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ERIC Number: ED523385
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 88
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1242-8527-6
Psychological Pathways from Financial Conditions to Outcomes for Youth
Destin, Mesmin P.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Michigan
Low-income and minority youth are dramatically less likely to reach a college education than their higher income and White counterparts. The dissertation evaluates how socioeconomic circumstances and family assets come to influence academic motivation and lifetime outcomes for youth. In chapter II, structural equation models, constructed from recent waves of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, test the proposition that a family's assets increase a child's level of subsequent academic attainment in young adulthood by boosting adolescent expectations for college enrollment. The second chapter also shows that assets benefit motivation and achievement for youth in particularly low-income neighborhoods. Primarily through field experiments, chapters III and IV test the specific effects of financial information about college on middle-school youth from low socioeconomic backgrounds. First, college costs information that indicates an open path to college (through financial aid) enhances immediate academic goals and motivation, compared to information that suggests a closed (high costs) path to college. Finally, in chapter IV, information that highlights the high economic returns to a college education increases current plans for academic engagement and actual effort on a school-related task amongst low-income youth, compared to students in a condition who receive information that does not connect college to subsequent income. All participants were fully debriefed with information on the benefits and accessibility of a college education. Taken together, the dissertation outlines general and specific psychological pathways that translate socioeconomic circumstances into patterns of behaviors that lead to significant lifetime consequences. Implications for community and policy interventions also emerge, as the findings provide suggestions for effective ways to frame economic circumstances for young students that may help them to establish a clearer image of their future possibilities. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A