Date of Award

Spring 1973

Degree Type

Master's Essay - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

DeRoche, Edward


The purpose of the study was to investigate the attitudes and perceptions of high school students of differing socioeconomic backgrounds toward their schools as a source for evaluating these schools. The subjects who participated in this study were all senior students from two diocesan high schools. It was hypothesized that students' perceptions of school and their attitudes toward school have a profound effect on the relevance of school to them and subsequently on their performance in school. The questions investigated during the study were these: 1. What values, attitudes, and interests characterize the teenage culture today? 2. What difference would be found in the attitudes and perceptions held by students from differing sociogroups? 3. How would the results of studies in Catholic high schools differ from previous studies of public high schools? The null hypotheses tested in this study were that there is no significant difference between the perceptions and attitudes of the girls from the two schools studied with regard to evaluating the relevance of school to them, and that there is no significant difference between the relevance of school to public and non-public school students as evidenced by the attitudes and perceptions of these students. All students were given a questionnaire which sought to discover their interests in school, their feelings about going to school, how well the school was preparing them for present tasks and future vocations, what type of climate prevaded the school, and how they would like to be remembered at school. The results of the study showed little or no difference between the opinions of the students from differing socioeconomic backgrounds attending diocesan high schools. Nor was there any significant difference noted between studies of public and non-public students. On the basis of this evidence, it was not possible to reject the null hypotheses. The findings of this study, although limited, seem to reinforce those of previous studies and to emphasize the need for more extensive work in this area.