Child- and School-Level Predictors of Elementary School Mobility Among Ethnically Diverse Children in Poverty

dc.contributor.advisorWinsler, Adam
dc.contributor.authorMoffett, Alex
dc.creatorMoffett, Alex
dc.description.abstractSchool mobility (unscheduled moves to a different elementary school) may contribute to decreased academic performance and social development. Research examining the consequences of school mobility is made more difficult due to the fact that students who move to a different school are initially different than those who do not move schools, thus it is important to understand these selection effects, that is, who is moving during elementary school and how they are different from children who do not experience such mobility? We analyzed the characteristics of children who did and did not switch schools in grades K-5 in the Miami School Readiness Project (MSRP), a cohort-sequential longitudinal study (N= 33,043). Bivariate analyses and multivariate Poisson regressions were conducted with our outcome being dichotomous (yes/no) ever move and the total number of school moves students made from Kindergarten through 5th grade. Overall, 38% of our sample moved to a different school at least once during K-G5. For those who moved, the majority (66%) only did so once, 30% moved twice, and the remaining 4% moved schools 3 or more times. Bivariately, scoring lower on school readiness assessments at age 4, being Black, attending a lower-quality school, attending center-based care (CBC) or family child care (FCC) center, (as opposed to public school pre-K) at age 4, and having a disability were related to increased probability of moving schools. Controlling for all predictors, the binary logistic component of the multivariate Poisson regression showed that students are more likely to move schools if: a) they attended center based care or family childcare centers compared to students who went to public school pre-K at age 4, b) they are Black compared to White, c) they do not have a disability, and d) they attended a lower-quality school the year before their first move. The count portion of the Poisson regression showed that, in addition to all of the above significant binary logistic predictors, students scoring lower on preschool teacher-reported social skills, and Black students compared to Latino and White students, switched schools more often given that they moved schools at least once. Unlike the binary logistic results, poverty status was associated with more school moves in elementary school, holding all other predictors constant. It is important for future research examining the benefits of school stability in elementary school to control for these selection effects that differentiate those who do and do not switch schools to begin with.
dc.subjectSchool mobility
dc.subjectSchool readiness
dc.subjectLow-income students
dc.subjectEthnically diverse sample
dc.titleChild- and School-Level Predictors of Elementary School Mobility Among Ethnically Diverse Children in Poverty
dc.typeThesis Mason University's of Arts in Psychology


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