Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Sociology, Social Work, and Anthropology

Committee Chair(s)

Michael Toney


Michael Toney


Bradley Parlin


Therel Black


This analysis of the relationship between energy development and short and long-term migration intentions indicate that seniors in highly energy impacted counties are just as likely to intend to leave their counties as those in non-impacted counties. Furthermore, these findings apply to groupings of students based on father's occupation, student's educational aspirations, occupational aspirations, number of places lived, sex, and religion.

The findings were based on an analysis of survey data collected from about 900 1975 high school seniors in rural Utah. Level of energy impact was treated as a factor that might operate to increase economic opportunities and hold students to a community. The relationship was elaborated because of the possibility that energy development would be more likely to hold some groups of students to a greater degree than other groups. Lee's (1966) theoretical framework (and empirical research which studied various aspects of energy development and/or migration and migration differentials) was employed in constructing the hypothesis. The study suggests that rural leaders, interested in policies aimed at holding youth to their communities, will have to look beyond the creation of new employment possibilities and develop a different perspective of the decision making process in determining migration intentions of youth.