CitationChung, Gerard; Kainz, Kirsten; Eisensmith, Sarah Rabiner; & Lanier, Paul (2022). Effects of Youth Educational Aspirations on Academic Outcomes and Racial Differences: A Propensity Score Matching Approach. Journal of Child and Family Studies.
AbstractThis study examined how 7th to 12th grade students’ educational aspirations influenced their school engagement and grade point average (GPA) a year later. Using data (n = 4368) from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, this study used propensity score matching to address confounders due to family, parenting, and individual-level background characteristics, allowing for a minimally biased effect of educational aspirations on the academic performances of White, African American, and Hispanic youths. We found that high educational aspirations helped youths to have better school engagement behaviors above and beyond the positive effects of school climate. White and African American youths with high aspirations attained a higher GPA than those with low aspirations. Yet, even with high aspirations boosting GPA, racial/ethnic group differences in GPA scores persisted. Supporting youths to develop and maintain high levels of aspirations would have a positive effect on their academic performances regardless of racial groups. But improving school learning environment would be important in reducing racial differences in academic performances.
Reference TypeJournal Article
Journal TitleJournal of Child and Family Studies
Eisensmith, Sarah Rabiner