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01-05-2007 | Original Paper | Uitgave 4/2007

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 4/2007

Gender Differences in the Educational Expectations of Urban, Low-Income African American Youth: The Role of Parents and the School

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 4/2007
Auteurs:
Dana Wood, Rachel Kaplan, Vonnie C. McLoyd
Belangrijke opmerkingen
Dana Wood is a doctoral student in Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research is focused on contextual factors that contribute to gender differences in the academic outcomes of African American youth.
Rachel Kaplan is a research associate in the Department of Psychology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She received her PhD in Sociology from the State University of New York at Albany. Her major research interests include child and adolescent development.
Vonnie C. McLoyd is Professor of Psychology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She received her PhD in Developmental Psychology at the University of Michigan. She is interested in the impact of economic disadvantage, work-related transitions, and parental job characteristics on family life and child development.

Abstract

This study examined how youths’ gender is related to the educational expectations of urban, low-income African American youth, their parents, and their teachers. As predicted, African American boys (ages 9–16) reported lower expectations for future educational attainment than did their female counterparts. Parents and teachers also reported lower expectations for African American boys (ages 6–16) than for girls. These findings held even when controlling for academic achievement. Contrary to predictions, the magnitude of the difference in expectations for males vs. females did not increase as a function of youths’ age. In keeping with our hypotheses, parental expectations fully mediated the relation between youths’ gender and youths’ expectations. Finally, certain school-based factors (i.e., positive teacher expectations and positive youth perceptions of the school environment) appeared to protect youths’ expectations from the deleterious impact of low parental expectations.

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