, Volume 40, Issue 4, pp 759–783 | Cite as

academic trajectories of immigrant youths: Analysis within and across cohorts

  • Jennifer E. Glick
  • Michael J. White


Two nationally representative cohorts—from the National Educational Longitudinal Study (NELS) and High School and Beyond (HSB)—were used to examine the effects of generation and duration of residence on students’ performance on standardized tests over a two-year period. In multivariate models, generational status predicts variation in students’ performance on baseline (sophomore) tests, with effects stronger for the later age cohort (NELS) than for the earlier age cohort (HSB). With regard to the trajectory of achievement, generational status has a greatly reduced role for both cohorts. The best predictors of the trajectory of achievement are not those that are based on nativity per se, but those that reflect the social environment experienced in the United States (i.e., ethnicity and family’s socioeconomic status).


Social Capital American Sociological Review Recent Immigrant Immigrant Child Immigrant Youth 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alba, R. and V. Nee. 1997. “Rethinking Assimilation for a New Era of Immigration.” International Migration Review 31:826–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ainsworth-Darnell, J.W. and D.B. Downey. 1998. “Assessing the Oppositional Culture Explanation for Racial/Ethnic Differences in School Performance.” American Sociological Review 63:536–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Alexander, K.L., D.R. Entwisle, and M.S. Thompson. 1987. “School Performance, Status Relations, and the Structure of Sentiment: Bringing the Teacher Back In.” American Sociological Review 52:665–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bankston, C.L. III and S.J. Caldas. 1996. “Majority African American Schools and Social Injustice: The Influence of De Facto Segregation on Academic Achievement.” Social Forces 75:535–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bankston, C.L. III, S.J. Caldas, and M. Zhou. 1997. “The Academic Achievement of Vietnamese American Students: Ethnicity as Social Capital.” Sociological Focuss 30:1–16.Google Scholar
  6. Bean, F.D. and G. Stevens. 2003. America’s Newcomers and the Dynamics of Diversity. New York:Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  7. Bean, F.D. and M. Tienda. 1987. The Hispanic Population of the United States. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  8. Blair, S.L. and Z. Qian. 1998. “Family and Asian Students’ Educational Performance: A Consideration of Diversity.” Journal of Family Issues 19:355–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Borjas G. 1999. Heaven’s Door: Immigration Policy and the American Economy. Princeton, NJ:Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Cahir, B. 2001. “Bush’s Plan for Student Testing Draws Fire.” Denver Post, Sunday, March 25, p. A-37.Google Scholar
  11. Camarota, S.A. 2001. “Immigrants in the US-2000: A Snapshot of America’s Foreign-Born Population.” Washington, DC: Center for Immigration Studies.Google Scholar
  12. Coleman, J.S. and T.P. Hoffer. 1987. Public and Private Schools. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  13. Coleman, J.S., T.P. Hoffer, and S.B. Kilgore. 1982. High School Achievement. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  14. Driscoll, A.K. 1999. “Risk of High School Dropout Among Immigrant and Native Hispanic Youth.” International Migration Review 33:857–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Duran, B.J. and R.E. Weffer. 1992. “Immigrants’ Aspirations, High School Process and Academic Outcomes.” American Educational Research Journal 29:163–81.Google Scholar
  16. Farkas, G. 1996. Human Capital or Cultural Capital? Ethnicity and Poverty Groups in an Urban School District. New York: Aldine De Gruyter.Google Scholar
  17. Fernandez-Kelly, M.P. and R. Schauffler. 1994. “Divided Fates: Immigrant Children in a Restructured U.S. Economy.” International Migration Review 28:662–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Glenn, S. 1990. Daughters of the Shetl: Life and Labor in the Immigrant Generation. Ithaca, NY:Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Gonzalez, V., R. Brusca-Vega, and T. Yawkey. 1997. Assessment and Instruction of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students With or At-Risk of Learning Problems. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.Google Scholar
