Values, interests and environmental preferences in the school context

Year: 2005

Author: Brickman, Stephanie, Miller, Raymond, McInerney, Dennis

Type of paper: Refereed paper

There is a burning desire to understand what shapes a students’ pursuit of an education. There has been virtually no research on the values students hold that guide behavior. Miller and Brickman’s (2004) theoretical model hypothesizes that a student’s values develop in the sociocultural context of home and school. It is in the context of school that values are transformed into interests and goals to satisfy underlying needs (e.g., need of achievement). In this study we investigated how basic core values of students were related to the interests they reported and types of environments students preferred. Data was collected at a rural regional university in the U. S. 392 freshman students were administered the Profile Values Questionnaire (Schwartz, 1992, 2001) and the Holland Interest Inventory (Holland, 1996). These measures have strong validity evidence, plus the reliabilities for both of these measures were similar to those reported in previous studies. The mean rating and ranking of students’ values and their interests followed the integrated theoretical premises upon which this study was based.