Date of Degree
PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Educational Policy and Leadership Studies
I investigate the differences between Hispanic high school graduates, both male and female, who chose not to attend college, who chose to initially enroll into a two-year college, or who chose to initially enroll into a four-year college or university. The 1994-1995 National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health was used to determine how family structure, family responsibilities and family closeness influenced the decisions made by Hispanic youth. There are five major findings regarding Hispanics and their decisions after high school graduation. The findings show that socioeconomic status (parents' education), grade point average and college aspirations influence the decision to attend college. Males who enrolled into four-year colleges were more influenced by participating in household chores compared to females; females who initially enrolled into four-year colleges were more influenced by the number of household members than males. High school graduates with fewer household members were more likely to initially enroll into a four-year college and participate in more household chores compared to students who attended two-year colleges. Parental aspirations were influential for high school graduates whether they attended two- or four-year colleges. Last, living with two biological parents compared to living with a single mother was highly influential for high school graduates who initially enrolled into a four-year college. Overall, the findings indicate that family structure, family closeness and family responsibilities affect the college decisions of Hispanic high school graduates.
Copyright 2011 Joanna Settles