  20. Grenier, G. 1984. “The Effects of Language Characteristics on the Wages of Hispanic American Males.” Journal of Human Resources 19:35–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hagen, J., R. MacMillan, and B. Wheaton. 1996. “New Kid in Town: Social Capital and the Life Course Effects of Family Migration on Children.” American Sociological Review 61:368–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hao, L. and M. Bonstead-Bruns. 1998. “Parent-Child Differences in Educational Expectations and the Academic Achievement of Immigrant and Native Students.” Sociology of Education 71:175–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Ingels, S.J. and J. Baldridge 1994. Conducting Trend Analyses of NLS-72, HS&B, and NELS:88 Seniors, NCES 96-723. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics.Google Scholar
  24. Jamieson, A., A. Curry, and G. Martinez. 2001. “School Enrollment in the United States—Social and Economic Characteristics of Students.” Current Population Reports, Series P-20, No. 533. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  25. Johnston, J. and J. DiNardo. 1997. Econometric Models, 4th ed. San Francisco: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  26. Kao, G. and M. Tienda. 1995. “Optimism and Achievement: The Educational Performance of Immigrant Youth.” Social Science Quarterly 76:1–19.Google Scholar
  27. Kao, G., M. Tienda, and B. Schneider. 1996. “Racial and Ethnic Variation in Academic Performance.” Research in Sociology of Education and Socialization 11:263–97.Google Scholar
  28. Lareau, A. 1989. Home Advantage: Social Class and Parental Intervention in Elementary Education. New York: Falmer Press.Google Scholar
  29. Mare, R. and C. Winship. 1988. “Ethnic and Racial Patterns of Educational Attainment and School Enrollment.” Pp. 173–95 in Divided Opportunities: Minorities, Poverty and Social Policy, edited by G. Sandefur and M. Tienda. New York: Plenum.Google Scholar
  30. McNeal, R.B., Jr. 1999. “Parental Involvement as Social Capital: Differential Effectiveness on Science Achievement, Truancy and Dropping Out.” Social Forces 78:117–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Morgan, S.L. 1996. “Trends in Black-White Differences in Educational Expectations: 1980–1992.” Sociology of Education 69:308–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Mouw, T. and Y. Xie. 1999. “Bilingualism and the Academic Achievement of First- and Second-Generation Asian Americans: Accommodation With or Without Assimilation.” American Sociological Review 64:232–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Muller, C. 1998. “Gender Differences in Parental Involvement and Adolescents’ Mathematics Achievement.” Sociology of Education 71:336–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). 1996a. “Appendix A: Technical Notes.” A Comparison of High School Dropout Rates in 1982 and 1992. NCES 96-893. Washington, DC:NCES.Google Scholar
  35. — 1996b. Sample Exclusion in NELS: 88: Characteristics of Base Year Ineligible Students; Changes in Eligibility Status After Four Years, NCES 96-723. Washington, DC: NCES.Google Scholar
  36. — 1997. Dropout Rates in the United States, NCES 97-423. Washington, DC; NCES.Google Scholar
  37. Neidert, L.J. and R. Farley. 1985. “Assimilation in the United States: An Analysis of Ethnic and Generation Differences in Status and Achievement.” American Sociological Review 50:840–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Portes, A. 2000. “The Two Meanings of Social Capital.” Sociological Forum 15:1–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Portes, A. and D. MacLeod. 1996. “Educational Progress of Children of ImmigrantsThe Roles of Class, Ethnicity and School Context.” Sociology of Education 69:255–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Portes, A. and R.G. Rumbaut. 2001. Legacies: The Story of the Immigrant Second Generation. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  41. Portes, A. and M. Zhou. 1993. “The New Second Generation: Segmented Assimilation and Its Variants.” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 530:74–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Roscigno, V.J. 1998. “The Reproduction of Educational Disadvantage.” Social Forces 76:1033–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Rumbaut, R.G. 1994. “The Crucible Within: Ethnic Identity, Self-Esteem and Segmented Assimilation Among Children of Immigrants.” International Migration Review 28:748–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. — 1995. “The New Californians: Comparative Research Findings on the Educational Progress of Immigrant Children.” Pp. 17–70 in California’s Immigrant Children: Theory, Research and Implications for Educational Policy, edited by R.G. Rumbaut and W.A. Cornelius. La Jolla: Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, University of California, San Diego.Google Scholar
