 26 14 17 4 3 1 88 55 - 65 Years 13 8 7 2 1 0 0 31 Not Known _1 _a 2 1 0 2 0 11 Tot a l : 53 71 58 50 23 18 17 290 Table 15. Families by Marital Status, and Age of Head showing  Age D i s t r i b u t i o n of a l l Children at Home f o r  Survey Sample Marital Status Married Under 15 yrs. 15-18 yrs. 19-24 yrs. Total Husband and Wife at Home 235 90 25 350 One Parent only at Home 205 93 20 318 Widowed 61 39 18 118 Divorced 45 24 6 75 Never Married _23_ __Z _ i i T o t a l : 569 260 76 905 - 47 -Table 16. D i s t r i b u t i o n of Children by Age according to Type of Family - Survey Sample T y p e of F a m i 1 y Age of Children One-Parent Two- •Parent A l l Families No. lo No. No. Under 6 Years 82 15.0 61 17.1 143 15.8 6 - 1 4 Years 252 46.0 174 48.7 426 47.1 15- 18 Years 167 30.5 93 26.1 260 28.7 19- 24 Years JLL -8.? .22 8.1 76 8.4 A l l Children 548 100.0 357 100.1 905 100.0 The Interview Sample  Reasons f o r Application f o r S o c i a l Assistance Reasons f o r application f o r S o c i a l Assistance beyond the b r i e f descriptions such as "destitute," "unemployed" or " c h i l d care" found on application forms could not always be e a s i l y determined, but i n some cases i t was possible to f i l l out these uninformative labels with information obtained from interviews with parents. This information tended to be the present reason f o r not seeking or obtaining employment rather than the o r i g i n a l , expressed reasons f o r application. As could be expected i n a sample composed of families with children, a frequent reason f o r requiring S o c i a l Assistance was f o r the support of children. Eight mothers indicated a preference to remain at home with t h e i r children. Three of these families had - 48 -pre-school children and the remaining f i v e had a l l t h e i r children i n school. In those cases where a l l the children were of school age, the mothers preferred to remain at home i n order to provide proper care and supervision. Four of these families i n which c h i l d care was the central reason for needing S o c i a l Assistance reported frequent i l l n e s s e s i n the family. Three mothers had considered part-time employment but had not been able to fin d jobs which would allow them to care f o r t h e i r children adequately. In two cases i t appeared that the mothers did not have occupational s k i l l s on which to f a l l back. Table 17. Primary Reason Given f o r Receiving S o c i a l Assistance Interview Sample One-Parent Two-Parent Unemployed 4 Child Care 8 111 Health 1 2 Loss of Breadwinner 8 Unknown JL Total: 21 6 In some cases these mothers did not f e e l that the net earnings they might make would improve t h e i r f i n a n c i a l position. Costs incurred by being employed such as expense of baby s i t t e r s , additional clothing and transportation when subtracted from a low wage would mean that t h e i r income would not be appreciably higher than on S o c i a l Assistance. - 49 -Loss of the breadwinner i n the family through death, desertion, separation or divorce was mentioned i n eight f a m i l i e s . In seven of these, c h i l d care was c e r t a i n l y a major factor, but the reason f o r receiving S o c i a l Assistance focussed on loss of a provider rather than on suggesting that the predominant reason was c h i l d care. This was especially true among those families which had teen-age children. Only one parent who gave "loss of breadwinner" rather than " c h i l d care" had pre-school children. In the other seven, the median age of the youngest c h i l d i n the family was nine years. In two of these families the point was made that p r i o r to the family breadwinner's death, he had been a poor manager of family finances. Physical ailments mentioned by three families either completely prevented employment or allowed f o r only part-time work. In some cases, where i l l n e s s was one of the secondary reasons f o r receiving S o c i a l Assistance the d i s a b i l i t i e s affected the parent and i n others, the children. One father was unemployed because of a back injury, not covered by W.C.B., which prevented him from resuming his usual employment as a labourer. Unemployment of the father, uncomplicated by any apparent physical d i s a b i l i t y , accounted f o r the applications of three f a m i l i e s . In these cases there was no suggestion of the mother taking employment. Characteristics of Families Interviewed This section examines the marital status of parents, place : of b i r t h of applicants, age of the family head and the - 50 -number of children i n the family compared to the age of the head of the family. Considering the conditions which lead to f i n a n c i a l dependency i t i s not surprising that the present sample of families includes a large proportion with only one parent i n the home. The r a t i o of married to single heads i n the universe, was 36 per cent to 64 per cent. In the interviewed group 27 per cent of the parents were married and the remaining 72 per cent were one parent families with several forms of single status, i . e . s i x were widowed, two were deserted, f i v e were separated, four were divorced and two l i v e d i n common law. The marital status of one family at the time of the interview was unclear. Table 18. Marital Status of Family Heads Interview Sample Number of Marital Status Family Heads Married 7 Widowed 6 Deserted 2 Separated 5 Divorced 4 Common Law 2 Not Known 1 Tot a l : 27 - 51 -One of the studies reviewed i n Chapter 1 suggested that marital status of the parents could not be considered a s i g n i f i c a n t factor i n school retention. Seventy-two per cent of the dropouts reviewed i n that study were from families i n which both parents were present and l e g a l l y married. It therefore cannot be assumed that marital status, as such, i s a major contributing factor i n the general dropout population.! Table 19. Place of B i r t h of Family Head Interview Sample Number of Family Place of B i r t h Heads B r i t i s h Columbia 7 Other Provinces i n Canada 11 Outside Canada 8 Not Reported _JL Total: 27 Seven, or 27 per cent, of the family heads interviewed were born i n B r i t i s h Columbia compared with 23.5 per cent f o r the universe of families. The universe showed 47 per cent from other provinces i n the interviewed group. The remaining eight or 31 per cent of the interviewed families were born i n countries other than Canada. Six of these were from non-English speaking Our Drop Outs, Maryland State Department of Education, June, 1963. - 52 -countries. In one of these families, lack of fluency i n English on a r r i v a l i n Canada caused one year retardation f o r the children re-entering school. One mother was acutely conscious of her d i f f i c u l t y with the language and gave i t as a reason f o r not contacting the school i n any way. Table 20. Number of Children i n Family Compared with Age of Head of Family - Interview Sample Age of Family Head Number of Children i n Family 1 2 3 4 5 6 7+ Total 25 - 34 Years 2 2 35 _ 44 Years 1 2 4 4 11 45 - 54 Years 1 1 3 3 8 55 - 65 Years 3 1 2 6 T o t a l : 4 1 6 7 3 6 27 The size of families and the age of parents are important i n considering t h e i r general welfare, and p a r t i c u l a r l y the pressures on the family group. In the families interviewed, 19 of the family heads were between 35 and 54 years old. This group accounted f o r 93 of the t o t a l of 119 children born i n these f a m i l i e s . The number of children per family ranged from one to 13. The median number of children per family i n the interviewed group i s four. In the universe, the median i s three children per family. / CHAPTER 5. FAMILY INFLUENCES ON SCHOOL RESISTANCE. Family Health In surveying the health of the families interviewed there were three main purposes. The f i r s t was to determine the incidence of sickness and disabling conditions. The second was to estimate the degree of stress on the family caused by par t i c u l a r i l l health or d i s a b i l i t y of either parents or children. The t h i r d purpose was to establish the degree of absenteeism caused by poor health. Besides absenteeism caused by i l l health, instances of truancy were revealed i n the study although no quantitative measurement was made of i t . There may also have been families who concealed t h i s information. Since parents and children were the only sources used f o r this sort of personal information the reporting on truancy and absenteeism i n t h i s study cannot be regarded as conclusive. The Maryland study found that "the majority of drop outs were irre g u l a r i n attendance, either lawfully or unlawfully during the year i n which they dropped out." It found that 60 per cent of the dropouts had records of ir r e g u l a r attendance f o r either lawful or unlawful reasons. In the year they dropped out 70 per cent of them attended i r r e g u l a r l y . It should be pointed out that variations appeared to exist i n the families' reactions to sickness. For example, one family became extremely upset and the daughter dropped out of Loc. c i t . - 54 -school when i t was discovered that she was suffering from tuberculosis, despite the fact that no h o s p i t a l i z a t i o n was required and treatment was given through the Out-Patients Department of the h o s p i t a l . Such differences were taken into account i n c l a s s i f y i n g the impact on the family. Table 21. Health of Families  Interview Sample Health Status A l l members of family i n apparently good health Family suffers some incapacitation because of i l l health Family severely incapacitated by i l l health Not ascertainable T o t a l : Six of the one-parent and two of the two-parent families suffered no disablement f o r health reasons. A l l reported excellent health and v i r t u a l l y no absenteeism f o r reasons of i l l n e s s . Two mothers indicated that t h e i r sons had played truant a good deal, however. Nine families experienced some incapacitation because of i l l health. Two of these were two-parent fa m i l i e s . These One-Parent Two-Parent A l l Families Families Families 6 2 8 7 2 9 7 2 9 1 - 1 21 6 27 - 55 -families described a variety of complaints. Two daughters suffered congenital defects. Two children suffered asthma. One daughter was absent s i x weeks a f t e r an appendix operation. It was also indicated that she played truant. One daughter was suspected of malingering. She was sent to school but was frequently sent home again by the school nurse. The remaining four families suffered some incapacitation because of ailments of the parents which included two mothers with unspecified complaints, ulcers and prolonged i l l n e s s of a parent now deceased. A t o t a l of nine families were severely incapacitated by i l l health. One c h i l d suffered tuberculosis which was treated on an out-patient basis. One family preferred not to specify the complaint but indicated that i t was the reason f o r application f o r S o c i a l Assistance. In the two-parent families the fathers stated that t h e i r health had caused unemployment, one had ulcers and other general complaints, the other had suffered an injury which made him unemployable fo r the only work he knows which i s labouring. The remaining f i v e families, which were a l l i n the one-parent group, were severely disabled by poor health. In a l l but one of these cases, more than one member of the family suffered poor health of a serious nature. The d i s a b i l i t i e s found i n these f i v e f a m i l i e s are summarized below, Family No. 1 One c h i l d suffers from Tuberculosis. One c h i l d - pneumonia and spinal condition. Family No. 2 Mother - slipped disc. One c h i l d - asthma. One c h i l d - menstrual problems. Family No. 3 Mother - multiple operations. Two children - severe v i s i o n impairment. One c h i l d - epilepsy. One c h i l d - concussion, suspected of epilepsy. One c h i l d - continuous fatigue. One c h i l d - obesity. Family No. 4 Mother - a r t h r i t i s . Family No. 5 Mother - dropsy and general ailments. Father - heart condition prior to death. One c h i l d - asthma. Two children i n two of these families i n t h i s severely incapacitated group were truants. The actual absenteeism from school f o r i l l n e s s or d i s a b i l i t y was not uniformly reported by parents or children interviewed. Those who indicated there had been absences tended to be vague about the length of them. Housing Conditions Housing conditions and the rents paid f o r accommodation have been examined i n our interview sample f o r t h e i r possible influence upon family morale. Special consideration has been given to differences depending upon whether families are l i v i n g i n t h e i r own home, i n subsidized housing, or i n non-subsidized housing. The influence of poor neighbourhoods was mentioned by several families i n t h e i r complaints about the inadequacy of s o c i a l assistance allowance. There was an attempt to consider the burden upon family finances of high rent payments and the incidence of gross overcrowding conditions which provided an unfavourable atmosphere f o r the c h i l d to study. The following findings appeared to be of s i g n i f i c a n c e . Of the 27 families interviewed, two owned t h e i r own - 57 -home, mortgage free. One of these was described as run down, dilapidated and neglected. As the second parent refused to be interviewed no assessment of the physical condition of the home could be made. Table 22. Type of Accommodation showing Average Rent paid, Average Number of Bedrooms and Average Number of  of persons i n the Home by Subsidized and Non- Subsidized Housing. Type of Accommodation House Duplex Row Housing Apartment Suite Average Rent Paid Sub. Non-Sub. Housing. Housing. $59.00 32.00 40.00 28.00 $73.00 57.50 65.00 46.00 Average Number of Bedrooms. Sub. Average No. of persons i n the Home Non-Sub. Sub. Non-Sub. Housing. Housing. Housing. Housing. 3.3 3 2.6 2 3 2 2 1.3 5.3 4 5 4 5 2.5 2 3.3 Overall Average $43.00 $64.00 2.7 2.4 4.7 Three families were paying mortgages on t h e i r homes. These were described as extremely over-crowded with an average of si x persons i n two bedrooms. The houses i n each case were i n poor repair, steps broken, windows cracked and i n need of paint. It appeared generally that those families who owned th e i r own homes or were paying mortgages were unable to meet the expenses for upkeep. - 58 -Of the 21 families renting, nine were occupying subsidized public housing. The remaining 13 were renting on the open market and t h e i r rents were s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher for poorer accommodation. Average rent paid by families i n non-subsidized housing was $64.00 compared to $43.00 i n subsidized housing and ranged as high as $88.00 f o r a four bedroom house f o r a family of eight. Obviously families on s o c i a l assistance who are obliged to f i n d accommodation on the open market are at a considerable disadvantage since the maximum rent a l allowance i s only $60.00. In such cases, money which should be spent on food and other necessities has to be diverted to rent. Those families l i v i n g i n houses or apartments rented on the open market complained most intensely about the f i n a n c i a l burden which the high rents posed. Accommodation i n subsidized r e n t a l projects, although somewhat confined, was generally i n better repair. Because of the confined quarters and the large proportion of young children the accommodation was described as noisy and lacking privacy. Length of Residence Contrary to what one might suspect, many of the families interviewed displayed unusual r e s i d e n t i a l s t a b i l i t y . Twelve families who reported no moves i n the l a s t f i v e years had an average of nine years i n t h e i r present home; s i x of these were l i v i n g i n subsidized housing. Two others i n subsidized housing projects had an average of two years i n t h e i r present residence. While another had a history of ten moves i n the past f i v e years and was now i n the process of being evicted from L i t t l e Mountain housing a f t e r being there three months. Only two families renting non-subsidized accommodation recorded no moves i n the l a s t f i v e years. Average time spent i n t h e i r present accommodation f o r those renting non-subsidized accommodation was two years one month compared to an average of s i x years 10 months among those renting subsidized accommodation. Two main factors appeared to influence the extent of r e s i d e n t i a l mobility. Frequent moves among those representing non-subsidized accommodation represented an attempt to f i n d cheaper and more adequate accommodation. Of those families who did record moves i n the l a s t f i v e years, the moves were frequent averaging four per family. Six families i n t h i s group confined t h e i r moves within Greater Vancouver with another seven families who moved into Vancouver from other areas of B r i t i s h Columbia i n the l a s t f i v e years. A second factor indicated was that of a family's i n a b i l i t y to s e t t l e down anywhere. There' was a general tendency f o r those presently i n subsidized housing to have had fewer moves; two compared to s i x i n non-subsidized housing and a much longer period of time currently i n present residence, an average of s i x years 10 months compared to two years 10 months i n t o t a l interview sample. Crowding It was found that nine families were l i v i n g under grossly overcrowded conditions with an average of nearly three persons per bedroom. The incidence of crowding i s highest i n those families paying mortgages on t h e i r homes, and those l i v i n g - 6 0 -i n non-subsidized suites. Another f i v e families were uncomfortably crowded with an average of nearly two persons per bedroom. The highest proportion i n t h i s group was l i v i n g i n non-subsidized houses. It i s suspected that the degree of crowding and i t s effect upon students i n the family i s even greater than that indicated by the above figures. Two factors may account f o r t h i s . The majority of the families interviewed contained only one parent and t h i s parent frequently expressed a desire f o r a separate bedroom. In some cases three or four children were sharing one room. Secondly, each of these families had at least one c h i l d over 15 years of age, to whom privacy and study space are of c r i t i c a l importance. High school students frequently shared rooms with younger s i b l i n g s which meant that undisturbed study space was not available. In many homes the kitchen and dining were combined, always occupied, and frequently monopolized i n the evening by the t e l e v i s i o n set. Next to lack of privacy cited as a problem i n the majority of families by both the parents and children, the a v a i l a b i l i t y of free space i n the home was mentioned most frequently as a problem. Education of Parents The educational experience of parents plays an important part i n the attitudes they have toward education. Parents of limited education may react i n two ways. Those who do not see l i f e i n terms of upward s t r i v i n g or s e l f improvement may place very l i t t l e value i n education because t h e i r vocational aspirations f o r t h e i r children do not surpass t h e i r own. On the other hand those who do wish f o r a "better l i f e " f o r t h e i r children than they had themselves may place great emphasis on the importance of completing school. Table 23 . Education Level Compared with Age of Family Head. Interview Sample. Grade Achieved by Parent Age of 0-8 9-11 12 12+ non-academic Some Parent t r a i n i n g University 2 5 - 3 4 Years 1 35 - 44 Years 7 5 45 _ 54 Years 5 3 1 55 - 64 Years 1 2 2 2 T o t a l : 13 10 3 In f i v e families i t was not possible to determine the highest school grade completed by the parent. One mother had attended school f o r only two summers and did not achieve any grade standing. Another mother attended a one-room school f o r three years i n which grades one to eight were taught, but did not actually acquire a s p e c i f i c grade standing although she spoke i n terms of f e e l i n g she had completed grade 8. The educational l e v e l of the remaining three parents are unknown. Of those who attended school regularly the grades achieved by family heads ranged from grade 6 to grade 12. The - 62 -median grade completed was grade 9. One parent from Germany noted that free schooling ended at grade 8 in her homeland, and this was therefore the grade at which a l l hut the well-to-do leave school. In the families interviewed, two heads had had "some university education," hut neither held degrees. Three heads had attended either a trade or technical school. In one of these cases the s k i l l s thus learned were not being used or even considered for use. The mother had been a stenographer trained after completing grade 12, but in looking for employment envisaged herself working in a school cafeteria. She wanted employment that would leave her free after school hours for supervising her teen-age daughters, and fe l t that she was now "too stout," to work in an office. It is also possible that she had . lost these sk i l l s because of the intervening years of child care and homemaking. Despite the fact that over the years school retention rates have been improving, the table showing grade achieved by age of head does not indicate that these families have been greatly influenced by this changing educational pattern. For example, the four heads who completed grade 12 were 64 years, 56 years, 47 years and 34 years. The latter head was a mother who had dropped out of school during grade 9 but returned to a program of adult education in which she completed grade 12 at age 33. Of those between the ages of 37 and 46 none had completed any grade beyond 10. Parents' Attitude to Education A number of studies have drawn attention to the influence on school retention of parents' attitude to education and the school. The close relationship existing between attitudes of parents to education and continued school attendance of 16 and 17 year-olds i s underlined i n the Hamilton Study. It states that those families which see education as a means of upward s o c i a l mobility urge t h e i r children to stay i n school. This desire f o r self-improvement was found to be t y p i c a l of middle class families but was less often true of lower class families "who are more l i k e l y to accept t h e i r status."1 Table 24. Parents' Attitude to Children Continuing i n School Interview Sample One-Parent Two-Parent Total Family Family  Not necessary for Children to graduate 2 1 3 Would l i k e Children to graduate 18 4 22 Indifferent 2 2 The families interviewed i n the present study predominantly expressed an interest i n t h e i r children completing Out of School Youths, Hamilton: Greater Hamilton Y.M.C.A., 1962, p.12. - 64 -grade 12 for primarily vocational and economic reasons. Eighteen one-parent and four two-parent families expressed t h i s wish. In f i v e of these families the hope that t h e i r children would graduate was accompanied by expressed fears that they seemed headed toward dropping out of school because of such things as inadequate clothing, grade retardation, or loss of interest on the part of the c h i l d . Two of the one-parent families thought that i t was unnecessary f o r t h e i r children to complete grade 12. In one of these grade 12 was desired for the son, but grade 10 was considered adequate f o r the daughter. One of the one-parent families seemed in d i f f e r e n t and indicated that grade 10 was adequate and suggested that experience outside of school was of superior educational value. One two-parent family did not think i t was necessary f o r t h e i r children to graduate. However the father indicated that his son i s interested i n school and wishes to complete grade 12. While the importance of education was emphasized by the majority of families i t was revealing to examine the actual interest taken i n children's education by the parents. Judgements of t h e i r interest were made on the basis of what actual knowledge of the school courses and a c t i v i t i e s they had, knowledge of t h e i r children's feelings toward them and knowledge of t h e i r school performance. These evaluations were also based on the use the parents made of opportunities to become f a m i l i a r with the school through parent-child discussion, p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n parent groups such as P.T.A., and through i n i t i a t i n g contact with - 65 -teachers, p r i n c i p a l s , counsellors or school nurses. Table 25. Level of Parents' Interest i n Education Interview Sample Level of Interest Gne-Parent Two-Parent Total Actively Interested 3 1 4 Some Interest 10 1 11 L i t t l e or no Interest 8 4 12 Three one-parent and one two--parent families were rated as being "a c t i v e l y interested" i n t h e i r children's education. In the one-parent group, one mother was almost desperate that her son pursue his education seriously as she had placed her f a i t h i n education to ensure a better way of l i f e . The other parents who were rated as a c t i v e l y interested were active i n parent groups, were fa m i l i a r with courses and with teachers and students i n the school, set study time aside f o r t h e i r children and made s a c r i f i c e s to ensure them of adequate clothing and school equipment. Eleven families f e l l i n the "some interest" category. They a l l had a s u p e r f i c i a l knowledge of the school programs, some knowledge of t h e i r children's grades on report cards, and gave some help with homework and courses, but showed no i n i t i a t i v e i n dealing with problems related to school. One family had invested i n a set of "Books of Knowledge" which they could i l l -afford and which the children did not use. - 66 -Eight one-parent and four of the two-parent families showed l i t t l e or no interest i n education. In the l a t t e r case two fathers indicated that school was the mother's area of concern. In these families the parents did not seem to perceive the role for parents i n education. The feelings of the parents toward t h e i r children's schools appears to be important i n that they influence the attitudes of t h e i r children. Table 26. Parents' Attitudes toward the School Interview Sample Attitude One-Parent Two-Parent Total E n t i r e l y Positive 2 - 2 Positive with some Reservations 10 2 12 Negative 3 1 4 Indifferent 5 3 8 1 Unknown Parents* attitudes have been c l a s s i f i e d on the basis of expressed feelings about teachers and treatment meted out by the school. The l a t t e r i s i n r e l a t i o n to the handling of complaints by either school or parent, helpfulness of the counsellors or lack of i t , interest or lack of interest i n the children by school authorities. The evaluation also takes account of parents' attitudes toward the grading system, course content, educational " f r i l l s , " homework, and complaints about f a c i l i t i e s and provision f o r lunches at the school. - 67 -Of the one-parent families two had positive attitudes to the school. Only favourable comments about the teachers, courses and school a c t i v i t i e s were made by them. Among the one-parent fam i l i e s , 10 held generally positive views with some negative c r i t i c i s m s . There were also two of the two-parent families i n t h i s c l a s s i f i c a t i o n . Adverse comments made reference to personal encounters with the counsellors and teachers. Two parents complained that t h e i r children had been to l d to l i m i t t h e i r educational goals because they were on S o c i a l Assistance. The grading system used on report cards was not understood or approved of i n some fa m i l i e s . Unfavourable comparisons were made with the methods of grading used i n t h e i r own school experience. Some f e l t that the system of l e t t e r grades was unfai r because i t depends on what kind of students are i n the class and how l i b e r a l the individual teachers are with A's and B's when many children do well on the same t e s t . Some parents c r i t i c i z e d the " f r i l l " courses. One parent f e l t that such things as dancing have ho place i n the school. Lack df respect f o r teachers was raised as a negative comment. While one parent appreciated the warm atmosphere of the school, she regretted that i t sometimes led to flippancy on the part of the students. Three parents complained that homework i s excessive. The three parents who were predominantly negative were i n the one-parent group. One of these supported the school despite the numerous c r i t i c i s m she had f o r i t . In th i s case the mother f e l t there was lack of individual interest i n the children - 68 -because the school was so b i g and she had experienced an irresponsible attitude to truancy and to counselling. Some families who indicated they had no opinion about the school without question. There were f i v e one-parent families i n t h i s group and three two-parent fa m i l i e s . For one parent the courses were incomprehensible. She commented that "school i s hard." Two mothers regarded the school submissively and one appeared to have accepted a request f o r withdrawal of her daughter without any attempt to resolve the problem. One parent had no opinion but f e l t the c h i l d l i k e d school. Of the three two-parent families, two parents did not have enough knowledge of the school on which to base an opinion. The t h i r d indicated acceptance of the school but had no knowledge of i t . Table 27. Parental Interest i n Education compared with Attitude towards School - Interview Sample Attitude A c t i v e l y Some L i t t l e or towards School Interested Interest No Interest. E n t i r e l y Positive 1 1 1 Positive with some with some Reservations 2 8 1 Negative 1 3 Indifferent 1 7 1 Unknown There were, then seven families i n which parents held no opinions about the school or accepted school authority and had l i t t l e or no interest i n education. The only other major - 69 -grouping i n t h i s analysis were eight parents who were generally positive but had some reservations and at the same time took some in t e r e s t . The remaining families were scattered i n t h e i r attitudes to the school and th e i r interest i n education. The parent who was ac t i v e l y interested and had a positive attitude had a warm appreciative attitude toward the school. She reported that a great deal of ind i v i d u a l interest had been taken i n her son both i n his courses and i n his school a c t i v i t i e s which were i n drama and art clubs. She appeared to have a warm relationship with certain teachers. This mother had purchased insurance p o l i c i e s f o r her children's education despite the f i n a n c i a l hardship so incurred. The fact that her son i s outgoing and responsive seemed to enhance the interest taken i n him by his teachers. The family was sensitive about being on s o c i a l assistance. The mother did not t e l l her son about receiving assistance u n t i l he was i n high school. The son showed that he had absorbed t h i s shameful attitude to So c i a l Assistance when he refused to benefit from the extra assistance usually granted f o r text book rentals i n order to keep t h i s information from the school. The family that was a c t i v e l y interested i n education but had a negative attitude to the school f e l t that the school authorities were sometimes irresponsible i n counselling services, that the school was too large f o r adequate individual interest i n the students and that the teachers tended to assume lack of concern on the part of parents. For example, when she responded to a sharp note about her child's absenteeism by making an appointment f o r an interview with the teacher, the teacher expressed surprise at her sincere concern and uhbelligerent approach to the problem. The teacher had expected her to be h o s t i l e . The parent discovered i n the interview that the teacher had accepted notes of excuse for absence, which were written i n a child's handwriting on school looseleaf paper. The parent f e l t that the teacher had been obtuse i n not recognizing the truancy and that she had not taken her r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s to the parents and children seriously enough. Of the group who were c l a s s i f i e d as having a positive attitude with some reservations and some interest, one had only very general knowledge of the school program, and was f a i r l y well s a t i s f i e d but objected to the school counsellor. Another protested a desire f o r education f o r her children but said her daughters complained when she kept them out of school f o r baby s i t t i n g . She f e l t that she and her children were rejected by the p r i n c i p a l of a parochial school because of t h e i r being a So c i a l Assistance family. One parent helped with homework and had some positive contact with the counsellor but was c r i t i c a l of educational " f r i l l s , " and cost of materials f o r school which were a f i n a n c i a l burden to her. Although one mother did not participate i n any school programs f o r parents, she had a f a i r knowledge of courses. She indicated some family f r i c t i o n over homework. Part of her reservation about the school was a resu l t of a f e e l i n g of economic i n f e r i o r i t y compared with families of other children i n the school. She said that the other children at school had large - 71 -amounts of spending money, whereas her son had none. Another parent took considerable interest but took a l a i s s e z - f a i r e attitude. She said, "The school knows what i t i s doing." At the same time she c r i t i c i z e d the arrangements at the school f o r lunches. One father made concrete e f f o r t s to help children i n t h e i r education by providing books and obtaining an apprentice-ship f o r his son. He was, however, c r i t i c a l of the teaching methods employed and some of the " f r i l l " subjects. One of these families l e f t the decision about withdrawal from school to the c h i l d and indicated that they r a r e l y discussed school. However, the father seemed to have some concrete suggestions f o r improving the educational system, such as grouping children of similar a b i l i t y i n classes. Among those parents who had no opinion or who were ind i f f e r e n t to the school and who showed l i t t l e or no interest i n the school, there frequently was no discussion of school courses or a c t i v i t i e s , or any that occurred was on the children's i n i t i a t i v e . Contacts with the school had not been made unless teachers or counsellors telephoned or wrote the parent. Some of these parents appeared to regard the school as a completely foreign i n s t i t u t i o n outside t h e i r control and were content to submit passively to whatever was decided f o r them. This may not be an u n r e a l i s t i c assessment of t h e i r actual s i t u a t i o n . Grade Retardation It has been found that students who drop out of school frequently have repeated one or more grades, and therefore at the - 73 -time of leaving school are older than the majority of students i n the same grade. Schreiber found that, "In several studies of communities, as much as 90 per cent of the dropouts had been retained at least once; 60 per cent twice or more."