Degree Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

1988

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Education

First Advisor

John P. Wilson

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to investigate the influence of adult educators' supportive and defensive communication behaviors on the dropout and persistence decisions of adult learners. Eighty-five adult learners at a community college completed the Personality and Educational Environmental Survey (PEES), the Communication Climate Questionnaire (CCQ), and a demographic questionnaire;The PEES identified which subjects would persist in or drop their classes. The CCQ measured subjects' perceptions of adult educators' supportive and defensive communication behaviors. The demographic questionnaire provided general information about subjects and their participation history in adult education and also identified motivations for participating in the current course;Educators maintained attendance records identified actual dropouts. These individuals received follow-up questionnaires to identify reasons for which they dropped their courses;Results of the study supported three hypotheses and failed to support six hypotheses. It was predicted that persisters would perceive educators as significantly more supportive than defensive. It was predicted there would be no significant difference in perceptions of educator supportiveness by predicted dropouts who drop out and predicted persisters who do not persist. It was also predicted there would be no significant difference in perceptions of educator defensiveness by predicted dropouts who drop out and predicted persisters who do not persist. These hypotheses were all supported;Areas in need of further investigation included: gathering more information about subjects' course choices and motivations for participating in adult education; providing subjects with more opportunities to consider educator communication behaviors; revising research design to focus more specifically on educator communication behaviors; exploring the contributions of other educator communication skills to the adult education environment.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.31274/rtd-180813-12931

Publisher

Digital Repository @ Iowa State University, http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/

Copyright Owner

Denise Ann Vrchota

Language

en

Proquest ID

AAI8909201

File Format

application/pdf

File Size

140 pages

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