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Author: Sun, Rongjun
Resulting in 1 citation.
1. Morgan, William R.
Sun, Rongjun
Bootstrap Theory of American Social Mobility: Are Resilient Children a Fantasy?
Presented: Atlanta, Ga, American Sociological Association Annual Meetings, August 2003
Cohort(s): Children of the NLSY79
Publisher: American Sociological Association
Keyword(s): Behavior Problems Index (BPI); Children, Academic Development; Children, Poverty; Comparison Group (Reference group); Modeling, Growth Curve/Latent Trajectory Analysis; Peabody Individual Achievement Test (PIAT- Math); Peabody Individual Achievement Test (PIAT- Reading); Variables, Independent - Covariate

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

Social mobility for persons reared in urban neighborhoods of concentrated poverty often occurs without the social stimulation usually encompassed in conventional understandings of significant others' influence. In this longitudinal case study of 613 children living in Cleveland's high poverty neighborhoods, we examine the impact on educational achievement growth and behavior problem decline of the children's capacity for resiliency and the opportunity for temporary residence with their mothers in a uniquely constructed total social environment, a therapeutic community for women addicted to crack cocaine. After reviewing the extensive literature on children's resiliency, we develop a new instrument to measure the capacity for resiliency, a multidimensional construct comprising observable cognitive, moral, and relational strengths. We use hierarchical growth modeling to estimate the effects for children of this newly measured capacity for resiliency and the treatment setting while controlling for observable covariates of the mother and child and unobserved family heterogeneity and auto-correlated measurement error across the four annual time points of the test observations. Increases in math and reading achievement and a decline in behavior problems were significantly related to the child's capacity for resiliency. Increases in math, reading, and vocabulary achievement were significantly related to time spent living with mother in the therapeutic community. After demonstrating the likely generalizability of our findings beyond the treatment sample of children and mothers, we examine reasons for the therapeutic community's impact on these children. NOTE: The 1992 NLSY79 Child file was used as the basis for a comparison group in this study. Estimates are drawn from the Child-Mother Supplement of the 1992 round of the National Longitudinal Surveys of Youth (Center for Human Resource Research 1998). The weighted national sample was restricted to all sampled NLSY children aged 4-13 and their mothers (n = 4709), and the urban poverty subsample on all in this age bracket who were residing in the nonsuburban districts of metropolitan areas and had family incomes in the prior year that fell below the federal poverty line (n = 636).
Bibliography Citation
Morgan, William R. and Rongjun Sun. "Bootstrap Theory of American Social Mobility: Are Resilient Children a Fantasy?" Presented: Atlanta, Ga, American Sociological Association Annual Meetings, August 2003.