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Parents influencing secondary students’ university aspirations: A multilevel approach using school-SES

Watson, S.ORCID: 0000-0001-7228-3490, Vernon, L., Seddon, S., Andrews, Y. and Wang, A. (2016) Parents influencing secondary students’ university aspirations: A multilevel approach using school-SES. Issues in Educational Research, 26 (4). pp. 673-693.

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Students' university aspirational capacity and expectancies are key factors in predicting future university participation. Aspirations and expectations to attend university are strongly influenced by parent educational socialisation and school culture. This study investigates associations between students’ university discussions with parents and their aspirations and expectations for university, and whether this link is particularly salient for students from disadvantaged schools. As well, differences in students' exposure to university are examined. Students (N = 548, 57% female) from Perth’s south - west metropolitan region in Western Australia were surveyed. Multilevel analysis revealed that students from low socio - economic status (SES) schools who reported more frequent university discussions with parents had higher aspirations and expectations for university than students from similar SES schools who had fewer university discussions with parents. Furthermore, university discussions with parents predicted higher levels of aspirations for university and this link is stronger for students from lower SE S schools. The effect of school - SES for the university expectations model was similar, though of weaker influence. Exposure to university is greater for students in high - SES schools. Therefore, students and parents in low - SES areas may benefit by increasing university exposure to develop knowledge and discussions about university, and support aspirations to grow expectations to attend university .

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Psychology and Exercise Science
Publisher: Institutes for Educational Research
Copyright: 2016 The Authors
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