Special Feature: Immigrant Parents' Concerns Regarding Their Children's Education in the United States

Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal 05/2009; 37(4):422 - 441. DOI: 10.1177/1077727X08330671


A growing body of research suggests that as immigrant families assimilate into U.S. culture, their children's academic achievements and aspirations decline. This article explores possible reasons for this finding from the perspective of immigrant parents from Eastern European countries whose children attend U.S. schools. In-depth, qualitative interviews are conducted with 50 married mothers and fathers who hold professional-status employment. The data are analyzed using open and axial coding approach and three central, recurring themes emerge: (a) Parental Influences: “Education is a must…. The sky is the limit”; (b) The Educational System: “Parental guidance and resources are required”; and (c) Sociocultural Influences: “Everything here is about making money…. But what about our children'” Supporting, illustrative narratives are presented in connection with each theme to explain the perspectives of these immigrant parents on their children's schooling in the United States, and to add other tentative factors for further research into the decline of the children's academic achievement and aspirations with longer residence in the United States. Implications for family and consumer scientists are presented.

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Available from: Loren D Marks,
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