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Parental Expectations and Future Pathways to Success

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Expectation for college attendance in the United States continues to rise as more jobs require degrees. This study aims to determine how parental expectations affect high school students in their decision to attend college. By examining parental expectations that were

Expectation for college attendance in the United States continues to rise as more jobs require degrees. This study aims to determine how parental expectations affect high school students in their decision to attend college. By examining parental expectations that were placed on current college students prior to and during the application period, we can determine the positive and negative outcomes of these expectations as well as the atmosphere they are creating. To test the hypothesis, an online survey was distributed to current ASU and Barrett, Honors College students regarding their experience with college applications and their parents' influence on their collegiate attendance. A qualitative analysis of the data was conducted in tandem with an analysis of several case studies to determine the results. These data show that parental expectations are having a significant impact on the enrollment of high school students in college programs. With parents placing these expectations on their children, collegiate enrollment will continue to increase. Further studies will be necessary to determine the specific influences these expectations are placing on students.

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2021-05

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The big, predictable picture: construal-level reflects underlying life history strategy

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Integrating research from life history theory with investigations of construal-level theory, the researcher proposes a novel relationship between life history strategy and construal-level. Slow life history strategies arise in safe, predictable environments where individuals give up current reproductive effort in

Integrating research from life history theory with investigations of construal-level theory, the researcher proposes a novel relationship between life history strategy and construal-level. Slow life history strategies arise in safe, predictable environments where individuals give up current reproductive effort in favor of future reproductive effort. Correspondingly, high-level construals allow individuals to transcend the current context and act according to global concerns, such as the type of future planning necessary to enact slow life history strategies. Meanwhile, fast life history strategies arise in harsh, unpredictable environments where the future is uncertain and individuals need to pay close attention to the current context to survive. Correspondingly, low-level construals immerse individuals in the immediate situation, enabling them the flexibility needed to respond to local concerns. Given the correspondence between aspects of life history and construal-level, it seems possible that individuals adopting slow life history strategies should more frequently use high-level construals to assist in transcending the current situation to plan for the future, while individuals adopting fast life history strategies should more frequently use low-level construals to assist in monitoring the details of their harsh, unpredictable environment. To test the relationship between life history and construal, the researcher investigated whether or not a childhood cue of environmental harshness and unpredictability, childhood SES, and a current cue of environmental harshness and unpredictability, local mortality rate, influenced construal-level. In line with past research, the researcher predicted that childhood SES would interact with current cues of local mortality rate to influence construal-level. For individuals growing up in high SES households, a high local mortality rate will lead to an increase in high-level construals. For individuals growing up in low SES households, a high local mortality rate will lead to an increase in low-level construals. Overall, results did not support the hypotheses. Childhood SES did not interact with prime condition to influence either categorization or trend predictions. Examining how the prime interacted with another measure of life history strategy, the Mini-K, yielded mixed results. However, there are several ways in which the current study could be altered to reexamine the relationship between life history strategy and construal.

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2011

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Is More Always Better? The Relation Between Socioeconomic Status and Human Development

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Socioeconomic status (SES) is one of the most well researched constructs in developmental science, yet important questions underly how to best model it. That is, are relations with SES always in the same direction or does the direction of association

Socioeconomic status (SES) is one of the most well researched constructs in developmental science, yet important questions underly how to best model it. That is, are relations with SES always in the same direction or does the direction of association change at different levels of SES? In this dissertation, I conducted a meta-analysis using individual participant data (IPD) to examine two questions: 1) Does a nonmonotonic (quadratic) model of the relations between components of SES (i.e., income, years of education, occupation status/prestige), depressive symptoms, and academic achievement fit better than a monotonic (linear) model? and 2) Is the magnitude of relation moderated by developmental period, gender/sex, or race/ethnicity? I hypothesized that there would be more support for the nonmonotonic model. Moderation analyses were exploratory.
I identified nationally representative IPD from the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR). I included 59 datasets, which represent 23 studies (e.g., Add Health) and 1,844,577 participants. Higher income (β = -0.11; β = 0.10), years of education (β = -0.09; β = 0.13), and occupational status (β = -0.04; β = 0.04) and prestige (β = -0.03; β = 0.04) were associated with a linear decrease in depressive symptoms and increase in academic achievement, respectively. Higher income (β = 0.05), years of education (β = 0.02), and occupational status/prestige (β = 0.02) were quadratically associated with a decrease in depressive symptoms followed by a slight increase at higher levels of income and a diminishing association towards higher levels of education and occupational status/prestige. Higher income was also quadratically associated with academic achievement (β = -0.03). I found evidence that these associations varied between developmental periods and racial/ethnic samples, but I did not find evidence of variation between females and males.
I integrate these findings with three conclusions: (1) more is not always better and (2) there are unique contexts and resources associated with different levels of SES that (3) operate in a dynamic fashion with other cultural systems (e.g., racism), which affect the integrated actions between the individual and context. I outline several measurement implications and limitations for future research directions.

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2021