Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Adolescent educational and social functioning in owner and renter households
by Carlson, Michael Anne, Ph.D., Union Institute and University, 2007, 151; 3281257
Abstract (Summary)

This study explores the association between the status of family home ownership and successful adolescent functioning. It examines the underlying assumptions of the premise that owning is better than renting for children, beyond the building of equity as mortgage payments are made. The literature suggests the merit of adequate housing and safe, well-kept neighborhoods, but does not indicate that ownership of the home, in and of itself, makes a significant difference to children's functioning. No prior studies show the status of ownership to be associated with adolescent success in the present, or with adolescent aspirations regarding future education, income or career. Many of the prior studies call for empirical research in this area. This study tested the hypothesis that a significant difference exists in the perceptions of parents or guardians as to the functional ability of their 9th grade children in the areas of academics, social opportunities, and emotional maturity, based on owner or rental status. Models were developed to show the direct and indirect influences of housing on the conditions necessary for successful adolescent functioning. Facets of the models were highlighted to illustrate that rental housing could be a positive influence in certain instances, while owned housing could be a negative influence in those circumstances.

Data were collected from 9th grade students (n = 12) attending Adel-DeSoto-Minburn High School in Adel, Iowa in spring, 2005, and from their parents (n = 35). Differences were sought, based on whether respondents owned or rented the house in which they lived. Results showed that parents of 9th grade students see no difference in academic progress, emotional maturity or social functioning in their children, whether they live in owned or rented houses. Not enough renter students responded for meaningful comparisons of their responses. It is speculated that the response rate, which was not high, might improve if the questionnaire was administered in person, through telephone interviews, or by online survey, instead of mailing it to the students and parents at their homes. Areas for future research include refinement and testing of a causal model that separates tenure from neighborhood, income, and social class effects.

Indexing (document details)
School: Union Institute and University
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-A 68/09, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Secondary education, Families & family life, Personal relationships, Sociology, Urban planning, Area planning & development
Keywords: Adolescent, Educational functioning, Homeownership, Renter, Social functioning
Publication Number: 3281257
ISBN: 978-0-549-23669-6
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