Ehrmann, Nicholas, & Massey, Douglas S.
Gender-Specific Effects of Ecological Segregation on College Achievement
Specify a comprehensive path model estimated separately fro male and female respondents to the National Longitudinal Survey of Freshmen.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
- Males are exposed to higher levels of violence and disorder than females, and gender gap in such exposure grows as the level of segregation increases.
- The effect of segregation and its sequella on academic performance appear to be stronger for females than males. In the rare cases where females are exposed to high levels of isolation, disorder, and violence, the effects on college grades are large. However, relatively few females experience such high levels of exposure to violence and social disorder.
- Males grades are more influenced by segregation because of the resulting increase in exposure to disorder and violence.
- Segregation appears significantly to reduce cognitive skills as measured by the SAT scores and there is some evidence that the effects are more pronounced for females than males.
- In the short run, segregation rings about the accumulation of negative life events within the family networks of minority students to distract them from their studies, undermine their health, and pull them into greater family involvement.
- In the long run, growing up under conditions of isolation and disorder commonly associated with segregation reduce cognitive skills to depress later academic performance well below what it would have been had the student come of age in an integrated setting.
Academic Achievement, College, Gender, Long Term Outcomes, Neighborhood, Segregation, Violence
Secondary Survey Data
Method of Analysis:
Unit of Analysis:
- Data from the National Longitudinal Survey of freshmen (NLSF).
- Operationalized segregation in terms of two dimensions- racial isolation and exposure to disorder and violence-within two ecological contexts that are critical in shaping the cognitive development of respondents: schools and neighborhoods.
- Racial segregation measured as the average minority percentage (Black plus Latino) reported for schools and neighborhood at ages 6, 13, and 18.
- Index of disorder measures frequency ratings for instances of disorder and violence observed at ages 6, 13, and 18, weighting each transgression with a severity scale developed by Sellin and Wolfgang
- DV: Cognitive skills (measured as SAT score), family stress, health, family involvement, college GPA,
- IV: Race, ecological context, prior academic experience, demographic background, family SES, parental education, psychological preparation