Does acculturation equal A+? Correlates of college-going expectations amongst Hispanic and Asian immigrant youth

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    One of the most important foundations of a country's economic growth and future rests on education. The American society is not an exception to that reality. In fact, given the rapid demographical and societal changes it is paramount to further understand the educational trajectories of the immigrant groups representing the fastest growing minorities: Hispanics and Asians-approx. 56% of all immigrants are Hispanic or Asian descendent children under 18 years old-. Despite an increased awareness about the impact of the immigration process on today's societies, acculturation effects on college-going expectations among immigrant youth remains an underdeveloped area of research. On one hand, this is due to the complexity of the assimilation patterns to the host culture plus variations occurring across immigrant groups (Portes & Zhou; 1993). On the other hand, current scholarship on the effects of acculturation on educational expectations among immigrant youth is not only inconclusive but has failed to examine additional correlates such as individual, family, and social factors (Kao & Tienda, 1995; Feliciano & Rumbaut, 2005). The current study examines multiple correlates of college-going expectations among N= 4,566 immigrant youth drawn from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health, Wave I & II). The study subsamples include: n=779 foreign-born and n=2,394 American-born Hispanic and n=524 foreign-born and n=869 American-born Asian immigrant youth. Parental support (e.g., felt supported by parents), social support (e.g., felt supported by teachers, other adults), depression (e.g. felt cannot do things right), school connectedness (e.g., felt close to people at school), school problems (e.g., experienced problems getting along with other students) and acculturation (e.g., English vs. other language use) were examined as predictors of college-going expectations across groups. Consistent with previous scholarship, results provided evidence that depression, social support, school connectedness, and school problems were significantly associated with college-going expectations across samples; however, parental support was not found to be significant in the current study (Reynolds & Baird, 2010; Rumbaut, 2003). Though acculturation was significantly associated with college-going expectations across samples, moderation by acculturation in the association of college-going expectations and individual and contextual factors was not significant. Theoretical and practical implications of the study results are further discussed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationAcculturation
    Subtitle of host publicationImplications for Individuals, Families and Societies
    PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
    Number of pages18
    ISBN (Print)9781611225259
    StatePublished - 2011


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