! Table 28. Degree of Grade Retardation of a l l Children i n  Interviewed Families - Interview Sample Retardation One Tear Two Years Three Years One-Parent Two-Parent Total In School Dropout In School Dropout Boys G i r l s Boys G i r l s Boys G i r l s Boys G i r l s 3 2 5 2 2 3 3 - 20 5 1 12 . 2 To t a l : 0 34 Of the 88 children i n these families f o r whom th i s information was known or applicable, 39 children or 44 per cent were retarded i n t h e i r grades. Thirteen boys and seven g i r l s or a t o t a l of 20 children were retarded one year. Nine boys and f i v e g i r l s or 14 children were retarded by two or more years. Four children, two boys and two g i r l s , were i n Special Class and one boy was i n his t h i r d year i n the Occupational Program. These children are included i n the t o t a l retarded group, but not i n the t o t a l s retarded by year. There were nine graduates among the 88 children, none of whom were retarded i n t h e i r grade. Schreiber, Daniel\ "Juvenile Delinquency and the School Dropout Problem", Federal Probation, vol.27 (September 1963), pp.15-19. - 74 -Three of them were actually advanced. Two had completed grade 12 at sixteen, rather than the usual 18 years. Schreiber also found that dropouts were more often boys than g i r l s . He says, "In most studies from 52 per cent to 58 per cent of the dropouts i n a pa r t i c u l a r locale are l i k e l y to be male." 1 In the present study, the dropout r a t i o was 10 boys to two g i r l s . How Parents F e e l About Being on So c i a l Assistance In asking parents how they f e l t about being on s o c i a l assistance a d i s t i n c t i o n was made between those attitudes and feelings related to a marginal income and those feelings a r i s i n g from the experience of being a recipient of public a i d . The former i s discussed f i r s t . Of the parents of 26 families interviewed, 11 indicated resignation to a marginal income by either stating t h i s e x p l i c i t l y or by the omission of complaints about the f i n a n c i a l inadequacy of t h e i r income. In t h i s group of 10 families there was an average of 2.75 children i n the home compared with an average of 3.3 children l i v i n g i n the home i n the t o t a l interview sample. A second group of parents representing 11 families indicated that a marginal income had generally r e s t r i c t e d themselves and t h e i r children i n buying clothes, school books, extra educational aids such as d i c t i o n a r i e s , encyclopedias, etc. They were forced to accept second-hand clothes which were not only 1 School and Early Experiences of Youth? U.S. Department of Labour, B u l l e t i n 1277, cited i n Schreiber, Daniel, "Uuvenile Delinquency and the School Dropout Problem," Federal Probation, vol.27, (September 1963), pp.15-19. - 75 -worn "but i l l - f i t t i n g . This has s p e c i a l consequence f o r teenage family members whose accelerated rate of growth means frequent size changes. There was a general complaint that such a marginal Income was inadequate f o r the necessities of l i f e and made extras such as Christmas or birthday g i f t s , money f o r club memberships or recreational a c t i v i t i e s , bowling and skating, out of the question. This was frequently mentioned as a f f e c t i n g the family's morale and l i m i t i n g any freedom of choice, "your l i f e was not your own". Because of a low rent allowance some families f e l t obliged to accept housing accommodation which was i n poor condition. Neighbourhoods i n which rents were within t h e i r means were seen as having a poor influence on children because of t h e i r run down nature. Several parents f e l t that the presence of teenage gangs i n the neighbourhood had a detrimental influence upon the interests of t h e i r children. The cost of bus fare i t s e l f was mentioned as being a r e s t r i c t i o n . Pour children i n one family walk 15 blocks to school d a i l y as 560 per day or $11.20 per month f o r bus fare to school was an i m p o s s i b i l i t y . Those parents who complained about the general inadequacy of s o c i a l assistance allowance had an average of four children i n the home. A group of parents representing f i v e families were notably outspoken about the r e s t r i c t e d income of s o c i a l assistance allowance. They pointed out that s o c i a l assistance provides about $22.00 per c h i l d per month, a l l inclusive regardless of age. - 76 -Childrens Aid Society i n placing a c h i l d considers expenses to be $37.50 up to the age of s i x , progressively increasing with age to a maximum of $57.00 f o r a teenage c h i l d per month with an additional allowance f o r clothes and medical expenses. At the age of 16 family allowance benefits are with-drawn with no subsequent supplement i n assistance payments, while general expenses f o r the c h i l d during t h i s period are higher. Whether boy or g i r l i n the age range of 14 - 18, there i s a period of rapid growth requiring more frequent changes i n size of clothes. Appetites during t h i s age increase markedly and ordinary school expenses f o r books and notepaper are higher. These families are unable to meet f i n a n c i a l l y what can reasonably be considered to be necessities of subsistence. In addition, s o c i a l a c t i v i t i e s which may also be considered a necessary adjunct of personal development are out of the question. Club memberships and recreational a c t i v i t i e s of dancing, bowling or skating are f i n a n c i a l l y p r o h i b i t i v e . Parents also complained that income benefits of s o c i a l assistance allowances not only ignore the d i f f e r e n t i a l costs f o r children but f a i l to take account of a r i s i n g cost of l i v i n g . Grocery and clothes costs have r i s e n while income benefits remain s t a t i c . In one instance an unemployed husband and father who appears to have strong emotional t i e s with the family has l e f t the home temporarily as i n his absence there i s r e l a t i v e l y more money f o r groceries. In t h i s group there i s an. average of 4.2 children i n the home compared with 3.3 i n the t o t a l interview sample. - 77 -Those families with more children i n the home, generally, expressed stronger negative feelings about the inadequacy of s o c i a l assistance allowance. It may be assumed that although clothes can be handed down i n families with several children, combined expenses f o r maintenance, school a c t i v i t i e s , and incidentals exceeded allotment f o r the children. Peelings concerning the experience of receiving public assistance were remarkable not f o r t h e i r variety but f o r t h e i r i n t e n s i t y and conviction. No family thought s o c i a l assistance to be a desirable means of income and those expressing l i t t l e f e e l i n g , generally conveyed i n t h e i r responses a resigned, f a t a l i s t i c f e e l i n g of dependency. Responses of the families were divided into three groups: 1) those who intensely d i s l i k e d receiving s o c i a l assistance and saw no alternative; 2) those who generally d i s l i k e d the s i t u a t i o n but appreciated the help i t afforded and 3) those who were resigned to the s i t u a t i o n with l i t t l e motivation to change. As the dynamics operating i n such responses are many i t i s d i f f i c u l t to single out each fo r c l a r i f i c a t i o n . The following, however, appear to be of special significance. The majority of families interviewed were composed of one parent, i n each case a mother. The female parent frequently stated that i t was necessary f o r her to remain i n the home to look a f t e r small children. As few of these mothers were vocationally equipped to obtain a secure position i n the labour force i t was d i f f i c u l t to distinguish between those attitudes r e f l e c t i n g an adjustment to temporary dependence and those indicative of an unalterable resignation. - 78 -Table 29A. Parents' Attitudes to S o c i a l Assistance according  to Year of F i r s t Application f o r S o c i a l Assistance. Year of D i s l i k e D i s l i k e F i r s t Intensely; Situation but Resigned to Application No Alternative Appreciate Situation for.S.A. Perceived Help . One Two Sub One Two Sub One Two Sub Par. Par. Total Par. Par. Total Par. Par. Total Total 1963 1 1 1 1 2 1962 1 1 2 1 3 4 1960-1961 1 1 2 1 1 2 4 1956-1959 1 1 2 2 2 1 1 5 pre 1956 5 1 6 •5 11 To t a l : 11 10 5 26 Table 29B. Parents' Attitudes to S o c i a l Assistance according to Length of Current Period on Assistance. Current Period on S o c i a l Assistance Less than 1 Year 1 - 2 Yrs. 2 - 4 Yrs. 4 - 8 Yrs. More than 8 Yrs. Unknown To t a l : D i s l i k e Intensely; No Alternative Perceived D i s l i k e Situation but Appreciate Help  Resigned to Situa t i o n One Two Sub One Two Sub One Two Sub Total Par. Par. Total Par. Par. Total Par. Par. Total  2 3 2 1 3 3 2 1 1 2 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 1 10 11 10 5 4 3 1 -± 26 - 79 -Parents of 10 families implied a passive resignation to f i n a n c i a l dependence upon s o c i a l assistance with no strong feelings concerning i t s receipt. Nine of these were one-parent f a m i l i e s . In the two-parent family i n t h i s group the father has been chronically i l l and unemployable f o r the past few years. The parent of one one-parent family has experienced recurrent disc complaints and has been unable to work ste a d i l y . Of. the remaining one-parent families dates of f i r s t a pplication f o r assistance ranged from 1939 - 1959. In each of these families there had been f i n a n c i a l dependence, intermittent or continued, f o r a minimum of four years. This group represented an average of 44 mos. currently on assistance compared with an average of 29.3 months currently on assistance f o r the interview sample• Two factors appeared to be operating i n influencing the attitudes of t h i s group: a disabling i l l n e s s which prevented the head of the family from securing employment and the experience of an extended period of f i n a n c i a l dependence. Eleven families d i s l i k e d the s i t u a t i o n but had some appreciation of the purpose and help of s o c i a l assistance. Of the 2 two-parent families i n t h i s group the husband was seasonally employed. Date of f i r s t application i n both cases was I960 with an average of 1.5 months currently on assistance. Both families f e l t some s o c i a l stigma saying, "people think you are a bum." They refused to t e l l t h e i r children or t h e i r friends that they were i n receipt of s o c i a l assistance. Both fam i l i e s , however, saw t h i s f i n a n c i a l aid as " t i d i n g them over" u n t i l the husband was able to secure employment. - 80 -Of the nine one-parent families, one mother has just completed her own grade 12 so that she may obtain permanent employment and a second works part time as a governess as much as her health permits. The other seven mothers have no vocational t r a i n i n g which would enable them to obtain jobs more f i n a n c i a l l y remunerative than benefits of s o c i a l allowance. They express having made the decision to remain at home to care f o r the children rather than seek employment, " i t i s necessary to swallow your pride f o r the sake of the children." Each of these families had some appreciation f o r the services of public assistance. Appreciation of the medical benefits was frequently mentioned and an assured income allowed mothers to remain i n the home. Five mothers expressed marked s e n s i t i v i t y to perceived s o c i a l stigma. They decried "the steryotype painted i n the press of hard core families and the conviction that poverty was transferred from generation to generation, being c a l l e d c h i s l e r s and bums." The routine of administering cheques was perceived to enhance t h i s f e e l i n g of being "expected to l i n e up as ca t t l e to be branded." In one instance a mother reported that a dentist had refused to provide adequate care f o r her son's teeth because he would receive only a p a r t i a l fee. Dependency was seen to encourage loss of i n i t i a t i v e and to decrease morale. Deductions made from s o c i a l allowance made i t not worthwhile to seek employment part time as expenses incurred f o r clothes and bus fare cancelled out any extra f i n a n c i a l benefits. - 81 -Donations received from Church and Service Clubs were frequently perceived as patronizing; increasing a f e e l i n g of i n f e r i o r i t y . Two parents mentioned the c o n f l i c t present i n attempting to appear neatly dressed and i n keeping a well cared f o r home. They stated that people "accused them of "good looks at public expense." One mother stated that a Christmas hamper had been brought to the home and subsequently removed because the family home appeared to be well kept and comfortable implying no need. Of the f i v e families expressing intensely negative feelings toward receiving s o c i a l assistance the date of f i r s t a p plication was i n one case 1959 and i n three other cases between 1962-1963. In 2 two-parent families represented i n t h i s group the father had been rendered unemployable because of chronic i l l n e s s ; one suffering from ulcers since 1959 and the second a vi c t i m of a severe accident making i t impossible f o r him to return to his previous labouring employment. The average current period on assistance was 17.3 months. Of the two one-parent families i n th i s group the average current period on assistance was 12 months compared with 29.3 months f o r sample interviewed. It appeared that intense reactions i n t h i s group were related to r e l a t i v e l y recent loss of independence and self-support and the case of the 2 two-parent families a disabling i l l n e s s to which an adjustment was d i f f i c u l t and not yet made. None of these families admitted to any association with others on s o c i a l assistance and did not consider themselves "those kind of people." - 82 -Of the 26 families interviewed, 21 denied any association with others receiving public assistance. Five families stated that they had one fri e n d who was receiving assistance or a casual acquaintance with other r e c i p i e n t s . It does appear that i n general, these families do not i d e n t i f y themselves with a group "on welfare". Such remarks as "we are not those kind of people" or "some bums on s o c i a l assistance have no i n i t i a t i v e " indicated t h e i r disassociation. There was a general use of the pronoun "they" rather than "we" when discussing s o c i a l assistance r e c i p i e n t s . 4 - 83 -CHAPTER 4. THE CHILDREN'S VIEWS AMD EXPERIENCES. The 27 families interviewed contained 44 children between the ages of 15 - 21 years; of t h i s t o t a l , 19 children were s t i l l i n school and l i v i n g at home, 16 had dropped out of school and nine had graduated. Not a l l the dropouts or graduates were l i v i n g at home. Children i n school but not l i v i n g at home were not included as there were very few of these and they were l i v i n g out of town f o r the most part. It was possible to interview 18 of the 19 in-school children, s i x of the 16 dropouts and one of the nine graduates. Many of the dropouts and graduates were not interviewed because they were l i v i n g outside Vancouver, and others refused to take part i n the study. The r e l a t i o n between the number of children i n the families i n our sample and the number actually interviewed i s shown i n Table 29. Table 29. Relation between Children aged 15 - 21 i n the Interview Sample and Number actually Interviewed. Children Possible Total. No. Interviewed In-School (In home) 19 18 Dropouts (In or out of home) 16 6 Graduates (In or out of home) 9 1 Total: 44 25 - 84 -The age d i s t r i b u t i o n of a l l the children interviewed i s shown i n Table 30. Table 30. Age D i s t r i b u t i o n of A l l Children Interviewed. Age In School Dropout Graduate Total 15 7 0 0 7 16 8 0 0 8 17 1 2 0 3 18 2 2 0 4 19 0 2 0 2 20 0 0 1 1 21 0 0 0 0 Total 18 6 1 25 This chapter analyzes the children's school experience and compares the quality of t h i s experience with t h e i r plans f o r school continuance and with the parents' attitudes and expectations. The second section deals with the children's p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n s o c i a l a c t i v i t i e s connected with the school and the community. In the t h i r d section, the children's feelings about s o c i a l assistance are examined and related to plans f o r continuance, to occupational aspirations and to parental f e e l i n g s . The fourth section describes the children's perception of l i f e and t h e i r frame of reference. In each section the in-school, dropout and graduate groups are considered separately. The concluding section deals exclusively with the dropouts and t h e i r actual leaving experience, as well as t h e i r subsequent employment h i s t o r y . - 85 -School Experience of Children It i s a generally accepted p r i n c i p l e i n the f i e l d of education today that the nature of a student's school experience af f e c t s his attitude toward education and i s a factor i n determining whether he continues i n school u n t i l graduation. That t h i s i s only one of many factors operating i n determining school continuance i s well documented i n several studies of school dropouts. What i s more subtle and elusive i s the exact essence of the student's school experience and how t h i s experience affects attitudes toward education and school continuance. It i s these areas which the present study explores. School Programs Followed The Vancouver school system offers four educational programs depending on the student's interests and a b i l i t i e s : the univ e r s i t y program covering subjects which qua l i f y f o r university entrance; a general program allowing a variety of commercial and i n d u s t r i a l arts courses along with basic academic subjects; a spec i a l class f o r slow learners; and, since 1962, an occupational class which concentrates on teaching basic s k i l l s f o r simple service occupations rather than attempting vocational t r a i n i n g . The r e s u l t s of the study indicate, as do s t a t i s t i c s from other studies, that the program a student i s enrolled i n and his attitude toward that program are a s i g n i f i c a n t part of his school experience. There are indications that school program may be of s p e c i a l significance to students whose parents are i n receipt of s o c i a l assistance. - 86 -(a) Students i n School Table 31. Programs of Enrollment Program Students University 5 General 7 Special Class 2 Occupational 1 Not Known 1 Program not Selected 2 (grade 8) Tota l : 18 It i s instr u c t i v e to compare the program d i s t r i b u t i o n of the students from families on s o c i a l assistance with the program d i s t r i b u t i o n of a l l students enrolled i n Vancouver schools. A 1961 survey showed 66.1 per cent of the students enrolled i n the unive r s i t y program.! Of the small group of 16 i n the interview ' sample just better than 31 per cent were i n the unive r s i t y program. Although the sample i s too small f o r s t a t i s t i c a l comparisons and i s an age-defined group of 15 - 21 rather than including a l l high school students, these figures do suggest a complex of factors working against the enrollment of s o c i a l assistance students i n the university program. Because of the small sample no s t a t i s t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t inferences can be drawn but i t i s illuminating to examine the students' feelings about t h e i r program. Department of Research and Special Services, Vancouver School Board; "Vancouver Schools Programmes Survey," November, 1961, c i t e d i n "The Pupil Withdrawal Survey, September 1, 1961 - August 31, 1962, " department of Research and Special Services, Vancouver School Board. - 87 -Of the f i v e on the university program four expressed s a t i s f a c t i o n with t h i s program. The student who expressed discontent with the university program stated he would have rather been on the general program because he thinks i t i s f i n a n c i a l l y impossible f o r him to go to university when he completes high school. He" sees the Industrial arts and commercial classes i n the general program being more useful to him i n terms of obtaining employment. He sees the general program as a way of avoiding a subject he i s having d i f f i c u l t y with as well. In his case i t can be assumed his probable change i n program w i l l r e s u l t from f i n a n c i a l influences as much as from occupational aspiration or a b i l i t y to perform adequately i n the program. Of the seven students on the general program s i x expressed s a t i s f a c t i o n and one was d i s s a t i s f i e d . One of those expressing s a t i s f a c t i o n said she appreciated p a r t i c u l a r l y the f l e x i b i l i t y of subject choice i n the general program. It was f e l t by two students i n the sample that attempts had been made by the school to force them to take the general program. In the one case the student had f a i l e d a class and was required to transfer to the general program against her wishes. She was promised she could transfer back to the university program i f her marks came up, but a move involving a change of schools made r e a l i z a t i o n of t h i s promise improbable. The other student mentioned had been directed to the general program by the counsellor because her family was on s o c i a l assistance and, i t was assumed, wo\ild never be able to afford a university education. It would be i n t e r e s t i n g to know how common t h i s kind of experience i s f o r - 88 -i t could well be instrumental i n school withdrawal, not only because of frustrated ambitions, but because of the s o c i a l stigma f e l t . This study indicates that changes i n programs, i n the main, progress i n one d i r e c t i o n only, from univ e r s i t y to general. Of the four students who had changed programs three went from univer s i t y to general and one changed b r i e f l y from university to general and then back to the university program. Analysis of programs w i l l substantiate the fact that generally speaking once a year has been spent i n the general program i t i s extremely d i f f i c u l t i f not impossible to reenter the university program. In 1963 there were 1,395 children enrolled i n s p e c i a l classes i n the Vancouver school system out of a t o t a l school population of 66,981. 1 This works out to about two per cent of the t o t a l school population. In the small interview sample two out of 18 or better than 11 per cent were i n special classes. Out of the t o t a l school population of the families interviewed, four of 48 children were i n special classes. This i s about eight per cent. Again t h i s suggests an interesting area f o r further research. Are there a greater proportion of s o c i a l assistance children i n s p e c i a l classes and what are the factors operating to bring about t h i s situation? What part have the various types of deprivation experienced by low-income families played i n this? In 1963 there were 752 students enrolled i n the occupational program i n Vancouver. In the interview sample one Department of Research and Special Services, Vancouver School Board; Table "Actual Enrolment by Grades, September 1951-1963." - 89 -student was i n the occupational program. This student's discontent with the program further strengthened the contention that school program can be an important part of school experience. He admitted he was getting good marks i n the program, which i s generally considered an important factor i n attitude toward school continuance, and yet he f e l t very strongly that he would prefer the general program. His view was that employers were not f a m i l i a r with the intent or standing of the program and i t was thus of l i t t l e value i n securing employment. Of the three functions which the high schools appear to be attempting — a teaching function, a t r a i n i n g function, and a custodial function — th i s student's reaction casts doubt on how successful the occupational course i s going to be even i n providing the custodial function, (b) Students Who Have Dropped Out of School Having looked b r i e f l y at the part being played by school program i n the school experience of those s t i l l i n school, i t i s interesting to see what influence school program may have had on those who withdrew from school before completion. Table 32. Programs of Enrollment Program Students University 0 General 4 Special Class 0 Occupational 0 Program not Selected 2 (grade 8) Total: 6 - 90 -In the interview sample the majority of those who l e f t school were i n the general program and the remaining two had not reached high school. This preponderance of dropouts from the general program i s evident i n studies not dealing s p e c i f i c a l l y with s o c i a l assistance f a m i l i e s . In the Vancouver secondary school system i n the year 1961-1962, there were 1267 withdrawals. Seventeen decimal two per cent of the withdrawals were from the university program, 74.1 per cent were from the general program, 6.4 per cent were from the occupational program and 2.3 per cent i were from sp e c i a l c l a s s e s . 1 In a recent study i n the state of Maryland the greatest percentage of dropouts came from the general program.^ There are many ways of interpreting the fact that the general program i s more prone to lo s i n g students than others. It i s possible greater s e l e c t i v i t y i n the university program precludes a number of f a i l u r e s or dropouts. Another p o s s i b i l i t y i s that students with no d e f i n i t e goals or ambitions are channelled into the general program. The fact that two students i n the interview sample were advised by the counsellor to enter the general program when they wanted to go to univer s i t y suggests another reason, frustrated ambitions. One inter e s t i n g aspect of the Maryland study i s that although 53.1 per cent of the dropouts l i s t e d lack of interest T Department of Research and Special Services, Vancouver School Board; "The Pupil Withdrawal Survey," Vancouver, 1962. p Maryland State Department of Education; Our Dropouts, Baltimore 1, June, 1963. - 91 -or lack of scholastic success as the major reason f o r withdrawing, only 1.4 per cent indicated lack of a suitable program as the primary reason f o r dropping out. Any analysis of the importance of program i n school experience must consider the r e l i a b i l i t y of responses and t h i s i s pointed out by these r e s u l t s . Another p o s s i b i l i t y which must be considered i s what appears to be the general practice i n the Vancouver school system of placing students i n the general program when t h e i r marks are deemed unsatisfactory. Thus most students having achievement problems f i n d themselves i n the general program as a matter of course. (c) Graduate Students Our study included only one interview with a student who had graduated. This person had graduated on the university program. He had then proceeded to university. He views the general program as a farce. It i s noteworthy that t h i s person had always wanted to go to university so that he had d e f i n i t e goals i n taking the university program. Other factors such as length of time on assistance and parental attitude toward education were factors which affected his decision to f i n i s h high school, but i t appears that choice of program was also an important fa c t o r . Significance of Program Selection to School Experience The majority of students did not specify the school program as an area of discontent. Yet f o r those students who were d i s s a t i s f i e d t h e i r feelings were strong and not merely "sour grapes" responses because they were not doing well on a p a r t i c u l a r - 92 -program. The person who saw the general program enabling her to choose subjects which could equip her f o r employment immediately a f t e r graduation f e l t the choice of program was of r e a l s i g n i f i c a n c e . Thus i t seems that program selection might be a c r i t i c a l point i n the school experience of the student where the counsellor could hope to be most i n f l u e n t i a l i n r a i s i n g student aspiration. Encouragement and communication of the p o s s i b i l i t i e s available at t h i s point i n the school career of the student could well counteract the influence of limited parental educational and occupational aspirations. In comparing the program experience of dropouts and students i n school there do not seem to be any s i g n i f i c a n t differences. The r a t i o of those who had changed courses to those who had not was quite si m i l a r f o r both groups. The preponderance of enrolment i n the general program carried through. Although many students do not express s a t i s f a c t i o n or discontent i n terms of program we cannot assume i t to be i n s i g n i f i c a n t . Those students whose academic progress suggests they might have been asked to change programs by the school maintained they had made t h e i r own decision. They said they were s a t i s f i e d with the change because the work was easier. This could be interpreted that they do have strong feelings about program choice. Those who specified either d e f i n i t e preferences or displeasure with t h e i r program support t h i s interpretation. The f a c t that i n two cases s o c i a l assistance was a consideration i n program se l e c t i o n suggests inequality of opportunity and a l i n k between school experience and being on s o c i a l assistance. - 93 -This could d i r e c t l y affect school continuance. In using program experience as one of the factors i n ra t i n g school experience as positive, negative or d i f f i c u l t to determine, we considered those responses which gave s p e c i f i c reasons f o r discontent as being a negative factor i n school experience. Those who were able to suggest reasons why they were pleased with t h e i r program, as a strong positive factor, and the other responses were given lesser weight i n either a negative or positive d i r e c t i o n i f the response indicated any preference at a l l . School Performance - A Measure of School Experience Probably more than any other c r i t e r i o n f o r a favourable experience i n any realm i n North America, success has been singled out f o r i t s sign i f i c a n c e . Many studies such as the Wayman t h e s i s 1 and the Maryland study suggest that neither a b i l i t y nor progress prevent dropouts. Yet school performance does play an important role i n determining whether school experience i s positive or negative and whether the student w i l l continue or withdraw from school. The measures of school performance used i n the present study are grade retardation, student self-evaluation of progress and average marks obtained. (a) Students i n School Table 33« Grade Retardation Degree of Retardation Students Repetition of One Grade 5 Repetition of Two Grades 3 Repetition of Part of a Grade 1 Students i n Special Ungraded Classes 2 Students who have not Repeated 7 Total: 18 1 Wayman, Sara, Gertrude; High School Drop-Outs, Master of So c i a l Work thesis, University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1961. - 94 -The fact that only seven of the students interviewed had not repeated any grades seemed to indicate a high percentage of grade retardation i n our sample. The I960 Royal Commission Report on Education i n B r i t i s h Columbia supports t h i s observation. A dir e c t comparison i s not possible because that Commission refers to educational retardation which they define as "the over-ageness of pupils of the grade i n which they are." The present study considers only grades f a i l e d as an i n d i c a t i o n of retardation. Nevertheless a comparison i s meaningful. In the in-school interview sample, excluding the two students i n s p e c i a l classes and the one student repeating part of a grade, i t was found 53 per cent of the students had repeated one or more grades. Breaking t h i s down into male and female, the interview sample had more g i r l s repeating grades than boys. The Commission found about 30 per cent of the boys and 18 per cent of the g i r l s i n 1952-1953, and 27 per cent of the boys and 16 per cent of the g i r l s i n 1957-1958, were retarded one year or more i n grade 8. 