Charles, Camille Z., Dinwiddie, Gniesha, & Massey, Douglas S.
The Continuing Consequences of Segregation: Family Stress and College Academic Performance
University of Pennsylvania
Whether the high level of African-American residential segregation experiences have continuing academic consequences.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Social Science Quarterly
Vol. 85, No. 5, pp. 1353-1373
- Segregated neighborhoods have negative consequences for black and Latino students.
- Social networks (family and friends) of Blacks and Latinos are more likely than those of Whites or Asians to experience stressful life events.
- Greater family stress, poorer health, and greater involvement in family affairs negatively affect academic achievement of minority students.
- Most of the Black-White performance gap remains unexplained even after accounting for segregation, its sequella, and socioeconomic background.
- Whites generally came from neighborhoods that were overwhelmingly white (86 percent) and inhabited by a only sprinkling of Asians (5 percent), African Americans (5 percent), and Latinos (3 percent). Asians were more likely than Whites to share a neighborhood with other Asians (19 percent), but about as unlikely as whites to share residential space with African Americans or Latinos.
- African-American students generally experienced more death than other students from other groups, and that the degree of exposure varied by level of segregation.
- 43 percent of whites, 37 percent of Asians, and 49 percent of Latinos experienced a potentially stressful family event, compared with 50 percent of African Americans from integrated neighborhoods, 55 percent of those from mixed neighborhoods, and 57 percent of those from segregated neighborhoods.
- Segregation appears to affect family involvement indirectly through the intervening variable of family stress: neighborhood racial isolation raises the number of negative events experienced within the family, which, in turn, causes respondents to devote more time and resources to family issues.
- Whereas socioeconomic and demographic variables continued to be held constant at overall means, we assumed a neighborhood composition of 90 percent minority and indices of stress, family involvement, and health problems set at two standard deviations above the mean. Under these circumstances, the predicted grade point drops to 2.9, a 14 percent differential compared with whites.
Journal Article Empirical Research
Academic Achievement, College, Family, Residential Segregation
Secondary Survey Data
Method of Analysis:
National sample of freshmen entering 28 colleges
Unit of Analysis:
- The data are from the National Longitudinal Survey of Freshmen, a representative sample of the freshmen cohort entering 28 selective colleges and universities in the fall of 1999.
- The baseline survey included two hour face-to-face interviews with 4,000 African American, Latino, Asian, and White students.
- This research uses data from the spring 2001 follow-up survey to identify stressful events that happened to relatives of NLSF respondents during their freshman and sophomore years.
- The frequency of stressful events is analyzed with respect to the students' neighborhood racial make-up.
- Regression is used to connect segregation to academic performance through the intervening variable of family stress.
- Academic performance is measured as the respondent's GPA during the first three school terms.
- Additional data are from the 2000 Census tract.
- First Regression
- DV: index of family stress, index of family involvement, index of respondent's health
- IV: race-ethnicity and segregation
- Control Variables: respondent's socioeconomic and demographic backgrounds.
- Second Regression
- DV: college GPA
- IV: student's race, race-ethnicity segregation (proportion minority in neighborhood) , stressful life events, stress consequences
- Control Variables: Socioeconomic and Demographic Background