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Can Individual Agency Compensate for Background Disadvantage? Predicting Tertiary Educational Attainment among Males and Females

Schoon, I; Cook, R; (2020) Can Individual Agency Compensate for Background Disadvantage? Predicting Tertiary Educational Attainment among Males and Females. Journal of Youth and Adolescence 10.1007/s10964-020-01290-2. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Adolescent agency has been identified as a central aspect in the study of social mobility and status attainment. There is however still a lack of understanding of (a) how different SES dimensions influence the expression of multiple dimensions of agency; (b) the interplay of SES and adolescent agency in shaping adult outcomes; and (c) variations in these associations by gender. Focusing on educational mobility, this study adopts a multiple exposure multiple outcome approach specifying the associations between multiple SES dimensions and multiple indicators of domain-specific agency and their relative role as predictors of educational attainment, also testing for potential gender differences. The study draws on data collected for the nationally representative Longitudinal Study of Young People in England, comprising 6719 individuals born in 1989/90 (48% female; 85% first generation students; 15% ethnic minority status). The findings show that multiple SES indicators independently influence the expression of different agency dimensions, in particular regarding educational intentions and success expectations. Moreover, multiple dimensions of education-related agency are significant predictors of enrolment in university by age 20 and degree completion by age 25, after controlling for family SES, ethnicity, and prior academic attainment. The evidence points to mainly independent agency effects and provides some support for compensatory effects regarding school engagement. Although females report higher levels of education-related agency, the manifestation of agency benefits both males and females equally. The findings suggest that critical insights into social mobility processes can be gained when using more complex models that take into account multiple dimensions of SES and agency and their interactions over time

Type: Article
Title: Can Individual Agency Compensate for Background Disadvantage? Predicting Tertiary Educational Attainment among Males and Females
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s10964-020-01290-2
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-020-01290-2
Language: English
Additional information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Keywords: Agency, Educational mobility, Gender, Social origin
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Research Institute
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10106626
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