Does family structure matter? Comparing the life goals and aspirations of learners in secondary schools
The aim of this study was to compare the goals and aspirations of learners from single- and two-parent families. The study used a quantitative methodology with a cross-sectional comparative group design. The sample consisted of 853 Grade 11 learners from secondary schools in the Northern, Southern and Metro Central education districts in the Western Cape. The data were collected using the Aspirations Index and a short biographical questionnaire. The results suggest that there was a significant main effect of family structure on certain goals and aspirations of learners in secondary schools. These goals and aspirations included wealth, image, personal growth, relationships, and health. Furthermore, learners in single-parent families placed more emphasis on intrinsic goals.
Keywords: aspirations; environment; extrinsic goals; family structure; intrinsic goals; learners; secondary school; self-determination theory; single-parent families; two-parent families
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