Stratification and Resilience: Understanding and Promoting the Educational Success of Disadvantaged Youth
Jeremy Fiel

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship

Award Year



University of Wisconsin-Madison

Primary Discipline

Early Childhood Education
Education is a key determinant both of individuals? life chances and of national productivity and inequality, and the route to educational success is contingent on children?s intellectual and socioemotional development. Researchers have spent decades probing developmental and educational inequality and seeking to inform efforts to promote the success of youth, particularly disadvantaged youth. Yet much of this research overlooks heterogeneity in the ways children of different socioeconomic backgrounds achieve healthy development and educational success, and in how families and schools can help them do so. Children are presented with unique obstacles, opportunities, and resources depending on their socioeconomic background. As a result, the skills necessary to succeed likely differ across socioeconomic groups, as do the ways these skills are cultivated by families and schools. I use quantitative analyses of national longitudinal survey data to examine socioeconomic heterogeneity in the effects of intellectual skills and personality attributes on children?s academic performance and educational attainment. This sheds light on an overlooked dimension of inequality and identifies traits critical to the resilience and upward mobility of disadvantaged youth. I use similar methods to examine heterogeneity in the ways families and schools influence the development of particular skills and attributes in children from different backgrounds. This elaborates sources of developmental and educational inequality and informs efforts to help disadvantaged youth. Third, I use experimental evidence to assess the ability of a school-based intervention to promote healthy development and academic success among youth from different backgrounds by building families? social resources.
About Jeremy Fiel

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