Young people’s experiences of moving out of being ‘Not in Education, Employment or Training’ (NEET): an exploration of significant factors

Gabriel, Jennet (2015). Young people’s experiences of moving out of being ‘Not in Education, Employment or Training’ (NEET): an exploration of significant factors. University of Birmingham. Ed.Psych.D.

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This study explores the impact on young people of experiencing a period of being 'not in employment, education or training' (NEET). The literature emphasises the risks, disadvantages and negative long-term outcomes associated with becoming and being NEET. There is relatively little research on positive factors that enable young people to cope with and move on from this experience. The study uses concepts from self determination theory (SDT - Deci and Ryan, 1985), a lifespan perspective (Bynner, 2005; Arnett, 2006), and eco-systemic theory (Bronfenbrenner, 1979, 2001) to help to understand the experiences of the young people.

Nine young people aged between seventeen and twenty-four who had experienced a period of 'NEET' but who were now in education or employment, were interviewed using a semi-structured interview format. Four professionals involved locally with young people in an educational, training or work capacity were also interviewed. Thematic analysis was used to examine the data.

Despite in many cases having experienced significant difficulties in their lives, most of the young people expressed optimism and confidence about their future. Key supportive factors in managing the experience of being NEET were the young people's inner resources and help from significant others. The young people identified that they needed more preparation and advice to equip them for adult life, both before and after leaving school. Links are made with the core concepts from SDT of autonomy, competence and relatedness. The implications for schools and support agencies are discussed.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ed.Psych.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ed.Psych.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Education
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
L Education > LC Special aspects of education > LC5201 Education extension. Adult education. Continuing education


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