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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Critical incidents in early school leavers' transition to adulthood Young, Roberta Elaine


This study explored the critical incidents that hindered and facilitated early school leavers' adjustment to life beyond high school. In all 393 incidents were identified taken from 21 participants during a semi-structured interview using a life line technique. Incidents were organized into 10 major and 38 subordinate categories. These categories centred around developmental tasks of adolescence and adulthood, the fulfilment of needs, self-handicapping strategies, possible selves theory and other coping strategies. Early school leavers were seen to have the same desire to successfully complete adult tasks, but were hindered by a poorly developed self-identity, inability to meet their basic needs, and maladaptive coping patterns. Implications for program development, counselling, and research concerning early school leavers was outlined.

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