1 The Commission noted that the percentage of retarded pupils declined at each grade from grade 8 to grade 12. The decline i s c h i e f l y due to a larger proportion of retarded pupils than of average or better pupils dropping out of school because of t h e i r lack of progress. At least two points of interest arise from t h i s comparison. F i r s t i s the apparent higher rate of grade retardation i n students from public assistance families than the general population. B r i t i s h ColumbiaJ Royal Commission on Education, I960, p.247. Adequate assessment of t h i s factor would require greater precision i n the measurement of the a b i l i t y of public assistance students. For the purpose of t h i s study grade retardation i s used as a factor i n negative school experience and i s considered more i n respect to aspiration and interests of students. percentage f o r g i r l s was greater than f o r boys. Of the eight students who had repeated one grade or more f i v e were g i r l s and three were boys. This i s the opposite of the findings f o r the school population of B r i t i s h Columbia by the Commission. It i s also opposite to the findings of a recent Department of labour study which indicated that the school system i n Ontario seemed to be geared to the requirements of g i r l s ; that boys fare badly i n i t - i n a l l years and i n both the academic and vocational courses. 1 It might be thought that the s o c i a l assistance families stressed education f o r boys to a greater extent than f o r g i r l s . The interview with parents did not generally bear t h i s out i n the stated l e v e l of education they wanted fo r t h e i r children. There was however indication that education f o r g i r l s was looked upon as an insurance measure against a poor marriage or loss of husband• (b) Students who have Dropped out of School The second point of interest i s that the grade retardation Table 34. Grade Retardation Degree of Retardation Students Repetition of one grade Repetition of two grades Students who have not repeated 3 2 Tota l : 1 H a l l , Oswald, and McFarlane, Bruce; Transition from School to Work, Queen's Printer, Ottawa, 1963, p.25. - 96 -The findings of the present study confirm the high rate of grade retardation among dropouts that other studies have also brought to l i g h t . For example a study of dropouts i n Kentucky found that 60 per cent had repeated at least one grade. Two dropouts who had repeated a grade f e l t that being larger than the other students i n t h e i r grade had been a factor i n t h e i r d i s l i k e f o r school. Thus grade retardation i n a l l probability influenced t h e i r eventual withdrawal. Three of the dropouts who had repeated one or more grade saw t h e i r own a b i l i t y as one of the things that had made i t d i f f i c u l t f o r them to do well i n school. It i s not possible d i r e c t l y to r e l a t e grade f a i l u r e to pup i l a b i l i t y but students often see grade f a i l u r e as a dir e c t r e f l e c t i o n of t h e i r a b i l i t y . Thus i t seems f a i r to say that i n the present sample, grade retardation played a s i g n i f i c a n t part i n school withdrawal. The other indicators of school performance considered were self-evaluation of progress and average marks obtained, (a) Students i n School Table 35. Student Evaluation of Progress Performance Students Good Average Poor No Reply Tota l : Hecker, Stanley E.J "Early School Leavers i n Kentucky," B u l l e t i n of the Bureau of School Service, vol.25, No.4, University of Kentucky. - 97 -Table 36. Students' Average Grades Grade Students B Average or Better 4 C Range 8 D or F a i l i n g 5 ITo Response 1 Total: 18 The four students obtaining B average or better assessed t h e i r progress i n the top bracket and three who obtained C range f e l t they were doing quite well. Only one student whose average mark was below C f e l t he was performing s a t i s f a c t o r i l y . These observations indicate at least two things. F i r s t of a l l the students' assessment of t h e i r progress corresponds quite cl o s e l y to that of the school authorities. Secondly, because of the r e l i a b i l i t y of t h e i r assessment of t h e i r progress i t i s possible to attribute a negative or positive connotation to th i s part of t h e i r school experience. Of the four students who indicated they would l i k e to complete le s s than grade 12, a l l had experienced grade retardation and a l l indicated they had considered leaving school. Three of the f i v e who were averaging D or were f a i l i n g aspired to less than a grade 12 education and had considered leaving school. This suggests the connection between grade retardation, school performance and school continuance which i s generally expected. - 98 -(b) Students Who Have Dropped Out of School The dropouts evaluated t h e i r progress while at school i n the following manner: Table 37. Student Evaluation of Past School Progress Performance Students Good 0 Average 2 Poor 3 No Reply 1 Total : 6 Table 38. Students' Average Grades Grade Students B Average or Better 0 C Range 2 D or F a i l i n g 3 No Response 1 Total: 6 The fact that only one dropout had not repeated any grades, that the majority obtained average grades below the C range and the majority indicated they assessed t h e i r performance below average, suggests that t h i s aspect of school experience was negative f o r these students. It also substantiates the expected connection between school performance and school continuance. - 99 -(c) Graduate Students The graduate student had not repeated any grades. Our interview does not specify whether the student started school at an early age or was accelerated i n the school program, but i t does indicate he completed grade 12 when he was sixteen. This student said he did not get along too well i n school because he was "slack". Nevertheless he reported his marks i n the B range. It might be inferred from t h i s interview that t h i s i s one of the many cases where a b i l i t y enables sa t i s f a c t o r y grades, but progress i s not r e a l l y a s a t i s f y i n g experience because the person's performance i s not at a challenging l e v e l . Student Likes and Di s l i k e s - A Measure of School Experience (a) Students i n School Three students said they l i k e d everything about school. Nine specified c e r t a i n things they l i k e d about school. Two expressed no feelings about school and four said there was nothing they l i k e d about school. The items specified as l i k e d included such things as certai n subjects, s o c i a l a c t i v i t i e s , c e r t a i n teachers, other students and the f l e x i b i l i t y of subject choice. To some extent i n the l i k e s and to an even greater extent i n the d i s l i k e s , the personality and methods of a pa r t i c u l a r teacher shone through. Subjects such as home economics, commercial subjects and i n d u s t r i a l arts courses received high preference. Four students expressed no d i s l i k e s i n r e l a t i o n to the school. One said he had no strong feelings one way or the other. ^ 100 -Seven mentioned p a r t i c u l a r subjects they d i s l i k e d . Five specified they didn't l i k e certain teachers. One person said he didn't know what he d i s l i k e d . One student said she didn't l i k e other students. Two students said they d i s l i k e d pretty well everything about school. 1 A closer look at s p e c i f i c d i s l i k e s proves int e r e s t i n g . One student d i s l i k e d school because she did not make friends i n school. She saw the other students' interests as being d i f f e r e n t from hers. She said she was not interested i n smoking and boys. This g i r l i n a special class was extremely overweight and interpreted her d i s l i k e s i n terms of s o c i a l acceptance. Another student stated that one of the things she didn't l i k e about school was that the other students were too "high class" and had money. In t h i s family there was a c u l t u r a l difference so that the d i s l i k e expressed f o r school could well be, i n part, expression of c u l t u r a l and s o c i a l c o n f l i c t . The responses to t h i s question regarding l i k e s and d i s l i k e s were quite varied. Some replied with h o s t i l i t y and l i t t l e consideration, some revealed c u l t u r a l and s o c i a l c o n f l i c t s , some saw d i s l i k e s t r i c t l y i n terms of pa r t i c u l a r teachers and s t i l l others had well reasoned complaints. In cases where either a student completely d i s l i k e d or l i k e d school there was no d i f f i c u l t y i n assessing the factor i n terms of a negative or positive school experience. In considering the students, the itemized l i k e s were weighed against the itemized 1 The number of students referred to i s greater than 18 because some of the students l i s t e d several items they d i s l i k e d . - 101 -d i s l i k e s and the factor was either scored f o r a positive or negative experience. The general tone of the interview was also considered. For students who were strongly positive toward school the expressed desire to complete grade 12 was general and i n the majority of cases these were the students who had not repeated any grades. The strongly negative expressions were not as decisive about completing grade 12 and showed greater consistency of grade r e p e t i t i o n . The i n d i c a t i o n i s that although l i k e s and d i s l i k e s expressed were not always l i k e s and d i s l i k e s of school material, they did correlate quite c l o s e l y i n t h i s sample with educational aspiration and grade retardation. Expressed l i k e s and d i s l i k e s would seem to be f a i r l y r e l i a b l e gauges of the nature of school experience. (b) Students Who Have Dropped Out of School Two of the dropouts said there was nothing they had l i k e d about school. One said he had l i k e d not having to worry or work i n school. The other three had l i k e d c e r t a i n subjects and again physical education and i n d u s t r i a l arts classes were mentioned s p e c i f i c a l l y . It may be s i g n i f i c a n t that a l l dropouts specified they d i s l i k e d something i n school whereas there were some i n the i n -school sample who had no d i s l i k e s . The d i s l i k e s included snobbish students, i n a b i l i t y to do certa i n subjects, being large f o r the grade, c e r t a i n teachers, being i n trouble constantly and one said he d i s l i k e d everything about school. It i s also - 102 -inte r e s t i n g that i n a l l cases the dropouts' l i k e s and d i s l i k e s suggest a negative or mixed school experience. None of these young people evinced a positive school experience. The three dropouts who were most negative about school did not include further t r a i n i n g i n t h e i r plans f o r the future whereas the students who expressed less negative d i s l i k e s at least professed a desire f o r some type of further education or tr a i n i n g . Again the suggestion i s that expressed l i k e s and d i s l i k e s are a f a i r l y accurate gauge of desire to continue i n school. (c) Graduate Students The graduate expressed a l i k e f o r some school s o c i a l a c t i v i t i e s and pa r t i c u l a r interest i n one subject from the f i e l d of science. The graduate expressed a d i s l i k e f o r pa r t i c u l a r teachers. This factor of his school experience would have ranked as p o s i t i v e . Again the idea that expressed l i k e s and d i s l i k e s can be an effective gauge of desire to continue i n school i s supported. Student Evaluation of School Fairness - A Measure of School  Experience (a) Students i n School Table 39. Student Evaluation of School Fairness Response Students Students who saw the school as being f a i r 9 Students who qu a l i f y an affirmative reply 5 Students who saw the school as being unfair 2 Students who didn't answer 2 Total: 18 - 103 -Only two students came right out and said the school was u n f a i r . One student complained of the authority and rigour of the physical education program. The other complained of unfai r detentions being given. One interpretation of these re s u l t s would be that the majority were able to overlook s p e c i f i c instances and evaluate the school on a wide range of experiences. In looking at the r e p l i e s of the parents of the two students who saw the school as being unfair, one had no complaint with the school and the other said that i f there were a dispute between c h i l d and school she would always side with the school. Neither case r e f l e c t s a dir e c t transfer of parental attitude to c h i l d . In the one case the child's attitude toward the school coincides with a parental approach which says she i s always wrong. There was more evidence of parental influence i n the group giving q u a l i f i e d affirmative answers. In four of the f i v e cases, the parents either f e l t the school unfair or had reservations about i t s dealing with them and t h e i r children. The majority of the parents who saw the school as being unfa i r had children who also saw the school as being unfair. This would suggest a d e f i n i t e l i n k between the feelings of i n j u s t i c e of the children and parents. There seemed to be no s i g n i f i c a n t c o r r e l a t i o n between t h i s and stated educational aspiration, but i t i s possible and quite probable that there i s a s i g n i f i c a n t l i n k between those who saw the school as being unfair and those who f a i l to complete school. Here the influence of the parents' attitude would be a factor. - 104 -(b) Students Who Have Dropped Out of School Table 40. Student Evaluation of School Fairness Response Students Students who saw the school as being rfair 2 Students who q u a l i f i e d an affirmative reply 2 Students who saw the school as being unfair 2 Total: 6 The majority of the dropouts did have some feelings that the school was unfair and thi s suggests co r r e l a t i o n between thi s f e e l i n g and school withdrawal, (c) Graduate Students The graduate saw the school as being f a i r further supporting the suggestion i n the previous section. The Relation Between School Experience and Educational Aspiration The school experiences of the students were c l a s s i f i e d as p o s i t i v e , negative or mixed. This c l a s s i f i c a t i o n was made on the basis of the s a t i s f a c t i o n they expressed with t h e i r program, whether they had repeated any grades, t h e i r expressed l i k e s and d i s l i k e s , self-evaluation of progress and grades obtained, and whether or not they saw the school as being f a i r . When the positive factors outweighed the negative, the student was said to have had a generally positive experience; i f the negative factors outweighed the positive, the student was said to have had a negative experience; and i n two cases the experience was termed mixed since the positive and negative factors balanced each other. - 105 -(a) Students i n School Bight students had a generally positive school experience. They a l l expected to go to at least grade 12. Six of these planned to stop at grade 12, one planned to f i n i s h grade 13, and one planned to go to university. Of the two students with "mixed" experiences, one planned to f i n i s h grade 12 and one was not sure how f a r he wanted to go. On the other hand, of the f i v e with negative experiences, three planned to leave a f t e r grade 10 and two planned to f i n i s h grade 12. The assumption that students with negative school experience, i n general, do not have as high educational aspirations as those with positive school experiences seems to he born out. It seems quite i n order to suggest that i t not only has an influence on stated aspirations but on actual school continuance as wel l . Relation Between School Experience and Importance Attached to School The ways i n which students saw education as being valuable were examined. They were c l a s s i f i e d i n terms of economic and vocational advantages, i n terms of enrichment of l i f e experience because of education, i n terms of learning to get along with people, and no value. They were then compared to the student's stated educational aspiration, (a) Students i n School A l l eight students with positive school experiences f e l t school helped i n future occupations. Pour of these f e l t that a "general education" was valuable as well. One f e l t i t helped i n learning to get along with fellow students. Of the - 106 -group with negative experience, only three out of f i v e f e l t school helped with an occupation. None mentioned the value of a general education. One saw i t i n terms of making friends and one could see no value at a l l . One of the interests of t h i s study was to see i f the people with negative experiences could see beyond t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l experiences enough values i n education to want to f i n i s h school. Since three out of f i v e did not plan to continue a f t e r grade 10 i t might be concluded that school experience i s a very s i g n i f i c a n t factor i n planned school continuance and colours markedly the values seen i n education. The values seen by the students with positive experience suggest that t h i s i s the d i r e c t i o n of the influence rather than the values seen overcoming negative experience and leading to school continuance. P a r t i c i p a t i o n i n Extra-Curricular A c t i v i t i e s Several studies point out that lack of p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n school a c t i v i t i e s i s a factor associated with dropping out of school. One of these i s a co-operative study of high school dropouts by 14 school systems i n the United States, from September, 1951, to June, 1955. This study i s reported by George C. Brook. Brook cites lack of p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n extra-curricular a c t i v i t i e s as not only a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the dropout but also of the p o t e n t i a l l y delinquent c h i l d . 1 Lichter et a l i n t h e i r book The  Dropouts point out the fact that a c h i l d not able to afford adequate clothing or the cost of p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n normal school a c t i v i t i e s may become unhappy and develop school problems. The Brook, George C.J "High School Drop-Outs and Corrective Measures," Federal Probation, v o l . 23 (September, 1959), p.34. -107 -temptation to earn money may cause the c h i l d to drop out of s c h o o l . 1 In our study, "both the in-school group and the dropouts, as well as the graduate, were asked to what extent they participate (or participated) i n a c t i v i t i e s at school and i n a c t i v i t i e s and hobbies not connected with the school. Generally speaking, neither the in-school children nor the dropouts were very active. In-School Group In t h i s group of 18 there was a rather large number (10) who did not participate i n any school a c t i v i t i e s at a l l . Of the eight who did participate, some l i s t e d more than one a c t i v i t y . Five mentioned sports, and f i v e l i s t e d other a c t i v i t i e s . In two cases, these l a t t e r consisted of part-time work (one student working i n the school l i b r a r y and the other i n the school c a f e t e r i a ) , and the other three students mentioned the Lost and Found Club, s o c i a l events and scorekeeping f o r basketball. On the other hand, the in-school group seemed more active i n out-of-school a c t i v i t i e s and hobbies. Twelve out of 18 had some p a r t i c i p a t i o n . Of these, sports were mentioned by s i x . The other a c t i v i t i e s included baby s i t t i n g , a r t , a c t i v i t i e s i n connection with the church and with Gordon House, dances, Armed Forces Cadets, and street corner a c t i v i t i e s with the "gang". Only one held a part-time job not connected with the school. Correlating the in-school and out-of-school a c t i v i t i e s , i t was found that s i x students participated i n both types, four i n none and the other eight i n one or the other. It i s interesting Lichter, Solomon 0.; Rapien, E l s i e B., Siebert, Frances M., and Slansky, Morris A., The Dropouts, Glencoe, Free Press, 1962, p.49. - 108 -that even though some of the students did l i s t a c t i v i t i e s , almost a l l of them gave reasons why they did not participate more f u l l y . For t h i s reason i t seemed that they did not see themselves as being p a r t i c u l a r l y active. Of the four who did not participate i n either in-school or other a c t i v i t i e s , one gave no reason, one f e l t h is homework and g i r l f riend took up most of his time, and two said they just weren't interested. Of the s i x who participated i n both types of a c t i v i t i e s , four gave reasons f o r lack of further p a r t i c i p a t i o n . The reasons given by these students and by the other students who participated i n one or other type of a c t i v i t y are int e r e s t i n g . The most common reason given was lack of interest and t h i s was indicated by eight students. Three of these said they were not interested i n anything and f i v e mentioned s p e c i f i c a c t i v i t i e s which did not interest them. Lack of time was given as a reason fo r not p a r t i c i p a t i n g by f i v e students. This lack of time was due to such things as homework, boyfriends and g i r l f r i e n d s , and going to the pool h a l l . Two students f e l t shy and uncomfortable i n mixed groups, one could not be i n student government as he "couldn't get a majority" and one f e l t that "everything was f o r l i t t l e kids" at L i t t l e Mountain. This l a t t e r i s int e r e s t i n g i n that i t might have implications f o r needed services i n housing projects. The effect that marginal income has f o r p o s s i b i l i t i e s of p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n a c t i v i t i e s was explored. Only two of the 18 i n t h i s group l i s t e d lack of money as a factor adversely a f f e c t i n g p a r t i c i p a t i o n , yet when they were asked at another point i n the - 109 -interview about the effect of s o c i a l assistance on t h e i r l i v e s , f i v e other students stated that i t hindered t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n a c t i v i t i e s . And so i t may be concluded that i n at least seven cases, s o c i a l assistance was a factor r e s t r i c t i n g t h e i r s o c i a l a c t i v i t i e s . Dropout Group The dropouts had been even less active. Out of s i x i n the sample, four had not engaged i n school a c t i v i t i e s . The dropouts were also less active than the in-school group i n community a c t i v i t i e s , and four out of the s i x had taken no part i n these. Of the others, one was involved i n sports and one had a part-time job. Correlating the in-school and out-of-school a c t i v i t i e s , three out of the s i x , which i s a f a i r l y high proportion, had not participated i n either type of a c t i v i t y , and only one was active i n both. They a l l gave reasons f o r lack of p a r t i c i p a t i o n . These included lack of i n t e r e s t , fatigue, lack of time and lack of friends. In contrast to the in-school group, none of the dropouts indicated that lack of money was a factor. Graduate The graduate was active i n sports both i n school and i n the community and belonged to one club; however, he did not f e e l he had been very active and seemed to regret t h i s f a c t . In conclusion, then, neither the in-school group nor the dropouts were p a r t i c u l a r l y active i n sports, clubs, s o c i a l events or hobbies, and at least i n the in-school group, being on s o c i a l assistance or having a marginal income could be considered a l i m i t i n g f a c t o r . - 110 -Feelings About S o c i a l Assistance In t h i s section the feelings of the children about being on s o c i a l assistance are examined, and then related to t h e i r plans f o r continuance i n school, occupational aspirations and to t h e i r parents 1 views. In-School Group Of the 18 children s t i l l i n school, three stated they had no feelings about being on assistance, three said they just didn't know how they f e l t , 11 expressed negative feelings and 1, pos i t i v e . Of the 11 children who f e l t negatively about being on s o c i a l assistance, two had very strong f e e l i n g s . The f i r s t of these was reluctant to even discuss the subject, and seemed very anxious to move on to another section of the interview schedule. She did say that she "didn't always l i k e being on assistance," but her mother reported that t h i s g i r l was extremely unhappy about being on i t . She says her daughter w i l l go without a dress so that her mother can pay her book ren t a l rather than get i t paid through "the welfare" so that the school w i l l not f i n d out she i s on assistance. She also does not want her friends to know. This g i r l does not want to be seen at the welfare o f f i c e and refuses to accompany her mother when the l a t t e r goes to pick up her cheque. The second one also f e l t very strongly. Although i n i t i a l l y she said i t did not bother her, she went on to express how mad and discouraged she f e l t about being on "welfare". She had only just recently found out that her family was on assistance. She seemed to have a r e a l sense of deprivation and said the family does not - I l l -have enough money to eat properly, or f o r clothes or school expenses, such as gym fees, home economics classes or any sort of s o c i a l a c t i v i t i e s . Of the other nine who expressed negative feelings, a sense of material deprivation emerged c l e a r l y . Five mentioned the i n a b i l i t y to participate i n s o c i a l a c t i v i t i e s (and another mentioned t h i s i n another section of the interview) because of lack of money. Others spoke of not having clothes and books necessary for school. One of the purposes of the study was to f i n d out i f the children f e l t there was any s o c i a l stigma attached to receiving s o c i a l assistance. One student expressed t h i s and two others hinted at i t when they answered the question about how they f e l t about being on assistance. The f i r s t said that people look down on those on assistance, and he'd l i k e to earn his way. So c i a l assistance makes you " f e e l l i k e a bum". The student mentioned above who would not go to the assistance o f f i c e was very conscious of the s o c i a l stigma. The t h i r d indicated that her mother fe e l s there i s stigma attached to s o c i a l assistance and goes to the o f f i c e the day af t e r the cheques are issued to avoid the line-up which she describes as being l i k e " c a t t l e going to slaughter". This g i r l stated that she doesn't think she fe e l s as badly as her mother f e e l s , but t h i s i s questionable. One student f e l t she wanted to f i n i s h school and get a job and get o f f assistance so that she could be independent. Another student expressed strong feelings about the inadequate amount of the grant and about s o c i a l workers i n general. His - 112 -His views are most inte r e s t i n g . He stated that the cost of l i v i n g had r i s e n d r a s t i c a l l y hut not the s o c i a l allowances. Besides t h i s , when Family Allowance i s cut off and the c h i l d i s s t i l l i n school, income i s even more inadequate. S o c i a l workers refuse to consider these conditions and a c t u a l l y don't believe them. They laugh and say i t can't be that bad. He f e e l s they make no attempt to understand the r e a l s i t u a t i o n . They are never around when you want them and are always there when you don't. They give advice which i s not useful and w i l l never consider one's plans. One student, on the other hand, stated that he f e l t p o s i t i v e l y towards s o c i a l assistance, that he couldn't get along without i t and that i t "didn't hurt" him. His family has been on assistance almost continually f o r 16 years and he may accept t h i s as a "way of l i f e " . Dropout Group The dropouts also had varied feelings about assistance. Of the six i n our sample, one expressed no feelings, one "didn't know" but implied negative feelings i n another section of the interview, and the other four expressed negative f e e l i n g s . It i s i n t e r e s t i n g that these four a l l implied there was s o c i a l stigma attached to receiving assistance. It could be that these people f e l t more free to express th i s f e e l i n g as they were no longer receiving assistance. Two said they were "too proud" to go on i t again, one said i t would be a l l right i f you were sick, but i f you could work and were on assistance you f e l t l i k e a bum, and the fourth had f e l t very badly about i t and hadn't wanted other - 113 -people to know he was receiving i t . In addition to thi s aspect, two remarked on the inadequacy of the grant. Graduate The graduate said he had no feelings about being on assistance, but the interviewer wondered about t h i s , as none of his friends know he i s on assistance. Feelings About So c i a l Assistance Related to Continuance