Ethnic Self-Identification Selectivity and Educational Progress among Latino Adolescents

Lindsey Wilkinson, University of Texas at Austin

Increased immigration from Latin America and the subsequent boom in the U.S. Latino population has brought with it controversy over how these ‘new immigrants’ are assimilating relative to Europeans from earlier waves of immigration. Empirical evidence suggests a Latino disadvantage in educational outcomes as well as intergenerational decline or stagnation. However, the fluid and dynamic nature of Latino self-identification suggests that some of these trends may be, in part, an artifact of the selective nature of Latino self-identification and ethnic attrition. This study uses data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) and its newly released educational component, the Adolescent Health and Academic Achievement Study (AHAA), to examine whether empirical evidence of educational disadvantage among Latinos at the end of high school and intergenerational decline in educational outcomes are influenced by inconsistent reports of ethnicity between home and school and ethnic attrition among adolescents with Latino parents.

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Presented in Session 174: Variability in Race/Ethnic Classification Schemas and its Effects on Demographic Patterns