Thesis

Latino elementary school students' college aspirations: attitudinal, normative, and perceived behavioral control precursors

Latinos are the fastest growing ethnic minority in the United States; however statistics indicate that their college education attainment is not increasing proportionately to other ethnic groups. This study examined college aspirations, generational status, socioeconomic status (SES), perceived parental support, and gender influences among Latino and Euro- American fifth grade students (N=111). The student sample consisted of 78% Latino and 22% Euro-American students. All participants completed a demographic and college aspiration questionnaire and 17% of the students completed a face-to-face interview regarding college aspirations. It was predicted that there would be a significant difference between the college aspirations of Latino and Euro-American elementary school students; this was found in the total sample but was not found in the analysis of Latino and Euro-American students from the higher SES school. It was also hypothesized that perceived parental support would be positively related to students� college aspirations, which was supported for both Latino and Euro- American students. Interestingly, gender differences in college aspirations were not found among Latino or Euro-American elementary school students. Implications and future directions are discussed.

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