Hurtado, Sylvia, Engberg, Mark, Ponjuan, Luis, & Landreman, Lisa
Students' Precollege Preparation for Participation in a Diverse Democracy
How students' precollege experiences predisposed them to 3 democratic outcomes.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Research in Higher Education
Vol. 43, No. 2, pp. 163-186
- Participation in race/ethnic discussions, student clubs, and volunteer work, as well as studying with students of different groups and discussing controversial issues are significant predictors of democratic outcomes.
- Students might be unprepared to negotiate conflict in a diverse democracy, suggesting that college engagement will play a key role in fostering the development of democratic citizenship.
- Precollege engagement patterns are distinct among African Americans, as compared with other racial/ethnic groups, which ultimately affects this outcome.
- Entering college females are more likely than males to report values and beliefs consistent with democratic outcomes.
- Students' precollege engagement produces the largest change in the total variance explained in each of the three outcome models. It was surprising to find, however, that involvement in high school sports was not significantly related to democratic outcomes measured in this study, and was in fact, negatively related to valuing social action.
- Students who enter college with substantial interactions with diverse peers are more likely to see the world from someone else's perspective and value the importance of engaging in social action to create change in society.
- Students who had substantial interactions with peers, regardless of the peers; racial/ethnic identity, were more likely to agree that conflict enhances democracy. This suggests that the more students interact with peers both within and outside of their own racial/ethnic group the more likely their own view will be challenged thereby broadening their understanding of a democratic society.
Journal Article Empirical Research
College, Democracy, Diversity, High School, Racial Composition
Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Northeast
Secondary Survey Data
Method of Analysis:
Unit of Analysis:
- Data comes from a survey for a national research project titles Preparing Students for a Diverse Democracy for academic years 2000-2001.
- Sample consists of 8,051 participants entering first-year students. Students were particularly White (70.8%); students of color represented 22.5% of the sample (Asian/Pacific=11.3%; African American=6.6%; Latino=4.2%; and Native American =.4%).
- DV: Democratic outcomes (ability to see the world from someone else's perspective, beliefs that conflict enhances democracy, views about the importance of engaging in social action activities.
- IV: Student demographic characteristics, precollege environment, precollege engagement in cocurricular and diversity experiences, interaction with peers.