i n School A major purpose of the study was to determine what ef f e c t , i f any, being a recipient of s o c i a l assistance has on staying i n or dropping out of school. The question was stated d i r e c t l y , as follows: " I f your family income were higher, do you think i t would have any effect on your staying i n school?" It i s noteworthy that respondents interpreted t h i s question to mean i f assistance grants were higher. Their answers were compared with t h e i r stated plans f o r continuing. The results were interesting, but inconclusive. In-School Group . Of the s i x in-school students who either said they had no feelings about s o c i a l assistance or who did not know what t h e i r feelings were, f i v e said that having a higher income would not aff e c t t h e i r school continuance and one had never thought about- i t . Concerning t h e i r actual plans, three said they were going to grade 12, one i n a sp e c i a l class was going to quit t h i s year, one was only going to grade 10 and one wasn't sure. From t h i s i t would appear that income l e v e l was not a determining factor i n the children's plans to continue or quit school. Of the 11 who had negative feelings about assistance, - 114 -f i v e stated that a higher income would have no effect on t h e i r plans f o r continuing and a l l f i v e planned to f i n i s h school and one to go on to university. One even f e l t that s o c i a l assistance would help. On the other hand, the f i v e others with negative feelings toward s o c i a l assistance said that t h e i r low income would adversely affect t h e i r plans f o r staying i n school, hut only one of these was actually planning to drop out before grade 12. They seemed to see the negative effect of the low income provided by s o c i a l assistance rather as either "making things harder" to complete grade 12 or as a f f e c t i n g t h e i r opportunities of going on to university or technical school. (The c h i l d who had expressed positive feelings about s o c i a l assistance said, on the other hand, that she f e l t being on s o c i a l assistance would have a negative effect on her staying i n school and planned to complete only grade 10!). Prom the answers given to us, i t seems that at least according to the views expressed, our hypothesis that being on assistance or having an extremely low income adversely affects school continuance was not conclusively substantiated. In summary, of the 10 students who f e l t that s o c i a l assistance would not affect t h e i r continuance i n school and the one who wasn't sure, eight planned to f i n i s h school, two to drop out and one wasn't sure. On the other hand, of the f i v e who said i t would have a negative e f f e c t , only one planned to drop out. They did f e e l , however, that the low income of s o c i a l assistance would make i t more d i f f i c u l t . We might wonder, however, whether these four who said they would f i n i s h perhaps i d e n t i f i e d the interviewers - 115 -as people valuing education and stated an intention of f i n i s h i n g grade 12 without actually planning on i t . Dropout Group In the dropout group, the findings were not any more conclusive. Two said having a higher income would have made no difference, four said i t would have made things easier (for example, having more books and clothes), but i n spite of t h i s , only two of these four l i s t e d f i n a n c i a l reasons when asked about t h e i r reasons f o r leaving school. In both cases, they did not leave because of f i n a n c i a l necessity but because they wanted to earn money to buy a car. Graduate The graduate had not been on assistance when deciding his educational plans. Feelings About S o c i a l Assistance Related to Occupational Aspiration In the hope of finding out i f there was any r e l a t i o n between the feelings of the children about s o c i a l assistance and th e i r occupational aspiration, both groups and the graduate were asked whether they f e l t being on s o c i a l assistance affected t h e i r chances i n l i f e . Unfortunately, the children found the question d i f f i c u l t to answer. In-School Group Of the in-school group, nine answered that i t made no difference, three answered that they didn't think i t made any difference, two answered that they didn't know, and two r e a l l y didn't answer the question. Of the remaining two, one f e l t that i t would keep her from attending university i f she wanted to; - 116 -however, the interviewer f e l t she had no interest i n school, l e t alone i n -university* She had f a i l e d two grades, was doing very poorly and couldn't think of anything she l i k e d about school. She thought she might be a secretary or do something connected with home economics or work at the unemployment bureau, but was very vague about these ambitions and had no idea of what t r a i n i n g or a b i l i t y was necessary. The second f e l t that i f he were i n a "richer class", there would be more opportunities and i t would be easier to get a job. He f e l t that i f you know " r i c h people", they can get you started i n business. He was planning to be a book-keeper. Dropout Group The dropouts did not provide any more conclusive evidence. Of the four who stated being on s o c i a l assistance would : make no difference i n t h e i r l i f e , one was a labourer, one a shipper and two were unemployed. The other two were both housewives, and one had f e l t that being on s o c i a l assistance had helped i n that some s o c i a l workers were h e l p f u l , but the other acknowledged that she had been "depressed" about s o c i a l assistance. It i s interesting that the two unemployed dropouts didn't f e e l that being on assistance had affected t h e i r chances. Graduate The graduate f e l t that being on assistance would not aff e c t his chances i n l i f e . The question was further pursued by examining the occupational plans of the f i v e who had said a low income would adversely affect t h e i r continuance i n school. Only one of these - 117 -mentioned anything i n t h i s area and that was that i f her income had been higher, she might have considered a di f f e r e n t occupation requiring higher education. She planned to do c l e r i c a l work. Another was the one mentioned above who.said that had he been i n a r i c h e r c l a s s , he would have had the opportunity to go into business. Of the remaining three, there was no suggestion of any effect on choice of occupation and one planned to go to university (financed by the R.O.T.P. plan) and be an aeronautical engineer. Accordingly, only three of the t o t a l in-school and dropout group f e l t that s o c i a l assistance i n any way affected t h e i r occupational aspirations and one of these, the interviewer f e l t , was not genuinely interested i n doing what she claimed s o c i a l assistance would prevent her from doing, i . e . going to university. Relation Between Children's and Parents' Attitudes to S o c i a l  Assistance It had been hypothesized that the parents' attitude towards assistance would aff e c t the children's attitude. This was d i f f i c u l t to substantiate, since s i x i n the in-school group and one of the dropouts either were not sure what t h e i r attitude was or said they had no feelings about being on assistance. On the other hand, a l l the parents expressed some fe e l i n g s . Generally speaking, some r e l a t i o n was found i n that i n the families of the 11 in-school children who expressed negative feelings toward assistance, eight of the parents expressed purely negative f e e l i n g s , and i n the families of the f i v e dropouts whose feelings were negative, four of the parental attitudes were also negative. Upon closer examination, i t was found that the negative feelings concerned d i f f e r e n t aspects of the assistance. - 118 -In-School Group It was found that the parents of the six students who either expressed no feelings or did not know what their feelings were, held a great variety of attitudes. These ranged anywhere from one parent with very positive feelings to one who hated receiving assistance, f e l t a strong stigma and resented being dependent. The in-between attitudes concerned mainly the stigma. It can be said, then, that of these six families, the parental attitude either had not influenced the child or the child could not express his real feelings. In the families of the 11 children who had expressed negative feelings, eight of the parental attitudes were negative, two were positive and one was mixed negative and positive. The negative feelings expressed by the children, however, concerned mainly the inab i l i t y to afford such things as books, clothes, social a c t i v i t i e s , etc. Ten of the 11 children f e l t this way; however, only five of the parental attitudes concerned this aspect. On the other hand, considering the whole in-sehool group, only three students f e l t a social stigma attached to receiving assistance, while 11 of the parental attitudes concerned stigma. It may be concluded, then, that the children were concerned chiefly with the material deprivation, while the parents were concerned about the social stigma associated with receiving assistance. Dropout Group In this group, the relation was similar. Five of the dropouts expressed negative feelings about assistance, and four - 119 -of the parents did also, while the f i f t h had a positive attitude. The tendency to associate a stigma with receiving assistance seemed to be more uniform i n these families, four of the dropouts expressing this and three of the parents. On the other hand, the parents of the two children who expressed discontent with the amount of the grant did not mention this. Graduate It was not possible to interview the parent of the one graduate in our study. It may be concluded, then, that generally speaking, there was some relation between the parents' and children's attitude towards assistance i n that most of the parents of the children with negative attitudes had negative attitudes as well, but the attitudes concerned different aspects of receiving assistance. The Children's View of Their Life Situation Every individual gradually develops a unique frame of reference — a set of basic assumptions concerning fact, value, and possibility — which gives him a meaningful picture of himself and his world. 1 Depending upon a person's assumptions of fact, value and possibility, the same stimulus situation may be perceived quite differently and met accordingly with quite different responses. 2 This part of the study attempts to explore the frame of reference or world view of students whose parents-are-in-receipt of social assistance. Some of the pertinent questions are: Where Coleman, James C.J Personality Dynamics and Effective Behaviour. Chicago Scott Foresman and Company, I960, p.291. 2 Ibid, p. 298. - 120 -do they get their facts and values? How do they see their prospects for the future? Do they see themselves as pawns i n a game of chance or as being capable of influencing their own future? The Social Assistance Student's Assumptions Concerning Facts The basis of a person's world view is his picture of how things really are, who he is and what he is worth, what the rest of the world i s li k e , and how he f i t s into the overall picture* According to this he develops his judgements of value and possibility. At the heart of the student's reality assumptions i s his picture of himself. Five of the students i n school saw themselves as lacking mental a b i l i t y . Some specifically stated they f e l t their possibilities for the future in terms of employment were limited. It i s strongly suggested by this study that the student's school experience i s primarily responsible for this view of themselves. At least two or three other students expressed concern over their a b i l i t y to cope with the school subjects. However the marked depreciation of self was most notaXLe i n the fiv e . Although the school's appraisal of their academic a b i l i t y may or may not be r e a l i s t i c , the tragedy i s that the student sees the imputation of inferiority i n the competitive school setting spread over other areas of his l i f e . One of the dropouts said that some social workers think you are a "crumb" i f you are on social assistance. Thus part of her picture of herself was derived from the opinion which she thought the social worker held of her. Generally the students interviewed had l i t t l e knowledge - 121-of what would be necessary i n the way of training and education for occupations In which they expressed an interest. Those who did know something about the requirements had only a general knowledge. This was one area where parental knowledge was generally limited and the school's vocational guidance did not seem to have bridged the gap effectively. The general knowledge they had picked up did not seem In most instances to mean very much to them, and was not l i k e l y to be very effective i n determining their course of action. Often mistakes are made i n choices because students are handicapped by misconceptions or Inadequate knowledge about the environment. Foolish decisions are made and many possible satisfactions forfeited. One boy's view that very few people went to grade 12 was based on his observations of the level of education achieved by the adults In his neighbourhood. The limited range of occupational aspirations on the part of the students interviewed shows a lack of knowledge of what the industrial society in which they li v e requires i n the labour force. Perhaps the only general statement that can be made i s that assumptions about facts seemed limited rather than faulty, general rather than specific. Parental and peer groups seemed most Influential i n Influencing their limited perception of the facts. The effect of the school i n bridging this gap appears to be dependent upon the school experience of the student and parental mttlifude to the school. Student's Values Although the student's values depend upon their reality - 122 -assumptions they are distinct from fact i n that they refer to what ought to be rather than what i s • They imply goals to work for i n the future and relate closely to their assumptions concerning possibility. The d i f f i c u l t y met i n any attempt to assess values and their origin is the difference between conceived values and operative values. Granting the complexity of this area, i t i s s t i l l possible to make some observations. One boy held very highly the value of being free from debt. This seemed to come from his mother and their European cultural heritage. This value limited his possibilities for although he had the a b i l i t y he would not consider using the limited loan funds available to acquire a university education. Another boy valued highly high-paying, short-term jobs. The source of this value seemed to be his frustration with the limited spending money available to him while his family was on social assistance, and his identification with his brother who was making good wages i n an unskilled job. This boy could verbalize the p i t f a l l s of such short term jobs but i n terms of an operative value he seemed to ignore completely the fact that thebrother had switched jobs on several occasions. I his same boy •'a value of things enjoyable i n l i f e came from the street corner gang. In this case, and at least one other i n the study, there seemed to have been a definite break with formal groups and their values i n favour of unorganized groups whose values might be considered liable to lead to delinquent behaviour. The correlation discovered between parental interest - 123 -i n education and the student's valuation of education was found to apply to other areas of l i f e as we l l . I l l u s t r a t i o n s of t h i s c o r r e l a t i o n between parental and student values was seen i n areas concerning use of money and the importance attached to church a c t i v i t i e s . She value of being s e l f supporting and independent could be traced almost d i r e c t l y from parent to c h i l d i n some fa m i l i e s . One g i r l ' s d i s l i k e f o r being on assistance was expressed i n t h i s way. "I don't want to be on s o c i a l assistance when I get married." Money seemed to be valued highly by many male students. The status of a car and "sharp" clothes played up so much on t e l e v i s i o n seemed to have reached them, and naturally pointed out to them how they and t h e i r family were not the normal American family presented on the screen. Again perhaps only one general statement can be made. Operative values were much more d i f f i c u l t to detect than conceived values. In the area of value seen i n education there were grounds f o r suspecting that conceived value was not l i k e l y to be the same as the operative value. Students' Views of the Possible " L i f e derives meaning and d i r e c t i o n not only from the values a man believes i n but also from h i s assumptions about what he can hope to accomplish and what kind of person he can become • 1 , 1 The course of h i s l i f e i s charted by h i s assumptions about what i s possible as well as by h i s opportunities, resources and i d e a l s . 1 Coleman, op. c i t . , p. 310 - 124 -The authors of this study f e l t that knowledge of the source of the student's picture of opportunities he saw available to him, upon which he set his goals, was important i n considering methods of dealing with the problem, A related area of inquiry was whether these students were continually replacing old expectations with new ones or whether their assumptions of possibility were r i g i d . The graduate student saw his possibilities primarily being shaped by his family and his friends. He i n no way f e l t his opportunity had been limited by being on social assistance. He seemed to have expected to further his education upon graduation and worked toward that end. There were however some responses to the questions about occupational aspirations which seemed to indicate students f e l t l i t t l e possibility of influencing their ultimate occupation. One g i r l who was predicted to graduate answered that she guessed she would end up i n an office. It i s interesting to note that this g i r l maintained she made her own decisions regarding choice of school program and occupation. She also expressed a dislike of being on social assistance and yet did not see i t as having had any effect on her future. Her father was a labourer and she saw high school as being sufficient preparation for her chosen f i e l d of office work. Although the interview does not spell i t out, i t seems safe to speculate that a lack of knowledge of possibilities and the influence of the commercial course offered at school resulted i n her feeling of "What else? I guess I ' l l end up i n an office," - 125 -Another example already referred to suggested that the boy f e l t very definitely his possibilities of getting a university education had been thwarted by the family being on social assistance* His sense of being a victim of fate was quite strong and his plan for the future seemed quite r i g i d and not open to further consideration. One student seemed to provide a good example of unrealistic assumptions based on conceived value of what was desirable and on an Inaccurate picture of the facts. He stated he expected to obtain his Ph.D. i n chemistry. He had been out of school for two years and returned. He stated he planned to finance this through the Royal Officers' Training Program of the armed forces. This program provides only for the f i r s t degree and then requires three years military service. In this case the mother seemed to be resigned to being on social assistance and this apparently grandiose view of the possibilities may be his reaction to a feeling of hopelessness. Previously i n the study reference has been made to one particular school counsellor's influence on a student's assumption of what was possible. This Influence and the direction of the Influence stemmed from the counsellor's estimate of the student's a b i l i t y and the financial position of the family. Students' ideas about possibilities seemed generally limited by lack of knowledge of facts. There were some who expressed l i t t l e hope of improving or changing their present l o t . The feelings of dependency expressed by some parents were no doubt operative in some of the children's assumptions about l i f e - 126 -p o s s i b i l i t i e s but documentation of t h i s was d i f f i c u l t . From t h i s small sample i t can be said that although the school brought about changes i n assumptions regarding p o s s i b i l i t e s f o r a few, t h i s was not the general r u l e . This study has only r e a l l y brushed l i g h t l y some of the aspects of what may prove to be one of the v i t a l areas f o r research i n gaining a better understanding of the behaviour of public assistance students who drop out of school. Although the interviews did not provide s u f f i c i e n t material to analyse i n d e t a i l the sample i n terms of the t h e o r e t i c a l framework outlined i n the introduction of t h i s section, they did i l l u s t r a t e the importance and subtlety of research i n t h i s area. The Children Who Quit School: Their Reasons and  Subsequent Employment History In t h i s section, the actual experience of the dropouts is.examined, including the ages and grades at which they l e f t , the reasons they gave f o r leaving, other factors which the interviewers f e l t were operating to contribute to the children's decision to leave, the advice they received about leaving or not leaving, and t h e i r present feelings about t h e i r decision to quit school* Following t h i s , the dropouts' employment hi s t o r y i s reviewed. It i s in t e r e s t i n g to compare the ages and grades at which the students dropped out. Two were aged 14 and i n grade 8; two were 15 years of age, one i n grade 8 and one i n grade 9; and two were aged 16 and i n grade 10* Although our sample i s too small f o r comparison, i t i s noteworthy that i n the Vancouver School - 127 -Board Pupil Withdrawal Survey (for the period September, 1961 -August, 1962), i t was found that only 7.9 per cent of withdrawals occurred before grade 9,1 while i n our group i t was 50 per cent. Also, i t was reported i n the Pupil Withdrawal Survey that the majority of withdrawals occurred between the ages of 16 and 18 years, 2 while i n our sample the students had ranged from 14 to 16 years, The two who had l e f t before the legal school-leaving' age i n our sample had done so on the advice of the principal. It is worthy of note that in our sample, one-third of the dropouts had l e f t before the legal leaving age, while i n the Pupil  Withdrawal Survey only ,7 per cent had l e f t at that age .3 The dropouts whom i t was possible to interview i n the present study were generally speaking ones who had l e f t at earlier ages and i n lower grades than the majority of Vancouver dropouts. The reasons thedropouts gave for leaving were varied. When more than one reason was given, i t was d i f f i c u l t to establish which reason was dominant. The two students who l e f t at age 14 had done so on the advice of the principal, one because of poor marks and the other because of disruptive behaviour, and i t looked as i f i n these cases withdrawal had almost been forced by the school. One of these forced withdrawals gave an additional reason for leaving, i.e. lack of interest. Of the others, one had l e f t because of d i f f i c u l t y with certain subjects, one because of poor 1 Pupil Withdrawal Survey (September 1, 1961 - August 31, 1962); Dept. of Research and Special Services, Vancouver School Board, p,ld, 2 Ibid, p.4. Pupil Withdrawal Survey, op,, c i t . p.4« - 128 -marks and because he wanted money f o r a car, one because he was s i c k a good deal and f e l t " l e f t out of groups", and one because he d i d not l i k e school, had a g i r l f r i e n d , wanted a job and a car, and f e l t he was "too big f o r school". The stated reasons f o r leaving are shown i n the following table: Table 41. Stated Reasons f o r Leaving School Interview Sample Reason l o . of Students ________ Mentioning D i f f i c u l t y with subjects and poor marks 3 Not interested i n or d i s l i k e of school 2 Wanted money f o r a car 2 Wanted job 1 Disruptive behaviour 1 Too b i g f o r school or f e e l i n g l e f t out 2 Health 1 On advice of p r i n c i p a l 2 It i s d i f f i c u l t to compare these reasons with other studies as most studies deal with the primary reason f o r withdrawal only. However, i n the Pupil Withdrawal Survey, desire to work seemed to account f o r the largest number of withdrawals^ and t h i s was found to be true i n most other studies, f o r example the DeKalb Study 2 (which s p e c i f i e s the desire to work as being the dominant 1 P U P I I Withdrawal Survey; op. c i t . . p.7. 2 Reported by Murk, Y i r g i l j i n "A Follow-up Study on Students Who Drop Out of High School", B u l l e t i n of the National Association of  Secondary School P r i n c i p a l s , vol.44 (February. 1960). p,74. - 129 -reason for withdrawal among boys) and the co-operative study of high sohool dropouts by 14 school systems in the United States. 1 Three pupils In our study were leaving to get employment or money (which would involve employment). The second most common reason for leaving i n the three studies mentioned was lack of Interest and of a b i l i t y , and i t was found that five students i n our sample gave this reason, (In our table this was classified as "d i f f i c u l t y with subjects and poor marks" and "not interested i n or dislike of school")• It i s interesting that i n the present study no students f e l t they had l e f t because of economic necessity. In the Pupil  Withdrawal Survey. 1,7 per cent of the dropouts had l e f t for this reason,2 Most of the reasons given for leaving are, however, similar to those found i n other studies, except for the feeling of being " l e f t out" or "too big" which i s not so often emphasized. Also, the element of forced withdrawal does not seem to be brought out in other studies, which concentrate on voluntary withdrawals. In the case of each of our dropouts, i t seemed that there were additional reasons for leaving school besides the stated ones. An attempt was made, therefore, to examine these other factors. In the f i r s t case, i t appeared that even i f the principal had not advised leaving, the g i r l would have dropped out sooner Brook, George G.; "High School Drop-Outs and Corrective Measures", Federal Probation, vol. 23 (September, 1959), p*32. 2 Pupil Withdrawal Survey; op. c i t . , p.7. - 130 -or l a t e r . She had attended 10 di f f e r e n t schools, was not interested i n school as she "could not understand i t " , and f e l t she had low i n t e l l i g e n c e . She was of the opinion that people i n school laughed at her because of her clothes; therefore, low income had some e f f e c t here. Her family relationships were also poor. She was l i v i n g with her father who favoured her s i s t e r and who c r i t i c i z e d her and "treated her b r u t a l l y " . Her s i s t e r had also wanted her to drop out so that she could look a f t e r her brothers. C l e a r l y there were many factors influencing t h i s g i r l ' s leaving school besides the stated reason. The second g i r l who had l e f t on the advice of the p r i n c i p a l had also had a very negative school experience, and a corresponding negative a t t i t u d e . She had repeated two grades, and f e l t there was nothing good about the school and that i t was of no use to her. She hated everything about i t , including a l l the teachers. She had d i f f i c u l t y studying and always forgot what she learned by the next day. The boy who had stated he l e f t because of d i f f i c u l t y with c e r t a i n subjects seemed, on the other hand, to have had a positive attitude toward the school* He had repeated one grade, and was doing average i n most subjects except f o r the two which he found very hard. The fac t that three of hi s friends l e f t when he did may have been an influence. Concerning the boy who stated he l e f t because of poor marks and because he wanted money f o r a car, there seemed to have been the added fac t o r of lack of i n t e r e s t . He was looking f o r the "easiest program" i n school and did not l i k e to put any e f f o r t - 1 3 1 -into his school work. He f e l t there w&s "nothing wrong with the school". The g i r l who had stated she l e f t because of sickness and because she f e l t l e f t out of groups had also been affected by frequent changes of schools. She f e l t she just could not get used to the change in courses from the school she had attended earlier in another ci t y . She had repeated two grades and did not see much value i n the school. The boy who l e f t because of not li k i n g school, having a girlfriend who took up a lot of his time, wanting a job and a car and because of feeling he was too big for school seemed to have been influenced also by the fact that three or four of his friends l e f t when he did. Obviously there are many complex and subtly Intertwined motives influencing a person 1s decision to quit school and the subject i s one which calls out for more systematic study. It was f e l t that the question of what advice the students received concerning remaining i n school was important. Only two of the six dropouts had been advised against leaving, one by the teachers and a counsellor, and the other by her mother and by the counsellor, and i n both cases the advice had been unavailing. The two others who had l e f t voluntarily had received no advice and i t seems that this i s an area where the counsellor could play a more active role. When asked how far they thought people should go i n school, five of the six dropouts stated they f e l t people should f i n i s h grade 12, and one f e l t a person should take further training - 132 -a f t e r that. One on the other hand f e l t women only needed grade 10* However, they did not a l l regret t h e i r decision to leave* Three f e l t they might have had a better job and one thought she might not be unemployed at present, but most of them f e l t t h e i r decision was r i g h t under the circumstances* Only one seemed to act u a l l y regret the decision to leave school before grade 12, and t h i s was a boy* A study of 72 dropouts i n DeEalb, I l l i n o i s , on the other hand, found that most of the boys i n t h e i r study had regretted t h e i r d e e i s i o n * 1 Emplovment H i s t o r i e s of the Dropouts Our findings agreed with many other studies i n the area of employment experience of dropouts* Although our sample was too small to be s t a t i s t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t , the work hist o r y of each dropout shows that- generally speaking, they took a r e l a t i v e l y long time to f i n d employment, t h e i r jobs were short-term and of the b l i n d - a l l e y type, they suffered from periods of unemployment, they tended to end up i n un s k i l l e d , service, and labouring occupations, and some were not content with what they were doing* The f i r s t dropout i s a 19-year-old g i r l who l e f t school l n grade 8 and has been out f o r s i x years* She i s now a housewife* She i s rather a s p e c i a l case as f a r as employment i s concerned, as she had been forced to leave school on the advice of the p r i n c i p a l and at the insistence of her s i s t e r who "coerced" her into looking a f t e r her younger brothers* This she did f o r two years* The jobs she has had were short-term work i n a cafe Murk; op* c i t * , p*75. - 133 -as waitress and looking after children. The longest period of employment she experienced was four months. She did not express any feeling of satisfaction or dissatisfaction with her l i f e , hut f e l t uncertain of herself as a person. The second dropout has been out of school for three years. She l e f t school at age 17 i n grade 8, At the time of leaving she had no specific plans. She has never had a job, except the occasional babysitting, and l s "doing nothing" now. She did not speak of having ever looked for a job. She i s not married but has a young baby, and states she i s bored at home. She thinks she might like to work as a cashier at a grocery store, but does not seem to be making any plans i