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Explorations in Equality of Opportunity, 1955-1970 [United States]

Resource Type
Dataset : survey data
  • Eckland, Bruce K.
Other Title
  • Version 1 (Subtitle)
Publication Date
Funding Reference
  • National Institute of Education
  • National Science Foundation
  • United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Free Keywords
aspirations; college graduates; education; educational opportunities; employment; family history; family relationships; gender roles; high school students; job history; motivation; occupational mobility; quality of life; schools; social attitudes; social behavior; social indicators; social mobility; work attitudes; work environment
  • Abstract

    This data collection contains information gathered in a longitudinal survey of a national sample of adults who were high school sophomores in 1955 and who participated in a 1970 follow-up survey. The 1970 study was designed to explore the determinants and long-range consequences of individual mobility in the United States. In 1955, in 42 public high schools across the nation, 4,151 sophomores were given aptitude and career goals questionnaires by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). In 1970, the University of North Carolina's Institute for Research in Social Science (IRSS) attempted to contact the sample with mailback questionnaires. There were 2,077 usable responses. The sophomore sample approximated a representative national sample of its age cohort, with the following exceptions: (1) students attending predominantly non-white institutions were excluded, (2) private schools were excluded, (3) large-city schools tended to be under-represented, and (4) low-ability students and school dropouts tended to be under-represented. The mailed questionnaires included items concerning personal data and activities, high school and college experience (e.g., reasons for dropping out of high school, motivating factors for attending college, and number of high school friends who attended college), work experience (e.g., job history, hours worked, types of occupations, and work attitudes), family background and marriage (e.g., ethnicity, religion reared in, and highest level of education attained by immediate family members), and finances (e.g., financial obligations, income, and assets), as well as a wide range of questions on attitude and esteem (e.g., current feelings about hometown, present community, high school, and college). Women were asked additional questions concerning contraception, pregnancy, family size, and attitudes toward women's roles and work.
  • Table of Contents


    • DS1: Dataset
Temporal Coverage
  • 1955 / 1970
    Time period: 1955--1970
  • Collection date: 1970
Geographic Coverage
  • United States
Sampled Universe
Adults in the United States who participated in a 1955 Educational Testing Survey as high school sophomores.
A sample of 2,077 former students from 42 public high schools.
Collection Mode
  • Some documentation for this study is available only on microfiche. It is more extensive than the PDF codebook documentation currently available online. The microfiche contain column locations, code descriptions, questionnaires, and frequencies. Contact ICPSR to obtain access to this information.

Funding insitution(s): National Institute of Education. National Science Foundation. United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NIE: OEG-4-71-0037, NSF: GU2059, PHS: HD05776-02).
This study is freely available to ICPSR member institutions via web download.
Alternative Identifiers
  • 7671 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
  • Davis, Richard A.. Social structure, belief, attitude, intention, and behavior: A partial test of Liska's revisions. Social Psychology Quarterly.48, (1), 89-93.1985.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Jencks, Christopher, Crouse, James, Mueser, Peter. The Wisconsin model of status attainment: A national replication with improved measures of ability and aspiration. Sociology of Education.56, (1), 3-19.1983.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Griffin, Larry J., Kalleberg, Arne L.. Stratification and meritocracy in the United States: Class and occupational recruitment patterns. British Journal of Sociology.32, (1), 1-38.1981.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Kalleberg, Arne L., Griffin, Larry J.. Class, occupation, and inequality in job rewards. American Journal of Sociology.85, (4), 731-768.1980.
    • ID: 10.1086/227087 (DOI)
  • Hanks, Michael P., Eckland, Bruce K.. Athletics and social participation in the educational attainment process. Sociology of Education.49, (4), 271-294.1976.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Alexander, Karl L., Eckland, Bruce K.. Basic attainment processes: A replication and extension. Sociology of Education.48, (4), 457-495.1975.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Alexander, Karl, Eckland, Bruce K.. Effects of Education on the Social Mobility of High School Sophomores Fifteen Year Later (1955-1970), Final Report. Washington, DC: United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare. 1973.
  • Alexander, Karl, Eckland, Bruce K.. Effects of Education on the Social Mobility of High School Sophomores, Fifteen Years Later (1955-1970): Explorations in Equality of Opportunity, Final Report. Washington, DC: United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, National Institute of Education. 1973.
  • Eckland, Bruce K., MacGillivray, Lois. Explorations in Equality of Opportunity: A Fifteen Year Follow-up Survey. Working Paper No. 1.Chapel Hill, NC: Institute for Research in Social Science, University of North Carolina. 1972.

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 6 | Registration Date: 2015-06-15

Eckland, Bruce K. (1984): Explorations in Equality of Opportunity, 1955-1970 [United States]. Version 1. Version: v1. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.