Education and Inequality

The Best Laid Plans: Social Capital in the Development of Girls’ Educational and Occupational Plans
Jessica Halliday Hardie
Social Problems 62(2):241-265.

Abstract: This study examines social class and race differences in young women’s social capital for the development of educational and occupational plans. Using in-depth interviews with 59 middle- and working-class black and white high school girls, findings show that inequality in adolescent social capital occurs by social class and, within class, by race, in access to highstatus adult ties, and in the successful mobilization of those ties to procure resources. In turn, inequality in social capital contributes to disparities in young women’s future plans. This study advances prior work by elucidating differences in social capital at a critical period of the life course; by considering the full range of adults upon which young people may rely in the transition to adulthood; and by showing how these processes contribute to class and race disparities in adolescent future plans. Three forms of adolescent social capital, which vary by social class and race, are identified: sponsored social capital, insulated social capital, and restricted social capital.

Other People’s Racism: Race, Rednecks, and Riots in a Southern High School
Jessica Halliday Hardie and Karolyn D. Tyson
Sociology of Education 86: 83-102.
Findings featured in an interview recorded for SAGE Podcast.

Abstract: This article uses data drawn from nine months of fieldwork and student, teacher, and administrator interviews at a southern high school to analyze school racial conflict and the construction of racism. We find that institutional inequalities that stratify students by race and class are routinely ignored by school actors who, we argue, use the presence of so-called redneck students to plausibly deny racism while furthering the standard definition of racism as blatant prejudice and an individual trait. The historical prominence of rednecks as a southern cultural identity augments these claims, leading to an implicit division of school actors into friendly/nonracist and unfriendly/racist and allowing school actors to set boundaries on the meaning of racism. Yet these rhetorical practices and the institutional structures they mask contributed to racial tensions, culminating in a race riot during our time at the school.

The Transition to Adulthood

Parent-child Relationships at the Transition to Adulthood: A Comparison of Black, Hispanic, and White Immigrant and Native-Born Youth
Jessica Halliday Hardie and Judith A. Seltzer
Forthcoming in Social Forces

Abstract: Parents play a key role in launching their children into adulthood. Differences in the resources they provide their children have implications for perpetuating patterns of family inequality. Using data on 6,962 young adults included in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997, we examine differences in the support parents provide to young adult children by immigrant status and race/ethnicity and whether and how those differences are explained by parent resources and young adult resources and roles. Immigrant status and race/ethnicity are associated with patterns of support in complex ways. We find that racial/ethnic and immigrant disparities in perceptions of support, financial support, and receiving advice from parents about education or employment are explained by family socioeconomic resources. Group differences in whether young adults say they would turn to a parent for advice and coresidence persist after accounting for these factors, however. Young adult resources and roles also shape parental support of young adults in the transition to adulthood, but taking account of these characteristics does not explain immigrant and racial/ethnic group differences. Our findings highlight the need to consider both race/ethnicity and immigrant status to understand family relationships and sources of support.

The Dynamics and Correlates of Religious Service Attendance in Adolescence
Jessica Halliday Hardie, Lisa D. Pearce, and Melinda Lundquist Denton
Youth & Society.

Abstract: This study examines changes in religious service attendance over time for a contemporary cohort of adolescents moving from middle to late adolescence. We utilize two waves of a nationally representative panel survey of youth from the National Study of Youth and Religion to examine the dynamics of religious involvement during adolescence. We then follow with an analysis of how demographic characteristics, family background, and life course transitions relate to changes in religious service attendance during adolescence. Our findings suggest that, on average, adolescent religious service attendance declines over time, related to major life course transitions such as becoming employed, leaving home, and initiating sexual activity. Parents’ affiliation and attendance, on the other hand, are protective factors against decreasing attendance.

