Poverty and InequalitySexual and Reproductive HealthFamily, Maternal & Child HealthMethodology

The role of school in the upward mobility of disadvantaged immigrants' children

TitleThe role of school in the upward mobility of disadvantaged immigrants' children
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsHao, L, Pong, SL
JournalAnnals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Date PublishedNov
ISBN Number0002-7162
Accession NumberWOS:000260057700004
KeywordsAchievement, Chinese, high school effects, immigrant children, immigrants and education, mexican, performance, segmented assimilation, structural and relational attributes, Students, tracking, upward mobility

How can we explain exceptional advancement by disadvantaged immigrants' children? Extending segmented assimilation theory, this article traces the structural and relational attributes of high schools attended by young adults who reached their late twenties in 2000. Hypotheses are derived from theories in sociology of education and tested with four waves of data from the National Educational Longitudinal Study (NELS). The authors offer three major findings. First, an overwhelming majority of disadvantaged students attend public schools; some relational attributes are typical in public schools attended by disadvantaged students. Second, children's upward mobility is shaped by the structural and relational attributes of their high schools. Most school effects are the same for disadvantaged and advantaged youngsters, and student-educator bonds and curriculum structure have even stronger positive effects for the disadvantaged. Finally, mobility patterns differ widely among Chinese, Mexicans, and whites. Mexicans are less likely to be exposed to favorable school attributes.