CRCW Research


Center for Research on Child Wellbeing associates are engaged in research on educational access and the factors influencing academic achievement.

Alicia Adsera and her colleagues are conducting an analysis of time use among youth and its links to differential educational performance. The analysis will utilize time use data sets from several European countries and data from an in-depth survey of families, students, and educators in Barcelona, Spain. She is also studying the cognitive and non-cognitive development of elementary school students in Catalonia, Spain, included the roles of preschool and immigrant backgrounds.

Jeanne Brooks-Gunn is using the Fragile Families data to look at factors affecting ethnic and income gaps in school readiness and how children with impulse control problems affect the learning trajectories of their classmates in early schooling.  Brooks-Gunn is also analyzing school readiness and achievement with data from the Early Head Start Evaluation and the Infant Health and Development Program.

Michelle DeKlyen is researching the potential for Early Head Start programs to influence attachment between mothers and children among low-income families, which in turn has been shown to aid child cognitive and social development.

Patricia Fernández-Kelly has undertaken extensive ethnographic fieldwork under the auspices of the Children of Immigrants Longitudinal Study. In 2007 she organized the conference that assessed unexpected achievements among second generation immigrants who experienced serious disadvantages in their formative years. Papers from the conference were published in a special issue of the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences, "Exceptional Outcomes: Achievement in Education and Employment among the Children of Immigrants."

Angel Harris is investigating the social and psychological determinants of the racial achievement gap using national data sets, including the National Educational Longitudinal Survey. He is also using two longitudinal data sets from the United Kingdom to determine whether academic engagement varies by social class and the extent to which these differences are explained by perceptions of discrimination. Additionally, he is researching the aspirations of youth among racial groups and how these affect their life and education trajectories. His most recent book is Kids Don’t Want to Fail: Oppositional Culture and the Black-White Achievement Gap, and he has a forthcoming book entitled Raising Learners: Parental Involvement and School Achievement.

Douglas Massey and his collaborators have analyzed the influence of segregation in American society, hostile racial climates on campuses, and the effect that socioeconomic and academic disadvantages have on minority students through the first two years of college He is currently working to determine how these and other influences affect college graduation rates and post-college aspirations.

Alejandro Portes (Principle Investigator) and his colleagues have used the Children of Immigrants Longitudinal Study (Portes, Principal Investigator) to conduct an analysis of the educational outcomes of second generation immigrants. In Legacies: The Story of the Immigrant Second Generation and Ethnicities: Children of Immigrants in America, they examine the varying educational paths of children of immigrants.

Cecilia Rouse is the founding director of the Education Research Section at Princeton University. She has evaluated the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program and examined the effects of education inputs on student achievement. Her current research focuses on school accountability and policies to improve educational attainment among community college students. She also investigates the roles of computers and technology-based programming in schools.

Marta Tienda's current research focuses on equity and access to higher education in both the United States and South Africa. Tienda developed the Texas Higher Education Opportunity Project (THEOP), a two-cohort longitudinal study examining the college planning and enrollment decisions of high school students in Texas under a state plan guaranteeing admission to any public college or university to seniors who graduate in the top 10 percent of their class. She is also looking at the benefit to women of continuing their education as opposed to entering the labor market early, as well as how work-to-employment trajectories vary along racial lines.

CRCW associates have also recently edited The Future of Children journal issues focusing on education topics, including "Postsecondary Education in the United States, "Literacy Challenges for the Twenty-First Century," "America's High Schools," "Children and Electronic Media," "Excellence in the Classroom," and "School Readiness: Closing Racial and Ethnic Gaps"

Princeton University