Sociocultural adjustment and academic achievement of Mexican males with learning disabilities in U.S. middle schools: Parent and student perspectives
AuthorEngoron-March, Sandra Lyn
KeywordsEducation, Bilingual and Multicultural.
Education, Educational Psychology.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis comparative ethnographic study examined factors hypothesized to be relevant to the success or failure to graduate from high school. Student participants were male Mexicans with learning disabilities (LD), enrolled in U.S. middle schools, who were nominated by two of their teachers as either "Likely to Graduate from High School," (LGHS) or "Unlikely to Graduate from High School," (UGHS). The theoretical perspective was that students' life circumstances are all intricately related and academic outcomes are mediated by the overall evaluation students have of their contextual events (Alva & Padilla, 1989). The objectives for the in-depth interviews with students and their parents, were developed from an ecological perspective of human development (Bronfenbrenner, 1977). Through interviews and archival reviews, an understanding was sought of the personal, social, and familial resources these students access to survive and eventually academically succeed. Among the findings were that students nominated as LGHS and their parents were comparatively more receptive to the exigencies of U.S. culture than their counterparts, the UGHS students and their parents. This greater receptivity contributed to the LGHS' greater progress in overcoming initial language limitations and effectively utilizing available resources. Also, parents of the LGHS group of students had attained a substantially higher average level of education than the parents of the UGHS students. The perceptions of the parents of the LGHS students had of themselves in terms of capacity to assist their children in their learning, differed markedly from the self-perceptions of the parents of the UGHS students who believed they were unable to support their children's learning-related experiences. Whereas LGHS students displayed social competence, problem-solving skills, autonomy, and orientation towards goals, UGHS students were commonly off-task, impulsive, and unable to self-regulate behaviors. Their maladaptive behaviors also negatively affected their acquisition of academic knowledge and development of skills. Among the recommendations are the implementation of intervention programs to enculturate parents into the social and literacy practices of the classroom and the school, and the promotion of cooperative linkages between school and families. Parents are the precursors of improvement in special education programs for minority students.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Special Education, Rehabilitation and School Psychology