The achievement gap between Latino and White youth is well documented. This is of particular concern as children enter middle school because of the decline in school engagement and achievement noted in many students. The impact parent and peer beliefs and behaviors have on academic achievement, engagement, and achievement values of Latino middle school youth have received less attention than in White youth.
This study explores how these parent and peer beliefs and behaviors influenced Latino adolescents’ achievement values, school behavioral engagement, and school achievement.
Results indicated that the beliefs and behaviors of parents and peers significantly predicted two sets of achievement values (Subjective Task Values & Economic Benefits to Education). However, student achievement was only related to subjective task values and behavioral engagement. In addition, subjective task values mediated the relation between parent and peer beliefs and behaviors and student achievement. Implications for intervention are discussed.