n this direction. She stated that i f she had been more intelligent, "things might have been different", but as they are, she s t i l l would have l e f t school. The third dropout i s an 18-year-old boy who l e f t school i n grade 10, He has been out of school for two years. At the time of dropping-out, he had planned to work on a golf course where his grandfather i s employed; however, he got a ^ x>b delivering telegrams for the CP.R, He did not have a job waiting for him when he l e f t school and i t took him one month to find the C,P«B, job. He found this through an advertisement i n the newspaper. He stayed on that job for four months, then had a part-time temporary job i n a warehouse as shipper and receiver. This job he quit after two months and was then unemployed for two more. He i s now working as a labourer i n an upholstery factory and has been there two months. The dates he gave the - 134 -interviewer do not seem to jibe with h i s two years out of school* When asked how content he was with h i s present employment, he r e p l i e d that he l i k e d i t a l l r i g h t because i t ' s easy. His plans f o r the future were rather hazy. He thought he might learn the upholstering trade or work on the golf course; however, his hay fever bothers him and he f e e l s t h i s might inte r f e r e with both these plans. The fourth dropout i s 18 years old, l e f t school i n grade 9 and has been out of school f o r approximately two years and nine months. He had had a part-time job de l i v e r i n g groceries (about which he spoke d i s d a i n f u l l y ) while at school. When he qui t , he planned to star t a bakery business or a pig farm. However, he ended up as a delivery boy f o r a stationery company. I t took him about two months to f i n d t h i s job and he found i t by going from warehouse to warehouse. He i s now a shipper at the stationery company. He i s not very content with what he i s doing and f e e l s the company expects too much work f o r the amount of money he earns• He plans to f i n i s h grade 12 at night school i n order to get a better job paying more money. He f e l t h i s decision to quit school would have been "stupid" i f h i s family had not been on s o c i a l assistance. His main objective was to earn enough money to buy a car. The f i f t h dropout i s a g i r l who l e f t i n grade 8 at age 15. She has been out of school f o r about two years and three months. She i s now married and expecting her second c h i l d . She had no plans when she l e f t school, and was "waiting around to get married". She was not very interested i n working. It took her - 135 -about f i v e months to get her f i r s t job* She had phoned ;.. answering an advertisement f o r a job as telephone s o l i c i t o r but was unable to handle t h i s . She was given a job around the o f f i c e at $100 per month (s t i c k i n g on l a b e l s , e t c . ) . She had to leave as the o f f i c e required someone who could type. They offered her the telephone s o l i c i t i n g job, but she quit because she could not do i t . She remained at the job about three months. She f e e l s she i s reasonably content with her present l i f e , but f e e l s she would be better o f f i f she had more education i n case her husband "had an accident or something". The s i x t h dropout was i n grade 10 when he quit, and was 16 years o l d . He has been out of school f o r about three years. About a year and a h a l f a f t e r leaving school, he went back to h i s old school which directed him to King Edward Education Centre; however, he stayed only two weeks. At the time of leaving school, he planned to go to Manitoba and get a job, as he wanted to "move around". He did hot have a job waiting f o r him. He followed through with his plans and got employment as a labourer f o r a r e l a t i v e i n Winnipeg. It took him two months to f i n d t h i s job. He stayed f o r a few months, then took another labouring job i n a large c i t y . Following that, he came back to Vancouver where he has had three labouring jobs since. He was l a i d o f f h i s l a s t job and has been unemployed f o r three months. He i s not content with h i s present s i t u a t i o n . There was some mention of taking an Art course, but he f e l t t h i s was impossible as i t takes four years. He f e l t i t might be an idea to go to night school i f he gets a job. Concerning his decision to leave school, he thought perhaps " i t - 136 -wasn't such a good idea". It i s obvious, then, that the dropouts have had chequered employment careers, The ones who have worked have obtained short-term work and have had periods of unemployment. Their futures do not look at a l l bright. One plans further education and another seems to have some hazy thoughts i n that direction. One i s thinking of going on to learn a trade. Whether they follow through on these plans or not i s another story. CHAPTER 5 • PARENTAL INFLUENCES AED CHILDREN'S SCHOOL  EXPERIENCES: THEIR COMBINED EFFECT ON SCHOOL PERSISTENCE. It i s generally"assumed that parental educational l e v e l and general interest In education correlate very c l o s e l y with student desire to graduate and actual graduation. Both Canadian and American studies indicate that the higher the l e v e l of education attained by the parents the more l i k e l y the children are to graduate. The Maryland study found 30 per cent of the fathers and 24.4 per cent of the mothers of the dropouts had completed s i x years or less of formal education. An additional 32.0 per cent of fathers and mothers ended t h e i r education between grades 7 and 9. Nearly 80 per cent of the parents of dropouts did not f i n i s h high s c h o o l . 1 A look at the percentages of children i n school In Canada from the d i f f e r e n t occupational classes w i l l give a rough approximation of the same trend. Occupational status of course i s not only a l e v e l of education but t h i s i s one of the factors considered. x * Maryland State Department of Education? Our Dropouts. Baltimore, June 1963, Tables 6 and 7. - 138 -i Table 42. Children Aged 14-24 Years Living at Home and at School. Canada. 1951. Occupational Class Class I Class I I Class III Class IV Class V (with farmers) (without farmers) Class VI Class VII ••'/ Occupations Unstated i n Census Number of Children aged 14-24 l i v i n g at Home  13,502 173,937 40,130 60,739 573,095 200,517 186,862 41,316 237,925 Percentage at School 71.0 55.2 50.6 45.6 38.9 38.2 34.8 45.6 1,290,098 It i s e a s i l y seen that the percentage of children i n school from families with a r e l a t i v e l y high l e v e l of education i s much greater than . f o r children whose parents have a lower l e v e l of education. The percentage f o r class I i s more than twice as high as the percentage f o r class VII. A point of special interest i s whether a positive school experience i n the c h i l d can overcome the effect of a "poor" educational background on the part of the parent. 1 Source: DBS, Census of Canada, 1951, v o l . I I I , Table 141, c i t e d i n M. Oliver, S o c i a l Purpose f o r Canada, University of Toronto Press, 1961, p.115. - 139 ~ Table 43 . Relationship Between Parental Educational Experience, Child School Experience and the Probability of Student Graduation Education Educational Parent Parent Child Child Considered Probability Student Sex Level of Aspiration Attitude Interest i n School Educational School Grade Average of Student Parent for Child to School(a) Education Experience Aspiration Withdrawal Retardation Grade Graduation 1 F 8 no grade stated pos. with res. some N.A. no grade no N.A. N.A. low 2 M 9 10 ind. l i t t l e N.A. no grade yes N.A. C low 3 F 2 12 pos* with res* l i t t l e positive 12 no 1 C ? 4 M 12 12 negative actively negative 12 no 0 D or E • 5 F 8 12 pos* with res. some positive 12 no 0 C high 6 F 7 12 ind. some negative 12 no 2 D or E low 7 M 11 12 negative l i t t l e positive 12 no 0 C ? 8 F 10 12 pos* with res. some positive 12 no 0 C high 9 M 9 12 pos* with res. some negative 10 yes 2 (partial) D low 10 F 6 12 ind. l i t t l e negative 10 yes 2 D low 11 F 10 ? pos* with res. actively positive 13 no 0 B high 12 M ? 12 and university pos* with res. some positive 12 and university yes 0 C high 13 F 10 12 entirely-positive actively negative 10 yes 1 D low 14 M 11 12 pos* with res* some N.A. 12 no 1 B low 15 M 8 no grade stated pos. with res* some mixed no reply yes 1 B low 16 M 2 12 and vocational ind. l i t t l e positive 12 and university yes 2 B low 17 F 7 12 and vocational ind. some positive 12 no 1 C high 18 F 10 12 and pos* with some mixed 12 no 0 C ? university res. 1 (a) res: reservations Source: Interview Sample When parental educational experiences and student school experiences were considered the probability of graduation was i n doubt for four students. When other factors were considered i t was possible to reach a decision as to probability of graduation i n three of the four cases 0 This explains the apparent discrepancy of graduation-prediction s t a t i s t i c s between this table and table 44* - 140 -Relation Between Parents' School Experience, Expectations and  Attitudes and Probability of Children's Graduation. The items included i n assessing parental educational experience and attitudes were grade achieved, asp i r a t i o n f o r t h e i r children, child's school. Of the 18 students i n the interview sample i t i s predicted that f i v e students are highly l i k e l y to graduate. These are numbers 5, 8, 11, 12 and 17. It i s predicted that nine students have a very high chance of dropping out of school before graduation. These are numbers 1, 2, 6, 9, 10, 13, 14, 15, and 16. Numbers 3, 4, 7, and 18 were c l a s s i f i e d as uncertain. The Research Department of the Vancouver School Board found that the t o t a l number of dropouts f o r the year 1961-1962 was 1, 267 or f i v e per cent of the school enrollment. The rate varies from school to school but nowhere does i t come close to the 50 per cent.dropout rate forecast f o r t h i s sample of families on s o c i a l a ssistance. What are the characteristics of these families which r e s u l t i n a prediction of an extremely high dropout rate? The significance of a comparison of the l e v e l of education of the parents of those l i k e l y to graduate with those l i k e l y to drop out i s limited by the small numbers involved. Among the parents of the f i v e students predicted to graduate, two had reached grade 10, one grade 8, one grade and the education l e v e l of the f i f t h was unknown. In the group expected to drop out, two of the parents had achieved grade 10 or better, two had completed grade 9, two grade 8, one grade 7, one grade 6 and one grade 2. No great difference i s discernable i n the - 141 -average l e v e l s f o r such small groups. The average education l e v e l f o r those expected to graduate was 8,75 and f o r those not expected to graduate 7.7. The small difference i s however i n the d i r e c t i o n expected. The range i s much wider f o r those expected to drop out, going as low as grade 2. This also suggests that grade l e v e l of parents can be a factor i n school continuance. Looking at the parents' attitude toward the c h i l d continuing i n school i t i s noteworthy that a l l but one parent expressed a wish f o r t h e i r c h i l d to graduate. The one exception had a c h i l d i n sp e c i a l class and wanted her to continue i n school as long as possible. She recognized the fact that she wouldn't graduate. Prom the mass expression of parents that they wish t h e i r children to graduate i t i s possible to conclude that the parents have interpreted that t h i s i s the expected or s o c i a l l y accepted answer. Thus t h i s factor may be interpreted f o r i t s significance i n the l a s t chapter i n the l i g h t of a l l the factors operating on the family, but i t w i l l not be useful i n saying anything about the two groups of parents presently being considered. More revealing are the parents' feelings toward school and t h e i r actual interest i n education. Of the parents from the group expected to graduate four were rated as having some interest i n education and one was c l a s s i f i e d as being a c t i v e l y interested i n education. This c l a s s i f i c a t i o n i s from a rating scale having "a c t i v e l y interested" at the top; "some interest" i n the middle, and " l i t t l e or no interest" at the bottom. In contrast, three of the parents of those expected to drop out - 142 -were rated as having l i t t l e or no i n t e r e s t , f i v e as having some interest and one as being a c t i v e l y interested. The conclusion that can be drawn i s that as a general rule actual interest of parents i n education does correlate with the child's l i k e l i h o o d of staying i n school. The results of t h i s comparison point out just as strongly that i n many situations only a c a r e f u l examination of the many factors involved can possibly explain possible causation of school withdrawal. The f a c t that f i v e of the parents of those expected to drop out rated the same as four of those expected to graduate, and one of the parents of the expected dropouts was rated at the top of the interest scale, makes i t very clear that i t i s necessary to consider other factors operating i n the l i v e s of these children. Some possible explanations are considered i n the concluding chapter but i n the meantime t h i s case i s presented f o r i l l u s t r a t i v e purposes of a c h i l d who i s predicted to drop out but whose parent i s rated as having a high degree of i n t e r e s t . The education experience of t h i s c h i l d was rated as negative. The c h i l d has repeated one grade and i s obtaining below average grades at the present time. This does not necessarily mean the c h i l d lacks a b i l i t y as attitude can be just as important a factor i n success i n school, but there i s a suggestion that she may lack a b i l i t y . A study of the interviews indicates the i n t r a f a m i l i a l relationships between t h i s g i r l and her widowed mother are not the best. The focus f o r much of the disagreement appears to be school continuance. The g i r l appears to be reacting to t h i s pressure by threatening to withdraw from school. Another factor - 143 -operating i s that the g i r l does not participate i n school a c t i v i t i e s . She spends much of her time with her boy friend who goes to uni v e r s i t y . Consideration of the feelings of the parents of the two groups toward the child's school reveals that four of the parents of those expected to graduate were rated "positive with some reservations" and one was rated as " i n d i f f e r e n t " . In the group of parents of those students not expected to graduate four were rated as " i n d i f f e r e n t " , four were rated as "positive with some reservations" and one was " e n t i r e l y p o s i t i v e " . The r a t i n g scale used included ratings of " e n t i r e l y p o s i t i v e " , to "positive with some reservations", to "negative", to " i n d i f f e r e n t " . The same conclusions seem to be obvious here as i n the previous consideration of implied interest i n education on the part of parents. There i s a d e f i n i t e c o r r e l a t i o n between parents' attitudes to the school and the child's l i k e l i h o o d of continuing. The parents of the l i k e l y dropouts rated lower than the parents of those expeeted to graduate. Again just as c l e a r l y i t i s not a clear cut observation, as i n both groups "positive with some reservations" was prevalent and there was an " i n d i f f e r e n t " r a t i n g i n the expected graduates.. There was also an " e n t i r e l y p o s i t i v e " i n the expected dropouts. The l a t t e r happens to be the same family which was previously used as an i l l u s t r a t i o n and substantiates the suggestion that the mother's interest and support of the school probably increased the daughter's desire to withdraw. A careful study of the reservations of those rated "positive with some - 144 -reservations" might show a greater d i s t i n c t i o n "between the two groups• The general parental educational experience i s now compared with the child's school experience i n the l i g h t of the prediction of graduation or withdrawal. This attempts to throw some l i g h t on the r e l a t i v e importance of the two factors to school continuance. Of the f i v e students that were predicted to graduate a l l were rated as having a positive school experience. As previously noted, only one parent was rated low on either of the parental interest or attitude scales discussed. The indifference to feelings about the school i n t h i s case seem to have been offset by a sat i s f a c t o r y performance at school and a positive relationship with some teachers. The interview indicates that although the father was in d i f f e r e n t about feelings toward his child's school he did have some interest i n education. He suffered from a serious accident and had himself l o s t jobs i n preference to people with unive r s i t y education. These two things could well explain his apparent indifference to hi s daughter's school. His accident may be the focus of most of his f e e l i n g s . Indifference may be a defence i n response to his employment experiences. Consideration of the expected graduate group has lead to only one obvious conclusion, that positive parental experience with education and a positive school experience on the part of the c h i l d combine to make the p o s s i b i l i t y of graduation high. There i s a hint that parental indifference can be offset by a strongly positive school experience. - 145 -Of the nine students predicted to withdraw four were rated as having negative school experiences. Three were either i n s p e c i a l or occupational classes and t h e i r answers and s i t u a t i o n did not permit a r e l i a b l e r a t i n g . One student was rated as having a "mixed" school experience and one was rated as having a positive school experience. Of the four who had negative school experiences, the parental ratings vary and suggest the necessity of individual interpretation. The one s i t u a t i o n where the parental interest and attitude ranked high has already been considered. In the s i t u a t i o n where the negative experience of the c h i l d and indifference and lack of interest of the parent coincide we can conclude that given t h i s combination, the l i k e l i h o o d of school completion i s very low. S i m i l a r l y where there i s some parental interest i n education but indifference to the child's school combined with a negative school experience on the part of the c h i l d , the chances of graduation are reduced. The s i t u a t i o n where the boy had a negative school experience and the parents expressed some interest and had a positive attitude with some reservations requires closer scrutiny. The p o s s i b i l i t y of lack of a b i l i t y again cannot be overlooked, but more pertinent to t h i s s i t u a t i o n seems to be the influence of an older brother whose delinquent pattern seems to be counteracting the mother's positive influence regarding school continuance. The effect of being i n such a low income bracket i s another factor which appears to have combined with the negative school experience to offset the mother's influence. For the three students i n sp e c i a l classes t h e i r a b i l i t y - 146 -makes i t next to impossible f o r them to be expected to do anything else but drop out, considering the d e f i n i t i o n of a dropout used i n t h i s study. These point up the lim i t a t i o n s of suggesting the only acceptable pattern i s to complete grade 12. Reference was made to th i s idea i n the f i r s t chapter pointing out that i t i s a new value to our society. The student whose school experience was rated as "mixed" had parents whose attitude and interest were rated as "positive with some reservations" and "some interest" respectively. Careful scrutiny of the interviews indicates that t h i s boy may be on the occupational program although he himself could not i d e n t i f y i t by name. He has also had h i s school performance hindered by having to learn English when he came to Canada. Thus a b i l i t y and c u l t u r a l barriers seem to be quite predominant i n suggesting t h i s boy w i l l drop out. Again the complexity of causation i s seen. Ordinarily i t might have been expected the chances of graduation would be at least average i n view of parental attitudes and the child ' s school experience. The student predicted to drop out who had a positive school experience i s of p a r t i c u l a r i n t e r e s t . Here the parental interest i n education was rated as " l i t t l e or not i n t e r e s t " and the parental attitude rated as " i n d i f f e r e n t " . The question i s , was parental attitude dominant over school experience or were there other factors operating? Careful study of the interviews suggests that the weak parental investment i n school continuance was supported i n i t s influence by the fact that two of t h i s boy's brothers had dropped out of school. The parents saw the neighborhood - 147 -as also being a negative influence. Careful study of the boy rs school experience indicates that his present grades are not i n l i n e with past performance. He reported getting 33's and yet has repeated two grades. He saw his reason f o r f a i l u r e as being la z i n e s s . Therefore while t h i s s i t u a t i o n might be interpreted as a case where negative parental attitude aided by other factors overcame a positive school experience, there i s some doubt as to how positive the boy's school experience actually was. With regard to the four students whose future i s problematic the balance of influences i s more d i f f i c u l t to determine. In two of the situations the child's school experience was quite d e f i n i t e l y positive but the jparent had either l i t t l e or no actual Interest i n education, an extremely low l e v e l of education themselves or were negative to the child's school. These two cases have other factors operating as well, but t h i s i s probably the clearest example of parental attitude and motivation counteracting a child's positive school experience so that i t becomes impossible to predict with certainty completion of grade 12. The case where the student had a mixed school experience, the parent was rated as being "positive with some reservations" i n attitude toward the school and showing "some interest" i n education. Careful study of the family indicates other factors than general parental attitude to education w i l l be the deciding factors i n whether t h i s student continues. Family mobility and school mobility along with i n t r a f a m i l i a l relationships would be the pertinent factors. The marital status of t h i s mother seemed to be i n f l u x and the ten changes i n schools experienced by the - 148 -student were taking t h e i r t o l l . School p a r t i c i p a t i o n was gradually dwindling and program s a t i s f a c t i o n had been s a c r i f i c e d . The fourth student that was not d e f i n i t e l y c l a s s i f i e d as a dropout or graduate was rated as having a negative school experience although he had not repeated any grades. The parent's attitude to school was negative, but the actual interest i n education was rated as "a c t i v e l y interested". Careful study of the interviews of parent and student indicates that t h i s may be an example where ind i v i d u a l experience at school may counteract active encouragement from the parents to continue, but this must be q u a l i f i e d . The student has been active i n a t h l e t i c s and has a part time job which he obtained through his "Big Brother". Before anything d e f i n i t e could be concluded i t would be necessary to know more about the effect of his parent's divorce on his acceptance or r e j e c t i o n of his mother's attitudes toward education. The educational attitudes and aspirations of the "Big Brother" would also have to be assessed. There i s also i n d i c a t i o n that s o c i a l assistance may have been a factor i n making t h i s student's school continuance questionable. Students Who Have Dropped Out of School The school experience of a l l the dropouts interviewed would be rated negative using the same rating as used f o r students i n school. In four of the situations where the parental attitude or interest were not supportive to continuance the most obvious conclusion i s that where negative school experience and unfavourable parental attitude combine the chances of school continuance are very s l i g h t . This was obvious i n the study of students i n school - 149 -as well. It becomes more complex to t r y to establish which was most i n f l u e n t i a l i n school withdrawal, generally negative or i n d i f f e r e n t parental attitude or the negative school experience. I t i s also to be remembered that these two are c l o s e l y linked together. In one case a n t i - s o c i a l behaviour and lack of a b i l i t y seemed to overshadow, school experience and parental attitude to education to bring about school withdrawal. In another case grade retardation would suggest a b i l i t y was the main factor i n withdrawal. In the t h i r d s i t u a t i o n i t would seem parental attitude and lack of parental control were of more importance than the negative school experience. In the fourth s i t u a t i o n the student's health, a b i l i t y and school mobility seem to have been other factors operating and perhaps overshadowing the influence of parental attitude and negative school experience i n bringing about school withdrawal. Careful consideration of the interviews of those parents of dropouts who f e l t "positive to the school with some reservations" and expressed some interest i n school revealed that i n one instance the negative i n t r a f a m i l i a l relationship, perceived lack of a b i l i t y and school mobility, a l l coincided with the negative school experience to counteract the positive effect parental attitude might have had on school continuance. This student was asked to leave school. The large family, 13, might also be regarded as contributing to school withdrawal. In the other family the boy quit during the father's serious i l l n e s s and just p r i o r to his death. The parental attitude - 150 -to education was also counteracted by low income and the stigma the boy f e l t at being on public assistance. The boy i s employed and plans to f i n i s h grade 12 at night school so the influence of parental attitude to education may s t i l l be operative along with the post-school experiences. Graduate Students The graduate student*s parent would not be interviewed and so i t i s impossible to determine the r e l a t i v e influences of parental attitude and school experience i n the student's decision to complete school. It i s known the parent had completed grade 12 and encouraged her son to f i n i s h school. His a b i l i t y combined with t h i s to counteract a not too positive school experience. The information available suggests that parental influence played as important a part i f not more important than school experience i n e f f e c t i n g school graduation. Conclusions This study indicates there i s a de f i n i t e c o r r e l a t i o n between student school experience and sehool continuance. S i m i l a r l y there i s a cor r e l a t i o n between parental attitude and school continuance. Parental educational achievement was si g n i f i c a n t i n t h i s study but not to the high degree suggested by other studies.. It i s clear that i n many cases positive school experiences and parental attitudes favouring education go hand i n hand. When t h i s occurs chances f o r grade 12 graduation are quite high even f o r families on public assistance. When negative school experience and negative parental attitudes appear together as they often do, the chances f o r graduation are very low. - 151-These general conclusions are frequently q u a l i f i e d by a complex of factors operative i n a p a r t i c u l a r family s i t u a t i o n . The study hints at the fact that negative parental attitude w i l l dominate over a positive school experience and possibly bring about withdrawal. This hint was based on two cases where other factors seemed to be having minimal influence. There was however one case i n which an i n d i f f e r e n t parental attitude was apparently being overcome by a strongly positive school experience. The other possible suggestion from t h i s part of the study i s no more encouraging. It i s that a positive parental attitude may be overcome by a negative school experience on the part of the student with school withdrawal a probable r e s u l t . In the sample studied i t seemed that a v a r i e t y of other factors combined with negative school experience to bring about withdrawal rather than supporting the positive parental influence and encouraging continuance. The fact that several of the students f e l t they did not have clothes required f o r school s o c i a l a c t i v i t i e s , the lack of supplies f o r home economics classes and a t h l e t i c s , the dearth of organized recreational f a c i l i t i e s i n the neighbourhoods, and the fact that the only hope many of the boys could see of getting a car was to withdraw and get a job; a l l these material resources were lacking i n the l i v e s of these children. The parents did not have the resources to put t h e i r positive attitudes into practice i n ways they might have l i k e d to. Books were scarce i n these homes. Study accommodation was crowded and i n some instances non-existent. It i s interesting to speculate whether these factors might not have been supportive of positive - 152 -parental attitudes and tipped the scales i n the d i r e c t i o n of school continuance i f the socio-economic s i t u a t i o n of the family had "been better. No d e f i n i t e conclusions can be drawn from th i s study about the r e l a t i v e significance of school experience and parental attitude to school persistence but there are disturbing indications that neither the school system nor other s o c i a l resources are a s u f f i c i e n t counterforce to other negative parental attitudes i n families on s o c i a l assistance. Predicting School Persistence of Withdrawal As outlined above, predictions are based on a combination of two sets of variables: on the one hand, a subjective judgment about the l e v e l of the family's motivation, having regard to t h e i r feelings about receiving s o c i a l assistance, t h e i r attitude to education and to the school, r e s i d e n t i a l and school mobility, i n t r a - f a m i l i a l relationships, health, and community experience; and on the other, a judgment made about the quality of the child's school experience, attitudes, and ambitions. Prom a comparison of these two sets of variables i t was hoped to determine whether cert a i n individual features, such as positive school experiences and positive attitudes and ambitions of the c h i l d could outweigh negative family motivation and keep a c h i l d i n school u n t i l graduation, and also whether negative school experiences, attitudes, and lower ambitions could outweigh positive family motivation and cause a c h i l d to drop out. When i t was not possible to interview the in-school children, predictions were made on the basis of parents' statements about - 153 -the child's progress, attitudes and vocational ambitions. The t o t a l sample of 44 children i n the families interviewed plus four children who were at school but l i v i n g away from home was c l a s s i f i e d according to the l e v e l of family motivation and actual . or predicted school status of the children. The results are summarized i n Table 43. This table shows many interesting features. Table 44. Relation Between Family Motivation a n d C h i l d r e n ' s  Actual School Status or Predicted Status t Families School Status or Predicted School Status Motivation Predicted _ Predicted Prediction Rating Ho. Children.Graduates.Graduates 0u?s Dropouts. Unknown. +2 Strong 3 6 1 3 0 1 1 Positive Motivation +1 Positive 9 14 3 4 2 5 0 Motivation 0 Mixed Positive and 2 5 0 0 3 2 0 Negative Motivation -1 Negative 4 5 0 1 3 1 0 -2 Strong Negative 9 18 1 0 9 8 0 Motivation Total: 27 48 5 8 17 17 1 Three families were considered to have strong positive motivation, and nine moderately pos i t i v e , to give a t o t a l of 12 families with positive motivation. There were two families i n which motivation was f e l t to be mixed positive and negative. On the other hand, four families were moderately negative and nine - 154 -very negative as f a r as motivation i s concerned, making a t o t a l of 13 where the influence on the c h i l d could he considered to be negative. Thus the families were quite evenly s p l i t between those with positive and those with negative motivation. This points out the fact that i t i s not possible to stereotype motivation of families receiving s o c i a l assistance. The groups of families with di f f e r e n t motivation ratings are examined i n more d e t a i l below. In the three families with highly positive motivation, there was one graduate and no dropouts. However, when the predictions are added to these figures, i t i s expected that the eventual outcome w i l l be a t o t a l of four graduates and one dropout. And so i t cannot be expected that a l l children i n highly motivated families w i l l graduate. In one case, the negative school experience, attitudes and ambitions of the c h i l d are expected to outweigh family motivation and cause the c h i l d to drop out. In the nine families with moderately positive motivation, there were three graduates and two dropouts. And so i n two cases, negative i n d i v i d u a l factors actually outweighed positive family motivation. When the predictions are added, i t i s expected that i n t h i s group there w i l l be a t o t a l of seven graduates and seven dropouts, an even s p l i t between the two. And so i f our predictions are correct, i t may be concluded that positive family motivation i s not the only consideration. It seems that personal factors w i l l outweigh the moderately positive motivation i n a larger percentage of the cases than they w i l l the strongly p o s i t i v e . In the two families with mixed positive and negative - 155 -motivation, there were three dropouts and no graduates. In addition, no students were expected to graduate and two were expected to drop out. This seems to be a poor record, but the group was too small f o r conclusions to be drawn. In the four families with moderately negative motivation, there were no graduates and three dropouts. However, with predictions added i t appeared that there would eventually be a t o t a l of one graduate and four dropouts. It seemed that generally positive school experiences, attitudes and ambitions would outweigh the negative family motivation i n one case out of four i n t h i s group. The nine families with strongly negative motivation had the largest number of children, i . e . 