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PSPS Network Meeting Tuesday 12 February 2008 An Ethnographic Study of School Leavers: A Profile of Characteristics, Competencies and Resilience to Determine.

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Presentation on theme: "PSPS Network Meeting Tuesday 12 February 2008 An Ethnographic Study of School Leavers: A Profile of Characteristics, Competencies and Resilience to Determine."— Presentation transcript:

1 PSPS Network Meeting Tuesday 12 February 2008 An Ethnographic Study of School Leavers: A Profile of Characteristics, Competencies and Resilience to Determine Risk Factors Of Becoming Part Of The NEET Population

2 Research Proposal To determine whether there are common characteristics of school leavers (15-18 year olds) in order to determine ‘at risk’ factors in becoming part of the NEET population such characteristics include personality traits, resilience, risk and protective factors, feelings/emotions, social skills, attitudes towards school, educational achievement, socio-economic, demographic, environmental, etc

3 Hypotheses There are educational, socio-economic, demographic and environmental factors that inhibit successful movement into education, employment or training upon leaving school That young people at risk of becoming part of the NEET population would score lower in a personality assessment That young people at risk of becoming part of the NEET population would score lower in an assessment of resiliency

4 Research Questions What are the educational, socio-economic, demographic and environmental factors that inhibit successful movement into education, employment or training? What are the personality characteristics of those at risk of becoming part of the NEET population that appear to have an effect on attitudes towards employment, education and training? Are there specific elements or traits that determine resilience factors of individuals at risk of becoming part of the NEET population?

5 Personality 1 ‘Big Five’ or the ‘five-factor model’ (FFM) also referred to as the NEO model or NEOAC (OCEAN): Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness to Experience, Agreeableness and Conscientiousness (Costa, Macrae & Arenberg, 1980) Identification of key dimensions of personality enduring emotional, interpersonal, experiential, attitudinal, and motivational styles (McCrae & John, 1992)

6 Personality 2 NEO PI-R (Revised Personality Inventory) – The Big Five Neuroticism Extraversion Openness Agreeableness Conscientiousness

7 Personality 3 – sub-types Neuroticism Anxiety Angry hostility Depression Self-conscious Impulsive Vulnerability Extraversion Warmth Gregarious Assertive Activity Excitement-seeking Positive emotions

8 Personality 4 Openness Fantasy Aesthetics Feelings Actions Ideas Values Agreeableness Trust Straightforward Altruism Compliance Modesty Empathy

9 Personality 5 Conscientiousness Competence Order Dutifulness Achievement striving Self-discipline Deliberation

10 Resilience 1 A set of qualities that promotes successful adjustment and transformation in spite of risk, hardship and suffering social competence, flexibility, empathy, communication skills, and a sense of humour, problem-solving, resourcefulness, creativity, etc (Rutter, et al, 1979; Werner & Smith, 1989)

11 Resilience 2 Risk factors poverty poor domestic and physical care long-term absence of caregiver in infancy witness to extreme conflict or violence parent with mental illness substantiated neglect parent with substance abuse separation/divorce/sing le parent parent with criminality sexual, physical, or emotional abuse removal from the family home academic failure (Garmezy, et al, 1984; Kolvin, et al, 1988; Wyman, et al, 1991 )

12 Resilience 3 Protective factors Qualities of the child - individual characteristics: cognitive ability, temperament and positive social direction Characteristics of the family – social bonding: affective relationships and moral standards Support from outside the family – healthy beliefs and clear principles of behaviour (Garmezy, et al, 1984; Werner and Smith, 1992)

13 Resilience 4 Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale Adaptable to change Relationships Problem solving Confidence Positive outlook Self-belief Determination Support networks Leadership

14 Measures 1 Defining the NEET population in terms of sub- group categories through a detailed literature review Liaising with local mainstream secondary schools in order to identify a random sample of school leavers (S4-S6) (n=120) Administering a personality questionnaire, the NEO PI-R (Revised Personality Inventory) and the Connor-Davidson Resiliency Scale

15 Measures 2 Gathering a detailed analysis, through Focus Groups, with school leavers with regards to their feelings about employment, training and college opportunities, supports they are receiving, etc

16 Additional Information 1 It is envisaged that a tracking system will be set up, with the collaboration of Careers Scotland, in order to monitor the destination of school leavers taking part in the study This will be another dimension in support (or otherwise) of the hypotheses

17 Additional Information 2 Demographics Postcode Personal Information Date of birth Academic achievement Family composition Culture of employment and expectation

18 Expected Outcomes It is envisaged that an analysis of characteristics of school leavers will illustrate correlations with regards to personality and resilience characteristics The monitoring factor regarding actual destinations (positive or negative) of young people upon leaving school will perhaps give validation to the hypotheses This in turn will be informative in matching specific and successful future intervention strategies to individuals’ needs

19 Timescale Oct 06- Oct 08 Development of Research Proposal and Literature Review Sept 07 Ethics approval Nov 07-Jun 08 Data collection – questionnaires, etc Data analysis and discussion write-up Nov 07-Jun 08 cont… Pilot study re Focus Groups Data collection from Focus Groups Jul 08-Dec 08 Monitoring - Careers Scotland Dec 08 Thesis submission

20 References Connor, K.M. and Davidson, J.R. (2003) Development of a new resilience scale: the Connor-Davidson resilience scale (CD- RISC). Depression and Anxiety, 18(2): Costa, P.T. Jr. and McCrae, R.R. (1992) Revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO PI-R). Psychological Assessment Resources, Inc. Costa, P.T. Jr., Macrae, R.R. and Arenberg, D. (1980) Enduring dispositions in adult males. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 38: Garmezy, N., Masten, A.S. and Tellegen, A. (1984). The study of stress and competence in children: A building block for developmental psychopathology. Child Development, 55: Kolvin, I., Miller, F.W.J., Fleeting, M., and Kolvin, P.A. (1988). Social and parenting factors affecting criminal-offense rates: Findings from the Newcastle thousand family study ( ). British Journal of Psychiatry, 152: McCrae, R.R. and John, O.P. (1992) An introduction to the five-factor model and its applications. Journal of Personality, 60: 175–215 Prince-Embury, S. (2007) Resiliency Scales for Children & Adolescents: A Profile of Personal Strengths. Harcourt Assessment, Inc. Rutter, M., Maughan, B., Mortimore, P., Ouston, J. and Smith, A. (1979) Fifteen Thousand Hours. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Werner, E.E. and Smith, R.S. (1982). Vulnerable but Invincible: A Longitudinal Study of Resilient Children and Youth. New York: McGraw-Hill. Werner, E.E. and Smith R.S. (1992). Overcoming the Odds: High Risk Children from Birth to Adulthood. Cornell University Press: Ithaca and London. Wyman, P.A., et al (1991). Interviews with children who experienced major life stress: Family and child attributes that predict resilient outcomes. Journal of American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 31(5):


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