Latino Adolescents’ Acculturation and Academic Outcomes in Neighborhood Contexts

Open Access
Boggs, Saskia
Graduate Program:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
May 17, 2016
Committee Members:
  • Dawn Paula Witherspoon, Thesis Advisor
  • Jenae Marie Neiderhiser, Committee Member
  • Jose Angel Soto, Committee Member
  • acculturation
  • academic outcomes
  • adolescent development
  • immigration
  • neighborhood
  • culture
  • context
Latino student populations are increasing rapidly, in cities with an established Latino presence as well as in new destination areas where Latinos have not typically resided before. In an attempt to understand and clarify cultural experiences and academic outcomes for new-destination Latino youth, the current study examines cultural values- and language use preferences-based acculturation typologies, grades, and academic beliefs among 82 Latino youth living in a primarily African American city in the northeastern US. Neighborhood diversity and cohesion were explored as moderator variables. Using latent profile analysis, five distinct typologies of acculturation were identified. These profiles mattered uniquely for students’ academic aspirations and expectations, but not for grades. Further, neither neighborhood diversity nor neighborhood cohesion were found to moderate the association between acculturation and academic beliefs. Implications are discussed for cultural processes and academic engagement among Latino youth in new destination areas. Recommendations for contextually-rooted immigration research are made.