Tag Archives: USC

University of Southern California study: Rich parents give kids the gift a great neighborhood which impacts their lives favorably

11 May

Moi wrote about the intersection of race and class in Michael Petrilli’s decision: An ed reformer confronts race and class when choosing a school for his kids. It is worth reviewing that post. https://drwilda.com/tag/class-segregation/

Many educators have long recognized that the impact of social class affects both education achievement and life chances after completion of education. There are two impacts from diversity, one is to broaden the life experience of the privileged and to raise the expectations of the disadvantaged. Social class matters in not only other societies, but this one as well.

A few years back, the New York Times did a series about social class in America. That series is still relevant. Janny Scott and David Leonhardt’s overview, Shadowy Lines That Still Divide describes the challenges faced by schools trying to overcome the disparity in education. The complete series can be found at Social Class http://www.nytimes.com/pages/national/class/https://drwilda.com/2011/11/07/race-class-and-education-in-america/

Emily Badger of the Washington Post wrote in The one thing rich parents do for their kids that makes all the difference:

Wealthy parents are famously pouring more and more into their children, widening the gap in who has access to piano lessons and math tutors and French language camp. The biggest investment the rich can make in their kids, though — one with equally profound consequences for the poor — has less to do with “enrichment” than real estate.

They can buy their children pricey homes in nice neighborhoods with good school districts.

“Forty to fifty years of social-science research tells us what an important context neighborhoods are, so buying a neighborhood is probably one of the most important things you can do for your kid,” says Ann Owens, a sociologist at the University of Southern California. “There’s mixed evidence on whether buying all this other stuff matters, to0. But buying a neighborhood basically provides huge advantages.”

Owens’s latest research, published in the American Sociological Review, suggests that wealthy parents snapping up such homes have driven the rise of income segregation in America since 1990. The rich and non-rich are less and less likely to share the same neighborhoods in the United States, a trend shaped more by the behavior of the wealthy than the poor or middle class. Owens’s work, though, adds another twist: The recent rise of income segregation, she finds, is almost entirely caused by what’s happening among families with children.

Since 1990, income segregation hasn’t actually changed much among households without kids. That’s two-thirds of the population.

“Yes income segregation is rising,” Owens says, “but this is really a story about kids.”

Children aren’t evenly distributed across communities. You’re more likely to find them in, say, the suburbs of Fairfax County than in Chinatown in the District. So the environments they and their families occupy don’t necessarily reflect the experience of the typical American household. Along a number of divides, whether by race or poverty levels, children tend to live with more segregation than the population at large…

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/05/10/the-incredible-impact-of-rich-parents-fighting-to-live-by-the-very-best-schools/?hpid=hp_hp-more-top-stories_wb-richparents-7am%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

See, Families with kids increasingly live near families just like them  https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160427080716.htm

Citation:

Families with kids increasingly live near families just like them

Date:       April 27, 2016

Source:   American Sociological Association

Summary:

Neighborhoods are becoming less diverse and more segregated by income — but only among families with children, a new study has found.

Journal Reference:

  1. Ann Owens. Inequality in Children’s Contexts: Income Segregation of Households with and without Children. American Sociological Review, April 2016 DOI: 10.1177/0003122416642430 

Inequality in Children’s Contexts

Income Segregation of Households with and without Children

  1. Ann Owensa

1.     aUniversity of Southern California

  1. Ann Owens, Department of Sociology, University of Southern California, 851 Downey Way, Los Angeles, CA 90089 E-mail: annowens@usc.edu

Abstract

Past research shows that income segregation between neighborhoods increased over the past several decades. In this article, I reexamine income segregation from 1990 to 2010 in the 100 largest metropolitan areas, and I find that income segregation increased only among families with children. Among childless households—two-thirds of the population—income segregation changed little and is half as large as among households with children. I examine two factors that may account for these differences by household composition. First, I find that increasing income inequality, identified by past research as a driver of income segregation, was a much more powerful predictor of income segregation among families with children, among whom income inequality has risen more. Second, I find that local school options, delineated by school district boundaries, contribute to higher segregation among households with children compared to households without. Rising income inequality provided high-income households more resources, and parents used these resources to purchase housing in particular neighborhoods, with residential decisions structured, in part, by school district boundaries. Overall, results indicate that children face greater and increasing stratification in neighborhood contexts than do all residents, and this has implications for growing inequalities in their future outcomes.

Here is the press release from the University  of Southern California:

Families with kids increasingly live near families like them

Sociologist Ann Owens has found that school districts are an important factor in where families with children choose to live, giving rise to increased neighborhood segregation.

