Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Education


Counseling Psychology, Ph.D.

First Advisor

Jimmy Kijai

Second Advisor

Larry D. Burton

Third Advisor

Elvin S. Gabriel


Purpose of the Study. The proportion of female students in post-secondary schools in Jamaica is approximately twice that of their male counterpart. This is in contrast to the observation that the proportion of male and female students in elementary and secondary schools is about the same. Little or no studies have been conducted to examine factors related to the disproportion of male and female students in tertiary institutions. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the perception of senior high school students regarding their intention to pursue post-secondary education, and to determine the extent to which the value they place on education, personal, social, and school characteristics influenced this intention.

Method. This study employed the survey research method in which a questionnaire was designed and administered to a sample of senior high school students in 23 public and 5 private high schools throughout the island of Jamaica. Thirty male and thirty female students were selected from each school. Proportional stratified random sampling was used to select both the schools and the subjects. One thousand six hundred and eighty students were selected to participate in this study. However, only 1185 chose to sign the consent form and hence, actually participated in this study. The questionnaire was designed to elicit demographic characteristics, levels of intention to pursue post-secondary education, and student perceptions with respect to the value of education, student characteristics, social characteristics, and school characteristics.

Results. Eighty-seven percent of the students indicated a high degree of intention to pursue post-secondary education. The level of intention was slightly higher among female students. Parental support and peer influence were significantly related to levels of intention among male students. For female students, parental support, locus of control, and school climate were significant predictors.

Conclusion. The level of intention to pursue post-secondary education among Jamaican senior high school students is quite high. Parental support appears to be an important factor that could influence the intention of students to pursue higher education. Reproduced

Subject Area

High school seniors--Jamaica, Postsecondary education--Jamaica.

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