Generational Patterns in Academic Performance: The Variable Effects of Attitudes, Social Capital, and Peer Influences

Emily Rosenbaum, Fordham University
Jessie Anne Rochford, Fordham University

The resumption of high levels of immigration to the United States since the late 1960s has led to numerous studies examining the social and economic adaptation of new arrivals. Increasingly researchers have focused on the adaptation of immigrant youths, particularly in terms of educational achievement. Studies of academic performance have produced conflicting results concerning the effect of generational status; while having immigrant parents was associated with adverse educational outcomes in studies using data from the 1980s, being a child of immigrants proved an advantage in the 1990s. Using newly released data from the base year of the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 (ELS2002), this paper will provide an up-to-date reading of generational patterns in academic performance, and will take advantage of new variables in ELS2002 to examine the varying roles that psychosocial attitudes, peer influences, and access to social capital play in determining the relative performance of immigrant students.

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Presented in Session 166: Generations and Immigrant-Group Incorporation