Friday, July 27, 2012

Gabriel Jude Il'Giovine Young completes dissertation in the School of Human and Organizational Development

Masculine Gender Role Stress and Educational Achievement in a Sample of Mexican American Boys, Gabriel Jude Il'Giovine Young

This study explored possible explanations for the educational achievement gap experienced by Mexican American boys. This was done from the theoretical perspective of cognitive psychology, specifically exploring the experience of masculine gender role stress (MGRS). The author adapted the existing MGRS scale for use with minors and administered it to a sample of Mexican American boys and their peers at a California middle school. The method used in other studies of calculating Pearson correlation coefficients with presorted subgroups at first appeared to show a strong negative correlation between levels of MGRS and standardized test scores in Mexican American boys ages 13 and up. However, multiple regression tests controlled for other factors and demonstrated that this method of calculating Pearson coefficients was flawed. ANOVA tests revealed that there was no significant variance between the MGRS scores of boys and girls, but that age was a significant factor, with scores steadily declining from ages 11 to 14. This result suggests that the MGRS instrument may have been capturing an adolescent stress as opposed to gender role stress. Significant item correlations demonstrated links between social, emotional, and life skills and academic achievement. The author recommends future studies integrating social, emotional, and life skills groups into curricula to test for causal relationships between these factors and educational achievement.

Key Words: Education, Masculinity, Mexican American, Gender

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