American Journal of Community Psychology

, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 519–544 | Cite as

A Longitudinal Examination of the Transition into Senior High School for Adolescents from Urban, Low-Income Status, and Predominantly Minority Backgrounds

  • Olga Reyes
  • Karen L. Gillock
  • Kimberly Kobus
  • Bernadette Sanchez

Abstract

The current 6-year study investigates the impact of the elementary (K–8)-to-high school (9–12) transition on the school completion outcomes of 107 adolescents from urban, minority, low-income status backgrounds. Descriptive findings provide a longitudinal profile of students' enrollment status throughout high school. Students who had graduated or were Active in the school system at the end of the study evidenced more marked change in perceptions of social support following the transition to the ninth grade compared to Inactive students, dropouts, who evidenced little change. With respect to academic performance, while both groups evidenced declines following the transition and failed to recover sustained losses, Inactive students declined more sharply in grades and attendance. Findings are discussed in terms of the mixed support for the transitional life events perspective. In addition, study limitations and directions for future research are discussed, including variables that should be considered in research with the targeted group.

urban adolescents school transition school dropout 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

REFERENCES

  1. Allen, B. A., & Boykin, A. W. (1992). African-American children and the educational process: Alleviating cultural discontinuity through prescriptive pedagogy. School Psychology Review, 21, 586–596.Google Scholar
  2. Allison, P. D. (1990). Change scores as dependent variables in regression analysis. Sociological Methodology, 20, 93–114.Google Scholar
  3. Bloom, B. L. (1978). Marital disruption as a stressor. In D. G. Forgays (Ed.), Primary prevention of psychopathology, Vol. 2. Environmental influences (pp. 81–101). Hanover, NH: University Press of New England.Google Scholar
  4. Blyth, D. A., Simmons, R. G., & Carlton-Ford, S. (1983). The adjustment of early adolescents to school transitions. Journal of Early Adolescence, 3, 105–120.Google Scholar
  5. Brofenbrenner, U. (1979). The ecology of human development. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Burton, L. M., Allison, K., & Obeidallah, D. ( 1995). Social context and adolescence: Perspectives on development among inner-city African-American teens. In L. Crockett & A. C. Crouter (Eds.), Pathways through adolescence: Individual development in relation to social context. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  7. Cauce, A. M. (1989). Social Support Rating Scale Revised, Unpublished manuscript.Google Scholar
  8. Cauce, A. M., Felner, R. D., & Primavera, J. (1982). Social support in high-risk adolescents: Structural components and adaptive impact. American Journal of Community Psychology, 10, 417–428.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Cauce, A. M., Ryan-Finn, K., & Grove, K. (2000). Children and adolescents of color where are you? Participant selection, recruitment, and retention in developmental research (submitted for publication).Google Scholar
  10. Causey, D. L., & Dubow, E. (1993). Negotiating the transition to junior high school: The contributions of coping strategies and perceptions of the school environment. Prevention in Human Services, 10, 59–81.Google Scholar
  11. Chavez, E. L., Oetting, E. R., & Swaim, R. C. (1994) Dropout and delinquency: Mexican-American and Caucasian non-Hispanic youth. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 23(1), 47–55.Google Scholar
  12. Chicago Police Department (1998). Monthly crime statistics by district (on-line). Available: http://www.ci.chi.il.us/CommunityPolicing/Statistics/CrimeStats.Google Scholar
  13. Crockett, L. J., Petersen, A. G., Graber, J. A., Schulenberg, J. E., & Ebata, A. (1989). School transitions and adjustment during early adolescence. Journal of Early Adolescence, 9, 181–210.Google Scholar
  14. Dieskova, V. (1984). Reflectivity-impulsivity and social orientation in six-year-olds. Psychologia a Patopsychologia Dietata, 19, 387–396.Google Scholar
  15. Eccles, J. S., & Midgley, C. (1988). Stage/environment fit: Developmentally appropriate classrooms for young adolescents. In R. E. Ames & C. Ames (Eds.), Research on motivation in education. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  16. Eccles, J. S., & Midgley, C. (1990). Changes in academic motivation and self-perception during early adolescence. In R. Montemayor, G. R. Adams, & T. P. Gullotta (Eds.), From children to adolescence: a transition period? Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  17. Eccles, J. S., Lord, S., & Midgley, C. (1991). What are we doing to early adolescents? The impact of educational contexts on early adolescents. American Journal of Education, 89, 521–542.Google Scholar
  18. Eccles, J. S., Midgley, C., Wigfield, W. D., Buchanan, C. M., Reuman, D., Flanagan, C., & MacIver, D. (1993). Development during adolescence the impact of stage environment fit on young adolescents' experiences in schools and in families. American Psychologist, 48(2), 90–101.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Felner, R. D., & Adan, A. M. (1988). The school transitional environment project: An ecological intervention and evaluation. In R. H. Price, E. L. Cowen, R. P. Lorion, & J. Ramos-McKay (Eds.), Fourteen ounces of prevention: A casebook for practitioners. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
  20. Felner, R. D., Ginter, M. A., & Primavera, J. (1982). Primary prevention during school transitions: Social support and environmental structure. American Journal of Community Psychology, 10, 227–240.Google Scholar
  21. Felner, R. D., Farber, S. S., & Primavera, J. (1983). Transitions and stressful life events: A model for primary prevention. In R. D. Felner, L. A. Jason, J. N. Moritsugu, & S. S. Farber (Eds.), Preventive psychology: Theory, research, and practice. New York: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
