Bilingualism and achievement in the Spanish second generation: A longitudinal study

Brandon P. Martinez, Alejandro Portes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The current study contributes to the continuing debate about the advantages of bilingualism on life chance opportunities by examining whether bilingual children of immigrants achieve more or less in adulthood compared to monolinguals. Using longitudinal data from Spain, we find significant advantages among bilinguals in measures on educational attainment, occupational prestige, and familial income. We build on the existing literature of status attainment using structural equation modelling to show how the effect of bilingualism is longitudinal and reinforcing of adult outcomes. The study concludes with a discussion about the theoretical and practical implications of our findings, particularly about adaptation and incorporation of children of immigrants in receiving countries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEthnic and Racial Studies
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Bilingualism
  • children of immigrants
  • second-generation
  • Spain
  • status attainment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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