Southern Immigrant Academic Adaptation Study

Project Date:
Nov 2005
Award Amount:
Project Programs:

According to U.S. census figures, the Latino population in North Carolina nearly quadrupled between 1990 and 2000, making North Carolina the state with the fastest-growing Latino population in the country during that period. Latino children face numerous challenges in learning linguistic, technical, and social skills in an environment where residents are not used to dealing with immigrants. How do the experiences and academic achievement of Latino students in new immigrant-receiving communities differ from those in traditional immigrant gateways?


With support from the Foundation, Krista M. Perreira will study the acculturation experiences of Latino adolescents in five rural and eleven urban settings in North Carolina. She will collect information on the daily routines of 250 Latino high school freshmen through two weeks of daily diaries kept by each student. A random subsample of 16 student-mother dyads will be selected for in-depth qualitative interviews, while fathers will be asked to participate in a total of four focus groups. In addition, non-Latino students and parents will be selected for focus groups designed to identify normative values and beliefs in the reception community and social relationships in schools and the neighborhood. Perreira will also compare her findings with the results of a similar study in Los Angeles, funded by RSF and led by Andrew Fuligni. The results will be disseminated through presentations at conferences and in several articles submitted to scholarly journals.

Reports and Publications

K.M. Perreira. 2011. "Southern Immigrant Academic and Civic Adaptation: Latino Youth in North Carolina."


RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal of original empirical research articles by both established and emerging scholars.


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