A research presentation and discussion facilitated by
Sara J. Wasserman
Student-level factors external to the K-12 classroom experience continue to explain a large proportion of variance in students’ outcomes. Extant research has identified two of these factors: a parent’s style of parenting and the influence of peers during adolescence. To better understand the contribution of both factors on young adults’ attainment of a four-year college degree, this research uses longitudinal data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics and its two related supplements, the Child Development Supplement (CDS) and Transition to Adulthood (TA) Study to examine three specific aims: (1) Test the cultural reproduction hypothesis by predicting young adults’ attainment of a four-year college degree from a set of background variables related to social class. (2) Test the cultural mobility hypothesis by examining how a specific style of parenting, concerted cultivation, mediates the relationship between social class and the attainment of a four-year college degree. (3) Test for the peer influence hypothesis by verifying how and to what degree adolescents’ peers further mediate the relationships identified in Aims 1 and 2. Preliminary results confirm that there are strong and direct effects of social class on educational attainment and the indirect effects attributable to concerted cultivation and peers are significant, but minimal.
Brian V. Carolan, Ph.D. is associate professor of quantitative research methods in the Department of Educational Foundations
Sara J. Wasserman is a first-year student in Montclair State University's Teacher Education and Teacher Development Ed.D. program.
Montclair State University -
Montclair, New Jersey 07043 -
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