  22. Frith, S., & Narikawa, O. (1970). Attitude toward school: Grades K-12. Los Angeles: Instructional Objectives Exchange.Google Scholar
  23. Gillock, K., & Reyes, O. (1996). High school transition-related changes in urban minority students' academic performance and perceptions of self and school environment. Journal of Community Psychology, 24, 245–261.Google Scholar
  24. Harrison, A. O., Wilson, M. N., Pine, C. J., Chan, S. Q., & Buriel, R. (1990). Family ecologies of ethnic minority children. Child Development, 61, 347–362.Google Scholar
  25. Harter, S. (1988). Self-esteem and self-concept. In T. D. Yawkey & J. E. Johnson (Eds.), Integrative processes and socialization: Early to middle childhood. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  26. Hill, M. S., & Sandfort, J. R. (1995). Effects of childhood poverty on productivity later in life: Implications for public policy. Children and Youth Services Review, 17(1–2), 91–126.Google Scholar
  27. Kelly, J. G., Ryan, A. M., Altman, B. E., & Stelzner, S. P. (1993). Understanding and changing social systems: An ecological view. In E. Seidman & Rappaport (Eds.), Handbook of community psychology. New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  28. Levine, M., & Perkins, D. V. (1987). The ecological analogy. In Principles of community psychology: Perspectives and applications (pp. 77–99).NewYork: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Licitra-Kleckler, D. M., & Waas, G. A. (1993). Perceived social support among high-stress adolescents: The role of peers and family. Journal of Adolescent Research, 8, 381–402.Google Scholar
  30. Lloyd, D. N. (1978). Prediction of school failure from third grade data. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 38, 1193–1200.Google Scholar
  31. Midgley, C., Eccles, J. S., & Feldlaufer, H. (1991). Classroom environment and the transition to junior high school. In B. J. Fraser & H. J. Walberg (Eds.), Educational environments: Evaluation, antecedents and consequences (pp. 113–139). New York: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
  32. Ogbu, J. U. (1982). Cultural discontinuities and schooling. Anthropology & Education Quarterly, 13(4), 290–307.Google Scholar
  33. Reyes, O. (1993). Follow-up study on low-and high-risk Hispanic high school students. Journal of Community Psychology,21, 218–226.Google Scholar
  34. Reyes, O., & Hedeker, D. (1993). Identifying high-risk students in a high school dropout prevention program. Prevention in Human Services, 10, 137–150.Google Scholar
  35. Reyes, O., & Jason, L. A. (1993). Pilot study examining factors associated with academic success for Hispanic high school students. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 22, 57–71.Google Scholar
  36. Reyes, O., Gillock, K., & Kobus, K. (1994). A longitudinal study of school adjustment in urban minority adolescents: Effects of a high school transition program. American Journal of Community Psychology, 22(3), 341–369.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Roderick, M. (1995). School transitions and school dropout. In K. Wong (Ed.), Advances in educational policy. Connecticut: JAI Press.Google Scholar
  38. Rogoff, B., & Morelli, G. (1989). Perspectives on children's development from cultural psychology. American Psychologist, 44, 343–348.Google Scholar
  39. Seidman, E., Allen, L., Aber, J. L., Mitchell, C., & Feinman, J. (1994). The impact of school transitions in early adolescence on the self-system and perceived social context of poor urban youth. Child Development, 65, 507–522.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. Seidman, E., Aber, J. L., Allen, L., & French, S. E. (1996). The impact of the transition to high school on the self-esteem and perceived social context of poor urban youth. American Journal of Community Psychology, 24, 409–515.Google Scholar
  41. Simmons, G., Black, A., & Zhou, Y. (1991). African-American versus white children and the transition into junior high school. American Journal of Education, 99, 481–520.Google Scholar
  42. Simmons, R. G., & Blyth, D. A. (1987). Moving into adolescence: The impact of pubertal change and school context. New York: Aldine De Gruyter.Google Scholar
  43. Simmons, R. G., Blyth, D. A., VanCleave, E. F., & Bush, D. M. (1979). Entry into early adolescence: The impact of school structure, puberty, and early dating on self-esteem. American Sociological Review, 44, 948–967.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. Tharp, R. G. (1989). Psychocultural variables and constants: Effects of teaching and learning in schools. American Psychologist, 44, 349–359.Google Scholar
  45. Tidwell, R. (1988). Dropouts speak out: Qualitative data on early school departures. Adolescence, 23, 939–954.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. Turnure, J. E., & Thurlow, M. L. (1973). Verbal elaboration and the promotion of transfer of training in educable mentally retarded children. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 15, 137–148.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. U.S. Bureau of the Census. (1995). Statistical abstract of the United States 1995. The national data book. Washington D.C.: Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  48. U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics (1996). Youth indicators, 1996, NCES 96–027, by T. Snyder & L. Shafer. Washington, DC: USDE.Google Scholar
  49. U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement (1992). Eighth to tenth grade Dropout, NCES92–006, by M. McMillen. Washington, DC: USDE.Google Scholar
  50. Velez, W. (1989). High school attrition among Hispanic and non-Hispanic white youths. Sociology of Education, 62, 119–133.Google Scholar
  51. Wigfield, A., Eccles, J. S., & Pintrich, P. R. (1994). Development between the ages of 11 and 25. In D. C. Berliner & R. C. Calfee (Eds.), The handbook of educational psychology. New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Olga Reyes
    • 1
  • Karen L. Gillock
    • 1
  • Kimberly Kobus
    • 1
  • Bernadette Sanchez
    • 1
  1. 1.University of IllinoisChicago

Personalised recommendations