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Young people, school engagement and perceptions of support: a mixed methods analysis

Ryan, Louise; D�Angelo, Alessio; Kaye, Neil; Lorinc, Magdolna


Louise Ryan

Alessio D�Angelo

Neil Kaye

Magdolna Lorinc


As levels of young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) remain high in the UK, there is growing concern about processes of school disengagement. Drawing on quantitative and qualitative data, we explore some factors that lead young people to disengage from – and potentially re-engage with – schooling. The research employed a sequential design with a quantitative survey of students, followed by two rounds of interviews with a sub-sample of young people. Statistical analysis of our survey confirmed that, for our respondents, school engagement is mediated through perceptions of support. Through longitudinal qualitative data, we consider which sources of support appear to be most important for participants, how changes in perceptions of support affect levels of engagement and how these may change over time. We aim to contribute to the literature by showing that increasing perceptions of support can positively influence school engagement. Drawing on theories of social capital, we illustrate how complex and dynamic interplays between diffuse actors can provide access to differentiated resources, including economic, social and cultural capital, with varied outcomes for school engagement. We also show how fluid and dynamic processes of engagement and the interplay with support can provide opportunities for promoting positive educational outcomes.


Ryan, L., D’Angelo, A., Kaye, N., & Lorinc, M. (2019). Young people, school engagement and perceptions of support: a mixed methods analysis. Journal of Youth Studies, 22(9), 1272-1288.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 9, 2019
Online Publication Date Jan 24, 2019
Publication Date Jan 24, 2019
Deposit Date Mar 15, 2019
Publicly Available Date Jul 25, 2020
Journal Journal of Youth Studies
Print ISSN 1367-6261
Electronic ISSN 1469-9680
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 22
Issue 9
Pages 1272-1288
Keywords School engagement, Perceived support, Social capital, Mixed methods, Youth transitions
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Youth Studies on 24.01.2019, available online:


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