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A survey of the problem choices of senior high school students Williams, David G.

Abstract

The purpose of the study was twofold: to measure problems and needs of senior high school students as an aid to counsellors and guidance personnel in planning meaningful psychological services in the school, and to compare the problems and needs of students grouped according to school programme in order to determine if there are significant differences between these groups in terms of problems and needs expressed by means of a problem inventory. A population of 574 high school students was selected, comprising the grade eleven classes of two high schools in the area surrounding Vancouver. As each of the schools selected received students from over a wide area, it was assumed that social-economic-ability variables were randomized. The data was presented in a number of forms: 1) according to the intensity of the problem choices as expressed by the intensity scale of the Youth Inventory; 2) according to the percentage of students selecting each problem; 3) by problem areas; 4) by arithmetic means; and 5) by profile charts. This presentation was repeated for: 1) the entire population; 2) the entire male sample according to school programme sub-groups; and 3) the entire female sample according to school programme sub-groups. Analysis of variance was used to determine whether there were significant differences in problem choices between the eight problem areas for the entire population. The analysis of variance disclosed significant differences in five of the eight problem areas: Looking Ahead, About Myself, Getting Along with Others, Health, and Things in General. A Scheffé test for multiple comparisons between means did not disclose any significant differences between the problem choices of the school programme sub-groups. Limitations in sample size in the Visual and Performing Arts, and the Community Services programme sub-groups can be considered a serious weakness of the study. The findings did tend to support the hypothesis, that students with similar sets of problems tend to be found in the same school programmes.

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