Ethnic differences in adolescent achievement. An ecological perspective

Am Psychol. 1992 Jun;47(6):723-9. doi: 10.1037//0003-066x.47.6.723.


Using data collected from a large sample of high school students, the authors challenge three widely held explanations for the superior school performance of Asian-American adolescents, and the inferior performance of African- and Hispanic-American adolescents: group differences in (a) parenting practices, (b) familial values about education, and (c) youngsters' beliefs about the occupational rewards of academic success. They found that White youngsters benefit from the combination of authoritative parenting and peer support for achievement, whereas Hispanic youngsters suffer from a combination of parental authoritarianism and low peer support. Among Asian-American students, peer support for academic excellence offsets the negative consequences of authoritarian parenting. Among African-American youngsters, the absence of peer support for achievement undermines the positive influence of authoritative parenting.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Achievement*
  • Adolescent
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison*
  • Family / psychology
  • Humans
  • Peer Group
  • Psychology, Adolescent*
  • Social Environment*
  • Socialization*
  • United States