Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Faculty of Communications, Health and Science

First Supervisor

Professor Nerida F. Ellerton


In this thesis a model to predict whether Form Five students in six secondary schools in Malaysia would continue with their Form Six studies and maintain their career aspirations was tested and the influence of motivation as a mediating variable was examined. There are two public examinations in Malaysia, which are not only important to the students themselves but also to their parents and to the employers who will be seeking credentials. The aspirations of students for their future careers are dependent on their performance at the Form Five public examination and the second Form Six public examination. This study sought to examine whether their performance at the Form Five examination was affected by their family background, goal commitment, school achievement, school commitment, social integration, and academic integration, and to examine whether these factors could separately or together influence a student's motivation to enter Form Six and later pursue tertiary education. Questionnaires were administered to 377 Form Five students before their Final Form Five examinations. Interviews were conducted after the administration of the questionnaires and after the release of the Form Five examinations results, some months later. Statistical analysis making use of the SPSS/PC statistical package and the Windows for SPSS was used, and it was found that the theoretical model did predict which students would proceed to Form Six and which would leave school at the end of Form Five.

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