18. In t h i s group there were nine dropouts and one graduate. It was predicted that i n these families no more children would graduate and eight would drop out, giving an eventual t o t a l of one graduate and 17 dropouts. Accordingly, i n t h i s group i t was expected that there w i l l be one out of 17 who w i l l have been able to overcome very negative family motivation and f i n i s h school. To summarize these expectations, taking the t o t a l of 11 graduates and predicted graduates, 11 of these are from p o s i t i v e l y motivated and two from negatively motivated f a m i l i e s . And of the t o t a l 34 dropouts and predicted dropouts, eight are from p o s i t i v e l y motivated, f i v e from "mixed" motivated and 21 from negatively motivated fa m i l i e s . It can be said then, that on the basis of the t o t a l s of actual graduates and dropouts plus the predicted graduates and dropouts, the r a t i o of graduates to dropouts w i l l be high i n the - 156 -p o s i t i v e l y motivated families i n our sample, and low i n the negatively motivated and i n the "mixed" motivated families, although the l a t t e r group i s r e a l l y too small f o r consideration. But there were also several exceptions to t h i s generalization, which indicate that the child's school experience, attitudes and ambitions were or could be more i n f l u e n t i a l than family motivation i n several cases. Some i l l u s t r a t i v e cases are described below. MARY G. Mary G. i l l u s t r a t e s a s i t u a t i o n i n which strong parental interest i n education i s associated with a positive attitude towards school on the part of the c h i l d . The family consists of the mother, Mrs. G., who i s forty-two years old and has been separated from her husband f o r several years a f t e r enduring a miserable l i f e f o r herself and her seven children when her husband was present i n the home. These parental d i f f i c u l t i e s resulted i n a l l seven children, who range i n age from eight to 25, being taken temporarily i n the care of the Children's Aid Society at one period, though they have been together now f o r the past few years. The father has been i n and out of the home since 1938 and his periodic returns have caused family d i f f i c u l t i e s ; he has not however been i n the family picture f o r the past few years. Despite these disintegrative forces, the family has remained cohesive and the family motivation towards school i s c l a s s i f i e d as plus two on the r a t i n g scale. Mrs. G. sees s o c i a l assistance as having a stigma attached to i t , but also as a useful resource i n r a i s i n g her - 157 -family. The children's attitude towards assistance p a r a l l e l s that of t h e i r mother, i n that while they f e e l i t has some stigma attached to i t , they also see i t s value as a family resource. This family consists of two boys aged 25 and 23, who graduated on the university program and who now have completed apprenticeships and are practicing journeymen i n s k i l l e d trades. A daughter, age 18, completed grade 13 and a hospital course which has q u a l i f i e d her as a registered laboratory technician. Three younger children are performing successfully at school, though one c h i l d i n grade 6 i s experiencing some d i f f i c u l t y . They a l l seem to l i k e school. Mrs. G. has a positive attitude towards education and i s hopeful of ultimately adding to the grade 10 education which she presently has. She belongs to the P.T.A. and i s i n contact with the school p e r i o d i c a l l y i n regard to her children. She speaks well of the school and t h e i r attitude towards the children, with some reservations towards one counsellor who advised Mary to give up a l l ideas of attending university. Mrs. G. indicates she has plans to approach service clubs to help Mary continue her education beyond high school, and feels she could successfully manage t h i s . The family are l i v i n g i n a comfortable home which i s owned by a frie n d of Mrs. G. and which they obtain f o r a reasonable r e n t a l . They have l i v e d i n t h i s home f o r s i x years, and are not experiencing any r e a l crowding. Residential and school moves for a l l the children i n the family have been minimal. Family relationships are good. Mrs. G. i s able to - 158 -individualize i n regard to the children, and has r e a l i s t i c expectations of them educationally and otherwise i n terms of t h e i r a b i l i t i e s . The children appear to relate well to each other and to t h e i r mother. In addition to the fact that family stress i n inter-personal relationships i s minimal, family stress through health i s also minimal as the health of a l l members i s good. The family take some part i n community a c t i v i t i e s but i s l a r g e l y home-centered. Mrs. G. has a good knowledge of s o c i a l services i n the community. She has no reluctance i n making use of them when she needs them. She looks upon s o c i a l assistance as one of these sources of help which i s available f o r her use. Mary i s i n grade 12 on the university program and despite some weakness i n mathematics should graduate th i s year. She f e e l s she i s doing f a i r l y well i n school with an average grade of C plus. She has never r e a l l y considered leaving school, as she has always done well, never f a i l e d a grade and sees no reason not to continue, she observes that her s i s t e r finished grade 13 and she wishes to do so as well, as she feels t h i s i s necessary f o r a general education. She p a r t i c u l a r l y l i k e s art and home economics, and i s attending extra evening sessions i n mathematics at school to bring up her grades i n t h i s subject. She thinks that the attitude and support of her mother has been a help to her i n her school career. She plans on taking further t r a i n i n g i n nursing or teaching when she finishes grade 13 and: her mother i s i n accord with these plans and w i l l help her, with them. Mary does not take part i n many s o c i a l a c t i v i t i e s as - 159 -she f e e l s uncomfortable i n mixed groups and does not enjoy a t h l e t i c s p a r t i c u l a r l y though she does enjoy her classes i n physical education. She has a number of hobbies which she pursues i n so f a r as limited family income w i l l allow. She does not f e e l that a higher family income would make - any difference as to whether or not she finishes grade 13, but indicates that i t would make i t an easier goal to achieve. She noted that whereas now she walks 10 blocks back and f o r t h to school to save car-fare she would be able to take the bus and have more study time available. She would l i k e to be able to afford more books and clothes, and study upstairs at home which she doesn't now do because of the higher l i g h t b i l l which would r e s u l t . Mary sees school i n positive terms. The course she i s taking leads ultimately to the vocational goals she wants; teaching, nursing, laboratory or X-ray technician. The school ha ve been p a r t i c u l a r l y h e l p f u l i n extending themselves to help her. The example of three older s i b l i n g s who are graduates seems to have been a family factor influencing her to complete high school and on the university program. The older s i s t e r indeed, has provided an area of i d e n t i f i c a t i o n which w i l l probably r e s u l t i n Mary completing grade 13. The attitude and support of Mrs. G-. towards education f o r Mary, coupled with Mary's s e n s i t i v i t y towards the importance Mrs. G. places on education, have been a positive contribution to Mary's staying i n school. A strongly held b e l i e f i n t h i s family i s that a good education i s necessary, a good education consisting i n graduation from high school on the univer s i t y program. Mary has accepted t h i s value and consequently considers that junior matriculation - 160 -i s a goal worfh achieving, even though i t be at some personal or family cost. It seems i n thi s case then that the positive f e e l i n g of the family towards education has been a major factor i n influencing Mary to complete school rather than drop out,.. SALIY F. An exception to the positive correlation between strong family motivation and school persistence i s the"case of S a l l y F. The family motivation was rated at the plus two l e v e l , with family features appropriate to t h i s high c l a s s i f i c a t i o n . The family attitude towards education i s positive and three children i n the family, other than S a l l y , who are attending school take considerable part i n a t h l e t i c and other a c t i v i t i e s at school and i n the community. This family consists of Mrs. F., a 50-year old widow of the Protestant f a i t h , her three sons aged 13, 12, and eight and S a l l y , who i s aged 16. Mr. F., of Jewish background, died some f i v e years ago. The attitude of the father was positive towards education, as i s that of the remaining family members, S a l l y excepted. The boys a l l l i k e school, the oldest boy, who i s i n grade 9 i s a straight A student and well-liked, and i s doing p a r t i c u l a r l y well, but they are a l l successful s c h o l a s t i c a l l y , Mrs. F. who has herself only a grade 10 education, f e e l s her insecure position could be improved considerably i f she had more education, and consequently i s anxious f o r her children to get as much education as possible. She has had contact with the school from time to time regarding the children and has found these to be b e n e f i c i a l . She does f e e l , however, - 161 -that the school counsellors could take more interest i n the children. She has taken out educational p o l i c i e s , out of an already tight budget, f o r the children so that they might go to univ e r s i t y i f they wish to upon completion of high school. The family has l i v e d i n Vancouver f o r 20 years and f o r the l a s t 10 years have occupied comfortable quarters i n a low-rental housing project. School moves f o r the children, including the subject, have been kept to an absolute minimum as a r e s u l t . The health of the P. family has been good with the exception of S a l l y . S a l l y has f o r the past two years suffered from minor complaints which Mrs. P. f e e l s i s an attempt to stay away from school on her part. It seems quite possible that Sa l l y ' s i l l health may be psychogenic i n o r i g i n as a reaction to s t r e s s f u l relationships with the school, f o r her attitude to school i s very d i f f e r e n t than that of the family as a whole. S a l l y proves to be an exception to t h i s positive family attitude towards education. She has had considerable d i f f i c u l t y at school, repeated grade 5 and f a i l e d two subjects l a s t school year, whereas the boys t a l k to t h e i r mother about school with some enthusiasm, S a l l y does not t a l k to her mother about school at a l l . S a l l y i s on the general program having changed from the uni v e r s i t y program early i n the school year as she found i t too d i f f i c u l t on the univer s i t y program. She thinks i t i s better to f i n i s h grade 12 but plans only to f i n i s h grade 10 and then pick up more education l a t e r on i f she needs i t . - 162 -She doesn't feel she gets along very well at school, doesn't participate in school athletics or social events, and stays home from school as often as possible. She doesn't feel that there is anything at school which either helps or hinders her and she is -undecided as to whether or not the school deals f a i r l y with her. She doesn't feel that a higher family income would make any difference in her feelings about leaving school. She expressed a dis l ike for a l l the academic courses at school, and didn't think any of them would help her in the future with the possible exception of home economics. In a l l , Sally is plainly apathetic and uninterested in school. She indicates that people are always advising her against leaving school, her aunt, her mother, the counsellors, but she s t i l l wants to leave and get a job; probably as a sa lesgir l or a waitress. There seems to be l i t t l e doubt that she w i l l drop out of school before graduation. Although this family is positively motivated towards education, Sal ly remains negatively inclined towards i t . Her concern with employment, and her negative views in regard to the courses she is taking, appear to"point out that she sees no great value in continuing at school, for graduation w i l l not enhance her job poss ibi l i t ies in her view. This seems particularly pertinent i n view of her vocational goals of waitress or sa lesg ir l which do not require high school graduation. There is some suggestion that the family places greater importance upon education for boys than for g i r l s , possibly there are some cultural considerations involved, but nevertheless Mrs.P. - 163 -i s extremely d i s a p p o i n t e d t h a t S a l l y w i l l probably drop o u t . One can o n l y specula te as to whether S a l l y ' s p o s i t i o n as the o l d e r s i s t e r to t h r e e younger b r o t h e r s has any r e l a t i o n t o her d e c i s i o n t o l e a v e s c h o o l , but i t i s a p o s s i b l e c o n s i d e r a t i o n . I t seems l i k e l y t h a t the a p p r o b a t i o n o f f e r e d the o l d e s t boy who i s so s u c c e s s f u l i n s c h o o l has caused S a l l y t o withdraw from the educat ive c o m p e t i t i o n and l o o k f o r an a r e a (employment), where she would not be i n c o m p e t i t i o n w i t h any other f a m i l y members, and would indeed i n some r e s p e c t s p lace her i n a s u p e r i o r p o s i t i o n to other f a m i l y members. While any comparison of the i n t e l l i g e n c e of S a l l y and her s i b l i n g s i s undocumented, i t does appear t h a t she may be of lower i n t e l l i g e n c e and thus handicapped i n the c o m p e t i t i o n f o r h i g h e s t s c h o o l marks. She has consequent ly r e b e l l e d a g a i n s t the h i g h e x p e c t a t i o n s made of h e r i n t h i s r e s p e c t , and seeks t o withdraw from an u n f a i r c o m p e t i t i o n through w i t h d r a w a l from s c h o o l . At the same time as S a l l y i s encounter ing d i f f i c u l t i e s , b o t h from the home and the s c h o o l , she i s a l s o undergoing the t r a v a i l s of adolescence . She i s s e a r c h i n g f o r independence, and i s i n a s t a t e of h o s t i l e r e b e l l i o n towards a u t h o r i t y , as represented i n her mother and the s c h o o l . l e a v i n g s c h o o l to o b t a i n employment i s one way of meeting the need f o r independence, and at the same time g a i n i n g p e r s o n a l s a t i s f a c t i o n s . I t seems, i n t h i s case , e n t i r e l y p l a u s i b l e t o conclude t h a t the h i g h f a m i l y m o t i v a t i o n towards educat ion which has been a c o n t r i b u t i n g f a c t o r towards negat ive f e e l i n g s to e d u c a t i o n on the p a r t of one f a m i l y member. The case of S a l l y F . proves an -•'164 -exception to the generalization that the children of families with high motivation towards education stay i n school. It also points up the influence of mental a b i l i t y on school retention. JOAN C. Two families i n the group interviewed were rated as having mixed positive and negative motivation. Of the f i v e children within the vulnerable age group three had already prematurely withdrawn from school and the other two were predicted to drop out. T y p i c a l l y representative of t h i s group were the "C" family, second generation Chinese Canadian, who had recently become dependent upon s o c i a l assistance when Mrs. C's common law husband deserted. The oldest two children i n the family had dropped out; one i n grade 9 and the second i n grade 10. It was predicted that Joan C. presently i n grade 9 would also f a i l to complete grade 12. The family expressed moderately negative feelings concerning t h e i r dependence upon s o c i a l assistance. They did, however, appreciate the help i t afforded, enabling Mrs. C. to remain i n the home to keep the "family together". Mrs. C. stated routinely that grade 12 was considered a minimum requirement f o r obtaining a job. She did not, however, see any purpose or value i n obtaining an education f o r i t s own sake. She had no contact with P.T.A, or school personnel concerning the children's progress at school or t h e i r decision to withdraw. I n t r a - f a m i l i a l t i e s appeared to be strong but there was l i t t l e discussion of school i n the home. The oldest daughter whose premature withdrawal was necessitated by i l l n e s s has been - 165 -unable to f i n d s a t i s f a c t o r y employment and i s presently s t a r t i n g a program of night courses to upgrade her educational l e v e l . She l e f t high school i n grade 9 . Academic d i f f i c u l t i e s were a s i g n i f i c a n t factor i n the chil d ' s negative experience i n school. Joan had already f a i l e d two grades and was presently having d i f f i c u l t y i n academic subjects. D i s l i k e of teachers and the absence of friends at school added to the f r u s t r a t i o n of the school experience. Joan, consequently, was not able to recognize any purpose or value i n completing high school which would help her i n future l i f e experiences. A strong emphasis upon family centred a c t i v i t i e s which i s t y p i c a l of Chinese c u l t u r a l values discouraged the child's motivation to participate i n school or community a t h l e t i c or s o c i a l a c t i v i t i e s . The predominant factors influencing a negative motivation to continue i n school were academic d i f f i c u l t i e s , negative parental attitudes toward school and community and a c u l t u r a l factor which discouraged p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n community a c t i v i t i e s on the part of the c h i l d . In short i t appeared that a negative school experience coupled with the family's general apathetic attitude toward education was a s i g n i f i c a n t factor i n the high dropout rate among t h i s group. JOHN K. In the group rated with a moderately negative motivation there were four f a m i l i e s . Only one c h i l d presently i n school i n t h i s group was expected to complete grade 12. This - 166 -was John K. aged 15. John l i v e s with his mother aged 55 who i s separated from her second husband. Born i n Germany, John l i v e d f o r seven years i n the Interior of B r i t i s h Columbia before moving with h i s mother to Vancouver one-and-a-half years ago. John,who i s now i n grade 9,has attended three schools i n the l a s t f i v e years. Mrs. K. has suffered from chronic physical ailments f o r the l a s t 20 years. This has made i t impossible f o r her to obtain employment which would enable her to f i n a n c i a l l y support herself and her son. Mrs. K. expresses much negative f e e l i n g concerning t h e i r dependence upon social^, assistance stating that she intensely d i s l i k e s accepting public money and shows l i t t l e appreciation of the help i t provides. She s t a t e s " i t prevents one from starving and that i s a l l " . Mrs. K. i s openly c r i t i c a l toward the Canadian educational system f e e l i n g that programing i s of i n f e r i o r standard to that of Germany. D i s c i p l i n e i s lacking i n the school and consequently children have l i t t l e respect f o r t h e i r superiors. It i s apparent that Mrs. K. f e e l s that her son has adopted American values of affluence as opposed to her own of f r u g a l i t y . Mrs. K. stated her b e l i e f i n the purpose and value of education i n equipping an i n d i v i d u a l personally and vocationally to meet the requirements of the labour force but apparently provided l i t t l e encouragement i n her son's educational endeavours. She refuses to attend P.T.A. meetings or have any contact with the school or community groups because of her feelings of i n f e r i o r i t y concerning her poor mastery of English. - 167 -John K. narrated a very positive experience i n school, expressing a general s a t i s f a c t i o n with the teachers and subjects. He participated a c t i v e l y i n s o c i a l and a t h l e t i c a c t i v i t i e s . Academically he has made satis f a c t o r y progress, with an average "C" grade and marks ranging from "A" i n his favourite subjects to "D" i n those i n which he i s "bored". Although the expressed parental attitudes were predominantly negative t h i s boy's positive school experience and apparent i n t e l l e c t u a l c a p a b i l i t i e s indicate that he w i l l probably complete grade 12. Among t h i s group of families the nature of the child's experience i n school and community seemed to be the determining factor i n his motivation to remain i n school. This section deals with families who were rated low on the family motivation scales. The f i r s t family i s an i l l u s t r a t i o n of the general rule that the probability f o r school graduation i n a negatively motivated family i s very low. This i s a two parent family. The father was born i n the Ukraine i n 1917. The mother who i s 44 years old does not speak English. There are s i x children i n t h i s family. Two of the children, a boy and a g i r l born i n 1951 and 1956, are i n elementary school. One son who was too old to be considered i n our sample had quit school i n grade 11 at the age of 17. Of the three boys i n the 15 - 21 age range, two hadO dropped out i n grade 10 and one was i n grade 8 and i s predicted to drop out. This family's attitude to being on s o c i a l assistance was c l a s s i f i e d as being "generalized negative" which means they - 168 -were not happy about being on assistance but saw some positive aspects. The father said "he didn't mind being on assistance too much, but people do think you are a bum". He saw i t p o s i t i v e l y i n that i t kept him from going into debt u n t i l he got a job. He thought people's opinions about recipients of s o c i a l assistance were improving. He linked his low income with the d i f f i c u l t y his children had had with the po l i c e . He saw the lack of money as necessitating t h e i r l i v i n g i n a neighbourhood which he saw as being a bad influence on his children. This must be interpreted as being more the resu l t of low income than of s p e c i f i c a l l y being on s o c i a l assistance. The family had been l i v i n g i n the same house fo r nine years yet t h e i r f i r s t application f o r assistance was four years ago. Although the father may be f a i l i n g to accept his part i n his son's trouble, t h i s part of the c i t y i s c e r t a i n l y not a favourable one i n which to raise children. The family was rated as apathetic i n i t s attitude toward the school. The father said he wanted his children to f i n i s h high school and then go to vocational school, but the rest of the interview indicated he had l i t t l e serious interest i n education and a " l a i s s e z - f a i r e " attitude toward the school. School was only discussed when he t r i e d to make the boys go to school. Their reaction was to run away from home. He saw education of value s o l e l y i n terms of an occupation. This family has, as has." already been mentioned, resided i n the same house f o r nine years and there has been no school mobility. The housing i s a low standard private home. - 169 -The .i n t r a f a m i l i a l relationships seem at present to he " l a i s s e z - f a i r e " between father and sons. The family t i e s appear quite weak at t h i s time. To understand the present s i t u a t i o n and i t s e f fect on school continuance i t i s h e l p f u l to look at what appears to have gone on i n the past. This family would be . c l a s s i f i e d as one i n which the father assumed the authoritarian r o l e . The mother who does not speak English seems to have assumed the submissive, hard-working, mother r o l e which often complements the authoritarian father i n the t r a d i t i o n a l European family. The father used corporal punishment with his children to obtain obedience and even dragged them to school. When they became old enough and b i g enough they rebelled and his methods were no longer e f f e c t i v e . He now looks down on t h e i r l i f e pattern but can only assume a " l a i s s e z - f a i r e " approach. The boy's defiance of his verbal desire f o r them to continue i n school may well have been part of a general pattern of r e b e l l i o n against t h e i r father's authoritarian approach. They seem to have i d e n t i f i e d more with his actual interests i n school which are low. The often discussed f i r s t generation c u l t u r a l c o n f l i c t may well have been operative i n the behavioural pattern of the boys. The mother had been i n i l l health f o r seven years and th i s may have created further economic stress i n the family. It does however not seem to have been a major factor. The father and mother did not seem to have t i e s with the community. The boys seemed to i d e n t i f y with the delinquent element i n the community. - 170 -The dropout who was interviewed had quit school about three years ago. He had returned to school a f t e r being out f o r about a year and a h a l f . He o r i g i n a l l y returned to the school he l e f t , but was referred to the adult education centre. He attended only two weeks and quit again. He had been on the general program and saw i t as being the easiest. A l l his friends were on t h i s program. He was s a t i s f i e d with his program because a l l he wanted was the easiest course. He had repeated grade 8 and saw himself as being bigger than the other students i n his grade. He thought the school "treated you l i k e l i t t l e kids". He said he had been i n a l o t of trouble with the school but f e l t a l o t of i t had been his own f a u l t . His academic progress was not too good although he said he was getting "C's" when he l e f t school. He saw his d i s l i k e f o r school, the fact that he wanted a car, the l a t e hours he kept, his g i r l f r i e n d and his boy friends, a l l being i n f l u e n t i a l i n his poor progress i n school. He said he made his own decision to leave school. He had talked to the counsellors but t h i s hadn't helped much. He did not see any value i n education f o r the type of work he had been doing since he l e f t school. He thought i t might be h e l p f u l i f a person wanted to take vocational t r a i n i n g . He i s presently unemployed but i t does not seem l i k e l y he w i l l take further t r a i n i n g . T h e ' i l l u s t r a t i o n of the t y p i c a l negative family motivation and school withdrawal has pointed to the fact that - 171 -negative school experience and negative parental motivation often go hand i n hand. Factors which seemed to have been p a r t i c u l a r l y s i g n i f i c a n t i n bringing about school withdrawal were the close i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the boys with the delinquent element i n the community. The i authoritarian parental approach along with the c u l t u r a l c o n f l i c t which may have been the beginning of the child's r e b e l l i o n which carried over into the school, another authority f i g u r e , and the unsatisfying school experience of the boy. There was only one c h i l d who had graduated or was expected to graduate from the families rated as being very negatively motivated. This one was not available to be interviewed so that i t i s not possible to use t h i s case as the most obvious exception t o the t y p i c a l trend. There was however a family where the student's school experience rated as "mixed" and i t appears the student had the a b i l i t y to graduate. This case provides an i l l u s t r a t i o n of how the positive aspects of a student's school experience can be counterbalanced by a variety of factors stemming from family experience. The family unit consisted of mother age 40 who was born i n Canada, two g i r l s , one i n a special class and the other i n grade 10, and a boy aged 12. There was apparently a common-law husband who although present at times i n the home did not take a leadership, role i n accepting r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r family problems. The mother was rated i n her attitude to assistance as being "subsistent resigned-dependent." She saw assistance as being a l i v i n g but seemed to see l i t t l e else but existence as a p o s s i b i l i t y . This limited assumption of p o s s i b i l i t y was beginning - 172 -to affect her daughter's view of"'possibility. The mother h a d b e e n o n assistance f o r f i v e years and although i t was a subsistence l e v e l of income her anxiety over medical and dental b i l l s had been lessened and she had been able to remain at home with her family. The mother's attitude toward school and interest i n education were rated as "positive with some reservations" and "some in t e r e s t " . Her main reservations about the school, centered around her youngest daughter being i n special c l a s s . She had agreed to her being placed i n the class, but the daughter i s now d i s s a t i s f i e d and the mother blames the school f o r not advancing her to the occupational program which she sees as having less stigma attached to i t i n terms of the child's a b i l i t y . Although she was positive i n her attitude toward the school t h i s positiveness seemed to be i n terms of a lack of negative attitudes. The resigned attitude was apparent when she said "The school knows what i t i s doing