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The role of the family and other external influences on an individual’s decision to enrol at University

Mogan, Leanna (2011) The role of the family and other external influences on an individual’s decision to enrol at University. University of Chester.

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Abstract

Early research argued the influences of university enrolment to be complex and diverse (Doles & Digman, 1967), whereas recent findings highlighted single external sources to have a greater influential role (Warmington, 2003). Previous literature identified several primary factors that may determine an individual’s continuation in higher education; Gender (Thomas & Webber, 2001), Socio economic background (Wolfgang, 2009), Parental education (Choi et al, 2008), and Aspirations (Berzin, 2010). The aim of the current study was to examine the influences in the decision to enrol at university. 56 first year students from the University of Chester completed the revised SMAU questionnaire (Phinney et al, 2006) online. The current study measured demographic factors of gender, socioeconomic status and previous academic attainment across three primary sources of influence identified from a three-factor solution analysis. Findings from the current study found a significant main effect for the three primary sources of influence. However, no significant main effect was found for gender, socio economic status, and academic achievement, or for an interaction between the variables with the three sources of influence. Implications of these results are discussed.

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