Research Bulletin (Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station)


This bulletin reports the findings of an exploratory study of the long-range occupational plans of Iowa farm boys in their senior year of high school. The primary objectives of the study were: (1) to relate the theory of choice to occupational planning, (2) to describe the occupational plans of the boys, (3) to determine the characteristics which differentiate boys who plan to farm from boys who plan nonfarm careers and (4) to appraise the relative importance of factors influencing farm-nonfarm occupational plans.

Application of the theory of choice to occupational planning resulted in three general hypotheses to explain why some farm boys plan to farm while others plan nonfarm occupations. These hypotheses involved individual differences in (1) occupational satisfaction functions (preference systems), (2) available resources and (3) the results expected from using given resources in farm and nonfarm employments. Various operational hypotheses derived from the general hypotheses were evaluated on the basis of evidence obtained from a state-wide sample of senior farm boys attending Iowa high schools in rural areas and cities under 25,000 population in the spring of 1959.



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