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ERIC Number: ED550008
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 191
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2671-8552-5
Class Matters: Examining the Impacts of Class on the College Choice Process
Spinosa, Hanna Song
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles
Class is a multi-dimensional, complex, and vital construct that is often difficult to define in empirical research. Class can affect our life's chances, potentiality, and our views of the world. Therefore, despite the intricacies and controversial nature of class-based research, it is important to discuss, articulate, and explore the role that class plays in our lives. To that end, this study has two main purposes. The first, is to operationalize the construct of class using a large, national education dataset (ELS:2002) and confirmatory factor analysis. Once a broader conceptualization of class is defined, this study contributes to college choice literature by examining the relationship between class and the various stages of the college-going process. The first set of analyses offers one way of operationalizing the latent construct of class by employing traditional and non-traditional variables within a second-order factor model using EQS. In this model, class is indicated by three factors of mother's capital, father's capital, and habitus. This particular conceptualization of class is then used in a larger structural equation model to examine its effects on the preliminary stages of the college choice process. Findings from this investigation suggest that class directly affects student's and parent's predispositions, student's aspirations, and the search stages of the college-going process. In other words, upper-class students are more likely to report higher levels of predisposition, aspiration, and search than their lower-class peers. To understand the effects of class on the final stage of college choice, this study extends the factors and variables from the previous set of analyses and adds high school-level characteristics into a hierarchical generalized linear model to predict the likelihood of attending a four-year college/university. The results from the HGLM model suggest that there are statistically significant negative effects for students attending high schools that are public, have high counselor-to-student ratios, and that report having limited resources that hinder students' learning. The only student-level variable that enters in this model is father's highest level of education attained. Based on these findings, this study concludes with recommendations for P-12, higher education, and parents, as well as suggestions for future research to investigate the intricacies of class and its relationship with college choice processes. [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:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A