so why in t e r f e r e " . Her implied interest i n education was i n general terms and her actual knowledge was quite l i m i t e d . She had, herself, a grade 10 education. The family had a hist o r y of 10 moves i n the l a s t f i v e years, not only within "Vancouver but also involving an out of province move. This appeared to be i n thi s family one of the negative factors most i n f l u e n t i a l i n the prediction that the g i r l would drop out. The g i r l ' s school experience had been strongly influenced by these moves. Her program choice had been disregarded because of differences i n regulations from school to school. Her pa r t i c i p a t i o n i n school a c t i v i t i e s had been curt a i l e d because she - 173 -f e l t she got l e f t out when she changed schools, and she doesn't know how to get into the a c t i v i t i e s again. I t seemed the constant demand on her to adjust to new situations had reached the point where she saw l i t t l e purpose i n investing h e r s e l f i n the school or i t s a c t i v i t i e s because of the probable temporary nature of the contact. The family mobility had disrupted any positive influence the child's contact with a neighbourhood house might have had, and the present location prohibited her from continuing attendance. The i n t r a - f a m i l i a l t i e s seemed also an important factor i n determining the possible withdrawal of the student. The mother's pattern of l i f e involving the common-law husband seemed to be a possible reason f o r the present e v i c t i o n from the advantage of low rent i n the housing project, Neighbours had complained. This suggests a co r r e l a t i o n between i n t r a - f a m i l i a l relationships and residence mobility which seemed important i n discouraging school continuance. It was also noticeable that although the mother-daughter relationship gave evidence of being quite strong the dependent mother seemed to lean on the daughter f o r advice thus putting additional r e s p o n s i b i l i t y on a 16-year old g i r l who had already been asked to cope with extreme school mobility. Health had also been a s t r e s s f u l factor i n t h i s family. The younger daughter received considerable attention due to h o s p i t a l i z a t i o n f o r her asthma. The older g i r l did not get along with her s i s t e r and thought she stayed at home from school f o r the smallest excuse. - 174 -This mother*s only contact with the community seemed to be i n terms of obtaining help f o r her children. An example of t h i s was her use of the welfare services offered by the Canadian Legion branch i n her area, and friends who l i v e d i n rooming houses i n the West End d i s t r i c t of the c i t y . Neither of these contacts seemed to be of the type that would influence the daughter to remain i n school. This g i r l ' s progress i n school seemed to have been sat i s f a c t o r y up to t h i s point and many of her d i s l i k e s of school were d i r e c t l y traceable to family mobility. Her present lack of f a i t h i n her a b i l i t y to complete th i s school year successfully i s quite r e a l i s t i c a l l y interpreted by her as being partly due to the fact that many times the change i n schools resulted i n ommission of blocks of subject matter. This becomes more c r u c i a l i n high.school. Her view of her mother's cooperation i n helping her.do.well i n school was that she stayed out of her way. The g i r l sees marginal income as having had some effect on her future. F i n a n c i a l stress i s quite prominent i n the family especially when school starts i n the F a l l . The hidden costs of our free education system become v i s i b l e i n September. She says she .knows i t takes a l o t of money to f i n i s h school and when she thinks of a l l the things she can't have without her mother having to scrimp excessively i t makes her f e e l angry and discouraged. She observed that even such things as gym fees and home economic supplies are d i f f i c u l t f o r her to obtain. This case seems to i l l u s t r a t e a student with s u f f i c i e n t a b i l i t y and desire to f i n i s h school, but who because of lack of parental motivation to education, and more p a r t i c u l a r l y because - 175 -of the family mobility, w i l l l i k e l y drop out. The point of tragedy here i s that even under these adverse influences had the school counselling system been f l e x i b l e enough to assess the s i t u a t i o n and enable the g i r l to pursue the desired program and fan her f l i c k e r i n g flame of interest her assumption of what i s possible might be d i f f e r e n t . The p i t i f u l l y inadequate s o c i a l assistance can c l e a r l y be seen to have hammered away at t h i s g i r l ' s ray of hope of improving her si t u a t i o n through education. This policy i s , and w i l l i n the future, cost t h i s g i r l untold loss of s a t i s f a c t i o n . Besides that, i t seems to be a good example of how the community i s w i l l i n g to save nickels at the price of dollars i n the future. Money spent on making education a sa t i s f a c t o r y experience could well have overcome apathetic parental motivation and saved probable cost to the community i n the future when t h i s g i r l drops out of school. CHAPTER 6. CONCLUSIONS AND REC OMMENDAT IONS The present study has considered the complex of factors which operate to influence children to remain i n school or to drop out. Certain s i g n i f i c a n t aspects of family l i f e which tend to motivate children to remain i n school or discourage them from doing so were studied i n regard to each family. The children were studied i n r e l a t i o n to parents' l e v e l of motivation f o r school continuance. They were considered from the point of view of t h e i r Individual attitudes to school, t h e i r school experiences and performance, as well as educational and vocational aspirations. The children were then grouped according to t h e i r actual educational status and prospects. The separate groupings were, (a) graduates, (b) those who appeared to have good prospects to graduate, (c) dropouts and (d) those who seemed to be headed f o r premature withdrawal. These groups of children were studied to determine the r e l a t i v e importance of family motivation and other variables on school persistence. The bases f o r the estimations made of the leve l s of family motivation, which were rated from +2 to -2, included s i x main areas of consideration. Since the sample for study was made up of families i n receipt of s o c i a l assistance, the matter of t h e i r attitude to being a recipient of public funds as well as t h e i r feelings about l i v i n g on a marginal income were considered. In regard to t h e i r feelings about being on assistance, i t was found that those who exhibited an attitude of resigned dependency had been on assistance f o r a long period of time. - 177 -Such a s i t u a t i o n tended to lower the l e v e l of family motivation. Those who had been on Social assistance f o r only a short period of time and who retained a negative or frankly h o s t i l e attitude to being on s o c i a l assistance were deemed to have better prospects f o r r e h a b i l i t a t i o n and independence. Two of these families had actually obtained employment which appeared to be secure. A f e e l i n g of being di f f e r e n t was associated both with receiving public funds and with l i v i n g on a marginal income. Inadequate income i n some cases accounted f o r lack of p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n a c t i v i t i e s . I n f e r i o r clothing and lack of money to spend on school equipment added to t h i s f e e l i n g . The second main aspect of family motivation considered was the attitude of parents to education and to the schools t h e i r children attend. These attitudes ranged from an active interest i n education and a positive attitude to the school to no interest i n education and an ind i f f e r e n t attitude to the school. Factors such as the parents* own school experience, and the grade they had achieved themselves, as well as t h e i r present reaction to that experience were considered. The nature of the contacts with t h e i r children's schools also contributed to these factors. The present study sought to reach beyond the professed interest i n education and interest i n seeing children graduate to the actual degree of concern. Public propaganda which stresses the importance of completing school f o r vocational reasons had obviously influenced some of the parents, and of course f i t s with the majority view that education i s primarily a vocational asset. The l e v e l of concern was determined from external evidence of - 178 -behaviour. For example, did the parents discuss school with t h e i r children? Did they take advantage of opportunities to learn what the school program and a c t i v i t i e s are? Did they keep children out of school f o r reasons other than i l l n e s s or close t h e i r eyes to truancy? Were they aware of t h e i r children's preferences i n courses and knowledgeable about t h e i r strengths and weaknesses i n school courses? Did they seek help i f problems arose f o r t h e i r c h i l d i n connection with the school or i n p a r t i c u l a r courses? The t h i r d consideration which influenced the l e v e l of family motivation was residence. This factor was used partly to measure the s t a b i l i t y of the family. Residential.mobility was analyzed from the point of view of how i t affected the adjustment of the family as well as the part i t played i n determining the number of schools the children attended. The quality of housing and the degree of crowding that prevailed were seen as factors which influenced i n t r a - f a m i l i a l r elationships. The conclusions reached i n t h i s interpersonal area were based on observations made i n one, two or three interviews with family members. Because of the nature of the sample, "broken homes" predominated. The fact that these homes were broken was not considered paramount i n assessing the family atmosphere. Table 45. I n t r a - f a m i l i a l Relationships Relationships One-Parent Two-Parent Good.or adequate 11 3 Unsatisfactory 10 3 - 179 -Where-the present relationships appeared to be good, even i f they had not been always so, they were regarded as good. Among the si x two-parent families, three were judged to be adequate or good and three either had loose family t i e s or had poor relationships. In the one-parent families 11 had adequate or good relationships. The remaining 10 were unsatisfactory i n some way. In two of these the problem i n family relationships centred on one c h i l d i n the family. The other eight were either non-cohesive or had tension i n t h e i r relationships. Unsatisfactory relationships i n families were considered to have a negative effect on the motivation of the family, and good relationships a positive one. The f i f t h main factor which influenced family motivation was health. Health was reviewed from the point of view of the1 resultant stress, i f any, on the family. Illnesses were examined f o r t h e i r frequency, severity and chronicity. The family's reaction to these conditions, and the degree of incapacitation the family experienced were the points considered. The matter of how these families related to the community was considered important i n t h e i r motivation. It appeared that these families were for the most part i s o l a t e d . Twenty had no community a c t i v i t i e s and frequently indicated that they had no friends, or just one f r i e n d . Four families participated i n the community to some extent and three were active. Where a sense of i s o l a t i o n prevailed, i t was regarded as detrimental to family motivation f o r school continuance. The children's actual school achievement and prospects were considered i n r e l a t i o n to l e v e l of family motivation. In - 180 -some cases children had managed to graduate despite low motivation i n the family or else had good prospects f o r f i n i s h i n g school. In.some cases the reverse appeared to "be the case, and highly motivated families had dropouts or probable dropouts i n them. In these cases i t would appear that individual potential, personal relationships, attitudes learned outside the home, and school experience a l l played a part i n outweighing the influence of the family. School experience included such factors as the grade achieved i n r e l a t i o n to the child's age, grade f a i l u r e s , success i n courses, absenteeism, attitude to individual teachers, l i k e s and d i s l i k e s at school and attitude to the university, general, and sp e c i a l programs. Vocational aspirations and feelings about being on s o c i a l assistance also played a part i n influencing the children's interest i n f i n i s h i n g or not f i n i s h i n g school. A l l these in d i v i d u a l considerations as well as the l e v e l of family motivation were taken into account i n predicting which children would or would not drop out of school. Resources and Recommendations In the present study, i t was obvious that some children who came from families with high motivation and who had had positive school experiences and attitudes were almost certain to f i n i s h school, and there were others, f o r example those with very low a b i l i t y , who were almost cert a i n to drop out. On the other hand, i t i s with the marginal group that the authors are p a r t i c u l a r l y concerned, that i s , those children f o r whom the scales seem to be d e l i c a t e l y balanced between f i n i s h i n g school and dropping out. - 181 -Certain existing services may play a part i n influencing t h i s group of children to complete t h e i r formal education or at least obtain suitable vocational t r a i n i n g . There' are provisions within the s o c i a l assistance program, i n the Vancouver school system, i n the Department of Labour and i n voluntary community services which have par t i c u l a r relevance f o r t h i s group. In view of the experience of the families interviewed cer t a i n adjustments to these services should be considered. S o c i a l Assistance Policy The Policy Manual of the Department of S o c i a l Welfare of B r i t i s h Columbia states that s o c i a l allowances may be granted to provide necessities for a basic standard of l i v i n g to a person i n need of f i n a n c i a l assistance who i s unable to meet th i s need i n whole or i n part by his own e f f o r t s or from other income or resources.^ In order to be e l i g i b l e for s o c i a l allowance as a dependent member of a family i n receipt of s o c i a l allowance, a c h i l d over 16 years of age must s a t i s f y one of the following conditions: (a) he i s regularly attending an academic, technical or vocational school or taking a high school course from the Department of Education and making sati s f a c t o r y progress i n his studies and he i s not e l i g i b l e f o r a t r a i n i n g allowance under Schedule "M" and "R", or (b) he i s prevented from attending school or taking correspondence courses by reason of physical or mental d i s a b i l i t y , or (c) he i s registered f o r employment and unable to Province of B r i t i s h Columbia, Department of S o c i a l Welfare? Policy Manual, p. 293. - 182 -f i n d work. 1 Most of the children i n our study over 16 years of age were e l i g i b l e under one of the above conditions. In addition, the c h i l d i s permitted to take on part-time employment to a cer t a i n extent. A c h i l d included i n the family's s o c i a l assistance grant i s allowed to earn and keep S40 monthly plus 30 per cent of his excess earnings and anything over th i s amount i s deducted from the s o c i a l assistance grant. I f the c h i l d i s l i v i n g i n the home but i s not included i n the s o c i a l assistance grant, he i s allowed to earn and keep $150 monthly plus 50 per cent of excess earnings before a deduction i s made.2 While these amounts are not small, a psychological factor may operate to prevent a c h i l d from taking part-time employment; that i s , he may f e e l he i s penalized f o r taking the i n i t i a t i v e and t r y i n g to as s i s t his family f i n a n c i a l l y . It i s recommended, therefore, that no c e i l i n g be placed on a child's permitted earnings. Within the s o c i a l assistance program, fees f o r the ren t a l of school texts are paid as an "extra" allowance. It was found, however, that a l l students did not take advantage of t h i s benefit because doing so would e n t a i l informing the school of the fact that t h e i r families receive s o c i a l assistance. While a l l s o c i a l assistance rates need to be raised to a l e v e l above mere subsistence l i v i n g i n order to enable people to r e t a i n t h e i r self-respect and look upon themselves as Province of B r i t i s h Columbia, Department of So c i a l Welfare; Po l i c y Manual, p. 293 2 Ibid, p. 297. - 183 -pa r t i c i p a t i n g members of the community, there i s a par t i c u l a r need f o r rates to be raised f o r children i n the age range of 15-21. It i s nearly impossible f o r families on assistance to bear the cost of such children, p a r t i c u l a r l y at an age when they are growing at a very great rate and when appetites are hearty. There are also hidden costs i n keeping a c h i l d i n school, such as laboratory fees, special equipment, and costs dictated by s o c i a l a c t i v i t i e s . It i s f e l t that i n addition to helping with the actual costs of keeping children i n school, r a i s i n g assistance rates would prevent some of the factors which make f o r poor family motivation. This study has shown that i t i s highly l i k e l y that children i n poorly motivated families w i l l drop out of school. Increasing the assistance rates could be expected to have a positive effect on family motivation by lessening the family's f e e l i n g of being "deprived" or " d i f f e r e n t " , by providing for better housing conditions (overcrowding i s believed to adversely af f e c t family r e l a t i o n s h i p s ) , and by making i t possible f o r the family to participate i n s o c i a l a c t i v i t i e s . Increased assistance rates would also a f f e c t the child's school experience, attitude and ambitions, a l l of which are i n f l u e n t i a l i n determining whether or not he w i l l continue i n school, i n the following way: although some of the children i n our study stated that they did not f e e l that a low income adversely affects t h e i r plans f o r school continuance, the more subtle aspects of the low income, such as the f e e l i n g of being " d i f f e r e n t " , being ashamed of t h e i r clothes, not having the proper school equipment and the i n a b i l i t y - 184 -to participate i n school a c t i v i t i e s were f e l t to he i n f l u e n t i a l . The actual amount of assistance income needed to meet these conditions i s a subject f o r further research. The authors of t h i s study f e e l , however, that the present rates of assistance f o r children i n t h i s vulnerable age group need to be doubled. An alternative method of approaching t h i s problem would be to provide a s p e c i a l issue cheque on or about August 15 and January 5 to a s s i s t the family i n the provision of clothes, school equipment, and i n some of the cost of p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n s o c i a l a c t i v i t i e s . The l a t t e r i s believed to be a v i t a l factor i n the normal growth and development of a c h i l d . In addition, the necessity of concentrating more attention on the r e h a b i l i t a t i o n of the families on s o c i a l assistance i s evident. Provision of funds to enable parents and children alike who have dropped out of school to attend night-school classes such as those given at King Edward Education Centre would enable s o c i a l assistance recipients to have some f e e l i n g of control over t h e i r own destiny, to f e e l less l i k e victims of circumstance. Family Allowance The recent budget brought down by Finance Minister Gordon provides f o r Family Allowances to be paid to 16- and 17-year-olds who continue school, at a rate of $10 per month. While t h i s i s commendable, i t i s l i k e l y to make i t easier f o r those children without severe age-grade retardation to continue, but w i l l not provide any incentive f o r those children who are old f o r t h e i r school grade and who have the added psychological d i f f i c u l t y - 185 -of f e e l i n g they are "too old" or "too big" f o r school. This factor was brought out i n several cases i n the present study. Therefore, i t i s recommended that Family Allowance be continued for children up to age 21 attending school. School Programs There are three programs at the high school l e v e l ; occupational, general and university. The university program i s , as the name would indicate, designed to prepare a student f o r a university education. It i s almost e n t i r e l y academic i n nature, of f e r i n g l i t t l e i n the way of p r a c t i c a l courses. It i s worthy of note that graduation on the university program i s also a requirement of entrance to nurses' t r a i n i n g , o f f i c e r s ' t r a i n i n g , and the B.C. Institute of Technology. The general program provides a simplified academic course and an increase i n i n d u s t r i a l arts and commercial courses. Most boys i n the general program take the former stream while the g i r l s follow the l a t t e r . In addition to vocational and commercial courses each stream offers an array of academic courses, which are diluted versions of academic courses offered on the university program, though some courses offered on the unive r s i t y program, such as foreign languages, are not required on the general program. Others are taken for fewer years, for example English, which i s a four year course on the university program and i s only a three year course on the general program. The occupational program i s designed f o r those whose i n t e l l e c t u a l capacities are so limited that they cannot cope with either the university or the general programs. It provides a - 186 -three year course emphasizing core subjects, the three R's and some shops such as woodwork and metal work. It i s intended to provide some t r a i n i n g f o r service occupations such as garage attendant, bus boy, and waitress. In actual fact while i t has served to r e t a i n children who would otherwise have l e f t e a r l i e r , i t does not enhance t h e i r job opportunities upon completing the course. In terms of status i t i s well below the general program which i s i n turn considerably below the univ e r s i t y program. In the present study, i t was found that a large number of the children of vulnerable age were enrolled i n the general program. With the exception of the " o f f i c e stream" which i s proving highly valuable f o r g i r l s who graduate, the general program does not appear to lead to a job f o r boys. They may therefore be tempted to give up the struggle to f i n i s h the course and drop out i n order to secure immediate employment. While the connection between the vocational aspects of t h i s program and future employment p o s s i b i l i t i e s should be made evident to the student, the c h i l d should also be made aware of the value and importance of a general education. The popular conception of education f o r vocational purposes and material gsinriprevailskto the exclusion of the l e s s tangible values of personal development and s e l f - r e a l i z a t i o n . Furthermore a narrow vocational t r a i n i n g which eliminates a general education f a i l s to prepare one f o r vocational as well as personal adjustments which w i l l need to be made i n an unknown future. A broad education i s es s e n t i a l to the development of responsible c i t i z e n s i n a democracy. - 187 -School Counsellors The school counsellors are concerned with both career and course counselling. It i s necessary f o r the school counsellors to acquire a f u l l e r knowledge of job requirements than many seem to have at present. While counsellors, as a r e s u l t of t h e i r own backgrounds are f a m i l i a r with the requirements f o r the professions, such as nursing or teaching, they have considerably l e s s knowledge as to how one becomes a sheet metal worker, s k i l l e d tradesman, or service worker. To f a m i l i a r i z e the counsellors with job requirements and trends In employment opportunities a Central Information Centre could be set up, to which employers could report job requirements, opportunities, and p a r t i c u l a r l y apprenticeship plans, about which l i t t l e seems to be known. Counsellors could consult t h i s Centre to keep abreast of changing employment conditions. The counsellor must be prepared to explain to the c h i l d the t i e - i n between the general program and a job or occupation, as v e i l as stress the value of the academic subjects. It seems that some "reaching out" on the part of the counsellor to the c h i l d ' s family and engaging them i n program planning would avoid the f e e l i n g of being " l e f t out", which seemed to be experienced by many families i n the present study. The s p e c i a l counsellors are concerned with the emotional and learning problems of students. Their r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s include acting as consultants to teachers, some personal counselling and r e f e r r a l of students and t h e i r families to other community agencies. There i s a tendency f o r C i t y S o c i a l Service workers to - 188 -minimize t h e i r contacts with the school. Perhaps because of inadequate time to discharge t h e i r basic r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s , there seems to be some f e e l i n g that school contacts are l e s s important than other s o c i a l work functions. Yet i t i s v i t a l f o r s o c i a l workers to maintain contact with the school counsellors and sp e c i a l counsellors i n order to interpret to them the sp e c i a l needs of the c h i l d and to gain an understanding of the child's school performance and relati o n s h i p s . When the C i t y S o c i a l Service worker and the sp e c i a l counsellor are both involved i n any one case, there i s need f o r them to c l a r i f y t h e i r respective r o l e s . Study and Tutoring Programs Some consideration might be given to the p o s s i b i l i t i e s outlined i n a recent experiment conducted at a l o c a l high school i n which the school was opened at night, during exam periods, so that students with crowded home situations could study at school, A teacher supervised the class and provided extra tutoring. One c h i l d i n our study p a r t i c u l a r l y appreciated the help one teacher had given with d i f f i c u l t subjects. In the area from which our study group was chosen, there i s a high degree of crowding i n the home8. A plan of t h i s type would appear to be of assistance to adolescents having school d i f f i c u l t i e s due to unsatisfactory home conditions. A program has been established i n Toronto, through the co-operation of the Junior League and Toronto s o c i a l agencies, of providing tutoring help, group study, and good study conditions, i n s o c i a l agencies. This plan i s new and i t s success i s moderate, but i t points out the p o s s i b i l i t y of school and s o c i a l agency - 189 -co-operation i n meeting some of the problems of the potential dropout. The community centres i n the area of our study might be used In t h i s way. Upgrading and Vocational I n s t i t u t i o n s . Two separate i n s t i t u t i o n s which are administered by the Vancouver School Board are designed f o r students who have either completed grade 12 or who have dropped out of school. One i s the King Edward Adult Education Centre which provides an accelerated academic program f o r dropouts. Vancouver School Board research has shown that of those students who appear able to complete grade 12 one student i n s i x who prematurely withdraws from school returns to an adult program within a 12 to 18 month p e r i o d . 1 The other School Board program that has p a r t i c u l a r relevance f o r the dropout or the potential dropout i s found i n the Vancouver Vocational I n s t i t u t e . This school provides vocational t r a i n i n g f o r students with a minimum of grade 10 education. The Institute i n co-operation with the Department of Labour also provides upgrading f o r those who wish admission to vocational courses but who have i n s u f f i c i e n t academic q u a l i f i c a t i o n s to do so. Consideration should be given to a program which would provide f o r job upgrading. Such a program has met with considerable success i n D e t r o i t . It provides f o r s p e c i a l classrooms i n 10 Detroit high schools i n which dropouts have a 16 week course, Interview with Mr. Earle L. Heis l e r ; Supervisor of Counselling Services, Vancouver School Board. - 190 -which provides schooling, work experience, and joh placement. The purpose of t h i s program i s to restore interest and confidence. Discussions are held on a range of subjects, from grooming to s o c i a l behaviour. Good work habits are taught, and i n the work experience part of the program the children l e a r n d i f f e r e n t s k i l l s , f o r example cooking. After the course, the dropouts return to regular or trade schools, get permanent jobs, or are put i n "work experience" jobs i n private businesses or public agencies. For children s t i l l i n school and p a r t i c u l a r l y those on the general and occupational programs, jo i n t planning between the Board of Education and employers could provide f o r part-time or summer job experience f o r these children i n the employment f i e l d of t h e i r choice. Another experiment which has been carried out i n New York and which merits consideration i n Vancouver i s the "Higher Horizons Program". This program attempts to raise the l e v e l of academic a s p i r a t i o n of students who do not receive stimulation at home. It consists of lectures, attending plays and operas, and tours of u n i v e r s i t i e s and of industry. This experience enables the children to see higher education i n action as well as i t s p r a c t i c a l applications and leads eventually to an appreciation of the les s tangible values of education. These experiments have met with considerable success, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n some of the slum areas of New York C i t y . Such a program f o r ch i l d r e n of negatively motivated families would be well worth t r y i n g i n Vancouver. - 191 " Other Educational Resources While there are no provisions within the S o c i a l Assistance program f o r academic education or vocational t r a i n i n g outside the regular Secondary Schools, provisions are made i n the Departments of Education and Labour. The f i r s t of these i s the High School Correspondence D i v i s i o n of the Elementary Correspondence School, Department of Education of B r i t i s h Columbia. Instruction i s given i n a l l high school and senior matriculation subjects and i n a number of technical and vocational f i e l d s . Pees are waived f o r anyone on S o c i a l Assistance.! The second resource i s the Federal-Provincial Vocation and Apprenticeship Training Programs, designed to provide pre-employment and pre-indentured apprentice t r a i n i n g i n designated trades. More s p e c i f i c a l l y , pre-employment courses are open to anyone wishing to be trained i n a f i e l d of h i s choice. The student i s required to pay nominal fees averaging $15 per month and up, but under c e r t a i n circumstances the cost may be borne where f i n a n c i a l need can be proved, as follows: Under Schedule ,M t, assistance may be be granted to the applicant who i s (a) unemployed, (b) unable to obtain suitable work due to i n s u f f i c i e n t vocational t r a i n i n g or previous suitable work experience, (c) registered f o r employment with the National Employment Service, or (d) who would be placeable a f t e r short-term intensive t r a i n i n g i n a suitable occupation. Also, provision 1 Province of B r i t i s h Columbia, Department of S o c i a l Welfare; P o l i c y Manual, p, 480. - 192 -exists under Schedule 'R* f o r f i n a n c i a l assistance f o r vocational t r a i n i n g and maintenance during t h i s t r a i n i n g to the physically or mentally handicapped• For apprentice t r a i n i n g , there e i i s t s the Pre-Indentured Apprenticeship Course Plan 'b*. Under t h i s category the accepted trainees are enrolled f o r t r a i n i n g i n the designated trades under the "Apprenticeship and Tradesmen's Q u a l i f i c a t i o n Act", Trainee fees are paid i n f u l l by the Department of Labour, In addition, the Apprenticeship Branch, Department of Labour, w i l l pay a subsistence allowance of $14 per week to those whose homes are outside the c i t y or municipal boundaries of the t r a i n i n g centre and $10 per week to those boys who l i v e within the boundaries. 