Parental and School Influences Promoting Academic Success among Latino Students

Authored by: Rosario Ceballo , Marisela Huerta , Quyen Epstein-Ngo

Handbook of Research on Schools, Schooling, and Human Development

Print publication date:  May  2010
Online publication date:  June  2010

Print ISBN: 9780805859485
eBook ISBN: 9780203874844
Adobe ISBN: 9781135283872

10.4324/9780203874844.ch18

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Abstract

Several recent demographic trends highlight the importance of focusing on Latinos’ educational attainment. First and foremost, Latinos comprise the fastest growing ethnic minority group in the United States (Marotta & Garcia, 2003). According to estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau (2007), there were approximately 44 million Hispanics living in the United States in 2007, representing nearly 15% of the total U. S. population. While the U.S. Census uses the term Hispanic, we prefer and will instead employ the term Latino for the rest of this chapter. Despite our use of the single term Latino, it is important to note at the outset that Latinos can be of any race, and they constitute a highly heterogeneous group of people. Within the category of “Latino,” we are referring to people who trace their ethnic heritage to Mexico, Central and South America, or the Caribbean. Needless to say, there is tremendous diversity among Latino families with regard to immigration histories, socioeconomic status, acculturation levels, English language proficiency, and sociocultural values. To date, Mexicans comprise the largest Latino subgroup in the United States (64%), followed by those of Central and South American descent (13%), and then Puerto Ricans (9%) (U.S. Census Bureau, 2007).

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