Occupational thinking and its relation to school dropout

Gudbjörg Vilhjálmsdóttir*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this longitudinal research is to explore whether poorly organized occupational thinking contributes to school dropout. The 377 students in the sample were 15-16 years old when they participated in an evaluative study on career education. Kelly's method of measuring vocational constructs, the repertory grid technique, was used to measure gains in the organization of occupational thinking. Information on educational progress was gathered in a follow-up study 8 years later to examine, whether gains in development on vocational constructs at age 15-16 increased the likelihood of graduating from upper secondary schools. Results show effects on dropping out from gender and grades. A comparison between the groups that graduated and dropped out showed that gains in organized occupational thinking at age 15-16 predict graduation from vocational education, controlling for effects of social factors and grades.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)677-691
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Career Development
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010

Other keywords

  • differentiation
  • dropout
  • integration
  • occupational thinking
  • vocational constructs


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