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Trajectories of Failure: The Educational Careers of Children with Mental Health Problems

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Abstract:

In this paper, we address two critical gaps in prior research regarding the association of children’s mental health problems with educational attainment: the lack of attention to the temporal form of the association and the failure to consider diverse explanations. Using data from the Children of the National Longitudinal Surveys of Youth data set, we identify latent classes that characterize trajectories of internalizing and externalizing problems from ages 6-8 through ages 16-18. Youth in the classes vary significantly in their likelihoods of high school completion and college entry. Youth who experienced internalizing or externalizing problems in childhood or adolescence were less likely than youth with stably low levels of problems to complete high school; youth who experienced externalizing problems at either age were less likely to enter college but college entry was only significantly associated with internalizing problems that began in childhood. We evaluated the ability of three sets of mediators to explain these patterns: academic aptitude, disruptive behaviors, and educational expectations. Educational expectations were important mediators even in the presence of controls for academic aptitude and disruptive behaviors. We conclude that social responses to youth’s mental health problems contribute to their disrupted educational trajectories.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

problem (255), youth (172), school (134), health (132), mental (130), educ (125), high (105), trajectori (103), model (89), mother (86), expect (82), age (82), behavior (78), level (78), intern (78), children (77), class (76), childhood (70), extern (68), al (64), child (64),

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education, mental health, children and youth
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Name: American Sociological Association
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MLA Citation:

McLeod, Jane. and Fettes, Danielle. "Trajectories of Failure: The Educational Careers of Children with Mental Health Problems" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, TBA, New York, New York City, Aug 11, 2007 <Not Available>. 2013-12-15 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p182944_index.html>

APA Citation:

McLeod, J. D. and Fettes, D. L. , 2007-08-11 "Trajectories of Failure: The Educational Careers of Children with Mental Health Problems" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, TBA, New York, New York City Online <PDF>. 2013-12-15 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p182944_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: In this paper, we address two critical gaps in prior research regarding the association of children’s mental health problems with educational attainment: the lack of attention to the temporal form of the association and the failure to consider diverse explanations. Using data from the Children of the National Longitudinal Surveys of Youth data set, we identify latent classes that characterize trajectories of internalizing and externalizing problems from ages 6-8 through ages 16-18. Youth in the classes vary significantly in their likelihoods of high school completion and college entry. Youth who experienced internalizing or externalizing problems in childhood or adolescence were less likely than youth with stably low levels of problems to complete high school; youth who experienced externalizing problems at either age were less likely to enter college but college entry was only significantly associated with internalizing problems that began in childhood. We evaluated the ability of three sets of mediators to explain these patterns: academic aptitude, disruptive behaviors, and educational expectations. Educational expectations were important mediators even in the presence of controls for academic aptitude and disruptive behaviors. We conclude that social responses to youth’s mental health problems contribute to their disrupted educational trajectories.

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