Women’s Work? Predictors of Young Men’s Aspirations for Entering Traditionally Female-dominated Occupations
Jessica Halliday Hardie
Sex Roles 72(7):349-362

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to extend Gottfredson’s (1981) theory of circumscription and compromise by examining how gender role attitudes, peers, educational aspirations, family background, race/ethnicity, and labor market factors predict the degree to which young men aspired toward more (or less) female-dominated occupations. Two waves of data from male respondents to the National Study of Youth and Religion (NSYR), a nationally representative dataset of U.S. teens, were analyzed (N=1,157). Most independent variables were obtained from the first wave of data, conducted in 2002 to 2003, when the young men were between the ages of 13 and 17. Occupational aspirations were obtained from the second wave, conducted in 2005, when the young men were ages 16 to 21. Two methodological approaches were utilized. A logistic regression predicted the odds of male respondents aspiring to a female-dominated occupation compared to a male-dominated occupation. An ordinary least squares regression predicted the percentage of current jobholders who were female in the respondents’ aspired occupation. Findings revealed that the proportion of one’s friends who were female, parental educational attainment, and the projected growth of an occupation were positively correlated with aspiring toward female-dominated occupations and the percent femaleness of those occupations. The median income of an occupation was negatively associated with aspiring toward female-dominated occupations and the percent femaleness of those occupations. Educational aspirations, holding conservative gender role attitudes, and being Black were associated with the percent of female job incumbents but not the likelihood of aspiring to a female-dominated occupation.

Family Health and Wellbeing

The Intergenerational Consequences of Parental Health Limitations
Jessica Halliday Hardie and Kristin Turney.
Forthcoming in Journal of Marriage and Family

Abstract: Scholars have theorized interrelationships between family members’ health and well-being. Although prior research demonstrates associations between parents’ and children’s health, less is known about the relationship between parental health limitations and children’s behavioral and academic outcomes. This article uses data from the Fragile Families and Child Well-being Study (N=3,273) to estimate the relationship between parental health limitations and four aspects of children’s well-being: internalizing behaviors, externalizing behaviors, verbal ability, and overall health. Findings reveal that mothers’ health limitations, especially when they occur proximally or chronically, are independently associated with greater internalizing and externalizing behaviors, lower verbal ability, and worse overall health at age 9. Fathers’ health limitations are not associated with children’s wellbeing. Fathers exert influence in other ways, as the relationship between mothers’ health limitations and children’s well-being is concentrated among children not residing with their fathers. These findings support the development of policies and interventions aimed at families.

Behavioral Functioning among Mexican-Origin Children: Does Parental Legal Status Matter?
Nancy S. Landale, Jessica Halliday Hardie, R. S. Oropesa, and Marianne M. Hillemeier
Journal of Health and Social Behavior 56(1):2-18

Abstract: Using data on 2,535 children included in the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey, we investigate how the legal status of immigrant parents shapes their children’s behavioral functioning. Variation in internalizing and externalizing problems among Mexican youth with undocumented mothers, documented or naturalized citizen mothers, and U.S.-born mothers is analyzed using a comparative framework that contrasts their experience with that of other ethnoracial groups. Our findings reinforce the importance of differentiating children of immigrants by parental legal status in studying health and well-being. Children of undocumented Mexican migrants have significantly higher risks of internalizing and externalizing behavior problems than their counterparts with documented or naturalized citizen mothers. The roles of possible explanatory factors (e.g., socioeconomic status, maternal mental health, family routines) are inconsistent with simplistic explanations.

Profiles of Risk: Maternal Health, Socioeconomic Status, and Child Well-being
Jessica Halliday Hardie and Nancy S. Landale
Journal of Marriage and Family 75: 651-666.

Abstract: Child health is fundamental to well-being and achievement throughout the life course. Prior research demonstrates strong associations between familial socioeconomic resources and children’s health outcomes, with especially poor health outcomes among disadvantaged youth who experience a concentration of risks. Yet little is known about the influence of maternal health as a dimension of risk for children. This research uses nationally representative U.S. data from the National Health Interview Surveys in 2007 and 2008 (N=7,361) to evaluate the joint implications of maternal health and socioeconomic disadvantage for youth. Analyses reveal that maternal health problems are present in a substantial minority of families, cluster meaningfully with other risk factors, and have serious implications for children’s health. These findings support the development of health policies and interventions aimed at families.

