Latino Adolescents' Educational Expectations: Exploring the Role of School Climate and Neighborhood Context on Post-secondary College Expectations




Hedrick-Romano, Kahlí

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Latino adolescents have the lowest expectations and attainment rates compared to other racial and ethnic groups in the U.S. Yet, few studies have examined the factors that contribute to educational expectations among Latino adolescents. Under the framework of the expectancy-value theory, this dissertation examined the relationships between educational expectations and: academic self-perceptions; school climate; and neighborhood context. This dissertation further considered how sex differentially impacts the way Latinos interact with their environment. The main findings confirm that although a majority of Latinos hold high expectations, Latinos are not likely to meet their high educational expectations. However, having high expectations may be protective as Latinos with high educational expectations have higher odds of attaining a bachelor's degree. Perceptions of school climate were associated with high educational expectations. Additionally, high teacher expectations help to explain the Latino-white expectation gap. The neighborhood environment, through disadvantage and Latino-white exposure, was associated with Latinos' expectations over time. Across many of the dimensions explored in this dissertation, differences were observed by sex. This suggests that any attempt to understand educational expectations among Latinos needs to consider the role of sex in shaping experiences and outcomes.


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Adolescents, Educational expectations, Educational outcomes, Latinos, Neighborhood effects, School effects