Peer-Reviewed Articles

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Obach, Heidi, Angran Li, and Simon Cheng (equal authorship). 2018. “Boys, Girls, and the Second Shift: Paid and Unpaid Labor in High School and Adolescents’ Enrollment in College.” Social Currents 5(2):173-92. (link)

Social Currents2018Abstract: Sociological research examines the gender gap reversal in higher education and the gender division in paid and unpaid labor for adult women, especially “the second shift literature,” as two distinct topics. In this study, we extend the insights of the second shift literature to research on youth labor and adolescents’ enrollment in higher education. Using data from the Youth Development Study from 1988 to 1992, we find that the negative association of unpaid labor with adolescents’ college enrollment odds was at least as large as, if not greater than, that of paid labor. Although labor engagement had adverse impacts both for female and male adolescents during this time, the negative associations of youth labor with college enrollment were more pronounced for male students. We discuss the implications of these findings and explain their relevance to more contemporary cohorts of high school students in the conclusion.

Li, Angran, and Mary J. Fischer. 2017. “Advantaged/Disadvantaged School Neighborhoods, Parental Networks, and Parental Involvement at Elementary School.” Sociology of Education 90(4):355-77. (link)

SOE2017Abstract: This article examines the relationship between parental networks and parental school involvement during the elementary school years. Using a large, nationally representative data set of elementary school students—the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study–Kindergarten Cohort—and contextual data from the 2000 U.S. Census, our multilevel analysis shows that higher levels of parental networks in first grade are associated with higher levels of parental school involvement in third grade after controlling for individual- and school-level characteristics. Parental networks are positively related to school involvement activities in formal organizations that consist of parents, teachers, and school staff, including participating in parent–teacher organizations and volunteering at school. Furthermore, the positive effects of parental networks on parental school involvement is stronger for families whose children attend schools in disadvantaged neighborhoods. This suggests that well-connected parental networks can serve as a buffer against school neighborhood disadvantages in encouraging parents to be actively involved in schools.