Linking Personality Traits and School Dropout Tendency: Evidence from Pakistan Orphan and Non-Orphan Students
Existent research bears scarce evidence of the influence of personality traits on the school dropout tendency of students, particularly indicating the need for a focus on how a combination of various personality traits might precipitate dropout. Furthermore, there is a gap in terms of how personality traits interact with the circumstance of being an orphan student to affect drop-out decisions. Addressing this gap, the current research was designed to investigate the influence of various personality traits on the school dropout tendency of orphan and non-orphan students. Two hundred participants (orphan students, n = 100; non-orphan students, n= 100) were included from different orphanage schools and high schools of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, Pakistan. The age of the participants ranged from 12-18 years. Purposive sampling was conducted based on cross-section design. Two scales, the Eysenck personality questionnaire (EPQ: Eysenck, Eysenck, & Barrett, 1985;Naqvi, 2001) and School Refusal Assessment Scale-revised (SARS-R:Kearney, 2002)were employed to respectively measure extraversion-introversion, neuroticism, and psychoticism traits of personality, and students‟ dropout tendency. This study found that extraversion-introversion was linked to a greater likelihood of school dropout tendency in orphanage students. Furthermore, the study revealed that low prevalence of neuroticism increased probabilities of an early exit. On the other hand, the investigation also indicated that psychoticism and lie traits of personality were associated with higher probabilties of school dropout tendency in orphanage and ordinary students. Notably, the study demonstrated that parental care or its absence (being an orphan or non-orphan)was playing a moderating role in the relationship between personality traits and dropout tendency. Orphan students who exhibited higher levels of extroversion-introversion and psychoticism had the highest tendency of dropout as compared to non-orphan students. This study implicates that personality traits area more important factor for triggering dropout tendency in orphanage students than in ordinary school students. Therefore, the research recommends special intervention by clinical and pedagogical settings in the case of orphanage students to help resolve personality conflicts in order to prevent dropouts. These findings could have profound impact on future policy and program planning for orphans in developing countries.