Ryan, S., & Ream, R. K. (2016). Variation across Hispanic immigrant generations in parent social capital, college-aligned actions, and four-year college enrollment. American Educational Research Journal, 53(4), 953-986.

Not beginning college at a four-year institution has been demonstrated as one key obstacle to equitable rates of bachelor’s degree attainment among Hispanic individuals in the United States. Drawing on nationally representative longitudinal data and social capital theory, this research investigates the process of four-year college enrollment among different immigrant generations of Hispanic adolescents. Of particular interest is how parents of Hispanic youth use resources embedded in their social networks to promote their children’s engagement in college-aligned actions and whether this process varies according to student immigrant generation status. Results suggest that regardless of immigrant generation, Hispanic students who take instrumental steps during high school that are aligned with admission to college have a greater probability of initially enrolling in a four-year institution. Importantly, however, the influence of different forms of parent social capital during the process of four-year college enrollment varies markedly according to student immigrant generation.

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