Latina/o youth lag behind Asian American and non-Latina/o White youth in many academic areas. Previous research has taken a deficit approach to understand the factors that affect academic outcomes for Latina/o youth often neglecting to highlight both the potential positive and negative contributions of gender role values. The present study took a holistic perspective to understand the affect of traditional Latina/o gender role values (i.e., marianismo, machismo, and caballerismo) on the academic attitudes and educational goals of Mexican descent youth. Structural equation models were tested to examine the associations of "positive" and "negative" gender role values on educational goals using 524 Mexican descent adolescents from a mid-sized city in southern Texas. We hypothesized that positive aspects of traditional Latina/o gender role values (i.e., "positive marianismo" and caballerismo) would be associated with more positive attitudes toward academics and higher educational goals. We further expected negative gender role values (i.e., "negative marianismo" and machismo) to have the opposite effect. Additionally, based on the theory of planned behavior and gender schema theory, academic attitudes were hypothesized to mediate the relation between gender role values and educational goals. An alternative model was tested in which educational goals mediated the relation between gender roles and academic attitudes. Results indicated that both models fit the data well, and recommendations are made for future longitudinal research aimed at disentangling the directionality of the relations in the model. Implications for research and practice are discussed.
- Academic attitudes
- Academic intentions