Arellano, A. R., & Padilla, A. M. (1996). Academic invulnerability among a select group of Latino university students. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 18(4), 485-507.

The conceptual frameworks of “at-risk” and academic invulnerability were examined with 30 undergraduate Latino students enrolled in a highly selective university. Students were interviewed about their educational experiences to examine factors contributing to their academic success. Students were grouped (n= 10) based on educational attainment of parents: Group One-parents with 11 or fewer years of schooling; Group Two-at least one parent graduated from high school; and Group Three-at least one parent completed college. Interviews revealed that students in Group One and Two fit the pattern of “at risk” but also demonstrated that with supportive families and teachers they were invulnerable to the negative consequences of educational risk. Group Three students, because of the greater “cultural capital” of parents, reported different experiences in school. Unexpectedly, 73% of all students had been identified in elementary school as gifted, lending support to the importance of enriched school programs for Latinos.

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