Abstract: This cross-sectional study examined, first, whether and how immigrant youth’s personal and family resources account for individual differences in their academic achievement, and second, whether social risks and immigrant status further contribute to academic achievement after controlling for these resources. The sample consisted of 300 middle school adolescents, 73 students from Albania and 227 Greeks (mean age 13.9 years), enrolled in Greek urban middle schools. Three risks (immigrant status, family social adversity and negative life events), two personal resources (locus of control and self-efficacy beliefs) and four family resources (parental school involvement, family support, father and mother education) for academic achievement were included. Each of these personal and family resources, separately, predicted higher academic achievement, equally for immigrant and nonimmigrant youth. Family social adversity, but not negative life events, continued to predict academic achievement, over and above personal and family resources. Finally, immigrant status continued to predict academic achievement over and above resources and other social risks. The results highlight the important link between the family context and youth’s personal agency, on the one hand, and doing well in school, on the other. However, they also reveal that social and immigrant status, two societal-level, social position variables that may also involve experiences that are outside the control of the family and youth, present further risks to youth’s academic achievement.
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- Academic achievement
- locus of control
- parental school involvement