Pathways to school engagement among Latino youth in an urban middle school context: The influence of social support, sense of ethnic pride, and perception of discrimination

Pauline Garcia-Reid, Fordham University

Abstract

Far too many young people are reared in communities where opportunities are limited and crime and violence are pervasive. These risk indicators often interfere with healthy development and contribute to academic difficulties. This study examined the impact of exposure to neighborhood and school violence on the school engagement process of Latino adolescents and further assessed the modifying effects of social support, sense of ethnic pride, and the perception of discrimination. A total of 226 Latino youth from an urban middle school in Northern, New Jersey participated in the study. Data were gathered in the Fall of 2002 using the Student Success Profile (SSP) and the Measures of Ethnic Related Threat and Ethnic Identity questionnaires. Findings from the path analysis indicate that despite living in an at-risk community, the adolescents' perception of lower negative risk taking behaviors by their peers and the perception of contained neighborhood dangerousness were predictive of positive school engagement. Social supports provided by friends, parents, and teachers and the importance of religion were also found to predict positive school engagement. Findings suggest that social work practitioners working in the school domain, can aid teachers, parents, and students in identifying and enhancing potential social support networks by incorporating an ecological framework that targets peer groups, school personnel, and family and community members in promoting school engagement. It is incumbent upon academicians, researchers, social work practitioners, and educators who work in the area of children and family services, to develop long lasting solutions that could serve to increase opportunities for school and future success. ^

Subject Area

Education, Bilingual and Multicultural|Social Work|Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies

Recommended Citation

Pauline Garcia-Reid, "Pathways to school engagement among Latino youth in an urban middle school context: The influence of social support, sense of ethnic pride, and perception of discrimination" (January 1, 2003). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI3082858.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI3082858

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