CATHOLIC FAMILIES SELECT A HIGH SCHOOL: AN ANALYSIS OF THE DECISION-MAKING PROCESS (NEW YORK)

ROBERT V COSTABILE, Fordham University

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to investigate the decision-making process Catholic families employ in the selection of a high school. Respondents included families randomly chosen from seven Catholic parishes located throughout Westchester County in the State of New York. Survey instruments were mailed to both parents and their ninth-grade students. These were designed to answer the following questions related to school choice: (1) Who are the Catholic family members involved? (2) What are the factors influential to both Catholic parents and Catholic students? (3) What is the time frame associated with the selection? (4) What are the distinguishing characteristics of Catholic parent and Catholic ninth-grade student populations?^ For the purpose of comparison both the parent and student populations were broken down into subgroups based on the choice of high school.^ The study identifies the mother and the student as the individuals most involved in the choice making. Combinations of family members also surface in the decision making indicating communication between and among family members. The factors most influential in the choice of a Catholic high school are academic, religious, and environmental (including discipline) in nature. The factors most influential in the choice of a public high school are primarily academic, but include the location of the school, the student's friend(s) attending, and a coeducational student population. The choice of high school is initiated in either grades 7 or 8 and not finalized until grade 8. Both subgroups of Catholic families who consider a choice of high school spend some time on the process. The demographic characteristic most influential in high school placement is the previous educational setting of either the mother or the student.^ These findings imply that there are specific reasons why Catholic family members choose a particular high school. A fair amount of time is also devoted to the process by both subgroups indicating family communication. School recruiters, administrators, and Catholic parents would benefit from this study's identification of: the family members involved, the time frame, the influential factors and the population characteristics associated with the choice of a high school environment. ^

Subject Area

Secondary education

Recommended Citation

COSTABILE, ROBERT V, "CATHOLIC FAMILIES SELECT A HIGH SCHOOL: AN ANALYSIS OF THE DECISION-MAKING PROCESS (NEW YORK)" (1986). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8624476.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8624476

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