First Advisor

Dara Shifrer

Date of Publication

Spring 7-12-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Sociology






Postsecondary education -- Attitudes, Students -- Social conditions, Sex differences, Race



Physical Description

1 online resource (iv, 45 pages)


Current literature on the gender gap in higher education lacks in-depth exploration of how the gap between males and females in postsecondary enrollment and degree attainment differs among racial/ethnic groups and among students of differing socioeconomic status (SES). This thesis explores the potential mediating role of student attitudes and behaviors and whether or not inclusion in certain racial/ethnic or SES groups moderates the relationship between gender and intentions to continue one's education immediately after high school graduation. This study uses data from the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009. Results suggest that student attitudes mediate more of the relationship between student gender and postsecondary education intentions and that this mediation was strongest for Hispanic students. Additionally, results also suggest that the gender gap in postsecondary education intentions is smallest among Hispanics, indicating that Hispanic identity moderates the relationship between student gender and postsecondary education intentions. Results pertaining to the moderating role of SES were inconclusive.


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