Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Sociology, Social Work, and Anthropology

Committee Chair(s)

Michael B. Toney


Michael B. Toney


Barton Sensenig


William Stinner


This study examines the relationship between the distance 1975 high school seniors intended to move, referred to as intended distance, and socioeconomic and psychological factors. The research is based on information collected from separate samples of about 900 graduating seniors from the rural, urban and metropolitan areas of Utah. Utilizing the type of boundary that would be crossed in carrying out an intended move as the proxy for distance, it was found that 14 percent of the youth intended to live most of the rest of their lives out of Utah. While rural youth were more likely to intend to move in the overall tabulations, they were least likely to intend to leave the state. Metropolitan youth were slightly more likely to be planning to leave Utah than were urban youth.

Out of 15 variables hypothesized to be associated with the students' intended distance, it was found that community evaluation, interpersonal relations, community satisfaction, and religion, are significantly related for rural, urban and metropolitan students. This seems to indicate that social and psychological aspects of potential migrants' community life are more important than other background variables when the level of urbanization at the place of origin is considered.

This leads us to the conclusion that actual distance in the stream of migration may have different significance according to various socioeconomic and psychological factors surrounding these migrants.



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