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Abstract

Although previous literature indicates that parents and siblings each provide key support for Latinx adolescents’ academic success, most studies have not considered how parents and siblings work as a system to support adolescents in science. Informed by theories on family systems and family influence on youth’s achievement and education, this study aimed to (a) identify what Latinx adolescents believed were the most helpful ways that parents and siblings supported them in science, and (b) explore whether family science support varied based on parents’ science education. Using a qualitative approach, semi-structured interviews from 90 Latinx adolescents (mean age = 15.54 years; 38% girls; 84% born in the U.S.) were analyzed using inductive and deductive approaches. We found that parents and siblings supported Latinx adolescents in science through various home-based strategies: active engagement (classwork help and monitoring), academic socialization (encouragement, conversations about the future, and advice) and providing resources (material and social resources). Adolescents mentioned their older siblings were particularly helpful in providing class-specific support based on the science classes that they had previously taken. Additionally, our findings suggest that siblings relied more on classwork help from only older siblings in families where parents did not take any high school science classes compared to families where parents took some high school science classes. Overall, this study highlights the complementary science support that parents and siblings provide Latinx adolescents and the valuable role that siblings can play in Latinx families when parents have limited science education.
Vol.:(0123456789)
Social Psychology of Education (2021) 24:511–535
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11218-021-09620-3
1 3
Parent andSibling Science Support forLatinx Adolescents
PerlaRamosCarranza1 · SandraD.Simpkins1
Received: 8 September 2020 / Accepted: 18 February 2021 / Published online: 15 March 2021
© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V. 2021
Abstract
Although previous literature indicates that parents and siblings each provide key sup-
port for Latinx adolescents’ academic success, most studies have not considered how
parents and siblings work as a system to support adolescents in science. Informed by
theories on family systems and family influence on youth’s achievement and educa-
tion, this study aimed to (a) identify what Latinx adolescents believed were the most
helpful ways that parents and siblings supported them in science, and (b) explore
whether family science support varied based on parents’ science education. Using a
qualitative approach, semi-structured interviews from 90 Latinx adolescents (mean
age = 15.54years; 38% girls; 84% born in the U.S.) were analyzed using inductive
and deductive approaches. We found that parents and siblings supported Latinx
adolescents in science through various home-based strategies: active engagement
(classwork help and monitoring), academic socialization (encouragement, conver-
sations about the future, and advice) and providing resources (material and social
resources). Adolescents mentioned their older siblings were particularly helpful in
providing class-specific support based on the science classes that they had previ-
ously taken. Additionally, our findings suggest that siblings relied more on class-
work help from only older siblings in families where parents did not take any high
school science classes compared to families where parents took some high school
science classes. Overall, this study highlights the complementary science support
that parents and siblings provide Latinx adolescents and the valuable role that sib-
lings can play in Latinx families when parents have limited science education.
Keywords Latinx· Adolescents· Parents· Siblings· Academic support· Science
* Perla Ramos Carranza
pramosca@uci.edu
1 3200 Education Building, School ofEducation, University ofCalifornia, Irvine92697, USA
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
... The existing research suggests that school-related science conversations may matter for Latinx adolescents, though it has yet to be tested. Qualitative studies find that adolescents' school-related science conversations with parents and older siblings and cousins are one primary strategy families use to support Latinx adolescents (Ramos Carranza & Simpkins, 2021;Soto-Lara & Simpkins, 2020). Additionally, school-related science conversations with adolescents may be especially useful for Latinx parents, who often face linguistic and cultural barriers when interacting with teachers and school personnel (Soto-Lara & Simpkins, 2020). ...
... Older siblings and cousins have more symmetrical relationships with adolescents than other adult family members and are often conceptualized together as peer-like family members in prior studies (Johnson et al., 2016;Simpkins et al., 2020). Studies also highlight that older siblings and cousins engage in similar socializing roles with both providing advice and serving as role models for Latinx adolescents' academic development (Aschbacher et al., 2009;Martinez & Castellanos, 2018;Patr on, 2020;Ramos Carranza & Simpkins, 2021). Moreover, the supports older siblings and cousins provide in science and school more broadly predict adolescents' academic and science motivational beliefs (Alfaro & Umana-Taylor, 2010;Puente & Simpkins, 2020;Simpkins et al., 2020). ...
... The current study integrated these literatures in order to test the specific utility of family school-related science conversations to promote adolescents' science motivational beliefs in high school. Examining these links is especially important given prior studies have found that educational conversations are a primary supportive behavior that Latinx families implement in adolescence (e.g., Soto-Lara & Simpkins, 2020;Ramos Carranza & Simpkins, 2021). ...
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Integrating situated expectancy-value and family systems theories, the current study tested the extent to which Latinx adolescents’ 9th-grade school-related science conversations with parents and older siblings/cousins positively predicted their 10th-grade science ability self-concepts and task values. We also tested whether these links were moderated by who primarily initiated the conversations (i.e., adolescents, family members, or both). We used two-wave, multi-reporter survey data from 104 Latinx families, consisting of triads of parents, older siblings/cousins, and adolescents (89% Mexican-descent, 40% female; Mage = 14.53 years). Partially supporting our hypotheses, parent-adolescent school-related science conversations predicted adolescents’ 10th-grade science ability self-concepts. Moreover, the links between parent-adolescent conversations and science ability self-concepts and task values were positive and significant when parents more frequently initiated conversations than adolescents. Similar but weaker associations were found for sibling/cousin-adolescent school-related science conversations. These findings underscore the motivational benefits of family members initiating school-related science conversations with Latinx adolescents.
... We chose these words because we wished to center the present review on adult caregivers, such as parents, without excluding other potential caregivers. This review did not include peer family members that provide STEM support, such as siblings and cousins, although these family members may provide unique support (e.g., Ramos Carranza & Simpkins, 2021). These Note. ...
... Finally, our review focused on parents and other adult family caregivers; future research needs to explore peer family members, including siblings and cousins. Prior studies among Latinx families have found that older siblings and cousins offer complementary, unique support; for example, siblings are often more familiar with younger siblings' coursework and can provide more coursework assistance and guidance than parents (Puente & Simpkins, 2020;Ramos Carranza & Simpkins, 2021). Furthermore, Black and Latinx families may be supported by their larger race and ethnic community, which may employ a range of culturally adaptive practices to protect and nurture youth (Halgunseth, 2019;McLoyd et al., 2019;Soto-Lara & Simpkins, 2020). ...
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... On a positive note, studies have found that students with noncollege educated parents have many strengths, such as resilience and strong connections to family (Covarrubias et al., 2019). Additionally, prior research finds that noncollege educated parents are a central, positive influence on their adolescents' academic outcomes (e.g., Bryan & Simmons, 2009;Ramos Carranza & Simpkins, 2021). In fact, some studies suggest that STEM support may have a larger impact on youth with noncollege educated parents when compared to students with college educated parents (Garriott & Nisle, 2018;Hsieh & Simpkins, 2022). ...
... On a positive note, our finding that about a fifth of students developed STEM career aspirations is noteworthy given that prior literature often focuses on high school as a time when students, especially underrepresented students, leave STEM (Ball et al., 2017). Moreover, the two positive findings regarding parent support demonstrate that parents are a source of strength, particularly among families with noncollege educated parents, which aligns with emerging work (Bryan & Simmons, 2009;Ramos Carranza & Simpkins, 2021;Soto-Lara & Simpkins, 2020). ...
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