Factors contributing to high school graduation among Hispanics
Marin, Patria V.
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This study was designed to examine the factors associated with graduation and non-graduation rates of high school among Puerto Rican/Hispanic youth in New York City. Subjects included: 56 graduates, 58 high school equivalency (GED) students, and 50 dropouts. Instrumentation consisted of two standardized instruments on self-concept and life events. Also, a detailed questionnaire was administered based on the literature review and previous studies. Group testing occurred.;Results were primarily derived from analysis of variance, chi square tests and discriminate analyses. First, it was found that the dropout group had lower self-concept than the graduate group. Second, dropouts were more likely to have a parenting status than the GED and graduate groups. In addition, there was a trend indicating a lower pregnancy status for the graduate group than for the GED and dropout groups. Third, graduates had resided and studied more years outside the mainland than the GED group. Fourth, there were no statistical differences in life events or environmental stress among the groups. Also, graduates were less likely to be involved with drugs, alcohol, and crime than the GED and dropout groups. Graduates had a better academic record/behavior history than the other subjects.;The discussion and interpretation of these findings focused on the host of out-of-school and in-school factors that are related to high school graduation. In this association, these research findings suggest that given the educational plight of many U.S. Hispanics coupled with the reality of being a member of a minority group in a majority culture, the more time spent living and studying on the mainland the more likely a Hispanic youngster with a low self-esteem will not graduate from an inner city high school. Early parenting is also likely.;Public education reform is crucial in low-income Hispanic communities. Collaboration among diverse groups and the educational system via an array of intervention activities is necessary and will reduce dropout numbers among Hispanics. Early identification of at-risk students is also urgent. Negative "labeling" of program participants should be avoided.