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Title: Friends Are Resources Too: Examining College-Going Aspirations in Stable and Newly Established Friendships among Urban and Rural Low-Income Students
Drawing from social capital theory, this study examines the extent to which stable versus new friendship patterns affect low income students’ educational aspirations in urban and rural high schools. Using whole school sociometric data (744 high school students over a two-year period), this study applies a social influence model to determine the effects of stable and newly established friendships on conformity regarding college-going aspirations. Findings indicate that urban students have more new friends and their educational aspirations increased, conforming to those of their newly established friends. In contrast, rural students have more stable friendships than the urban students and their educational aspirations conformed to those of their stable friends. This work shows that rural students tend not to change their school network size or nominations. However, urban students are more willing to include new students in their school networks which have a positive effect on raising their educational aspirations.  more » « less
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American Educational Research Association
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National Science Foundation
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