05 SES 07, School Dropout: Individual and Family Risk Factors, and School Characteristics
Dropout or early school leaving refers to children leaving educational system before completing at least lower secondary education. It is defined as percentage of population aged 18 to 24 who leave school without completing lower secondary education or passing the lower secondary education exam (Antonowicz, 2012). More specifically, it referes to children leaving elementary or high school, without completing school year they started, and those finishing high school but not continuing education in high school.
Several studies demonstrated that dropout has significant negative consequences both on the individual which is early school leaving (ESL), and to the community and economics (Commission Staff Working Paper (Sec(2010)); Cedefop, 2010). Namely, data show that ESLs will probably be unemployed, or employed in unsecure and poorly paid jobs. In addition, chances that ESLs will generate huge “social” costs, and live beneath acceptable economic level, is 2 to 5 times higher than for those completing education. Some economic analysis from Finland and Netherlands demonstrate that ESLs produce economic losses are between 1.1 and 1.8 million EUR per capita (NESSE, 2009).
Studies from EU show that 16.9% of boys and 12.7% of girls are early school leavers (NESSE, 2009). Data coming from large survey about education system in Serbia demonstrate that at least 13-15% of children do not complete even elementary school, although elementary and high school education are free and elementary school obligatory (IPSOS, 2012). In line with EU framework stating that by 2020 dropout rate should reduce to maximum 5% on national level (including sensitive groups of children coming from rural, low socio-economic families, Roma, and children with different impairments), Ministry of education of Serbia set reduction of dropout rate as one of primary goals. Consequently, Ministry strengthened legal framework related to dropout problem, listed it as one of priorities, and in 2010 and 2011 conducted the survey about the level of dropout (IPSOS, 2012). Among other things, strategy of Serbian Ministry of education proposes that at least 95% of those completing elementary school (which is about 88% of the school generation) continue high school.
Brodly defined, study was aimed to analize and provide better understanding of factors influencing dropout from Serbian educational system. Previous Serbian studies were trying to make a screening and answer questions about the magnitude of the problem (e.g., IPSOS, 2012). However, study in which role of certain risk factors for dropout would be investigated, both on elementary and high school level, was not conducted. More specifically, research was defined as a extensive study that should cover different group of factors (i.e., social, school, family and individual), and design of adequate measures targeting each group of relevant factors. In this paper we adresses only individual risk factors influencing dropout in Serbia, through analysis of case studies.
Starting point was large body of evidence showing that, among others, several individual risk factors predict dropout, e.g., poor academic achievement, low school grades, behavioural problems (Ginsburg, & Bronstein, 2008; Park, & Choi, 2009; Rumberger, & Lim, 2008). In addition, studies show that dropping out is not just an event but a process, and a consequence of interaction of various individual and other risk factors (family, social, school) (Rumberger, & Lim, 2008). Studies report relationship between parental behaviours and children’s school performance (e.g., Ginsburg & Bronstein, 2008), between educational and economic status and risk of dropout (Mahoney, & Stattin, 2000). Parental substance abuse and family conflicts were frequent patterns in dropout youth (Franklin, 1992).
Antonowics, L. (2012). Dropout prevention and response: School based interventionmodels. Good international practices, UNICEF Serbia and UNICEF CEE/CIS Regional Office Battin-Pearson, S., Newcomb, M. D., Abbott, R. D., Hill, K. G., Catalano, R. F., & Hawkins, J. D. (2000). Predictors of early high school dropout: A test of five theories. Journal of educational psychology, 92(3), 568. Bogg, T., & Roberts, B. W. (2004). Conscientiousness and Health-Related Behaviors: A Meta-analysis of the Leading Behavioral Contributors to Mortality. Psychological Bulletin, Vol 130(6), 887-919. Bratko, D., Chamorro-Premuzic, T., & Saks, Z. (2006). Personality and school performance: Incremental validity of self-and peer-ratings over intelligence. Personality and Individual Differences, 41(1), 131-142. Cedefop, (2010). Skills Supply and Demand in Europe: Medium-Term Forecast up to 2020. Commission Staff Working Paper. (2010, Septembar). Skills Supply and Demand in Europe: Medium-Term Forecast up to 2020. Paper presented at Reducing Early School Leaving: Efficient and Effective Policies in Europe, Brussels. Ginsburg, G. S., & Bronstein, P. (2008). Family factors related to children's intrinsic/extrinsic motivational orientation and academic performance. Child Development, 64(5), 1461-1474. Ipsos, (2012). Analiza osipanja iz obaveznog obrazovanja (Analysis of dropout from obligatory education), Belgrade Franklin, C. (1992). Family and individual patterns in a group of middle-class dropout youths. Social Work, 37(4), 338-344. National Educational Council (NEC, 2011). Indikatori za praćenje stanja u obrazovanju i vaspitanju (Indicators for followup in educational system). Belgrade Nesse (2009) Early School Leaving – Lessons from Research to Policy Makers Serbian Institute for Statistics (SIS, 2012). Statistički godišnjak Republike Srbije – Obrazovanje (Statistical yearbook Republic of Serbia-Education). Park, J.-H., & Choi, H. J. (2009). Factors Influencing Adult Learners' Decision to Drop Out or Persist in Online Learning. Educational Technology & Society, 12(4), 207–217. Republicki Zavod za Statistiku (Serbian Institute for Statistics) (2011). DevInfo Retrieved from http://devinfo.stat.gov.rs/rzsdevinfo/downloadse5.htm, March 2013 Republicki Zavod za Statistiku (Serbian Institute for Statistics) (2013). DevInfo Retrieved from http://devinfo.stat.gov.rs/diSrbija/Baze_DI.aspx, March 2013 Rumberger, R., & Lim, S. A. (2008) Why Students Drop Out of School: A Review of 25 Years of Research. Santa Barbara: California Dropout Research Project
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