Migrating to Opportunities: How Family Migration Motivations Shape Academic Trajectories among Newcomer Immigrant Youth

Carolin Hagelskamp, Carola Suárez-Orozco, Diane Hughes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study describes the relative salience of educational and employment prospects in immigrant parents' motivations for coming to the United States, and it links these types of parental migration motivations to newcomer immigrant youth's school performance. Data were drawn from the longitudinal immigrant student adaptation study, which includes families from Central America, China, Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Mexico. Analyses (N= 256 families) involved quantitative descriptions of parents' responses to open-ended questions and individual growth curve analysis of adolescents' grade point average (GPA) trajectories over five consecutive years. Work prospects were more salient than educational opportunities in the migration motivations of this culturally diverse sample of families. Children whose parents more often mentioned schooling as a reason to immigrate had higher GPAs. The salience of work prospects in parents' migration motivations was associated with a more rapid decline in GPA throughout high school years. Policy implication and suggestions for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)717-739
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Social Issues
Volume66
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2010

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migration motivation
parents
immigrant
Dominican Republic
Haiti
Central America
educational opportunity
school
Mexico
adolescent
China
performance
student

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

Cite this

Migrating to Opportunities : How Family Migration Motivations Shape Academic Trajectories among Newcomer Immigrant Youth. / Hagelskamp, Carolin; Suárez-Orozco, Carola; Hughes, Diane.

In: Journal of Social Issues, Vol. 66, No. 4, 12.2010, p. 717-739.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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