  45. — 1997. “Ties That Bind: Immigration and Immigrant Families in the United States.” Pp. 3–46 in Immigration and the Family: Research and Policy on U.S. Immigrants, edited by A. Booth, A.C. Crouter, and N. Landale. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  46. Rumbaut, R.G. 1998. “Transformations: The Post-Immigrant Generation in an Age of Diversity.” Paper Presented at the annual meeting of the Eastern Sociological Society, Philadelphia, March 21.Google Scholar
  47. Sanders, J.M. and V. Nee. 1996. “Immigrant Self-Employment: The Family as Social Capital and the Value of Human Capital.” American Sociological Review 61:231–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Sassler, S. 1995. “Trade-offs in the Family: Sibling Effects on Daughters’ Activity in 1910.” Demography 32:557–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Smith, J.P. and F. Welch. 1986. Closing the Gap: Forty Years of Economic Progress for Blacks. Santa Monica, CA: RAND.Google Scholar
  50. Stanton-Salazar, R.D. 1997. “A Social Capital Framework for Understanding the Socialization of Racial Minority Children and Youth.” Harvard Educational Review 67:1–40.Google Scholar
  51. Stanton-Salazar, R.D. and S.M. Dornbusch. 1996. “Social Capital and the Reproduction of Inequality: Information Networks Among Mexican-Origin High School Students.” Sociology of Education 68:116–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Stolzenberg, R.M. and D.A. Relles. 1997. “Tools for Intuition About Sample Selection Bias and Its Correction.” American Sociological Review 62:494–507.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Suarez-Orozco, C. 1991. “Immigrant Adaptation to Schooling: A Hispanic Case.” Chap. 2 in Minority Status and Schooling: A Comparative Study of Immigrant and Involuntary Minorities, edited by M.A. Gibson and J.U. Ogbu. New York: Garland.Google Scholar
  54. Trueba, H. 1988. “Culturally Based Explanations of Minority Groups’ Academic Achievement.” Anthropology and Education Quarterly 19:270–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. U.S. Census Bureau. 2001. “Profile of the Foreign Born Population in the United States, 2000.” Current Population Reports, Series P-23, No. 206. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  56. Valenzuela, A. and S.M. Dornbusch. 1994. “Familism and Social Capital in the Academic Achievement of Mexican Origin and Anglo Adolescents.” Social Science Quarterly 75:18–36.Google Scholar
  57. Vernez, G. and A. Abrahamse (with D. Quigley). 1996. How Immigrants Fare in U.S. Education. Santa Monica, CA: RAND.Google Scholar
  58. Waters, M.C. 1997. “Immigrant Families at Risk: Factors That Undermine Chances for Success.” Pp. 79–87 in Immigration and the Family: Research and Policy on U.S. Immigrants, edited by A. Booth, A.C. Crouter, and N. Landale. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  59. White, M. 1997. “Language Proficiency, Schooling, and the Achievement of Immigrants.” Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Labor.Google Scholar
  60. White, M. and G. Kaufman. 1996. “Language Usage, Social Capital, and School Completion Among Immigrants and Native-Born Ethnic Groups.” Social Science Quarterly 78:385–98.Google Scholar
  61. Winship, C. and R.D. Mare. 1992. “Models for Sample Selection Bias.” Annual Review of Sociology 18:327–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Zhou, M. 1997. “Segmented Assimilation: Issues, Controversies and Recent Research on the New Second Generation.” International Migration Review 31:975–1008.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Zsembik, B.A. and D. Llanes. 1996. “Generational Differences in Educational Attainment Among Mexican Americans.” Social Science Quarterly 77:363–74.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Population Association of America 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer E. Glick
    • 1
  • Michael J. White
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of SociologyArizona State UniversityTempe
  2. 2.Department of SociologyBrown UniversityUSA

Personalised recommendations