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Cultural Value Conflicts Between Home and School During the Transition to College Among Latina/o Youth: Investigating the Phenomenon through Qualitative Analysis, Survey and Laboratory Experiment


Even though more Latinas/os are enrolling in college than ever before, they continue to have significantly higher college drop-out rates compared with their other-ethnic peers. Thus, though Latinas/os want to attend college, they may have difficulty adjusting to the environment. This research examined how conflict between family obligations (e.g., spending time with family) and academic obligations (e.g., studying) – what is coined as home-school cultural value conflict – play a role in Latina/o first-generation college students’ adjustment during the transition to college. Using three different methodological techniques (group interview, survey, behavioral experiment), the research showed that Latina/o students experience these conflicts and that they play a negative role in well-being and academic achievement (i.e., attention, grades), markers important for successful college adjustment. The negative effects were greater for female students and for students living with their parents or close to home. Together, the results affirm the need to create interventions that aid Latina/o first-generation college students in harmonizing their home and school cultures.

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