Latino Immigrant Students: Exploring the Relationship between Migration Experience and Education Outcomes
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The purpose of this study was to contribute to the literature on the educational outcomes and protective factors (i.e., support systems) in the lives of Latino immigrant youth, with a special emphasis on how these experiences relate to and are impacted by their migration experiences. Using the cultural-ecological theoretical framework and the Stages of Migration framework, this study utilized an existing data set to explore the relationships between migration stress, psychological distress, experiences of discrimination, and awareness of discrimination in relation to educational outcomes in a sample of 281 Latino immigrant youth. These relationships were then examined to see if they differed as a function of perceived support, gender, and school type (i.e., middle school versus high school). Structural equation modeling was utilized to test the hypothesized model that included migration stress, psychological distress, and education outcomes. The structural model showed very good fit. Results suggest that migration stress has a significant direct effect on psychological distress and on educational outcomes among Latino immigrant youth. Participants reporting high migration stress reported greater psychological distress and had poorer educational outcomes with respect to academic grades, educational aspirations, and educational expectations. Moderation testing indicated the structural model did not vary as a function of perceived support, gender, or school. Implications for research and practice are discussed.