Pathways to Adulthood
Educational Opportunities, Motivation and Attainment in Times of Social Change

Paper: 978 1 78277 208 8 / $41.95
Published: December 2017  

Publisher: UCL IOE Press
323 pp., 6 1/8" x 9 1/2"
Among the many life transitions that individuals must master throughout their lives, the transition to adulthood ranks very high in terms of importance, complexity and uniqueness. It involves the completion of education, and the assumption of new social roles and responsibilities, at a time when previous institutional structures that guided transitions throughout the school system are falling away. It also involves great uncertainties about the future, especially during periods of rapid social change.

Using robust evidence from large scale, longitudinal and comparative studies, this collection emphasizes the role of the context in which human development takes place. It addresses three major themes concerning the transition experiences of young people:

- social inequality and its impact on educational attainment
- the development of motivational processes related to achievement and wellbeing
- coping with uncertainty due to social and economic change.

The book brings together new research by leading experts and young scholars in psychology, sociology, economics, social policy and education. It will be relevant for social scientists from a broad range of disciplines, policymakers and for everyone interested in life course development, motivation theory, educational choice, attainment, and social participation.

Table of Contents:
INTRODUCTION: Conceptualizing the transition to adulthood in times of social change: A developmental–contextual systems perspective; PART 1 SOCIAL INEQUALITIES IN ASPIRATION AND ATTAINMENT. Introduction; 1.1 The socio-economic gradient in educational attainment and labour market outcomes: A cross-national comparison; 1.2 Social inequality in educational transitions under different types of secondary school curricular differentiation; 1.3 Designing education to enhance the achievement of all; 1.4 Predicting university entry using machine-based models and solutions; PART 2 MOTIVATION IN CONTEXT. Introduction; 2.1 Advances in the research on situation-specific and contextual aspects of student engagement; 2.2 Next steps in studying engagement: The value of examining observable forms of engagement; 2.3 Young people’s motivational profiles and relations to well-being and educational aspirations: A person-oriented approach; 2.4 Educational interventions based on motivational theories: The case of relevance interventions; PART 3 DEALING WITH UNCERTAINTIES OF SOCIAL CHANGE. Introduction; 3.1 How did the economic recession influence first birth behaviour in the United Kingdom?; 3.2 Engagement with and disengagement from demands of social change; 3.3 Social change – uncertainty – religiosity: Psychological perspectives on the role of religiosity in changing societies; 3.4 The development of entrepreneurship: A biopsychosocial lifespan model; 3.5 Social change and youth civic engagement