Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Sociology & Criminal Justice
The modern American Dream says that anyone can be successful if they obtain higher education. Unfortunately, this system does not always meet the needs of our increasingly diverse society. Hispanic immigrant students face a hardship in pursuit of their education and career aspirations because many of them experience acculturation related stresses. This study seeks to investigate the role that acculturation plays in the career aspirations and educational aspirations and expectations of Hispanic students. I go beyond the current literature by exploring how acculturation is a significant factor in determining educational and career aspirations. Specifically, I examine whether different levels of acculturation influence Hispanic students’ achievement towards their educational and occupational dreams. The studies exploring acculturation and aspirations often lack a theoretical perspective by way of reporting the effects without investigating the root of these issues. To fill in this gap, Schumann’s Acculturation theory is utilized in this study. Results from multivariate regression analyses suggests that language proficiency is the most important component in acculturation and that attitudinal familism is a protective factor, meaning that family support is valuable in achieving their goals. Based on these findings, politicians and policymakers should take an increased interest into the immigrant populations and provide them with the tools to improve their communication skills as well as provide them with a more welcoming environment, especially in places such as schools, when the immigrant populations are the most vulnerable.
Aguilera, Kyhara N..
"Acculturation: Friend or Foe of the Career Aspirations and Educational Aspirations and Expectations of Hispanic Youth?"
(2019). Master of Arts (MA), Thesis, Sociology & Criminal Justice, Old Dominion University, DOI: 10.25777/mh1e-0996