1 Other resources include educational grants f o r s o l d i e r s ' children, Government of B r i t i s h Columbia Scholarships (half t u i t i o n fee f o r f i r s t - c l a s s and one-third f o r second-class students) f o r up to 2,000 students, and Government Bursaries f o r capable students who can show f i n a n c i a l need and who desire to embark upon or continue studies i n higher education or nursing. There i s also a Student Aid Loan Fund and special grants f o r veterans and t h e i r dependents« 2 None of the dropouts i n our study mentioned any of these resources, and i t was concluded that these were not w e l l -known. In the voluntary f i e l d , there are two programs to note. Province of B r i t i s h Columbia, Department of S o c i a l Welfare; P o l i c y Manual, p. 492. 2 Ibid.; pp.494-497. - 193 -The Y.M.C.A. offers a program fo r dropouts and graduates which a s s i s t s them i n learning how to apply f o r a job e f f e c t i v e l y . I t includes such things as personal grooming, f i l l i n g i n applications f o r jobs, t r a i n i n g i n the art of communication and physical t r a i n i n g . I t also provides the participants with an experience of being i n a group with others who are unemployed and who need a s i m i l a r type of self-improvement program. No attempt i s made to make job placements. Another voluntary program, which i s administered by the Vancouver School Board, i s a bursary fund which has been set up with private monies. This fund was established to a s s i s t students who wish to continue t h e i r education but whose f i n a n c i a l p osition makes i t d i f f i c u l t f o r them to do so. These grants which range between $10 and $60 per month are made on the basis of in d i v i d u a l circumstances. In cases where the c h i l d i s from a S o c i a l Assistance family, the child' s income from t h i s source i s disregarded i n writing the family's cheque. The problem of school dropouts i s a complex one. The question of providing adequate educational opportunities f o r children with various i n t e l l e c t u a l capacities and degrees of motivation and of enabling them to make optimum use of such opportunities i s of c r i t i c a l significance f o r the t o t a l community. The fact that no single causation exists i n a child's premature withdrawal from school a l e r t s us to the f u t i l i t y of aiming remedial services at any one cause or symptom. Several studies have attempted to i d e n t i f y those things which influence a child's decision to drop out of school. Pew research projects, however, have d i r e c t l y considered the family's influences upon - 194 -a student's motivation f o r continuing i n school. The dynamics of motivation are many and complex, and i t i s d i f f i c u l t to disentangle the separate strands f o r i n d i v i d u a l comment. This study, by focusing upon those families i n receipt of s o c i a l assistance, endeavoured to i d e n t i f y the effects of a marginal income and the experience of being a member of a disadvantaged, minority group upon the a b i l i t y and motivation to make optimum use of educational opportunities. Contrary to what might be expected, the strength of family "motivation with regard to school persistence varied considerably. There did, however, appear to be a higher incidence of premature school withdrawal among those children whose families received public assistance than among the general population. There was a strong i n d i c a t i o n that the family's marginal income greatly influenced school withdrawal among those children with low motivation. Apparently neither the school system nor other community resources have succeeded i n providing a s u f f i c i e n t l y s a t i s f y i n g school experience to overcome the handicaps of those children from families with a negative or in d i f f e r e n t attitude toward education. There i s strong evidence to suggest that a family's f e e l i n g of a l i e n a t i o n from the community i s a determining factor i n t h e i r lack of appreciation and use of educational services. This raises serious questions about the adequacy of present methods of coping with the school dropout problem - methods which a l l too frequently concentrate on the eradication of s p e c i f i c personal problems. Remedial and preventive services directed - 195 -toward the understanding and modifying of the s o c i a l and economic forces which have played a part i n producing negative motivation are urgently needed. - 196 -APPENDIX. A  Questionnaire to Parents 1. What has your health been l i k e ? (Other members of family, kinds of i l l n e s s e s , prolonged i l l n e s s e s , d i s a b i l i t i e s , absenteeism, stress on family, feelings re type of care). 2. Do you f i n d you t i r e e asily? How about your children? 3. Do your children take part i n sports and school a c t i v i t i e s ? Which ones? A c t i v i t i e s other than school? I f not, why? 4. What do you think about the school your c h i l d attends? (Courses, counselling, after-school a c t i v i t i e s ) . How does t h i s compare with the school you attended? 5. Do you f e e l that school i s important f o r your child? What are some of the ways? 6. How much education do you want your c h i l d to have? 7. How does your c h i l d get along i n school? (Academically, s o c i a l l y ) . 8. Is there discussion re school between you and your child? What i s i t about and who i n i t i a t e s i t ? 9. Has he considered dropping out at any time? Why? What made him decide not to? How do you f e e l about i t ? 10. How many schools has your c h i l d attended? 11. Do you think school i s f a i r i n i t s dealings with you and your child? 12. What would you l i k e your c h i l d to be? What are the requirements? 13• How does t h i s compare with your child ' s ambitions? What influenced him? 14. What kinds of jobs do your closest friends have? 15* Do any of your friends receive s o c i a l assistance? - 197 -16. How do you f e e l about being on assistance? Do you think being on s o c i a l assistance has helped you? Hindered you? How? 17. How do you f e e l about your child's chances f o r future employment? 18. Where would you suggest your c h i l d go to get employment? Why? 19. Where do you turn when your family needs help? * (Financial or other). - 198 -APPENDIX B  Questionnaire to Children In School 1. What program are you i n at school? 2. Would you rather be on some other program? 3. What are your reasons f o r f e e l i n g t h i s way? 4. Have you always been on t h i s program? 5. I f not, why did you change? 6. Who helped you decide? 7. Did you repeat any grades? I f so, which ones? 8. What grade would you l i k e to complete before leaving school? 9. In what ways has school helped you? Has counselling helped? 10. What do you l i k e about sehool? (Teachers, students, a c t i v i t i e s , regulations). 11. What do you d i s l i k e about school? 12. Do you think the school deals f a i r l y with you? 13. What a c t i v i t i e s do you take part i n at school, or out of school? (A t h l e t i c s , hobbies, others). 14. I f none, i s there a reason? 15How do you f e e l you are getting along i n school? Why? 16. What sort of grades do you get? 17. Have you seriously considered leaving school? Why? 18. What made you think of i t ? 19. Why did you decide against leaving? 20. Are you content with t h i s decision to stay i n school? 21* Are there things i n your l i f e that make i t d i f f i c u l t f o r you to do well i n school work? 22. What are these things? (Family, needed at home, physical problems of study space, need to work, lack of money). - 199 -23. Are there things i n your home l i f e that help you to do your school work? 24, What are these things? 25 • I f your family income were higher do you think i t would have any effect on your staying i n school? 26o How do you f e e l about being on s o c i a l assistance? 27* Do you think being on s o c i a l assistance affects your chances i n l i f e ? 28. Are there things that you have learned at school that w i l l help you i n the future? 29* What do you want to be? Why? 30. What helped you decide? 31. What w i l l your chosen occupation require i n terms of education, t r a i n i n g , cost? - 200 -APPENDIX 0  Questionnaire to Dropouts I*. How long have you been out of school? (Months) 2. What program were you i n at school? 3« Would you have rather been on some other programme? Why? 4» Were you always on that program? 5« I f not t | why did you change? 6, Who helped you decide? 7, How old were you when you l e f t school? 8, What grade were you in? Did you pass i t ? 9* Were there some grades you repeated? 10* How f a r do you think people should t r y to go i n school before quitting? 11, Do you think school helps you on your job? 12, Do you think school has helped you i n other ways? In what ways? 13, What did you l i k e about school? 14• What did you d i s l i k e about school? 15, I f you had remained i n school, do you think things would be any d i f f e r e n t than they are now? 16, What do you think are some of the things that make a person do well i n school work? 17, What things helped you? 18, What do you think are some of the things that make i t d i f f i c u l t f o r a person to do his school work? 19, What things made i t d i f f i c u l t f o r you? 20, Do you think the school dealt f a i r l y with you? Explain, 21, What a c t i v i t i e s did you take part i n i n school or out of school? ( A t h l e t i c s , hobbies, other). i - 201 -22, I f none, what were the reasons f o r not taking part? 23• How do you f e e l you got along i n school? 24, What sort of grades did you get? 25• Why did you leave school? 26* What advice did you get on whether or not to stay in? 27. How e f f e c t i v e was this? 28, Did any of your friends leave when you did? 29• What did you plan to do when you l e f t school? 30, What did you do? 31, Did you have a job to go to when you l e f t school? What kind of job? 32, How long did i t take you to f i n d your f i r s t job? 33, Who helped you f i n d i t ? (Friends, school, National Employment Service, other). 34* What are you doing now? 35, How content are you with this? 36, What have you been doing since you l e f t school? (Work history, including length of time on each job). 37, What are your plans f o r the future? 38, I f your family income had been higher, do you think i t would have made any difference to your staying i n school? 39, Was your family on assistance at the time you l e f t school? 40, How did you f e e l about being on s o c i a l assistance? 41, Do you think being on s o c i a l assistance affected your chances of making a success of your l i f e ? 42, How do you f e e l now about your decision to leave school? - 202 -APPENDIX D  Questionnaire to Graduates 1. How long have you been out of school? 2. What program did you graduate on? Were you always on that program? I f not, why:did you change programs? 3. Do you think your choice of program was the right one? 4. Who helped you decide your program? 5". How old were you when you finished school? 6* Were there some grades you repeated? 7. How f a r do you think people should t r y to go i n school? 8. Do you think school helps you on your job? 9. Do you think school helps you i n other ways? In what other ways? 10. What did you l i k e about school? 11. What did you d i s l i k e about school? 12. What do you think are some of the things that make a person do well i n school work? 13. What things helped you? 14. Do you think the school dealt f a i r l y with you? Explain. 15. What a c t i v i t i e s did you take part i n either i n or out of school? ( A t h l e t i c s , hobbies, others). 16. I f none, what were the reasons f o r not taking part? 17. Do you take part i n any now? I f not, why not? 18. How did you f e e l you got along i n school? 19. What sort of grades did you get? 20. Why did you stay i n school u n t i l graduation? What things helped you stay in? Were you given any advice concerning t h i s ? By whom? 21. Are any of your friends high school graduates? Any dropouts? - 203 -22. What did you plan, to do when you graduated? What did you do? 23• Did you have a job to go to when you l e f t school? I f so, what was i t ? I f not, how long did i t take you to f i n d your f i r s t job? 24. What job was th i s ? Who helped you f i n d your f i r s t job? 25. What are you doing now? How content are you with t h i s ? 26. What have you been doing since you finished school? (Give work hi s t o r y including length of time on each job). 27. I f your family income had been higher, would t h i s have affected your educational plans? I f so, i n what ways? 28. Was your family on s o c i a l assistance at the time you graduated? 29. How do you f e e l about your family's being on s o c i a l assistance? 30. Do you think being on s o c i a l assistance a f f e c t s your chances of making a success of your l i f e ? 31. Did you ever think seriously about q u i t t i n g school before graduation? What changed your mind? 32. What are your future plans? 33. Do you think being a high school graduate w i l l help you i n these plans? - 204 -APPENDIX E. Letter to Families Requesting Interview Mrs. Cathy C l i e n t , Dear Mrs. C l i e n t : Tour co-operation i s being requested by a Research team from the University of B r i t i s h Columbia. They are undertaking an important study i n regard to children who leave school before completing grade 12 and they would very much appreciate knowing your opinions and experience i n t h i s matter. A member of the team would l i k e to interview yourself and those of your children who have passed t h e i r f i f t e e n t h birthday. Tou are, of course, under no obligation to take part i n t h i s study, but your co-operation would be of great assistance to t h e i r work. A member of the team w i l l contact you during the next few days to see i f you are w i l l i n g to take part i n the study and i f you are, to arrange an appointment to v i s i t you. Tours very t r u l y , Administrator - 205 -APPENDIX F. Survey Schedule F i l e No 1. Name Male.... Female...... 2* Address Phone No 3. Place of B i r t h • Date of ............. B i r t h Day Month Tear 4*. Ma r i t a l Status s.. .m...wid...des.• .sep..div..C/L...Date.•.... 5. Members of Applicant's Family Dependents Re l . Highest Highest Age Name to B i r t h Occupation Grade Grade l e f t Int. date or school attained completed school » 1. 2. _ _ _ _ _ ; ; 3. , 4. - _ — — 5. •6. __ ; 7. : , 8. . ; Non-Dependents i n Home 9. ; 10. ; , 11. " 12. Non-Dependents out of Home 13. 14 - 206 -6. Date l a s t worked regularly (of Head of Household) 7» Monthly Income of Applicant and Dependents • 8* Total Assets ... 9* Reason f o r Application 10* Date of Application Current period on Assistance 11. Date of F i r s t Application Total Applications approved 12. Accommodation \ 1 a) House ..... Duplex Apt. bldg. ..... Suite ....Other ... Monthly rent .Monthly mortgage payments(incl.taxes).... b) Self-contained Shared e) Rooms Total ..... Kitchen .... Dining •••• L i v i n g ....Bedrooms 13. * a) Length of residence i n house: years..... months b) Length of residence i n Vancouver:... yrs..... months e) Place of residence before Vancouver: d) Number of changes of address i n l a s t 3 years ( L i s t i f possible) - 207 -APPENDIX G Table 46: D i s t r i b u t i o n of A l l Children at Home by Age, Sex, Family Type f o r Survey Sample One Parent Family Year Sub^: Male Female Total 1939 1 0 1 1940 2 2 4 1941 4 1 5 1942 6 5 11 1943 7 7 14 1944 5 7 12 1945 x5 16 31 1946 19 18 37 1947 27 26 53 1948 21 25 46 1949 28 24 52 1950 24 24 48 1951 20 11 31 1952 14 6 20 1953 17 14 31 1954 11 15 26 1955 9 19 28 1956 7 9 16 1957 11 5 16 1958 8 7 15 1959 10 9 19 I960 7 6 13 1961 6 2 8 1962 2 2 4 1963 5 2 7 Two Parent Family &ab.Grand Male Female Total Total 0 0 1 2 1 3 7 2 2 4 9 6 2 8 19 3 5 8 22 2 4 6 18 12 9 21 52 10 6 53 14 11 25 78 16 15 31 77 17 16 33 85 21 12 33 81 11 7 18 49 10 15 25 45 6 14 20 51 2 7 9 35 11 8 19 47 11 6 17 33 6 9 15 31 6 7 13 28 8 4 12 31 4 4 8 21 5 1 6 14 31 0 3 7 1 3 4 11 Total:286 262 548 189 168 357 905 - 208 -Table 47. Type of Housing Accommodation of Families Interviewed  Number of Bedrooms i n the Home and the Number of  Persons l i v i n g i n the Home ( i ) FAMILIES OCCUPYING OWN HOMES Type of Number of Number of Persons Accommodation bedrooms i n home House Owned 4 4 3 2 Paying 2 5 mortgage g 9 2 5 ( i i ) SUBSIDIZED HOUSING ACCOMMODATION Type of Number of Number of Persons Accommodation Rent Paid Bedrooms i n home  House $64.00 4 7 57.00 3 4 57.00 3 5 Duplex $32.00 3 4 Row $47.00 3 7 Housing 45.00 3 5 28.00 2 4 Apartment $28.00 2 3 28.00 2 5 - 209 -( i i i ) NON-SUBSiffilZED HOUSING ACCOMODATION Type Number of Number of Persons Accommodat ion Rent Paid Bedrooms i n Home House $88.00 4 3 85.00 4 4 85.00 3 6 85.00 3 8 75.00 4 4 55.00 2 3 40.0© 1 2 Duplex $60.00 2 3 55.00 2 2 Apartment $65•00 Suite $65.00 1 3 45.00 2 4 30.00 1 3 - 210 -APPENDIX H A p r i l 16 t 1964: Letter to Editor, Vancouver Sun. "IS THIS JUST A CRUEL CYCLE?" Ed i t o r . The Sun: S i r , - I am writing t h i s l e t t e r i n hopes that i t w i l l be published as an appeal to anyone who can help to improve B r i t i s h Columbia's education system i n order that the capable, but poor, may attend an i n s t i t u t e f o r higher education. A v i s i t to the Unemployment Insurance Commission revealed that government grants are given only f o r vocational t r a i n i n g , not f o r academic achievement. I want to be a teacher; one year of univ e r s i t y i n addition to Grade 13, which I am now taking, w i l l enable me to f u l f i l l t h i s ambition. W i l l I be able to f u l f i l l my ambition? Can I possibly get $1,300 by next September? What does our government do to help people such as me? A f r i e n d of mine, who accompanied me to the U.I.C., i s i n a s i m i l a r s i t u a t i o n . She earned her way to senior matric by a scholarship, but through lack of a government grant she can't attend univ e r s i t y next f a l l . I am 17 years old, the second oldest c h i l d i n our family of s i x . Both of my parents are unemployed. My father i s at present c o l l e c t i n g $26 per week i n seasonal benefits of unemployment insurance. In addition to t h i s , my mother earns $20 a month doing j a n i t o r work f o r a l o c a l church. This income, plus $16 a month family allowance, supports our family. - 211 -This i s when conditions are f a i r l y good; sometimes i n winter we do not have as much. In summer my father i s able to get part time jobs as a labourer; sometimes he picks apples. I f we are lucky, t h i s enables him to get seasonal benefits; i f not, we must turn to welfare to carry us through the winter. What provision does t h i s make f o r the education of children? My parents spent t h e i r prime years surviving the depression; those were the years they should have been using to establish themselves i n a l i f e ' s work. How, employment i s refused them because of no t r a i n i n g , no experience, or being too old. Is t h i s to be my fate? I had a job as a car hop at a d r i v e - i n restaurant during the summer, and part time while I was going to school. Without t h i s job I would not have been able to attend Grade 13 t h i s year. I paid my fees ($125), bought a l l of my other school supplies, paid my book rent, bought clothes, shoes, and winter boots. In addition, I have paid over $100 to have my teeth f i x e d ; they have not been looked aft e r f o r many years. Under these circumstances how can I save between $1,300 and $1,500 to go to university? A l l through my high school years I have made above-average marks. Why should I not be able to continue my education when others with a lower scholastic standing, but much more money, can go on? The t u i t i o n fee at UBC's fa c u l t y of education has gone up. Why do I have to pay more just to assure the large number of - 212 "mama's boys" t h e i r place i n a l l the fun and f r o l i c of swishy f r a t e r n i t i e s and other s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s of the university? Why? What w i l l happen i f I don't go to university? I was t o l d that since I had gotten t h i s f a r I should have no trouble getting a job. What can I do? Employers want someone with technical t r a i n i n g ; they require experienced workers. No one i s w i l l i n g to give me a job which w i l l help me gain experience. W i l l I spend the rest of my l i f e working f o r a d o l l a r an hour as a waitress? Or w i l l I even get a job such as that? Out of f i v e ads i n The Sun want ads section seeking waitresses, four state that inexperienced persons need not apply. What s h a l l I do now? Become another case of the already too prevalent "teenage bride?" What w i l l t h i s mean f o r my children? W i l l they not have any better chance? Is t h i s just a cruel cycle of which our l i v e s are destined to be a part? Can we never break through into a d i g n i f i e d way of l i f e ? A r e f r a i n keeps going through my mind: It i s n ' t f a i r ! I t i s n ' t f a i r ! It i s n ' t f a i r ! A STUDENT IN SALMON ARM. - 213 -APPENDIX I B I B L I O G R A P H Y BOOKS Barnard, Jessie. S o c i a l Problems at Midcentury. New York: The Dryden Press Inc., 1957. Coleman, James, C. Personality Dynamics and E f f e c t i v e Behavior. Chicago: Scott, Poresman and Co., I960. Conant, James, B. Slums and Suburbs. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co. Inc., 1961. Davis, A l l i s o n . S o c i a l Class Influences upon Learning. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1961. Kahl, Joseph, A. The American Class Structure. New York: Rinehart Co., 1953. Kuhlen, Raymond, G. The Psychology of Adolescent Development. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1952. Lic h t e r , Solomon, 0., Rapien, E l s i e , B., Siebert, Prances, M., & Slansky, Morris, A. The Drop Outs. Glencoe: The Free Press, 1962. Marsh, Leonard, C. Canadians In and Out of Work. London: Oxford university Press, 1940. Mayer, Martin. The Schools. New York: Harper and Brothers,1961. Oliver, Michael, S o c i a l Purpose f o r Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1961. Riessman, Frank. The C u l t u r a l l y Deprived C h i l d . New York: Harper and Brothers, 1962. Wilensky, Harold, L., and Lebeaux, Charles, N. Industrial Society  and S o c i a l Welfare. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1958. Young, Michael. The Rise of the Meritocracy. New York: Random House, 1958. REPORTS AND THESES Actual Enrolment by Grades (September 1951-1963). Department of Research and Special Services, Vancouver School Board, 1963. A l l e n , Charles, M. Combating the Dropout Problem. Chicago: Community Research Associates, Inc., 1956. - 214 -Bach, Frank, Vocational Problems of the Young Offender, Master of S o c i a l Work Thesis, Vancouver: University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1961, Brown, Beverley, B, and Spence, John, W, Measurement of Need i n So c i a l Assistance. Master of S o c i a l Work Thesis. Vancouver: University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1962. Canada, Dominion Bureau of S t a t i s t i c s . Census of Canada. Ottawa: Queen's Printer, 1961. • "Population and Housing Characteristics by Census Tracts -Vancouver". Census of Canada. B u l l e t i n CT 22. Ottawa: Queen 1s Printer, 1961. F i f t e e n to Eighteen. A Report of the Central Advisory Council f o r Education. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Offic e , 1959. H a l l , Oswald, and McFarlane, Bruce. Transition from School to Work. Research Program on the Training of S k i l l e d Manpower. Ottawa: Queen's Printer, 1963* McCubbin, Frances, A. Counselling Services at the Junior High  School Level. Master of So c i a l Work Thesis. Vancouver: University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1953. Our Dropouts. The Maryland Cooperative Study of Dropouts. Baltimore: Maryland State Department of Education, June 1963* Out of School Youths. A preliminary report on a survey of seventy-f i v e eighteen year olds enrolled i n the national s u r v i v a l course. Hamilton: Greater Hamilton Y.M.C.A., 1962. Pupil Withdrawal Survey (September 1, 1961 - August 31, 1962). Vancouver: Department of Research and Special Services, Vancouver School Board, 1963. Ray, Charles, K., Ryan, Joan, and Parker, Seymour. Alaskan Native  Secondary School Dropouts. A Research Report. University of Alaska, 1962. Royal Commission on Education. A Report of B r i t i s h Columbia. V i c t o r i a : Queen's Prin t e r , I960. Student Progress Through the Schools by Grade. Ottawa: Dominion Bureau of S t a t i s t i c s . Queen's Prin t e r , I960. Towle, Charlotte. Common Human Needs. New York: National Association of S o c i a l Workers, 1957. Watson, Eunice, L. So c i a l Services i n the Vancouver Public School  System. Master of S o c i a l Work Thesis. Vancouver: University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1959. - 215 -Wayman, Sara, G. High School Drop-Outs. A Reconnaissance Survey of Some of the Personal and S o c i a l Factors with Special Reference to Superior Students, Master of S o c i a l Work Thesis, Vancouver: University of B r i t i s h Columbia, I960, Province of B r i t i s h Columbia, Department of S o c i a l Welfare, Policy Manual, Province of B r i t i s h Columbia, Department of S o c i a l Welfare, So c i a l Assistance Act. R.S. 1948, V i c t o r i a : Queen's Printer,I960. JOURNALS, PAMPHLETS, ARTICLES. Baynham, Darsey. "The Great C i t i e s Projects", National Education  Association Journal. V o l , 52, A p r i l 1963, pp. 17-20. B e l l , Howard, M. "Out of School Youth T e l l Their Story," The Adolescent: A Book of Readings. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, Inc., 1953, pp. 61-66. Brook, George, C. "High School Drop-outs and Corrective Measures," Federal Probation. V o l . 23, September 1959, pp. 30-35. Cohen, E l i , E. "The Employment Needs of Urban Youth," Vocational  Guidance Quarterly. V o l . 10, Winter 1962, pp. 85-89. Cutts, Warren. "Reading Unreadiness i n the Underprivileged," National Education Association Journal. V o l . 52, A p r i l 1963, pp. 23-24. Dexton, P a t r i c i a . "Social Class and Pupil Turnover Rates," Journal  of Educational Sociology. V o l . 33, November 1959, pp. 131-134. Folk, Gerhard, J . "The Role of S o c i a l Class Differences and Horizontal Mobility i n the Etiology of Aggression," Journal  of Educational Sociology. V o l . 33, September 1959, pp.1-10. G r i l l , L. and Himmelmann, F. "In t e r d i s c i p l i n a r y Teamwork i n a School Setting," S o c i a l Casework, v o l . 40, January 1959, pp. 23-27. Inkeles, Alex. " I n d u s t r i a l Man: The Relation of Status to Experience, Perception and Value," The American Journal of Sociology. Vol.66, July I960, pp. 1-31. J o l l i f e e , Penny. "Today's Drop Outs, Tomorrow's Unemployed," Canadian Welfare. V o l . 37, January 15, 1961, pp. 23-26. Kvaraceus, William, C. Juvenile Delinquency. Washington: National Education Association Monograph 15, August 1958, p. 17. - 216 -Murk, V i r g i l . "A Follow-up Study on Students Who Drop Out of High School," B u l l e t i n of the National Association of Secondary  School, P r i n c i p a l s . V o l . 44. February 1960. P P . 75-75. Palmore, Erdman. "Factors Associated with School Dropout and Juvenile Delinquency Among lower Class Children," S o c i a l  Security B u l l e t i n . V o l . 26, October 1963, pp. 4-9. Popper, Samuel, H. "The High School i n the War on Poverty," B u l l e t i n of The National Association of Secondary School  P r i n c i p a l s . V o l . 46, A p r i l 1962, pp. 90-95. Rich, John, M. "How Class Values Affect Teacher-Pupil Relations," Journal of Educational Sociology. V o l . 33, May I960, pp.355-359. Riessman, Frank. "Some Suggestions f o r Teaching the C u l t u r a l l y Deprived C h i l d , " National Education Association Journal. V o l . 52, A p r i l 1963, pp. 2H22^ Rogoff, Natalie. "Public Schools and Equality of Opportunity," Journal of Educational Sociology. V o l . 33, February I960, pp. 252-259. ' Schiffman, Jawl. "Employment of High School Graduates and Dropouts i n 1961," Monthly labour Review. V o l . 85, May 1962, pp.502-509. "School Drop-Outs, Youth not Fi n i s h i n g Studies Create Growing Employment Problem," Wall Street Journal. V o l . 65, November 1961, p . l . Schrieber, Daniel. "The Dropout and the Delinquent," Phi Delta Kappan. Vo l . 44, February 1963, pp. 215-221. "Juvenile Delinquency and the School Dropout Problem," Federal Probation. V o l . 27, September 1963, pp.15-19. Sim, Alex. "The Youth Question: Is i t a Problem and f o r Whom?" Soc i a l Policy i n the S i x t i e s , Selected Papers No. 4. Ottawa: Canadian Welfare Council, May 1961. Tessener, R.A. and L.M. "Review of the Literature on School Dropouts," B u l l e t i n of the National Association of Secondary  School P r i n c i p a l s . V o l . 42, May 1958, pp. 141-153. Williams, Dr. Robert F. " E d i t o r i a l , " V i r g i n i a Journal of  Education. A p r i l 1962, p. 2. - 217 -Twenty Studies Cited i n Table 1. Arnholter, Elthelwyne, G. "School Persistence and Personality Factors," Personnel and Guidance Journal. V o l . 35, October 1956,.pp. 107-109. Brewer, Weldon. "Why Did They Quit?" Education Digest. V o l . 16, November 1950, pp. 54-55. ~ Cantoni, Louis, J . "Stay-Ins Get Better Jobs," Personnel and  Guidance Journal. V o l . 33, May 1955, pp. 351-353. Davie, James, S. "Social Class Factors and School Attendance," The Harvard Educational Review. V o l . 23, Summer 1953, p.184. Dresher, Richard, H. "Factors i n Voluntary Dropouts," Personnel  and Guidance Journal. V o l . 32, January 1954, pp. 287-289. Gragg, William, L. "A Dropout or a High School Graduate?" Education Digest. V o l . 15, September 1949, pp. 30-31. Hand, Harold, C. "Do School Costs Drive Out the Youth of the Poor?" ' Progressive Education. V o l . 28, January 1951, pp. 89-93. Lanier, J . Armand. "A Study of Student Withdrawals," Journal of  Educational Research, v o l . 43» November 1949, pp. 205-212. Manneno, F. "Family Factors i n School Persistence," Journal of  Educational Sociology. Vol.. 35, January 1962, pp. 193-202. McGee, George, A. "We Increased Our Holding. Power," National Education Association Journal. Vol.. 42, November 1953, p.482. Musgrove, F. "Parents Expectations of Junior School," S o c i o l o g i c a l Review. V o l . 9, 1961, pp. 169-180. Sando, Rudolph, F. "How to Make and U t i l i z e Follow-up Studies of School Leavers," B u l l e t i n of the National Association  of Secondary School P r i n c i p a l s . Vol.36, March 1952, pp.66-74. . _ , "This They Believe," C a l i f o r n i a Journal of Secondary Education. V o l . 31» January 1956, pp.. 45-49. Shiebler, H.A. "Half Our Audience i s Walking Out," The School  Executive. V o l . 70, June 1951, pp. 439-440. Snepp, Daniel, W. "Can We Salvage the Dropouts?" The Clearing  House. V o l . 31, September 1956, pp. 49-54. Thomas, Robert J . "An Empirical Study of High School Dropouts," Journal of Educational Sociology. V o l . 28, September 1954, pp. 11-18. - 218 -Warren, Doron. "Who Are Most Like l y to Dropout?" School Science  and Mathematics, Vol, 54, March 1954, p. 185. Williams, Morris, "What are the Schools Doing About School Leavers," B u l l e t i n of the National Association of Secondary School  P r i n c i p a l s , V o l . 37, A p r i l 1955, P. 54. Young, Joe, M. "Lost, Strayed or Stolen," The Clearing House. Vo l . 29, October 1954, pp. 89-92. 

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