High School Dropouts: Quantitative Study


High school education constitutes the foundation for the higher learning process. It plays a vital role in influencing the success or failure of a student’s career. Generally, the performance or outcome of students is influenced by many factors like intelligence, hard-working, parents’ or teachers’ encouragement, motivation self or induction. However, there may be some factors that interfere with high school education leading to a school dropout. Although there may be a plethora of reasons, it is the common assumption that lack of motivation is having a strong link with dropout. Therefore, it is not known whether lack of motivation in schools contributes to the high rates of high school dropouts. To better address this research question, there is a need to undertake a research study.

Sampling and methodology

A group of 1000 children attending high school will be approached and informed about the study. They will be further interviewed for their academic performance, diet, lifestyle, smoking, and parent and teacher care. An equal number of parents and teachers would also be approached and informed about the study. They would be asked to participate in a questionnaire with the objective of getting information like their care at home and school, previous educational success, or failure history.

If a student reveals a lack of motivation has resulted in his or her poor academic outcome, then that case would be entered into a log sheet and those students would be further followed up.

During the follow-up study, students would be frequently interviewed once a week to determine whether their poor academic outcome resulting from lack of motivation is declining further. At this stage, students would also be questioned to know the factors affecting their motivation. These factors may be self or externally induced.

If the student reveals a lack of self-motivation, he or she would be further asked the reasons like any mental illness, socioeconomic conditions. Previously, it was reported that children affected with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) exhibit poor educational performance (Loe & Feldman, 2007). Here, it was assumed that poor educational outcomes may facilitate the child to lose motivation and thereby leading to a possible high school drop. If a student claims an externally induced factor, the reason could be, he may not be receiving proper encouragement from either parents or teachers.

Further, as financial motivation is also a vital factor for a successful academic outcome, the payment history of students is also taken into consideration to determine whether there are any irregularities or inconsistencies or any notices warning students to pay the fees. Here, information is also obtained about the job details of parents.

In cases of school, dropouts are detected after the follow-up study, the complaints obtained from the beginning day of the questionnaire to date are carefully entered into the log sheets. Further, during the follow-up study, teachers would also be monitored to determine any ethnic or race bias, towards bright students. Here, it was assumed that a bias might deactivate certain sections of students making them perform more poorly in academic examinations and increasing their possible vulnerability to a school drop. There is a possibility that children might also lose interest or faith in education and might develop an inferiority complex.

The results of the questionnaire will be matched with those obtained from the parents and teachers. If a parent or teacher admits a lack of care or motivation is playing role in their failure that would be matched with the student detailing to assess the validity of the research question.

Secondly, a group of 1000 children would be approached in rural areas. They would be encouraged to participate in a questionnaire. If any instances of school dropout were revealed, they would be further asked to mention the reasons that made them drop from school.

Cases claiming socio-economic conditions would be considered cautiously. If any complaints of lack of motivation were revealed they would be entered into log sheets.

Further, it was also assumed that there may be some children in the society choosing a job after a school drop, So, the third group of children, mostly job workers would be approached and asked to participate in a questionnaire. They would be asked about their educational history, and reasons for choosing the job. If any explanation associated with motivation was revealed in the questionnaire, that case would be entered.

Finally, a fourth group comprising violent offenders or attackers having a record of crimes would also be approached at top-security prisons. The strategy followed while retrieving information from these children would be as mentioned previously.

Data collection

The information obtained from all the groups will be categorized as per the type of questions. They would be further assigned numbers. Question 1 refers to intelligence quotient, question 2 motivation, question 3 educational outcome, and question 4 refers to health. Based on the answers, they would be assigned + or – symbols. + refers to acceptance and – refers to unacceptance. For example, more number of positive signs in all the groups would indicate a strong connection between that question and dropout.

So, the total number of positive or negative signs obtained from all the groups would be compared and analyzed in assessing the risk.

The other method of quantitative non –experimental research will be conducted by reviewing the data obtained from the earlier researchers. Here, the importance of various parameters that proved central to understand the incidence of motivation deficient school drop cases will be discussed.

Previously, high school dropout was considered as an indicator of the national educational picture keeping in view the available prevalence rates(Kominski, 1990). Hence, the data collected from such estimations might better help to modulate the strategies to assess the association between various factors and the high school dropout cases Drop out cases registered in various schools will be collected without conducting a questionnaire of any kind. It is expected that school children falling victims to drugs or suicide show an increased predisposition to high school drops. It is not known whether such dropouts are due to a lack of academic motivation or other interfering factors affecting school performance.