By Emily Gersema – May 10, 2016

A new USC study finds that children in LA County are growing up more economically segregated than 20 years ago.

Neighborhoods are becoming less diverse and more segregated by income — but only among families with children, a new study has found.

Study author Ann Owens, an assistant professor of sociology, examined census data from 100 major U.S. metropolitan areas, from Los Angeles to Boston. She found that, among families with children, neighborhood income segregation is driven by increased income inequality in combination with a previously overlooked factor: school district options.

For families with high income, school districts are a top consideration when deciding where they will live, Owens said. And for those in large cities, they have multiple school districts where they could choose to buy homes.

Income segregation between neighborhoods rose 20 percent from 1990-2010, and income segregation between neighborhoods was nearly twice as high among households that have children compared to those without.

For childless families, schools are not a priority for selecting a home, which, Owens said, likely explains the reason that they did not see a rise in the income gap or in neighborhood segregation.

“Income inequality has an effect only half as large among childless folks,” said Owens, whose study was published online on April 27 by the American Sociological Review. “This implies that parents who have children see extra money as a chance to buy a home in a good neighborhood so that their kids may attend a good school.”

She said the increased neighborhood income segregation that her study uncovered is a troubling sign for low-income families. Studies have shown that integrated learning environments are beneficial for children of disadvantaged households, and do no harm to children whose families have higher incomes.

“The growing income gap and increased economic segregation may lead to inequalities in children’s test scores, educational attainment, and well-being,” Owens said. “Neighborhood and school poverty are big drivers of low-income kids’ poor educational outcomes, so rising income segregation perpetuates inequality and may reduce poor kids’ mobility.”

Since the No Child Left Behind Act went into effect in 2002, more data than ever have been made available on schools, the quality of their teachers and their student achievement. It has given rise to a sense of competition and rankings. Owens said this increased focus on performance, plus having access to more information about schools, may have made school an even greater priority for parents.

Policymakers have been trying to address economic inequities through proposals such as wage increases, but based on the trend Owens found, they may have another option.

“If schools play an important role in residential segregation, then breaking that link and making it less important and sort of alleviating parents’ concerns about where their kids are going to attend school would reduce income segregation,” Owens said.

She recommended that educational leaders should consider redrawing boundaries to reduce the number and fragmentation of school districts in major metropolitan areas. They also should consider designing inter-district choice plans and strengthening current plans within districts to address inequities.

Changing school attendance policies could be “more feasible than reducing income inequality, raising the minimum wage, instituting metropolitan governance, or creating affordable housing stock to address residential segregation,” Owens wrote.

Many researchers have argued that housing policy can drive education policy, but Owens wrote: “School policy can also be housing policy.”

The study was funded by a grant (AE00101) from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

categories: faculty research, diversity

topics: ann owens, diversity, neighborhood segregation, publication, social sciences, sociology

People tend to cluster in neighborhoods based upon class as much as race. Good teachers tend to gravitate toward neighborhoods where they are paid well and students come from families who mirror their personal backgrounds and values. Good teachers make a difference in a child’s life. One of the difficulties in busing to achieve equity in education is that neighborhoods tend to be segregated by class as well as race. People often make sacrifices to move into neighborhoods they perceive mirror their values. That is why there must be good schools in all segments of the country and there must be good schools in all parts of this society. A good education should not depend upon one’s class or status.

The lawyers in Brown were told that lawsuits were futile and that the legislatures would address the issue of segregation eventually when the public was ready. Meanwhile, several generations of African Americans waited for people to come around and say the Constitution applied to us as well. Generations of African Americans suffered in inferior schools. This society cannot sacrifice the lives of children by not addressing the issue of equity in school funding in a timely manner.

The next huge case, like Brown, will be about equity in education funding. It may not come this year or the next year. It, like Brown, may come several years after a Plessy. It will come. Equity in education funding is the civil rights issue of this century.

