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Learning in a New Land: Educational Pathways of Immigrant Youth

Learning in a New Land
Reported by
Karla Harby

Posted April 30, 2007

Presented By

Presented by Psychology Section


Today, one in every five children in the United States was either born abroad or is the child of a person born abroad. To help fill some of the knowledge gaps about this population, in 1997 psychologist Carola Suárez-Orozco and anthropologist Marcelo Suárez-Orozco initiated a five-year longitudinal study to explore the factors associated with academic achievement among immigrant children.

They found that modern immigrants to the United States are highly diverse in their educational levels, resources, family dynamics, languages spoken, and race and ethnicity. They further concluded that many factors have an impact on the school achievement of immigrant children, but English proficiency is surely one of the most potent for predicting standardized test scores.

Use the tabs above to find a meeting report and multimedia from this event.

Web Sites

The Brookings Institution Center on Children and Families
This think tank publishes policy briefs, including this one on proposed federal policy toward immigrant children and their families.

The Future of Children
Published by The Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and The Brookings Institution, this online journal issue focuses on immigrant children.

Urban Institute
Who's Left Behind? is a 2005 report on immigrant children by this nonpartisan economic and social policy institute.


Hernandez DJ, ed., 1999. Children of Immigrants: Health, Adjustment, and Public Assistance. National Academies Press, Washington D.C.

Suárez-Orozco C, Suárez-Orozco M. In press. Learning in a New Land: Immigrants, Students and American Society. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.

Suárez-Orozco M, Suárez-Orozco C, Qin-Hilliard D, eds. 2004. The New Immigration: An Interdisciplinary Reader. Routledge Books, Oxford, UK

Suárez-Orozco C, Suárez-Orozco M. 2001. Children of Immigration. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.

Suárez-Orozco C, Suárez-Orozco M. 1995. Transformations: Immigration, Family Life, and Achievement Motivation Among Latino Adolescents. Stanford University Press, Stanford, CA.


Carola Suárez-Orozco, PhD

New York University
e-mail | web site | publications

Carola Suárez-Orozco is chair and professor of applied psychology at New York University's Steinhardt School of Education and co-director of Immigration Studies. Her undergraduate education was in development studies at the University of California at Berkeley, and her PhD is in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology, San Diego. Her research focus is on the intersection of cultural and psychological factors in the adaptation of immigrant and ethnic minority youth. Prior to moving to NYU, she was the co-founder and co-director of the Harvard Immigration Project. From 1997 to 2003 she was the managing director of the Longitudinal Immigrant Student Adaptation Study (LISA). At Harvard she also served as executive director of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies.

Karla Harby

As a journalist living near New York City, Karla Harby has written for Scientific American, Discover and the Reuters news agency. In her other career, she is a professional flutist.