Peer Networks, Generational Status and Achievement of American Adolescents

Ryabov, Igor
December 2011
Journal of Educational & Developmental Psychology;Dec2011, Vol. 1 Issue 1, p105
Academic Journal
The present study attempted to address the gap in the literature by focusing on peer network density and heterogeneity and average achievement of peers. These outcome variables were academic achievement and attainment, measured as Grade Point Average (GPA) and odds of having college education, respectively. The independent variables also included immigrant generational status, family social capital measures, and SES. The study used multilevel, hierarchical modeling to estimate the aforementioned effects. The sample was drawn from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Waves I and III; N=14,322). Results revealed that structural characteristic of peer networks, such as density and heterogeneity, were associated with academic outcomes, regardless of generational status. Furthermore, the relationship between the peer network variables - peer network density, heterogeneity and average peer achievement - and academic outcomes was stronger for immigrant youths than for native youths. Of the aforementioned measures, average peer achievement had the strongest effect on both achievement and attainment.


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