A large study by Johns Hopkins University confirmed what many of us have known for a long time: children who immigrate the United States with their families tend to do better in school, and when they grow up, their children are also likely to do better.
That may fit a pattern some Americans see of so many kids from Asia who excel in everything from music to science as they embrace a new culture. But it holds for all immigrants, including those from Mexico who often arrive here in a desperate flight from poverty.
It doesn't mean that a poor kid who arrives here as a preteen will do better than an American kid from a wealthy family that values education, of course. But compared to an American youth with a similar background, the immigrant will have certain advantages.
"They have higher expectations, they make a higher effort, and they have better cultural tools," sociologist Lingxin Hao, lead author of the study, said in a telephone interview. "Their culture is not just American."
They have the experience of living their first years in a very different culture, "so they have cultural diversity and they are able to take the best part of both and use it while in school," she added. That will continue to help them transition into adulthood.
The study indicates the immigrants are more likely to succeed because they arrived here with high expectations, their parents expect them to work harder, and it's likely they will have a stronger relationship than their American peers with their teachers.
But like the famed Chinese proverb about wealth not lasting three generations, all that academic advantage evaporates for their grandchildren. Lee Dye of ABC News has the story: Link
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