Related:

Michael Petrilli’s decision: An ed reformer confronts race and class when choosing a school for his kids

https://drwilda.com/2012/11/11/micheal-pettrillis-decision-an-ed-reformer-confronts-race-and-class-when-choosing-a-school-for-his-kids/

The role economic class plays in college success

https://drwilda.com/2012/12/22/the-role-economic-class-plays-in-college-success/

The ‘school-to-prison pipeline

https://drwilda.com/2012/11/27/the-school-to-prison-pipeline/

Trying not to raise a bumper crop of morons: Hong Kong’s ‘tutor kings and queens’
https://drwilda.com/2012/11/26/trying-not-to-raise-a-bumper-crop-of-morons-hong-kongs-tutor-kings-and-queens/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

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Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

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https://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©

http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

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https://drwilda.com/

 

 

 

 

University of Southern California study: Researchers find children who have a plan can overcome adversity

13 Sep

Moi wrote about student motivation in Research papers: Student Motivation: An Overlooked Piece of School Reform https://drwilda.com/2012/05/30/research-papers-student-motivation-an-overlooked-piece-of-school-reform/ One of the citations was Student Motivation: School reform’s missing ingredient:

The summary report and accompanying papers highlight actions that teachers, school leaders, parents, and communities can take to foster student motivation. The following are just a few of the many ideas included in the report:

• Programs that reward academic accomplishments are most effective when they reward students for mastering certain skills or increasing their understanding rather than rewarding them for reaching a performance target or outperforming others.
• Tests are more motivating when students have an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge through low-stakes tests, performance tasks, or frequent assessments that gradually increase in difficulty before they take a high-stakes test.
• Professional development can help teachers encourage student motivation by sharing ideas for increasing student autonomy, emphasizing mastery over performance, and creating classroom environments where students can take risks without fear of failure
• Parents can foster their children’s motivation by emphasizing effort over ability and praising children when they’ve mastered new skills or knowledge instead of praising their innate intelligence.

Many aspects of motivation are not fully understood, the report and background papers caution, and most programs or studies that have shown some positive results have been small or geographically concentrated. “Because much about motivation is not known, this series of papers should be viewed as a springboard for discussion by policymakers, educators, and parents rather than a conclusive research review,” said Nancy Kober, CEP consultant and co¬author of the summary report…. http://gomasa.org/news/student-motivation-school-reforms-missing-ingredient

Motivation and grit are increasingly becoming research topics.

Science Daily reported in Children overcoming adversity: Researchers find children who have a plan can overcome adversity:

Making a plan can be the difference in overcoming a difficult childhood, while just thinking about those difficulties can drag down the child.

A set of four new studies from researchers at USC and Southwest University in China suggest, contrary to prior belief, children in difficult situations need to do more than dream of a happier and successful future self: They need a strategy for becoming that person.

Two of the studies found eighth graders performed better in school if they had strategies for becoming their future selves, as well as several options for becoming the self that they envision. The other two studies showed that the mere thought of an unhappy childhood was enough to dampen the optimism and the ability of children to plan their escapes.
The set of studies were published online in the Journal Of Adolescence on Aug. 28…. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/09/150908135101.htm

Citation:

Children overcoming adversity
Researchers find children who have a plan can overcome adversity
Date: September 8, 2015

Source: University of Southern California

Summary:

A set of four new studies suggest, contrary to prior belief, children in difficult situations need to do more than dream of a happier and successful future self: They need a strategy for becoming that person. Researchers’ findings of ‘left behind’ children in China could apply to children anywhere enduring adverse situations, say authors of a new report.

Journal Reference:

1. Chongzeng Bi, Daphna Oyserman. Left behind or moving forward? Effects of possible selves and strategies to attain them among rural Chinese children. Journal of Adolescence, 2015; 44: 245 DOI: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2015.08.004

Here is the press article from the University of Southern California:

For children overcoming adversity, dreaming big isn’t enough — they need a plan
USC and China researchers’ findings of ‘left-behind’ children in China could apply to children anywhere enduring adverse situations

BY Emily Gersema

September 8, 2015

Making a plan can mean the difference in overcoming a difficult childhood, while just thinking about those difficulties can drag down the child.

A set of four new studies from researchers at USC and Southwest University in China suggest that, contrary to prior scientific belief, children in difficult situations need to do more than dream of a happier and successful future self: They need a strategy for becoming that person.

Two of the studies found that eighth-graders performed better in school if they had strategies for becoming their future selves, as well as several options for becoming the self that they envision. The other two studies showed that the mere thought of an unhappy childhood was enough to dampen the optimism and the ability of children to plan their escape.
The set of studies were published online in the Journal of Adolescence on Aug. 28.

A population with challenges

The scientists had focused on a population with profound social and economic challenges: rural Chinese children labeled “left behind” because their parents have left them, some as young as 5, usually in the care of elderly grandparents while they seek higher-paying urban jobs far from home.

These parents do not take their children with them because Chinese law requires that children attend school in the area where they were born, said Daphna Oyserman, Dean’s Professor of Psychology and co-director of the USC Dornsife Center for Mind and Society.

As a result, an estimated 40 percent of all Chinese children in rural areas — as many as 60 million — are left behind, according to the All-China Women’s Federation.

