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29-11-2021 | Empirical Research

Promoting Postsecondary Education in Low-Income Youth: The Moderating Role of Socio-Behavioral and Academic Skills in the Context of a Major Educational Reform

Auteurs: Marie-Hélène Véronneau, Lisa A. Serbin, Kathleen Kennedy-Turner, Dale M. Stack, Jane E. Ledingham, Alex E. Schwartzman

Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Youth and Adolescence

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Abstract

Governments around the world are pressed to invest in postsecondary education. However, little research exists to document whether large-scale educational reforms aimed at increasing rates of postsecondary attendance benefit youth’s developmental outcomes. This study tested whether an educational reform occurring in Québec, Canada, in the 1960s increased educational levels, and whether it benefitted some youth more than others. In the 1970’s, 4109 low-income youth (50% females) aged 7–13 years old were recruited at Time 1 from first, fourth, and seventh grade classes (Mage = 10.6, SD = 2.5). Socio-behavioral characteristics and academic skills at Time 1 were examined as predictors of educational attainment at Time 2, three decades later, on 3883 of the same participants. Multinomial logistic regressions were used to examine the likelihood of youth obtaining a diploma from the newly created, accessible, and affordable colleges (“cégeps”). Low-educated groups (high school dropouts and high school graduates) presented a higher early risk profile than did college graduates. Interactions revealed that social withdrawal protected youth from disadvantaged neighborhoods, helping them graduate from college. Likeability helped academically weaker girls go beyond college and access university, and helped academically competent boys graduate from college. Aggressive behavior decreased the odds of university attendance for academically competent boys. Policies promoting higher education for disadvantaged youth should be supplemented with early interventions integrating academic and socio-behavioral objectives.

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Voetnoten
1
Because the initial study design involved the collection of academic competence data for only 770 males and 800 females, complementary analyses were performed using the listwise deletion technique, thus retaining 1570 youth (38% of the original sample). The overall pattern of results was similar. Academic competence, which was the strongest predictor of educational outcomes in our primary analyses, yielded highly similar results. The other predictors became weaker, which is expected with the reduced statistical power and variance due to the selection of a nonrepresentative subsample for these analyses. In fact, participants in the subsample had been over-selected based on high levels of aggression or withdrawal. Thus, results of the analyses conducted with 3883 participants using the FIML technique to handle missing academic competence data were preferred.
 
2
We also explored the interaction between childhood aggression and likeability, but the follow-up analyses of simple slopes were not significant. This analysis was deemed inconclusive.
 
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Metagegevens
Titel
Promoting Postsecondary Education in Low-Income Youth: The Moderating Role of Socio-Behavioral and Academic Skills in the Context of a Major Educational Reform
Auteurs
Marie-Hélène Véronneau
Lisa A. Serbin
Kathleen Kennedy-Turner
Dale M. Stack
Jane E. Ledingham
Alex E. Schwartzman
Publicatiedatum
29-11-2021
Uitgeverij
Springer US
Gepubliceerd in
Journal of Youth and Adolescence
Print ISSN: 0047-2891
Elektronisch ISSN: 1573-6601
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-021-01541-w