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Life Goals in Grade 12 and 2007

Monday, December 7, 2009

When they were in their senior year of high school (Cohort One in 1989, Cohort Two in 1992), the LSAY participants were asked how important various things were to them. These same participants were asked to rate the importance of the same items in 2007, when they were approximately 32 and 35 years old.

Both when they were in the 12th grade, and again in 2007, over 80 percent of the LSAY participants thought that it was very important to find the right person to marry and have a happy family life (see Figure 1). In contrast, while nearly 80 percent of the 12th graders thought that they would be regular voters by the time they were 40, just over 40 percent reported that being a regular voter was very important in 2007.

In the 12th grade, 72 percent of the participants felt that it was very important to be able to give their children better opportunities than they had, and 80 percent felt this way in 2007. However, just under half of the 12th grade participants felt that it was very important to have children. By 2007, nearly 60 percent felt that it was very important to have children.

The LSAY participants placed less importance on working to correct social and economic wrongs, with just over 20 percent rating this as very important in both the 12th grade and in 2007.

Figure 1: Life Goals of LSAY Participants, Grade 12 and 2007.