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Influence or contrast?: Effects of peer-group performance on the risk of non-completion of academic upper-secondary education
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The thesis aims at exploring if mean-performance in the school affects individuals’ probability of completion of upper secondary schooling.

The aim is placed within a framework of developments within the institutional structure showing increased between-school variance in performance and the literature on contextual effects. Two opposing mechanisms are proposed on how mean- performance may affect the individual likelihood to stay in school; students may be ‘influenced’ by each other if increased mean-performance inspires them to more high- aspiring goals, but they can also ‘compare’ their performance to others’ and judge their own performance as worse the higher the mean-performance of others.

The population consists of all students who began an academic program in a public school in Stockholm 1998-2001. In 2000, selection procedures changed from neighborhood assignment to open-enrolment, making it possible to distinguish compositional effects from peer-effects. Register data allows for robust measures of main-variables and potential confounders. Analyses are conducted using school-fixed effect linear probability models (LPM).

Firstly, there is a non-linear association between own-GPA and probability of completion; changes in own-GPA are more important for completion at low-levels of GPA. Secondly, there is an overall, albeit modest, negative effect of school level mean- GPA on the probability of completion. Thirdly, this negative effect is most pronounced among low-performing students. Thus, the results suggest that low-performers are less likely to complete when they have high-performing peers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 47 p.
Keyword [en]
contextual effects, differentiation, non-completion, register-based research, Sweden
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-121728OAI: diva2:860820
Available from: 2015-10-14 Created: 2015-10-14 Last updated: 2015-10-14Bibliographically approved

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