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From school to where? How social class, skills, aspirations, and resilience explain unsuccessful school-to-work transitions

Research Memorandum by Alexander Dicks, Mark Levels, Rolf van der Velden

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The school-to-work transition is one of the formative phases in the life course. During it, many important decisions are made. We use sequence analysis and logistic regression to study why some young people become NEET (Not in Employment, Education, or Training). We find that classical stratification variables such as higher parental education and higher education increase the probabilities for a successful school-to-work transition. In addition, we hypothesized that alignment of educational attainment and occupational aspirations as well as personality should play a role in this process. While we do not find evidence for an additional effect of alignment, we do find one for resilient personality. We also test hypotheses of mediation and moderation. We find that there is significant mediation of social class via youth’s education, but not via aspirational alignment or personality. We also find that education and personality can partly compensate for a low social class background.

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