Economic Hardship and Relationship Quality

His and Hers: Economic Factors and Relationship Quality in Germany
Jessica Halliday Hardie, Claudia Geist, and Amy Lucas
Journal of Marriage and Family 76: 728-743.

Abstract: Research has linked economic factors to relationship quality in the United States, primarily using cross-sectional data. In the current study, 2 waves of the Panel Analysis of Intimate Relationships and Family Dynamics data (n = 2,937) were used to test the gendered association between economic factors and relationship satisfaction among young German couples. In contrast to U.S.-based studies, the findings showed striking gender differences in the association between economic factors and relationship satisfaction for Germans. In cross-sectional models, women’s relationship satisfaction was positively associated with receiving government economic support, and men’s satisfaction was positively associated with poverty status and negatively associated with being a breadwinner. Longitudinal models revealed that changes in poverty status are associated with women’s satisfaction, but men’s satisfaction remains tied to their role as family provider. These unexpected results suggest that men’s satisfaction is positively associated with a more equal division of labor market activity between partners.

Economic Factors and Relationship Quality among Young Cohabiting and Married Couples
Jessica Halliday Hardie and Amy Lucas
Journal of Marriage and Family 72: 1141-1154.

Abstract: Are economic resources related to relationship quality among young couples, and to what extent does this vary by relationship type? To answer these questions, we estimated regression models predicting respondent reports of conflict and affection in cohabiting and married partner relationships using the National Longitudinal Study of Youth, 1997 (NLSY97, N = 2, 841) and the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health, N = 1, 702). We found that economic factors are an important predictor of conflict for both married and cohabiting couples. Affection was particularly responsive to human capital rather than short-term economic indicators. Economic hardship was associated with more conflict among married and cohabiting couples.

The Consequences of Misaligned Occupational Aspirations and Preferences Over the Life Course

The Consequences of Unrealized Expectations in the Transition to Adulthood
Jessica Halliday Hardie
Social Science Research 48: 196-211

Abstract: Do unmet occupational goals have negative consequences for well-being? Several social-psychological theories posit that aspirations become standards against which individuals judge themselves, thereby decreasing well-being when unmet. Yet other evidence points to young adults’ goal flexibility and resilience, suggesting unmet aspirations may not affect well-being. This paper tests these alternatives using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Youth 1979 (N=9,016) and the National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988 (N=10,547) to examine whether the degree of match between adolescent occupational aspirations (NLSY) and expectations (NELS) and later attainment affect job satisfaction and depression. This paper also examines gender differences in the cost to unmet goals. Findings reveal a cost to falling short of one’s occupational goals, manifested in more depressive symptoms for men in the older cohort, and lower job satisfaction for both men and women across two cohorts born approximately 14 years apart.

Compensating Differentials, Labor Market Segmentation, and Wage Inequality
Jonathan Daw and Jessica Halliday Hardie
Social Science Research 41: 1179-1197

Abstract: Two literatures on work and the labor market draw attention to the importance of nonpecuniary job amenities. Social psychological perspectives on work suggest that workers have preferences for a range of job amenities (e.g. Halaby 2003). The compensating differentials hypothesis predicts that workers navigate tradeoffs among different job amenities such that wage inequality overstates inequality in utility (Smith 1979). This paper joins these perspectives by constructing a new measure of labor market success that evaluates the degree to which workers’ job amenity preferences and outcomes match. This measure of subjective success is used to predict workers’ job satisfaction and to test the hypothesis that some degree of labor force inequality in wages is due to preferencebased tradeoffs among all job amenities. Findings demonstrate that the new measure predicts workers’ job satisfaction and provides evidence for the presence of compensating differentials in the primary and intermediate, but not secondary, labor markets.

Recent Posts

I am an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Hunter College-CUNY. I received my Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Family Demography and Individual Development at Penn State University. I conduct research in the areas of education, inequality, family, health, and the transition to adulthood. I teach Introduction to Sociology, Education, and undergraduate and graduate Statistics.

I grew up in Rhode Island and Ohio, attended Wellesley College for my BA, and fell in love with Brooklyn when I moved here after college. I also have a degree in teaching from Pace University and was a NYC Teaching Fellow from 2002 to 2004.