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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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Contributions of children's or teachers' effortful control to academic functioning in early schooling

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I examined the role of children's or teacher's effortful control (EC) in children's academic functioning in early elementary school in two separate studies. In Study 1, I tested longitudinal relations between parents' reactions to children's displays of negative emotions in

I examined the role of children's or teacher's effortful control (EC) in children's academic functioning in early elementary school in two separate studies. In Study 1, I tested longitudinal relations between parents' reactions to children's displays of negative emotions in kindergarten, children's EC in first grade, and children's reading or math achievement in second grade (N = 291). In the fall of each school year, parents reported their positive or negative reactions and parents and teachers reported on children's EC. Standardized achievement tests assessed achievement each spring. Results from autoregressive panel mediation models demonstrated that constructs exhibited consistency across study years. In addition, first-grade EC mediated relations between parents' reactions (i.e., a difference composite of positive minus negative reactions) at kindergarten and second-grade math, but not reading, achievement. Findings suggest that one method of promoting math achievement in early school is through the socialization of children's EC. In Study 2, I examined relations between teachers' EC, teachers' reactions to children's negative emotions, the student-teacher relationship (STR), and children's externalizing behaviors or achievement among 289 second-graders and their 116 teachers. Results from mixed-model regressions showed that negative reactions and teacher-reported STR mediated relations between teachers' EC and math achievement. In addition, teacher-reported STR mediated links between teachers' EC and externalizing problems across reporters and between teachers' EC and reading achievement. Tests of moderated mediation indicated that a high-quality STR was negatively associated with externalizing problems and high levels of teachers' negative reactions were negatively related to math achievement only for students low in EC. In tests of moderation by social competence, teachers' reports of high-quality STRs tended to be negatively associated with externalizing problems, but relations were strongest for students not high in social competence. For students low in social competence only, children's reports of a high-quality STR was related to lower reading achievement. These results highlight the utility of considering whether and how teachers' own intrinsic characteristics influence classroom dynamics and students' academic functioning outcomes.

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2011

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Children's academic experiences during first grade as precursors of later academic performance

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Children's academic experiences during first grade have substantial implications for their academic performance both concurrently and longitudinally. Using two complementary studies, this dissertation utilizing data from the National Institute of Child Development Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development

Children's academic experiences during first grade have substantial implications for their academic performance both concurrently and longitudinally. Using two complementary studies, this dissertation utilizing data from the National Institute of Child Development Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development helps create a better understanding of the importance of first-grade experiences for children's academic performance. The first study expands upon current literature by focusing on how children's academic experiences simultaneously influence children's academic performance through behavioral engagement. Specifically, study one examined the mediating role of first-grade behavioral engagement between first-grade academic experiences (i.e. parental involvement, positive peer interactions, student-teacher relationship, and instructional support) and second-grade academic performance. Using a panel model, results showed that behavioral engagement mediates relations between peer interactions and academic performance and relations between instructional support and academic performance. Implications for interventions focusing on children's positive peer interactions and teacher's high-quality instructional support in order to promote behavioral engagement during early elementary school are discussed.

The second study expands the current literature regarding instructional quality thresholds. Limited research has addressed the question of whether there is a minimum level of instructional quality that must be experienced in order to see significant changes in children's academic performance, and the limited research has focused primarily on preschoolers. The goal of study two was to determine if high-quality first-grade instructional support predicted children's first-, third-, and fifth-grade academic performance. Using piecewise regression analyses, results did not show evidence of a relation between first-grade instructional support quality and children's academic performance at any grade. Possible reasons for inconsistencies in findings from this study and previous research are discussed, including differences in sample characteristics and measurement tools. Because instructional quality remains at the forefront of discussions by educators and policy makers, the inconsistencies in research findings argue for further research that may clarify thresholds of instructional support quality that must be met in order for various subgroups of children to gain the skills needed for long-term academic success.

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Date Created
2015

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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