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Title:Exploring intersectional influences of race and gender on student leadership capacity development: a critical quantitative approach
Author(s):Collins, Jasmine Danielle
Director of Research:Trent, William T.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Trent, William T.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Baber, Lorenzo D.; Hood, Denise; Rosch, David M.; Zamani-Gallaher, Eboni M.
Department / Program:Educ Policy, Orgzn & Leadrshp
Discipline:Ed Organization and Leadership
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Student leadership development
Leadership programs
Critical race theory
Social identity
Critical quantitative inquiry
Abstract:In recent years, the development of college students’ attitudes, knowledge, and skills associated with leadership has received increased attention from postsecondary institutions, national educational organizations, accrediting agencies, and employers, alike—who consider collaborative problem solving, communication, social and intercultural awareness and competence, and civic responsibility to be among critical learning outcomes for today’s students. As a result, higher education scholars have become more interested in identifying significant factors, environments, and experiences that influence the development of college students’ capacity for contemporary leadership. In an effort to understand developmental processes in line with increasingly diverse campus contexts, findings within the existing body of literature are often disaggregated by race, gender, sexual orientation, and/or their intersections. Yet, scholars have frequently called attention to the need for more nuanced understandings of the roles that students’ multiple identities play in the development of their leadership attitudes, knowledge and behaviors. Through a collection of three interrelated papers, the present study applies critical quantitative inquiry (Stage & Wells, 2014) to strengthen comprehension about the ways social identity—specifically race and gender—inform students’ leadership conceptualizations and behaviors. The first paper offers a critical synthesis of leadership development literature published in highly- rated, peer-reviewed higher education and leadership journals from 1997- 2017 to (a) understand what is currently known about the relationships between student social identity and leadership capacity development and (b) identify the theoretical, methodological, and student population gaps that might be addressed through applications of critical theory. The review of literature establishes connections between student race and gender and leadership-related outcomes such as conceptualizations of leaders and the process of leadership; leader(ship) identity; confidence in leading; motivation to lead; and civic knowledge and/or social issues awareness and/or advocacy. Additionally, the review reveals an over-reliance on student populations of Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs), a predominance of quantitative research designs, and an absence of applications of critical theory in research designs and interpretations. The subsequent paper, Chapter 3, explores racial subgroup differences in the development of college women’s leadership self-efficacy, skill, and motivation to lead as a result of their participation in a formal leadership program. Specifically, one-way Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA) techniques are used to compare pre-to-post-test change scores by women’s reported racial group membership. Significant differences emerged between Black women and White and Latina/Hispanic women on measures of Leadership Self-Efficacy and Transformational Leadership Skill; between Black women and White and Latina/Hispanic women and between Asian American and Latina/Hispanic women on change measures of Social Issues Advocacy; and between Black and Latina/Hispanic women on change measures of Ethical Leadership Skill. In Chapter 4, Exploratory Factor Analysis techniques (EFA) are used to examine factor loadings on the Social Issues Advocacy Scale (Nilsson, Marszalek, Linnemeyer, Bahner, & Misialek, 2011) by race and gender subpopulations of a national sample of college student participants of a formal leadership program. The central inquiry of the paper questions whether students of different social identity subgroups conceptualize social issues advocacy in the same way. For most student groups, a two-factor loading pattern emerged, with Awareness of Structural Oppression accounting for more variance than Personal Values and Responsibility. For White men however, the factor structure appeared opposite, with Personal Values and Responsibility accounting for more variance than Awareness of Structural Oppression, and with a negative correlation pattern between the two factors. For Latino/Hispanic male students, a third factor emerged, indicating there may be a separation of awareness of personal values and feelings of personal responsibility for this population of students. Findings from the three studies demonstrate the significance of questioning the assumptions, models, and analytic techniques that undergird contemporary research on student leadership capacity development. Specifically, disaggregation of racial groups by gender or gender groups by race can help to illuminate within-group variability that may be overlooked in the aggregate. Leadership educators and practitioners may find race-and-gender-specific findings from these studies useful when designing program curricula, or when deciding whether to offer targeted leadership programs for specific racial and/or gender student groups.
Issue Date:2017-07-12
Rights Information:Copyright 2017 Jasmine Collins
Date Available in IDEALS:2018-03-02
Date Deposited:2017-08

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