An Exploration Of The Impact Of Family Background Factors On The Science Achievement Of Afro-Caribbean And African American Students In The United States
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Type of WorkText
DepartmentMathematics and Science Education Program
ProgramDoctor of Education
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Ogbu and Simons (1998) defined voluntary immigrants as individuals who chose to migrate to the United States (U.S.). Involuntary immigrants are defined as individuals whose ancestors were brought to the U.S. by force (Obgu & Simons, 1998). There have been recent reports indicating that voluntary immigrants are outperforming involuntary immigrants (Fisher, 2005; Williams, Fleming, Jones, & Griffin, 2007). There seems to be a trend in voluntary immigrants exhibiting a higher academic achievement pattern than involuntary immigrants (Fisher, 2005; Rong & Preissle, 1998; Williams et al., 2007). However, the reason for the groups' differences in achievement has not been extensively explored. The primary objective of this research study was to explore the impact of family background on the academic achievement patterns of Afro-Caribbean and African American students in the United States. The study utilized two research designs; a causal-comparative and a correlational design. A questionnaire was distributed to a sample of eighty-seven high school students. Eighteen of the participants were Afro-Caribbean students, and sixty-seven were African American students. Chemistry test scores for the students were also provided. The results of the study indicated that Afro-Caribbean students outperformed African American students on the test of science achievement. The difference was statistically significant (t= 2.43, p<0.05). Additionally, results suggested that there were a few significant differences in Afro-Caribbean and African American students' family backgrounds. Moreover, the findings of this study suggest that the positive impact of arrival status on the first-generation of Afro-Caribbean immigrants may be influencing their children's academic success in science. The present study holds a few implications for parents and teachers of immigrant minority students. Additionally, the current researcher has offered several implications for future research on ethnicity, immigration pattern, parenting and achievement.