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Honored Publications


Steffen Hillmert, Andreas Hartung and Katarina Wessling
University of Tübingen / Maastricht University / Institut Wohnen und Umwelt Darmstadt
A decomposition of local labour-market conditions and their relevance for inequalities in transitions to vocational training
European Sociological Review, 33 (4), 534-550.
+ Abstract

We investigate to what extent individual transitions to vocational training in Germany have been affected by local labour-market conditions. A statistical decomposition approach is developed and applied, allowing for a systematic differentiation between long-term change, short-term fluctuations, and structural regional differences in labour-market conditions. To study individual-level consequences for transitions to vocational training, regionalized labour-market data are merged with longitudinal data from the National Educational Panel Study, and multivariate transition-rate models are fitted. The results indicate that structural differences between regions have had significant effects on the transition behaviour of school leavers, whereas temporary crises have been of only minor relevance. Moreover, different groups have been affected to different degrees by varying labour-market conditions. We also highlight the usefulness of our decomposition approach for a broader set of applications.


Fabian Ochsenfeld
Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU)
Preferences, constraints, and the process of sex segregation in college majors: A choice analysis
Social Science Research, 56, 117-132.
+ Abstract

The persistence of horizontal sex segregation in higher education continues to puzzle social scientists. To help resolve this puzzle, we analyze a sample of college entrants in Germany with a discrete choice design that allows for social learning from the experiences of others. We make at least two contributions to the state of research. First, we test whether essentialist gender stereotypes affect major selection mostly through internalization or rather as external constraints that high school graduates adapt their behavior to. Empirically, we find that internalized vocational interests better explain gendered major choices than conformance with friends’ and parents’ expectations does. Second, we scrutinize whether segregation results from women’s anticipation of gendered family roles or from their anticipation of sex-based discrimination, but we find no evidence for either of these hypotheses. As in most previous studies, differences in mathematics achievement fail to explain gendered patterns of selection into college majors.


Aileen Edele und Petra Stanat
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU) / Institute for Educational Quality Improvement (IQB), Berlin
The role of first-language listening comprehension in second-language reading comprehension.
Journal of Educational Psychology, 108(2), 163-180.
+ Abstract

Although the simple view of reading and other theories suggest that listening comprehension is an important determinant of reading comprehension, previous research on linguistic transfer has mainly focused on the role of first language (L1) decoding skills in second language (L2) reading. The present study tested the assumption that listening comprehension in L1 is a significant predictor of language minority students’ reading comprehension in L2. In addition, we explored whether the cross-linguistic relationship is particularly pronounced at higher levels of L1 proficiency. The sample included 502 9th grade students with Russian as L1 and 662 9th grade students with Turkish as L1 from a nationwide study conducted in Germany. The L1s of these students differ in their similarity to their L2, German: Russian is considerably more similar to German than is Turkish. In both language groups, L1 listening comprehension significantly predicted L2 reading comprehension in linear regression models; this was also true after important control variables were taken into account. Polynomial regression models indicated that the relationship between L1 proficiency and L2 proficiency was linear in the Russian sample, yet stronger at higher levels of L1 proficiency in the Turkish sample. Thus, the prediction that transfer should be more pronounced at higher levels of L1 proficiency was also partly supported. Our study extends the range of L1 skills previously known to transfer to L2 reading. We found the predicted relationship between L1 listening comprehension and L2 reading comprehension in 2 language groups with varying degrees of language similarity, suggesting that the effect is language-independent. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)