ERIC Number: ED408514
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996
Reference Count: N/A
Socio-Psychological Factors in the Academic Achievement of Children of Immigrants: Examining a Cultural History Puzzle.
Portes, Pedro R.; Zady, Madelon F.
A growing literature has emerged concerning group-based difference in academic achievement, much of it pointing to the role of psychocultural factors. To study this observation, the educational achievement of children of immigrants, in the context of socio-psychological characteristics and ethnicity, is examined here. Data were taken from interviews of 5,267 second-generation students who lived in one of three large cities. Participants had to be either foreign born or U.S. born with at least one foreign-born parent. Survey information included data on the respondents' demographic characteristics, the nativity and citizenship of respondents and parents, family size and structure, and socioeconomic status (SES). Students from over 27 cultural groups were arbitrarily grouped into 8 categories. Grade, age, English language proficiency, maternal age, and parental SES were included as control variables. Results indicate that ethnicity accounts not only for school achievement directly, but it may also be indirectly related to other psycho-social predictors. However, two main findings underline this conclusion: (1) cultural influences remain enigmatic and cannot be broken down into variables, such as those considered in this study; and (2) there seems to be considerable variation within the immigrant population as a whole. Generalizations based on differences in minority status appear inaccurate. (RJM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Spencer Foundation, Chicago, IL.; Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, New York, NY.; National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA.; Russell Sage Foundation, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: N/A