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Integrated Schools, Segregated Curriculum: Effects of Within-School Segregation on Adolescent Health Behaviors and Educational Aspirations

Publication Abstract

Walsemann, Katrina M., and B.A. Bell. 2010. "Integrated Schools, Segregated Curriculum: Effects of Within-School Segregation on Adolescent Health Behaviors and Educational Aspirations." American Journal of Public Health, 100(9): 1687-1695.

Objectives. We examined the extent to which within-school segregation, as measured by unevenness in the distribution of Black and White adolescents across levels of the English curriculum (advanced placement-international baccalaureate-honors, general, remedial, or no English), was associated with smoking, drinking, and educational aspirations, which previous studies found are related to school racial/ethnic composition. Methods. We analyzed data from wave 1 of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, restricting our sample to non-Hispanic Blacks (n=2731) and Whites (n=4158) who from 1994 to 1995 attended high schools that enrolled Black and White students. Results. White female students had higher predicted probabilities of smoking or drinking than did Black female students; the largest differences were in schools with high levels of within-school segregation. Black male students had higher predicted probabilities of high educational aspirations than did White male students in schools with low levels of within-school segregation; this association was attenuated for Black males attending schools with moderate or high levels of within-school segregation. Conclusions. Our results provide evidence that within-school segregation may influence both students' aspirations and their behaviors. (Am J Public Health. 2010;100:1687-1695. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2009.179424)

DOI:10.2105/ajph.2009.179424 (Full Text)

Country of focus: United States.

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