ERIC Number: EJ979044
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Oct
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 52
Mothers' Differential Treatment of Adolescent Siblings: Predicting College Attendance of Sisters versus Brothers
Bissell-Havran, Joanna M.; Loken, Eric; McHale, Susan M.
Journal of Youth and Adolescence, v41 n10 p1267-1279 Oct 2012
Current estimates suggest that by 2015, 60% of college students will be women, a change since 1970 when 59% were men. We investigated family dynamics that might explain the growing gender gap in college attendance, focusing on an ethnically diverse sample of 522 mixed sex sibling dyads from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. We examined whether the difference between sisters' and brothers' reports of their mothers' expectations for, and involvement in, their education during adolescence predicted their differential odds of college attendance seven years later. Sisters were more likely than brothers to attend college, and this gap was more pronounced among non-Whites and non-Asians. Sisters also had higher grades in school than their brothers. Although there were no gender differences overall in maternal educational expectations or involvement, brothers reported greater maternal involvement than sisters in non-White and non-Asian families. After controlling for family background factors, the average of siblings' reports of maternal treatment, and differences between siblings' grades, the results revealed that as sisters reported greater maternal educational expectations than their brothers, it became more likely that only the sister rather than only the brother in the family attended college. The difference between brothers' and sisters' reports of their mothers' educational involvement and their odds of attending college showed the same pattern of association but was not statistically significant. These results suggest that within-family social comparisons may play a role in sisters' and brothers' choices about attending college.
Descriptors: Academic Aspiration, College Attendance, Adolescents, Student Attitudes, Siblings, Family Characteristics, Mothers, Gender Differences, Parent Child Relationship, Longitudinal Studies, Parent Aspiration, Prediction, Racial Differences, Grades (Scholastic), Parent Participation
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health