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Adolescence. 1992 Summer;27(106):451-9.

Dropout--Mertonian or reproduction scheme?

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Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Department of Education, Beer-Sheva, Israel.


This article reports on dropouts in four schools in Israel. Two main research questions were addressed: (1) Is it possible to identify a potential dropout through examination of his/her attitudes and competence before the actual act of leaving school? (2) Is there a difference between dropouts and persistent students in different educational settings (academic, vocational, agricultural, and comprehensive high schools)? Significant differences were found in the attitudes of persistent students and dropouts even before the act of dropping out occurred. In the vocational, comprehensive, and agricultural schools, the dropouts scored more positively on the self-estrangement, meaninglessness, and misfeasance scales. In the academic school, the dropouts scored positively on the anxiety scale. Results were interpreted in light of the Mertonian scheme of ends and means as well as the reproduction scheme. The Mertonian scheme was deemed more applicable.

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