Smith, M. J., & Fleming, M. K. (2006). African american parents in the search stage of college choice: Unintentional contributions to the female to male college enrollment gap.Urban Education, 41(1), 71-100.
A serious imbalance exists in today’s African American undergraduate student population in which the number of women far outnumber the number of men. Although at the macro level, political, sociological, and economic forces frame this gender enrollment gap, scant research has explored microlevel influences such as parents and parenting. This study uses a qualitative methodology and Hossler’s model of college choice to examine African American parent involvement during the search stage. The study finds that the parents, who are mostly female and have higher aspirations for daughters, encourage daughters to consider 4-year colleges more often but show equal levels of tangible support for sons. The authors suggest that the boundaries of Hossler’s model necessarily shift when considering urban African American parents and that practitioners must have equally high academic aspirations for both African American male and female students.
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