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 (under review) explores racial differences in positive college-going behaviors. Oppositional culture theory would predict that rather than trying to buy into a system that works against them and fearing being labeled as “acting white” by their black peers, black students lower their educational effort, reject schooling, and shun a school-based identity. However, I find that black students are more likely than similar white students to take steps necessary for college enrollment, increasing their chances of being accepted to a college of their choice, suggesting they don’t try less, but try more than similar white students. This study also reimagines the oft-studied occurrence of higher black student college enrollment compared to similar white students as something largely in the hands of the black youth who engage in these behaviors. I also have a working paper with a colleague looking at these college-going behaviors for Hispanic students, and the different processes that. influence their college enrollment.

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 drop out, 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.