Why can t you sit still hyperactivity and schooling outcomes for canadian brothers and sisters
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“Why Can’t you sit Still?:” Hyperactivity and Schooling outcomes for Canadian Brothers and Sisters. Kelly Chen, Nicole Fortin, Philip Oreopoulos and Shelley Phipps.

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Why can t you sit still hyperactivity and schooling outcomes for canadian brothers and sisters

“Why Can’t you sit Still?:” Hyperactivity and Schooling outcomes for Canadian Brothers and Sisters

Kelly Chen, Nicole Fortin, Philip Oreopoulos and Shelley Phipps



Motivation
Motivation Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) Programme on Social Interactions, Identity and Well-Being

  • Young women now constitute the majority of undergraduates on most Canadian campuses

  • Young women have caught up with and surpassed young men in terms of educational attainment

    • In 2008, 36.5 percent of Canadian women aged 25 to 29 had a university degree compared to 24.1 percent of young men (Drolet, 2011)


Research questions
Research Questions Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) Programme on Social Interactions, Identity and Well-Being

  • What are the roots of this phenomenon?

  • Are gender differences in educational outcomes apparent from the beginning?

  • If gender differences already evident for young children, why is this so?

  • Could a greater tendency to hyperactivity for boys be part of the story?


Conceptualizing educational outcomes
Conceptualizing “Educational Outcomes” Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) Programme on Social Interactions, Identity and Well-Being

  • Test scores important, not the full story

  • Also important is the development of an identity as a student (Akerlof and Kranton, 2000; 2010)

    • Attitudes toward school?

    • Liking for school?

    • Aspirations?


A role for hyperactivity
A role for hyperactivity? Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) Programme on Social Interactions, Identity and Well-Being

  • Children with ADHD have lower test scores and are more likely to repeat a grade at school (Currie and Stabile, 2006)

  • Epidemiological literature clear that boys are more hyperactive than girls



Hasn t this always been true
Hasn’t this always been true? “ideal student;” to fit in nicely with the social environment of the classroom

  • Trend data on ADHD surprisingly limited, but some evidence of increases in ADHD (Perrin et al., 2007)

  • Norms/expectations of young school children may have changed

    • School environments less accepting of ‘boisterous’ behaviour (cuts to physical education, no ‘rough-housing’ on the playground)?

    • Serious work (reading) started younger?

  • If so, long-standing gender differences in hyperactivity levels may have become more problematic



Research strategy
Research Strategy that are important

  • Test for gender differences in test scores plus parent assessments of over-all achievement and motivation for Canadian children aged 6 through 11

  • Use sibling difference models (to control for family background)

  • Include index of parent-reported hyperactive symptoms to test hypothesis that hyperactivity of boys helps explain gender differences


Data that are important

  • Statistics Canada National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth, 1994 through 2006 (every two years)

  • Pool sibling pairs from all available cycles, 6 through 11 years, each pair randomly selected once

  • Parent (person most knowledgeable) provides all information used here (except math test scores)


Parent s assessment of child s liking for school
Parent’s Assessment of Child’s Liking for School that are important

  • Question: “With regard to how he/she feels about school, how often does he/she look forward to going to school?”

    • Almost never, Rarely, Sometimes, Often, Almost Always




Parent s assessment of child s over all school performance
Parent’s Assessment of Child’s Over-all School Performance

  • Question: “Based on your knowledge of his schoolwork, including his/her report cards, How is he doing overall?”

    • Very poorly, poorly, Average, Well, Very well




Parental expectations for child s future education
Parental Expectations for Child’s Future Education Sisters

  • Question: “How far do you hope this child will go in school?”

    • High School or Less

    • Some Post-Secondary

    • University




Hyperactivity index
Hyperactivity Index Sisters

  • “How often would say this child . . .”

    • “Can’t sit still or is restless?”

    • “Is easily distracted, has trouble sticking to any activity”

    • “Can’t concentrate, can’t pay attention for long?”

    • “Is impulsive, acts without thinking?”

    • “Has difficulty waiting for his turn in games or groups?

    • “Cannot settle to anything for more than a few minutes”

    • “ Is inattentive?”

      1= Never or not true; 2= Sometimes or somewhat true; 3= Often or very true


Construction of score
Construction of Score Sisters

  • Add for all items

  • Score ranges from 0 to 14, with high score indicating highest level of hyperactivity

  • Mean for sample = 4

  • Children ‘on ritalin’ have mean score = 9.4



Estimation sibling fixed effects models
Estimation. Sibling Fixed Effects Models Sisters

  • To control for permanent, unobservable differences in family background

  • Yif = a + b1BOYif + b2HYPERif + λf + gXif + eif

  • Xifincludes only variables that differ between siblings (e.g., age in months, ‘older child,’ health status and cycle)


Sibling fixed effects liking for school
Sibling SistersFixed Effects. Liking for School.




Sensitivity analyses
Sensitivity Analyses Sisters

  • Use parent report of ‘on ritalin’ rather than hyperactivity score (1.1% of girls; 4.1% of boys)

  • Use dummy indicator of ‘top decile’ of hyperactivity score

  • Both highly statistically significant themselves but have less impact on estimated size of ‘boy’ coefficient than full score, suggesting it isn’t just ‘clinical’ hyperactivity than helps explain the gender difference



With and without control for top decile hyperactivity score
With and Without Control for Top for ‘On Ritalin’Decile Hyperactivity Score


Conclusions
Conclusions for ‘On Ritalin’

  • Using parent reports, boys like school less (brothers like school less well than sisters); boys perform less well; boys are not expected to complete as high levels of education

  • Hyperactivity scores are negatively associated with these outcomes

  • When hyperactivity is included as a regressor in sibling fixed effects, the size of ‘boy’ coefficient falls


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