The Link Between Neighborhood And Secondary Completion

In the article, “Neighborhood Effects in a European city: Secondary education of young people in Helsinki,” Timo Kauppinen (2006) wants to understand the relationship between neighborhoods with respect to its economic characteristics and impact on whether young people complete secondary education. The case study for the research examines young people living in Helsinki, Finland.

Kauppinen (2006) proposes four hypotheses, in which to test his research question assessing the relationship between neighborhood and secondary completion. The first hypothesis states that low socioeconomic background of the neighborhood affects young people’s secondary education. This hypothesis illustrates that it does not matter which environment the student is living in; it is either going to have a positive or negative impact on the student. In this situation, the hypothesis expects a negative relationship between disadvantaged people and their educational attainment. The second theory that Kauppinen (2006) presents touches a little bit of the first theory. It demonstrates that students who are “high-status residents” have a positive relationship with the educational achievement for young people. This is to show that “high-status residents” have the resources that can help them achieve their academic goals. The third theory that Kauppinen (2006) presented in the argument is that when there is a lot of students who are of “high-status residents” in the community, they have a negative impact on students who are of “low-status residents.” The final hypothesis that Kauppinen (2006) presented to solidify the argument is that the educational attainment of young people is lower when it comes to an unstable environment.One of the things that were measured was “Instability” in the neighborhood. 

According to the article, Kauppinen (2006) utilized the register-based data when conducting the research. This is the type of research is where the author captured through observation of behavior, activities, and also monitoring and recording information. Kauppinen (2006) did a study on the 50% sample of non-institutionalized 15-years-olds living in Helsinki in the years 1990-1994 was used (n = 10906), and then followed them until the end of the year they reached 20. The underlying premise of this theory is to demonstrate the two dichotomous dependent variables work with each other. The first dependent variable measures the ratio of the school completed and not completed (0=not completed, 1=completed). The second dependent variable measures the ratio of upper-secondary school and vocational (0 = Vocational school, 1 = Upper-secondary school). 

Kauppinen (2006) utilize the multi-level logistic regression when analyzing the data from the differences between individual and neighborhood level. The multi-level regression is used in this study because of the different multiple observations in the data set. The result of this study led to the overestimation of the statistical significance in the research leading to the regression study. Due to this research, Kauppinen (2006) was able to identify that there is a statistically significant in all model for neighborhood-level before controlling the individual-level variables that were provided. 

The findings of the study support one of Kauppinen (2006) hypotheses and at the same time rejected the other hypotheses. In the article, it demonstrates how the socioeconomic structure of the neighborhood's population was shown to affect both boys’ and girls’ educational choice, and Kauppinen (2006) illustrates that “instability” had no effect on the secondary education for the young people. Although for the girls’ case, Kauppinen (2006) demonstrated that it was statistically significant findings. Kauppinen (2006) identified that when the effect of the educational structure was analyzed, the conclusions did not change. 

In the findings of this study, Kauppinen (2006) identified that there are no neighborhood effects on the probability that young people will complete secondary education in Helsinki, however, the types of secondary education that they received gets affected. 

Kauppinen (2006) demonstrated possibly limitations to the study. The study shows the possible disparity between the administrative definition of neighborhoods and the residents’ definition and lack of longitudinal data on exposure to neighborhoods. Kauppinen (2006) demonstrates that there are different types of neighborhoods, the “poor neighborhood definition” and the “Cross-sectional measurement”. Both cause a downward bias, however, for the cross-sectional measurement, the adolescents only had short exposure to the current neighborhood, which then has different effects on the current neighborhood. 

One of the arguments that the author emphasis is family income in the community. The topic of family income plays a huge role not only in the European system but also in the American system and education on young people. Kauppinen (2006) introduced the idea of “instability” and how young people’s educational attainment is lower in unstable neighborhoods. In discussing this topic, one has to factor in how many people are living in one household, what the young peoples’ daily lives and responsibilities are. Another article, “The Effects of Poverty on Children,” by Brooks-Gunn J, and Duncan GJ (1997) demonstrates that family income appears to be more strongly related to children’s ability and achievement than to their emotional outcome. 

With the hypothesis that Kauppinen (2006) presented, one would argue that this is the most important thing in neighborhood effects. The study ends with showing that research on neighborhood effects should better recognize the existence of “soft” effects. 

09 March 2021
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