Volume 43 - Number 3 - 2002 | DOI: 10.5032/jae.2002.03061



The purpose of this study was to determine the aspirations of rural youth and to identify perceived support for and barriers to achieving their goals. The population included all seniors enrolled in public and private high schools in a five county area of northwest Iowa. The students were asked to indicate their educational and occupational aspirations. Likert-type scales were used to measure perceptions regarding support for and barriers to achieving their goals. Tenets of achievement motivation theory were observed in the rural students. Town and farm students alike had diverse educational and occupational aspirations. A high level of congruence was observed between the students' occupational aspirations and their educational goals, revealing that many students were following career paths. Students perceived that the environment provided by their schools was supportive of their aspirations. Barriers to achieving their goals were perceived as minimal.

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