Peer effects on the educational outcomes of immigrant youth: heterogeneity by generation and school context


Flores Morales, J.; Kim, J.; & Fong, E. (2022). Peer effects on the educational outcomes of immigrant youth: heterogeneity by generation and school context. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies.


Previous research suggests that peer social networks affect immigrant youths’ academics. However, little is known about whether peer parental education spillovers on educational outcomes differ by generational status and whether students are exposed to more same-ethnic peers in school. This study tests: (1) whether attending classes with peers with educated parents is associated with academic outcomes, (2) whether this relationship varies by generation, and (3) whether school contexts with more peers of the same race/ethnicity influence peer parental spillover effects. To overcome the fact that students select into schools, we use the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health and leverage quasi-exogenous variation in peer exposure. We find that peer parental education spillover effects vary by immigrant generation, but the extent of the difference varies by outcome. For academic effort, first-generation immigrant youth are less affected by peer parental education effects compared with others. For GPA, the peer spillover effect is smaller for second-generation youth compared with others. In schools with more same race/ethnicity peers, children of immigrants see lower peer spillover effects on educational outcomes compared with their counterparts in more diverse contexts. Findings suggest that network based social processes influencing academic outcomes are distinct for immigrant youth. © 2022 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.





Export Date: 23 August 2022; Cited By: 0; Correspondence Address: J. Kim; Department of Health Policy and Management, Korea University, Seoul, South Korea; email:

Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies


Flores Morales, J.
Kim, J.
Fong, E.

Year Published



1369183X (ISSN)



Reference ID