“Their parents, like parents everywhere, sacrifice the present for hopes for the future. I started the studies wondering if calling a child ‘left behind’ would have negative consequences with the implication that ‘no one loves me,’ ” Oyserman said. “Or are the parents able to instill in their children this narrative?: ‘We are doing this so our family can move forward.’”
“That is what we found: Like their peers, ‘left-behind children’ who focus on their possible future selves and especially on strategies to attain these possible future selves, fulfill their parents’ ‘moving forward’ narrative,” Oyserman said. “Their academic performance improves, they have fewer problems at school and feel better.”

A universal narrative

The narrative could apply to children anywhere, Oyserman noted. U.S. children, for example, may face homelessness, separation from a parent through divorce or endure the instability of foster care placement.

Daphna Oyserman and her colleagues conducted four studies with four separate groups of children. (Photo/Tania Huiny)
“In our studies, even though children who are left by their parents are clearly emotionally stressed, they are not doing worse academically than the others in their classes,” Oyserman said. “They seem to have gotten this message: ‘Life is hard. Pull yourself up.’”

Oyserman and her colleagues conducted four studies with four separate groups of children, all around 14 years old, in the Chongqing region of China, to gauge their feelings about the future and fatalism, and to determine what helps children rise above difficult circumstances.

Hope and fate

In the first study, 144 students were divided into two groups to ask about their optimism and left-behind status. One group of students was first asked whether it was left behind and then asked about its optimism for the future. Children in the other group were asked the same questions but in reverse order.

“We found that by just thinking about the fact that you could be ‘left behind’ had a negative effect on the kids’ optimism for the future, and it increased their fatalism,” said Oyserman, who conducted the study with Southwest University-China professor Chongzeng Bi.

In the second study, 124 students were again divided into two groups. This time, children were asked about their fatalism, about their images of what might be possible for them in the future and their strategies to get there.

“Again, just thinking about the fact that you could be left behind had a negative impact, in this case, increasing fatalism about the future. These feelings that their fate and future were not in their control also dampened the number of images they had of their future selves, as well as the number of strategies they had to become their future selves,” Oyserman said.
Impact at school

In the next two studies, the researchers asked about the effect of possible selves and strategies on outcomes such as school exams and in behavior. In the third study, 176 ninth-graders described their future selves and strategies to attain them, and answered questions about their left-behind status. The researchers obtained teachers’ reports of these students’ in-school behaviors over a 16-week period and their scores on the final examination, which occurred six weeks after they completed the questionnaire.

Students with more images of their future possibilities scored higher on the exam. For left-behind children, though, having possible selves was a double-edged sword, Oyserman said. Those with more future-self images were more likely to have behavior problems in school. But if they had strategies for attainment, they were less likely to have behavior problems, she said.

In the fourth study, 145 ninth-graders answered the same questions about future selves and strategies as the third study. Researchers also obtained their examination scores twice, once eight weeks after students reported on their future selves and strategies, and again a year later. Also at that later point, students were asked to report on their depressive symptoms using a standardized instrument.

The study revealed that those with more strategies to attain their possible selves scored better on their exams a year later, controlling for their prior test score, and showed that they were less likely to be depressed, Oyserman said.
Left-behind children

Prior research has shown that ‘left-behind’ children experience a higher rate of injury and illness compared to others. They face discrimination by teachers, their communities and the media, Oyserman said.
The children spend their week living at school. When they are at home, they are mostly unsupervised, and that carries risks, Oyserman said.

“Part of why I wanted to look at this particular group is that China is an enormous piece of the world both in terms of population and in terms of future trends, and Chinese parents, like any parents, are willing to sacrifice an awful lot in the hope that things will turn out better for their kids,” Oyserman said.

“Taken together, our results imply that while ‘left behind’ is a stereotyped identity that primes children to be accepting of the hand of fate in their lives, this does not mean that children who actually are ‘left behind’ disengage from school,” Oyserman concluded for the study. “On the contrary, they seem to redouble their efforts.”

The School of Psychology at Southwest University in China funded the studies.
More stories about: Psychology, Research
http://news.usc.edu/85905/children-overcoming-adversity-aim-high-but-have-a-plan/

Education and/or vocational training provide the best opportunity for moving individuals into success. Moi often says education is a partnership between the student, the teacher(s) and parent(s). All parties in the partnership must share the load. The student has to arrive at school ready to learn. The parent has to set boundaries, encourage, and provide support. Teachers must be knowledgeable in their subject area and proficient in transmitting that knowledge to students. All must participate and fulfill their role in the education process.

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