Academic achievement of Latino immigrant adolescents: The effects of negative school social relationships, school safety, and educational expectation

Moosung Lee, Jenny Dean, Yeonjeong Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


Using data from the Children of Immigrants Longitudinal Study, this study examines the structural relationships between negative school social relationships, school safety, educational expectation, and academic achievement of Latino immigrant students. Results from multilevel structural equation modeling show that discrimination, unhelpful school social relationships, and experiences of unsafe school environments influence Latino immigrant adolescents' academic achievement indirectly and directly through their educational expectations. Specifically, this study explores how noncognitive and contextual factors embedded in different structural layers of school organization influence Latino immigrant adolescents' academic achievement. It draws attention to the impact of negative school factors such as discriminatory and unsupportive school social relationships, and negative and unsafe school structures that undermine school life. Based on our findings, we argue that as Latino immigrant students internalize negative experiences from their school experiences during the critical period of adolescence, such accumulated negative internalization may reinforce negative self-perceptions and inaccurate stereotypes. Not only discrimination but also other negative school features such as the absence of academic supporters, nonacademically oriented friends, and unsafe learning environments inhibit them from navigating positive school opportunities and ultimately, successful school achievement. Implications for the social organization of U.S. public secondary schools with a focus on Latino immigrant adolescents' academic achievement are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-289
Number of pages25
JournalAdvances in Education in Diverse Communities: Research, Policy and Praxis
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jan 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Anthropology

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