Previously, it was reported that marijuana use is related to dropping out of school (Bray et al., 2008). Therefore it may indicate that substance abusers are increasing at an alarming rate depleting their natural motivation to pursue education while contributing to the risk of school dropout. So, there is a need to identify substance abusers. Very often, there may be some behavior problems that might affect the motivation leading to a drop put. It was reported that poor reading ability is making students develop suicidal ideation which is strongly associated with school dropout (Daniel et al., 2008).

It may be inferred that children with academic complaints of any kind are likely to lose motivation which is increasing the chances of school dropout. Therefore such kinds of problems should be dealt with seriously in school education.

Further, while collecting the data much emphasis should also be given to teenage girls as there would be many cases of early pregnancy during school education.

As such, earlier reports have described that high school dropouts are influenced by school-age pregnancy and lack of motivation (Manlove, 1998). This article had focused on their lower education level and stresses the need for intervention programs at schools in helping the adolescents to overcome early pregnancy-induced high school drops, by motivating them about their future ambitions.

Hence, it would be beneficial for the researchers to approach hospitals to obtain information from pregnant women regarding high school dropouts. Further, there is also a need to implement some intervention programs clinically in order to obtain good data.

It was described earlier that school-based health clinics (SBCs) provide an innovative approach in inducing proper health to adolescents (McCord et al., 1993). This article highlights the efficacy of clinical registration on cases related to student dropouts and further describes that the students who have adopted this method are more likely to stay in schools compared to those unregistered. This could indicate that clinical programs may be helpful in furnishing the information on whether dropout cases are resulting from a lack of motivation or any other cause. This is because as mentioned previously children with ADHD are more susceptible to poor educational outcomes. This illness if not detected at an earlier stage may enable the student to lose motivation and drop out of school which may be either external or self-driven. Hence such cases would be better sorted out with the successful implementation of clinical programs. It is reasonable to conceive that clinical programs may serve as valuable tools in identifying a good volume of high school students with a plethora of reasons for dropouts.

Hence, it is essential to realize the true factors behind the motivation lack that might lead to a high school drop. The data obtained from all the previous descriptions are compared with the present findings to assess the association between lack of motivation and high school drops.

The data collected keeping in view of the available scientific description will be valid and further strengthens the research question.

In a nutshell, motivation is significant in driving the academic life of high school students. The magnitude of its devoid cannot be underestimated. It has a strong connection with a spectrum of contributing factors. Children born with natural acumen may be aspiring for a great career at a later age to reach their final destination. But, this long journey is strongly influenced by the motivation that is either self or externally induced. Very often, a lack of motivation could lead to a sudden drop in an academic career. This unfortunate situation might stem from negligence shown in care at home and school. A student may get disheartened when he or she receives a bad remark due to poor academic performance. But, actually, that is the crucial stage to understand the student’s mental agony by the teachers. If no support or motivation has been received, the student may not withstand the effect of any such failures and may gradually feel inferior. This problem would finally transform into a much advanced complicated issue known as school dropout.

Lack of motivation could also stem from the habits accustomed over time. These may be drugs or teenage pregnancy. These habits interfere with normal thinking and gradually lessen the student’s perception or general opinion regarding education. After developing a gradual predilection towards these habits, a high school drop is more likely. It should not be ignored that these habits retain their best position in the school as compared to other places elsewhere.

Hence, a lack of motivation in schools may be a strong suspect for high school drops mediated by an unacceptable lifestyle. Further, clinical complaints of students may also prove vital in influencing the motivation deficient academic drop. Hence such cases need to be monitored cautiously.


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Bray, J, W., Zarkin, G, A., Ringwalt, C., Qi, J.(2008).The relationship between marijuana initiation and dropping out of high school. Health Econ,9, 9-18.

Daniel, S.S., Walsh, A.K., Goldston, D.B., Arnold, E.M., Reboussin, B.A., Wood, F.B.(2006).Suicidality, school dropout, and reading problems among adolescents.J Learn Disabil, 39, 507-14.

Manlove, J.(1998).The influence of high school dropout and school disengagement on the risk of school-age pregnancy.J Res Adolesc, 8,187-220.

McCord, M.T., Klein, J.D., Foy, J.M., Fothergill, K. (1993). School-based clinic use and school performance. J Adolesc Health, 14, 91-8.