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Examining Pieces of the Immigrant Paradox Puzzle

MSU Extension is pleased to offer professional development opportunities designed to assist youth development program staff and volunteer administrators in their efforts. Sessions are designed from the youth development perspective; however, all interested participants are welcome.

This presentation examines neglected ‘pieces of the puzzle’ that is the immigrant paradox. First, because youth of different generations acculturate differently to the U.S., they might respond to academic measures (such as school engagement & perceived school support) in different ways. Secondly, traditional “inputs” to achievement – feeling like school staff care about you and are supportive, feeling engaged to one’s school and the process of schooling – may also play differential roles in the achievement of immigrant youth from different generations.

This research examines these unanswered questions, applying quantitative methods to a large sample of immigrant youth who attend New York City public high schools. Though the details of this study will be briefly explained, this webinar will focus on the implications of this research for policy and practice, suggesting what schools and practitioners can do to arrest generational declines in academic achievement and foster positive youth development among immigrant youth.

Pre-registration for this event is encouraged but not required. To pre-register, please visit:

Presenter bio: Dr. Matthew Diemer

Matthew Diemer is an associate professor of educational psychology and educational technology. His teaching and scholarship emphasize the sociocultural context of human development and learning. Specifically, he is interested in understanding how marginalized youth negotiate structural constraints in school, college, and work. His program of research explores a) how marginalized youth develop a critical consciousness of social, political, and racial inequality and become motivated to produce social change and be politically active, b) career development and engagement with the opportunity structure among marginalized youth, and c) how this critical consciousness may help marginalized youth more effectively negotiate educational and vocational barriers. A new line of inquiry examines how low-income youths’ developmental context contributes to their postsecondary persistence. His work has appeared (or is forthcoming) in journals such as Child Development, Developmental Psychology, The Counseling Psychologist, Journal of Counseling Psychology, and Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology and has been funded by sources such as the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, the American Educational Research Association, and the American Psychological Foundation.

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