Academic Achievement Trajectories of Adolescents from Mexican and East Asian Immigrant Families in the United States
Chonbuk National University; Oregon State University
What are the growth patterns of academic achievement of adolescent students from immigrant families?
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Volume 66, Issue 2, p.226-244
- Descriptive Statistics Results:
East Asian American students outperformed their Mexican American counterparts in reading and math achievement and this difference in achievement continued at twelfth grade. Mexican immigrant parents possessed less economic, human and cultural capital than did East Asian counterparts. There were no significant differences between the two ethnic groups in social capital.
- Growth Curve Model Results:
Growth curve model analysis shows that ethnicity had a significant main effect on academic trajectories. Compared to Mexican American students, East Asian American students had higher scores in reading and math. East Asian American students showed faster annual growth in both subjects than Mexican American students for each year.
Adjusting for covariates of family capital, the authors find that despite initial differences at eighth grade, there was no significant incremental disadvantage for Mexican American youth, implying that what appears to be an increasing advantage for East Asian American students is largely explained by the covariates.
Journal Article Empirical Research
Academic Achievement, Asians, Ethnicity, Family, Financial Capital, Hispanics, Human Capital, Immigrants, Math, Reading
Secondary Data, Survey
Method of Analysis:
Descriptive Statistics, Growth Models, Multilevel Models
United States students whose parents are East Asian or Mexican immigrants.
Unit of Analysis:
- The current study employs the first three waves (1988-1992) of the National Educational Longitudinal Study (NELS: 88). The sample used in this study is restricted to those satisfying the following conditions: both biological parents are immigrants, self-identification as Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, or Korean, classification as "in-school" and "in-grade" in the second follow-up survey, participation in all three waves and completion of at least two cognitive tests.
- After applying the above restrictions, the final sample for the current study includes 516 students, 282 from Mexican and 234 from East Asian immigrant families.
- DV: academic achievement of reading and mathematics tests, measured by Item Response Theory (IRT).
- IV: child's ethnicity, parental capital (parent's income, education, English proficiency, educational aspirations), intergenerational closure, parent-child discussion.
- Controls: gender, Limited English status in wave 1, generational status, pre-school immigrants, recent immigrants.