Adolescents’ educational aspirations and ethnicity : evidence on children of African and Latin American migrants in Spain
Title: Adolescents’ educational aspirations and ethnicity : evidence on children of African and Latin American migrants in Spain
Series/Number: EUI MWP; 2017/15
The study of aspirations among the children of migrants is critical to understanding the future integration and opportunities of ethnic-minority students. Previous studies on the factors leading to ethnic differences in educational aspirations have provided limited and inconclusive evidence, restricted to only a few specific national contexts. This article uses Spanish data from the General Evaluation of Educational Diagnostic (GEED) (2010) for students with an average age of 14 (N = 19,293) to examine different factors leading to variations in educational aspirations among the children of African and Latin American origin in Spain. Results from multivariate logistic models can be summarized as follows: (1) adolescents from African and Latin American backgrounds have higher college aspirations than their counterparts of Spanish origin, after accounting for their disadvantaged social origin and academic performance, while these differences – especially for the Latin American group – are concentrated among low-performing students; (2) the ethnic gap in aspirations is clearly more pronounced within disadvantaged socioeconomic groups than in more privileged groups, in line with the migrant optimism and social mobility thesis; (3) children of migrants who have recently arrived in Spain have higher college aspirations than the children of migrants born or fully educated in Spain, yet these differences are moderate; (4) speaking Spanish at home among the children of African migrants does not lead to differences in aspirations, compared to their counterparts with African-born parents who do not speak Spanish frequently. We discuss the opportunities and risks associated with such a minority aspiration-achievement gap, and its variations across demographic and socioeconomic groups, while framing the results within current policy and scientific debates revolving around demographic and migration issues.
Subject: Ethnicity; Children of migrants; Educational aspirations; Adolescents; Social stratification
Type of Access: openAccess