Why do Asian American Students Do Better in School? Understanding the Roots of Social Capital Among Black, Mexican American, Vietnamese American, and White High School Youth

Investigators: Gilberto Q. Conchas (with Eduardo Mosqueda, University of California, Santa Cruz)

Funding: UC ACCORD

This study develops a more comprehensive understanding of Asian American success by exploring the roots of social capital to help explain differences in academic performance among Vietnamese, Black, Mexican, and White high school youth. The study will quantitatively investigate the study habits of students in the National Education Longitudinal Study (NELS):88 database. Using the quantitative findings as a guide, an interview protocol will be developed for a pilot qualitative study with high school students that will aim to delineate relationships between access to social capital networks and school achievement. Associations between parental socioeconomic status, gender, familial social capital (e.g., parental expectations), and within- and between-school social capital (e.g., positive relationships in schools) will be examined as possible explanations for the relative success of Vietnamese high school students. This research will inform policy and practice in identifying educational reform efforts to promote academic success for all students.