Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Series Page, In Memoriam

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Contents

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List of Illustrations

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pp. xii-xiii

About the Authors

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p. xiv

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Preface

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pp. xv-xviii

The purpose of this book is to improve our understanding of how social contexts—especially those of family, neighborhood, and school—bear on the long-term well-being of disadvantaged urban youth. Well-being, for our purposes, is captured not only in objective...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xix-xxii

In the fall of 1982, we set out with graduate students and a small staff recruited for a project intended to last three years but that stretched over many. Children and their parents were interviewed individually, teachers responded to self-administered questionnaires...

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Chapter 1: The Long Shadow and Urban Disadvantage

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pp. 1-20

This volume is an account of the developmental foundation that connects children’s socioeconomic well-being as young adults to family conditions growing up. It is set in Baltimore, Maryland, during the last two decades of the twentieth century into the first decade...

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Chapter 2: The Baltimore Backdrop

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pp. 21-31

Urban disadvantage presents itself in children’s lives at every turn—at home when they awaken in the morning, outside when they head off to school, and then at destination’s end when they arrive. Family, neighborhood, and school, these settings dominate children’s...

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Chapter 3: Family Disadvantage

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pp. 32-49

The urban disadvantaged, families of low socioeconomic standing by the standards of this volume, make up half the Beginning School Study Youth Panel (BSSYP, or Youth Panel). Most research on the life conditions of the urban poor, including most community case...

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Chapter 4: Neighborhood and School

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pp. 50-74

Our coverage of urban disadvantage to this point has centered on the interior of family life, but the family also is gateway to the world beyond, first through its choice of neighborhood and then by determining the school its children attend. Neighborhood and...

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Chapter 5: Transitioning to Adulthood

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pp. 75-90

We begin life wholly dependent on our birth families; as adults, we are expected to be substantially self-sufficient. The transition to adulthood involves several role transitions that we use as touchstones to monitor progress: take a full-time job, marry, live apart...

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Chapter 6: Socioeconomic Destinations

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pp. 91-120

The milestones along the path to adulthood taken up in the previous chapter differ from progress along the socioeconomic status (SES) gradient in obvious ways, but as well in a way that might not be so obvious. Marrying and becoming a parent are discrete...

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Chapter 7: Origins to Destinations Across Generations

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pp. 121-156

So, how far from the tree does the apple fall? In stratification terms, the question becomes how much social mobility there is across generations. In popular thought, the United States stands apart as the land of opportunity where, through hard work and perhaps a...

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Chapter 8: Stratification by Race and Gender

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pp. 157-172

To this point, our focus has been stratification along the socioeconomic gradient, largely governed by success at school. Conditions and experiences in the early years set the foundation; in the later years, the opportunities afforded by that success materialize...

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Chapter 9: Life-Course Perspective of Urban Disadvantage

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pp. 173-188

This book is about the reproduction of social advantage and disadvantage across generations in the experience of typical Baltimore youth, anchored in their childhood and extending into their late twenties. For most, their socioeconomic status as adults is...

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Appendix A

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pp. 189-194

Mae—black woman—lower SES (page 2) Mae grew up in a low-income neighborhood on Baltimore’s West Side. She had trouble in school academically and behaviorally. She lived alternatively with her mother, then one grandparent, and then another grandparent. Mae graduated from an alternative high school...

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Appendix B

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pp. 195-212

This appendix provides detail on the Beginning School Study Youth Panel (BSSYP or Youth Panel) research design and elaborates on the measurement of key constructs not covered adequately in the text. We also provide a nontechnical overview of multiple regression analysis, the statistical...

Notes

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pp. 213-232

References

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pp. 233-256

Index

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pp. 257-266