Fishman, Samuel H. (2019). Do Plans Really Matter?: Re-assessing the Role of Adolescent Expectations in Educational Attainment. Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, 62
, 100407. PMCID: PMC7050998
Stratification research in the status attainment tradition contends that adolescent educational expectations are a central determinant of educational attainment. Little research, however, has assessed the robustness of the powerful expectations-attainment associations revealed in cross-sectional models. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health to estimate OLS, school fixed effects, and sibling fixed effects models, this study examines the association between adolescent expectations and educational attainment. The analysis reveals that adolescent expectations may play a much smaller role in predicting educational attainment than revealed in cross-sectional models. Point estimates of the association between adolescent expectations and educational attainment from sibling fixed effects models are over 50 percent lower than OLS estimates, suggesting that family-level characteristics confound this relationship. Results from these analyses demonstrate that respondents’ educational expectations likely exert less influence on educational attainment than status attainment research would suggest.
Research in Social Stratification and Mobility
Fishman, Samuel H.