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School to Work Transitions: Germany and USA

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John C. Weidman
added 6 research items
This paper presents a conceptual framework for understanding the problems encountered by high school dropouts in their school-to-work transition. The underlying assumption is that dropouts are likely to face strains in their homes, jobs, and other community settings that are similar to those which led them to leave school. Exemplary school and work programs for dropouts are discussed and implications drawn for their design. A youth advocacy system is recommended that could stimulate adaptation by the educational and employment sectors to the needs and personal styles of dropouts as well as help dropouts to make informed choices about their educational and career potentials. Such a system would also help the dropout to identify the most appropriate settings for realizing those potentials.
1,717 adolescents (aged 13–16 yrs) completed a questionnaire regarding school success and status insecurity as manifested in doubts about employment and in socio-emotional distress. Additional factors were gender, social class, and relationships with parents. Risk of failure in school and its actual occurrence constituted a source of psychosocial stress. Status insecurity correlated with an above-average incidence of dissatisfaction with school performance, health complaints, and psychosomatic disorders. Social conflict with parents about previous scholastic achievement and future educational plans were intervening variables that magnified the effects of poor school performance. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)