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An Assessment of the Effects of Changing Family Circumstances on the Size and Diversity of Future Military Accessions

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Master's thesis

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This thesis examines the relationship between changing family circumstances and the educational outcomes of children, and derives the implications of changes in family background on the quality and diversity of future military recruiting pools. The data sources for this thesis were the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, maintained and published by the University of Michigan, and the March Current Population Surveys, maintained and published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. We estimated the effect of family background variables such as family income, parental education levels, and number of siblings, on the likelihood of children either completing high school or attending college. We then used these relationships to simulate the rates of high school completion and college attendance for nationally representative samples of children selected from the March 19741975 and 19931994 Current Population Surveys. The results indicate that todays children from white families will likely complete high school at lower rates but attend college at somewhat higher rates, as compared to people who were children in the early 197Os. Todays children who are growing up in minority families will likely graduate from high school at lower rates, and todays black and Hispanic children who do complete high school will be less likely to attend college, again compared to children from the 197Os. These trends suggest that military recruiters will likely have more difficulty recruiting from among all youth for enlistment, and may have less success in finding minority officers.

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  • Military Forces and Organizations

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