Building Dreams: The Role of Family in Promoting the Educational Expectations and Achievement of Latino Immigrant Youth

Lisa Spees, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Krista Perreira, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Andrew Fuligni, University of California, Los Angeles

Past research on multiple race-ethnic groups shows that nativity and socioeconomic status explain the majority of disparities in educational outcomes. Using data from LA-SIAA and NC-SIAA, we evaluate how family involvement, familism, social acceptance at school, and discrimination at school influence the educational expectations and achievement of Latino high school seniors. Furthermore, we compare the school and family contexts of Latino youth living in a new immigrant-receiving community, North Carolina, with those living in a traditional immigrant-receiving community, Los Angeles. We find that parents’ achievement expectations promote Latino youths’ academic success while future family obligations inhibit them. Additionally, we find that schools remain essential in promoting Latino immigrant youths’ achievement by providing a supportive and safe learning environment. While our study illustrates the importance of school and familial contexts as opposed to demographic characteristics influence on Latino students’ educational expectations and achievement, unmeasured differences between settlement locations remain.

  See paper

Presented in Poster Session 9: Children and Youth; Data and Methods