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Addressing the Gender Gap: Risk and Protective Factors Influencing Boys’ and Girls’ Academic Trajectories

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Addressing the Gender Gap: Risk and Protective Factors Influencing Boys’ and Girls’ Academic Trajectories

Kingdon, Danielle (2012) Addressing the Gender Gap: Risk and Protective Factors Influencing Boys’ and Girls’ Academic Trajectories. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

We applied a risk and resilience perspective to the understanding of the gender gap in academic performance that emerges at the transition from elementary to secondary school among at-risk children. The goal was to determine: (1) the extent to which children’s social-behavioural resources (including problem behaviours, attention, and social skills) at school entry explain these gaps; and (2) the role of parental school involvement in protecting against academic decline. Multiple-group latent growth curve analysis was used to compare the academic trajectories among 126 boys and girls from at-risk backgrounds. Children and their families were part of the Concordia Longitudinal Risk Project and were followed across four time points, from early elementary to the end of secondary school. Results revealed a decline in academic performance associated with the transition to secondary for all children; however, boys (who as a group had lower social-behavioural competencies than girls) experienced the greatest rate of decline. A protective effect of teacher rated parental involvement emerged. Teacher rated involvement predicted children’s grades at the end of elementary school, although these effects were stronger for boys than girls. For boys only, teacher rated involvement exerted large protective effects against academic decline over time. In contrast, mother rated involvement was negatively associated with boys and girls’ elementary school grades, but had no lasting impact on academic trajectories. Results suggest the protective effects of parental involvement among at-risk populations may vary according to reporter and child gender.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Psychology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Kingdon, Danielle
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Psychology
Date:August 2012
Thesis Supervisor(s):Serbin, Lisa A.
ID Code:974574
Deposited By:DANIELLE KINGDON
Deposited On:30 Oct 2012 11:19
Last Modified:30 Oct 2012 11:19
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