Transformations: immigration, family life, and achievement motivation among Latino adolescents

Stanford University PressStanford, Calif. • Published In 1995 • Pages:

By: Suárez-Orozco, Carola, Suárez-Orozco, Marcelo M..

This book focuses on key aspects of the problem of Mexican immigration to the United States, with particular emphasis on the puzzling differences between adolescents born in Mexico and those born in the United States. 'Whereas Mexico-born adolescents are highly motivated to learn English and use the educational system to improve their lot, U.S.- born adolescents seem angry, frustrated, and less interested in academic achievement' (rear cover). To answer the question of what accounts for these differences, the authors seek answers in a psychological and cultural study of four separate groups of adolescents: one group from a town in Mexico characterized by a high rate of migration; a second group that had migrated to the United States with their families; the third, a second-generation group of Latinos; and a final group of white American adolescents. Using a combination of structured interviews, psychological tests (primarily the Thematic Apperception Test ), and ethnographic observations, the authors strive to find answers to such questions as: How is achievement motivation patterned in Mexican family life? What are the main issues facing U.S.- born Latino adolescents? Howdo the concerns of white American adolescents differ from those of other groups? What happens to immigrant families as children shift cultural values in the new country? 'Among the many significant conclusions to emerge from this study is that whereas Mexicans see their achievements in the context of family obligations, white adolescents struggle with issues of independence and ambivalence toward authority, and U. S.- born Latinos -- hybrid children of two worlds -- share concerns with both white and Mexico-born peers' (rear cover).
Tests and schedules administered in the field
Organization and analysis of results of research
External migration
Comparative evidence
Education system
HRAF PubDate
North America
Sub Region
Regional, Ethnic and Diaspora Cultures
Document Type
Creator Types
Human Development
Document Rating
5: Excellent Primary Data
John Beierle ; 2001
Field Date
no date
Coverage Date
Coverage Place
United States
Carola and Marcelo Suárez-Orozco
Includes bibliographical references (p. [237]-258) and index
Mexican Americans