Immigrant Parents’ Participation in the Affairs of Middle and High Schools: What We Learn and Its Implications

Peter D. Brandon, Australian National University

The dramatic change in the nativity status of American schoolchildren is generating debate about what changes should schools make to ensure scholastic achievement and assimilation among children from immigrant families. Notwithstanding the importance of studying the school performance of children in immigrant families, a related concern surrounding the education of immigrant children is their parents’ involvement with the schools. This study investigates school involvement among immigrant parents. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, the study uncovers patterns of school involvement among the immigrant parents of early adolescents, compares their involvement patterns with those of native-born parents and distinguishes the effects of immigrant status per se from other factors raising parental involvement in school affairs. Findings suggest that immigrant parents participate less in school matters than non-immigrant parents after accounting for other socio-economic and demographic factors.

Presented in Session 152: Immigration and Adolescent Development