Social Capital and Educational Outcomes of Immigrant Youth

Igor Ryabov, University of Texas at El Paso

The academic achievement of children from immigrant families has constantly been a focus of social research. Yet little attention has been paid to peer social capital and its importance as a school context factor for academic success of immigrant youth. Using multilevel data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Waves 1 and 3), this article draws upon social capital theory and assimilation theory to examine the effects of peer social capital, school characteristics, family social capital, and immigrant generation status on the academic achievement of immigrant youth. I found that immigrant youths attending schools with greater density of networks have higher levels of academic achievement and attainment, even after such factors as school composition and family background were taken into account. Additionally, academic achievement of peer network was found to be a very significant predictor of individual academic achievement and attainment for immigrant as well as native youth.

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Presented in Session 70: Immigration and Child Development