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Schools As Moderators Of Neighborhood Influences On Adolescent Academic Achievement And Risk Of Obesity: A Cross-classified Multilevel Investigation

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 Format: MS WORD ::   Chapters: 1-5 ::   Pages: 230 ::   Attributes: Questionnaire, Data Analysis ::   855 people found this useful

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Grounded in Bronfenbrenner’s (1979) Ecological Systems Theory and through the application of cross-classified random effects models, the goal of this study was to examine simultaneously neighborhood and school influences on adolescent academic achievement and risk of obesity, as well as the moderating effects of schools on these outcomes. By examining concurrently neighborhood and school influences on achievement and risk of obesity, this study aimed to fill gaps in the social determinants literature. For example, it is unclear if where an adolescent lives or where she/he attends school has a stronger influence on academic achievement. We also do not know if schools can moderate neighborhood influences on adolescent achievement, nor do we know much about the relationships among schools, neighborhoods, and adolescent risk for obesity. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health and the Adolescent Health and Academic Achievement study, four research questions were investigated:



(1) To what extent are neighborhood influences on U.S. middle and high school students’ academic achievement moderated by school environments?

(2) What are the relative influences of neighborhood and school environments on U.S. middle and high school students’ academic achievement? 

(3) To what extent are neighborhood influences on U.S. middle and high school students’ risk of obesity moderated by school environments?

(4) What are the relative influences of neighborhood and school environments on U.S. middle and high school students’ risk of obesity?

Findings did not suggest a moderating relationship between neighborhood and school factors examined in this study. In terms of relative relationships with academic achievement, three neighborhood factors (affluence, racial composition, and urbanicity) and two school characteristics (student body racial composition and school socioeconomic status) appeared to have the strongest relationships with adolescent achievement after controlling for individual and other neighborhood and school characteristics. For adolescent risk of obesity, neighborhood affluence and racial composition had statistically significant unique associations, whereas no school factors evidenced statistically significantly relationships with risk of obesity after controlling for other factors. Results of the study were interpreted in terms of contributions to the social determinants literature, as well as recommendations for the improvement of future large-scale surveys.



Table of Contents

List of Tables ..  vi

List of Figures . viii

Abstract x


Chapter One: Introduction 1

Statement of the Problem 1

Rationale for the Study 3

Purpose of the Study 6

Research Questions 7

Overview of the Study Design 7

Data Sources 9

Significance of the Study 9

Delimitations 10

Limitations 11

Definition of Terms 15

Organization of Remaining Chapters 19


Chapter Two: Literature Review 20

Introduction 20

Theoretical Framework 22

Neighborhood Influences on Adolescent Academic Achievement 23

Neighborhood SES 24

Neighborhood male joblessness 27

Neighborhood social disorganization 27

Perceived neighborhood quality 28

Other neighborhood measures 29

Neighborhood Influences on Adolescent Risk of Obesity 30

Neighborhood SES 30

Built environment 31

Other neighborhood measures 32

School Influences on Adolescent Academic Achievement 34

School sociodemographic characteristics 35

School resources and sector 36

Teacher characteristics 38

Perceived social climate and school quality 39

Organizational climate 41

School Influences on Adolescent Risk of Obesity 42

Summary 47


Chapter Three: Method 50

Purpose of the Study 50

Research Questions 51

Study Design 51

Overview of the Add Health Study 52

Study design 52

In-School sampling frame 53

In-School Questionnaire 55

School Administrator Questionnaire 56

In-Home sampling 57

In-Home Interview 57

Parent Questionnaire 58

Contextual data 59

Sample weights 59

Overview of AHAA Study 60

Study Sample 62

Measures 62

Criterion variables 65

Predictor variables 68

Data Analysis 74

Data management 74

Univariate and bivariate analyses 79

Multivariate analyses 79

Model interpretation 99


Chapter Four: Results 104

Study Sample 104

Univariate Analyses 107

Bivariate Analyses 109

Multivariate Analyses 116

Research Question 1 119

Research Question 2 120

Research Question 3 125

Research Question 4 126

Summary of Findings 131


Chapter Five: Discussion 133

Summary of Findings 134

Neighborhoods, schools, and academic achievement 134

Neighborhoods, schools, and risk of obesity 136

Limitations of the Study 138

Implications for the Field 144

Directions for Future Research 145

Conclusions 147

References 149

Appendix A: Summary Tables of Previous Neighborhood and School Research 165

Appendix B: BMI Box-and-Whisker Plots 190

Appendix C: Analysis of Missing Data 193

Appendix D: Investigation of Model Assumptions 200

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Attribute:Questionnaire, Data Analysis
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