14 SES 01 B JS, Higher Education, Family Influence and Dropout
Joint Paper Session NW 14 and NW 22
In this paper, we want to answer the following question: How does the family influence on the university drop out of students when facing the presence of social and family related difficulties? It involves a) Identifying the presence of social and family related difficulties in students and b) To know the influence that the family has in the university drop out in the presence of these difficulties.
Nowadays, dropping out of studies is a problematic, relevant and global phenomenon which is of concern to the educational authorities of Higher Education because of multiple socioeconomic consequences (Patrick, Shulenberg and O’Malley, 2016). According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OCDE, 2013) the average university drop out rate is around 30%. Some countries, such as Italy or the USA, reach 55%, and up to 45% in Latin America (Moncada, 2014; Rojas, Betancur and González, 2008). In Spain, the last report by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport in 2014-2015 (MECD, 2015) revealed that 19% of students abandon university during their first year.
It is considered drop out when a student stops enrolling during two consecutive courses in his or her degree of origin. This can be, definitive or temporary. Definitive drop out implies a complete disassociation with university education. Temporary drop out implies that students, after a period of non-enrollment, resume or change their studies (redefining their preferences) (Elías, 2008).
The decision to drop out is influenced by several factors that are closely related to each other. Biological factors such as age, sex and disease in the individual (Castaño, Gallón, Gómez and Vásquez, 2008; Bethencourt, Cabrera, Hernández, Álvarez and González, 2008; Casquero and Navarro, 2010). Social and Cultural factors such as the marital status of the student, the social status of the family, and the educational level (Lehmann, 2007). And family factors such as the size of the family, the type of housing and the economic difficulties presented to them (García and Adrogué, 2015).
These investigations conclude that family involvement is an important aspect to reduce high drop out rates and improve the quality of education systems (Colás-Bravo and Contreras-Rosado, 2013). Consequently, it is necessary to involve families in the life of schools to favor and enrich the educational process of students (Pomerant, Moorman and Litwack, 2007; Hill and Tyson, 2009; Domínguez, 2010; Santos, Lorenzo and Priegue, 2011; Solernou Mesa, 2013). As the families are usually present for the whole life of the individual, family/school interaction must be present at all educational levels (Ceballos, 2006).
On higher education, the relationship between the family and the institution loses its strength (Shute, Hansen, Underwood and Razzouk, 2011; Zayas, Corral and Lugo, 2011; Karbach, Gottschling, Spengler, Hegewald and Sipnath, 2013). Families continue their involvement in their children’s education through; upbringing and care, communications, support (economic and material), and their control actions. But their involvement with the institution often becomes scarce or casual.
At present, there is a noticeable increase of university programs whose objective is to strengthen the relationships between university and families. These are born under the assumption that there is a direct relationship between the involvement of families with academic success or improvement of educational quality.
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