Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Social Capital, Academics, and Sense of Belonging among High School Foster Youth
by Marquez, Hector H., Ed.D., California State University, Long Beach, 2017, 161; 10284762
Abstract (Summary)

This study assessed the impact of sense of belonging and social capital as predictors of academic achievement among foster youths in an urban high school. Prior work on social capital by Dr. Ricardo Stanton-Salazar was extended by applying his concepts of institutional agents to foster youths. This study was motivated by four research questions: 1. What resources are available for foster youths in the high school, and how are these accessed? 2. How does a sense of belonging relate and/or contribute to academic attainment? 3. How do social capital networks relate or contribute to academic attainment? 4. How does a course of study or program serve to define the experiences of students in foster care and influence their academic success?

How social capital networks relate or contribute to academic attainment is a fundamental question in foster youths’ academic achievement. This researcher argues that a new generation of research in this area should address the extent of foster youths’ academic achievement and outcomes. Previous research and current literature on students in foster care has focused on the negative aspects of academic achievement and has come from a deficit perspective. However, this study advances the understanding of social capital among foster youths in high school.

Findings must be considered preliminary due to the small sample size of 14 high school foster youths who participated in the study. The preliminary findings showed the correlation between social capital and academic attainment among foster youths in high school as well as how school districts can eliminate barriers and have open access to all classes and programs that benefit all students, especially those students who have been historically underrepresented. The research has implications for practitioners and policymakers in addressing the needs and concerns of students in foster care in educational settings. Recommendations included holding school districts and schools accountable for fully implementing the Local Control Funding Formula and Local Control Accountability Plan requirements by having measurable academic outcomes for students in foster care.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Gamble, Brandon
Commitee: Reese, Leslie, Stanton-Salazar, Ricardo
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 78/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Educational leadership
Keywords: Foster youth, LCAP, LCFF, Sense of belonging, Social capital
Publication Number: 10284762
ISBN: 9781369830491
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