شکاف جنسیتی در انتظارات آموزشی در میان جوانان در نظام پرورشگاه
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|37860||2012||6 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||5648 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Children and Youth Services Review, Volume 34, Issue 9, September 2012, Pages 1683–1688
Youth in the foster care system are at greater risk for a host of aversive outcomes including diminished educational performance and attainment. While these issues are well-documented, less is known about gender differences on academic outcomes for these students. Over the past three decades, women have overtaken men in college attendance and post-secondary degree attainment. Research suggests that this gender gap may be greater among marginalized groups, including youth emerging from the foster care system. Using data from a statewide sample of adolescents in foster care, the current study explores the effect of gender on educational expectations and measures gender differences in college efficacy, academic functioning, and preparation for post-secondary education. After controlling for race/ethnicity and grade level, logistic regression models showed the females in foster care reported more than twice the likelihood of achieving a Bachelor's or graduate degree. Comparisons between genders revealed that females had higher reported academic performance than males, with males making greater gains in educational expectations after participating in a college access program. Limitations and suggestions for future research and action are discussed.
Over the past three decades, a stunning crossover has occurred in college attainment between the genders. While male college enrollment has increased by 55% since 1970, female enrollment has increased by 195%, more than three and a half times the male rate of increase (National Center for Education Statistics, 2009). In 2008, females comprised 57% of the college population and out-gained males receiving Bachelor's degrees by eight percentage points, a gap that continues to widen (National Center for Education Statistics, 2010). These trends are not isolated within the United States, but have also been observed in other developed nations (Goldin, Katz, & Kuziemko, 2006). Several explanations have been given for the cross-over that has created a gap between gender groups in educational enrollment and attainment. For example, the changing societal norms and expectations of women may be partially responsible for the increase in educational pursuit by females (Goldin et al., 2006). Another prominent argument considers the premium, or expected returns, for those who obtain a college degree, suggesting that females may stand to gain more than males from their investment in college education (Becker et al., 2010, Christofides et al., 2008 and Frenette and Zeman, 2007), which in turn may affect their expectations as adolescents (Haveman, Wilson, & Wolfe, 2005). Not only are gender gaps growing in educational attainment as a whole, these gaps are more extreme in low-income and minority populations (Jacob, 2002). For example, the gap between female and male Bachelor degree recipients in the United States is 32 percentage points for Blacks, 22 for Hispanics and 14 for Whites (Knapp, Kelly-Reid, Ginder, & Miller, 2007). This growing disparity has been lauded as a “crisis” by many concerned about the welfare of young men, particularly young men of color (Sadowski, 2010 and Whitmire, 2010). One of the populations at greatest risk for educational underachievement is youth who have been removed from their homes and placed in foster care. Each year up to 25,000 U.S. youth are “aged out” of the foster care system upon reaching adulthood (Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System, 2008). These young adults often find themselves extremely vulnerable to mental health needs, homelessness, unemployment, and other maladies (Nixon & Jones, 2007). Estimates show that only as many as 10% of former foster youth enroll in college (Wolanin, 2005) with as little as four percent obtaining a Bachelor's degree (Nixon & Jones, 2007). The resilient minority of former foster youth who enter college is more likely to drop out before completing one year or before completing a degree than are other low-income, first-generation students (Day, Dworsky, Fogarty, & Damashek, 2011). Not surprisingly, the gender gaps found in other populations appear to be present within former foster care youth as well. One recent longitudinal study found a gender gap in young adults who had been in foster care as adolescents with 29.5% of females having attended at least one year of college, compared to only 21.1% of males (Courtney, Dworsky, Lee, & Raap, 2010). While these numbers are cause for concern, less is known about the precursors connected to these disparities in educational attainment. The current study adds to the literature on educational attainment among youth in foster care by exploring emerging gender gaps in a statewide sample of adolescents from the foster care system. Specifically, three sets of factors are considered: 1) educational expectations, 2) perceptions of academic performance, and 3) preparation for college. Implications for college access programs are included. 1.1. Educational expectations and college efficacy Educational expectations are assessments of how much education a student believes they will be able to attain (Reynolds & Pemberton, 2001). They serve as a link between idealized goals (or aspirations) and future attainment (Beal and Crockett, 2010, Ou and Reynolds, 2008 and Trusty, 2000). Educational expectations are academic-focused possible selves (Markus & Nurius, 1986) which have been shown to lead to better grades and more persistence in the classroom (Anderman et al., 1999, Leondari et al., 1998 and Oyserman et al., 2007). These expected, future selves are highly susceptible to external cues, including perceptions of personal ability and the affordability of attending college (Beal and Crockett, 2010, Kirk, Lewis, Nilsen and Colvin, 2011a and Oyserman et al., 2006). Faced with many challenges, youth in foster care as a whole report lower educational aspirations and efficacy for college attendance than other economically-disadvantaged students (Kirk, Lewis et al., 2011). As may be expected given college enrollment statistics, females, on average, report higher educational expectations than males do (Marjoribanks, 2002 and Yowell, 2000), with more pronounced differences among Black youth (Wood, Kaplan, & McLoyd, 2007). These discrepancies in educational expectations may start early. One study of elementary school children revealed that, while girls and boys reported similar aspirations for college attendance, female students were much more likely to aspire to careers that would require post-secondary education (Blackhurst & Auger, 2008). Similarly, a study with adolescents found that almost one in four (23%) boys reported that they didn't need to attend college to get the job of their choice compared to only 16% of girls (Jacob, 2002).