Educating the second generation: Determinants of academic achievement among children of immigrants in the United States

Alejandro Portes, Dag MacLeod

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article examines patterns of educational achievement among immigrant second-generation youths on the basis of a national sample of the American student population. Three hypotheses are tested in relation to the predicted effects of human capital, social capital, and modes of incorporation of immigrant groups. These effects are examined for the second generation in general and four of its principal national components on the basis of multivariate regressions and hierarchical modelling. The latter method allows an examination of the extent to which school contexts affect second-generation academic achievement and explains resilient inter-group differences. Results point to the strong influence of parental socioeconomic status and other human capital factors and to the significant, but much weaker, effects of social capital indicators. Controlling for this array of variables does not eliminate the effect of nationality differences, pointing to the resilient influence of modes of incorporation in the subsequent character of ethnic communities. Interaction effects between these various factors and school characteristics are examined. Implications of results for theory and future immigration policy are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)373-396
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Volume25
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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