Research

Positive and Negative Predictors of Educational Attainment
In addition to my dissertation, other recent work analyzes the positive and negative predictors of educational attainment, especially considering racial/ethnic and income inequality.

One study (revise and resubmit) explores racial differences in positive college-going behaviors. Using the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 (ELS), in this paper, I examine black-white differences in proactive college-going behaviors. According to the influential “oppositional culture” account, we should expect black students to be less likely to engage in these behaviors than their white counterparts. In contrast to this prediction, my findings show that black students are more likely to engage in a variety of college-going behaviors (such as taking the SAT or ACT), indicating a commitment to education. These findings have implications for how we view the role of student agency in preparing for their futures, and how we view student orientation to education.

Another paper I am writing with a colleague (under review) uses propensity score matching and sibling fixed-effects models to determine how detrimental suspension and expulsion are for students, especially black students who are overrepresented in these exclusionary discipline actions. These actions serve as triggering events in the life course that increase the probability of negative events such as high school dropout, divergence to a GED, and engagement in criminal conviction.

Racial and Ethnic Self-Identification of Multiracial Individuals
Additional research I am conducting is situated on racial and ethnic self-identification of multiracial individuals.

In the first paper (revise and resubmit), I use qualitative and quantitative survey data I collected from Hispanic and Asian college students to explore the complexities of racial and ethnic self- and group-identification in emerging adults. With this data, I argue that racial formation is at the intersection of two processes – identity and belonging. Emerging adults’ appearance as well as experiences with in-group and out-group family, friends, and others influences both racial/ethnic self-identification, and racial/ethnic group belonging. When allowed to differentiate between the race that one most identifies with and the racial group one most feels a part of, respondents’ choices do not always align along a single racial or ethnic identity spectrum. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this is particularly true for multiracial/ethnic individuals who are connected to two or more racial or ethnic groups through blood or adoption. However, these results are not limited to multiracial/ethnic individuals, highlighting how racial and ethnic identification is complex even for those with only one racial or ethnic heritage

In the second paper with a colleague, we look at the perceptions of racial identification of those with multiracial/ethnic backgrounds. This study explores the complex multidimensionality of racial and ethnic identity, especially among multiracial individuals.