The Educational Attainment Process among Adolescents with Disabilities and Children of Parents with Disabilities
Dennis Hogan, Brown University
Gary Sandefur, University of Wisconsin at Madison
Carrie L. Shandra, Brown University
Educational attainment marks a vital step in the overall transition to adulthood, especially for members of at-risk populations. Some adolescents utilize education to substantially enhance their human capital while others make poor decisions or face circumstances that result in too little schooling. This paper expands on previous research by examining two groups of adolescents previously ignored in research on educational attainment — those with disabilities and those who are children of parents with disabilities. Our results examine the effect of disability on parental and youth college expectations in 1997 as well as youth high school completion and college enrollment in 2003. We find that parental and youth educational expectations strongly predict high school completion and college enrollment and that educational attainment is not equal for children with and without disabilities. Most interestingly, we find a large disparity between parental and youth educational expectations for children with disabilities net of educational performance.