Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Schools and Centres


First Supervisor

Professor Tony Ryan


This intensive single-site case study has taken the entering cohort of Year 11 students in the year 2000 and has used: Point-of-entry and post-experience interviews of students admitted to the course, Parallel entry and on-course surveys, On-course administration of the well-credentialed Adolescent Coping Scale (Frydenberg and Lewis, 1993), and Staff interviews to identify and describe the environmental, personal and contextual factors that are associated with a student’s completion/non-completion of the two year Course and thereby help the College Administration address the on-going unacceptably high numbers of students not completing the Course. By making extensive use of the Adolescent Coping Scale to document and analyse the coping behaviours of the sample group, the study has revealed interesting differences between the coping styles of suburban and country youth. More importantly, from the point of view of this research, it has supported Frydenberg and Lewis’ observation that when young people who cope well are compared with their peers who appear not to cope, they make relative little use of non-productive or ineffective coping behaviours. The study has developed a computer program in Microsoft Excel™ that can be used easily and routinely to produce comparative profiles of individuals or groups. The profiles may then be used to predict whether a student is at risk of not continuing into Year 12 and provides a basis for the counselling of such students. Pen pictures characteristic of a successful student and an unsuccessful student, together with the implications of the research for the College Administration and the opportunities for further research bring the study to a close.

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