College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Winter 3-22-2024

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Antonio Polo, PhD

Second Advisor

Molly Brown, PhD


Latinx youth are achieving lower levels of educational attainment when compared to their ethnic or racial peers from other backgrounds. Addressing these academic disparities is imperative, with the Latinx population in the U.S. experiencing substantial growth. Guided by the Positive Youth Development Model and the Integrative Model of Child Development, this study explored family obligation and school climate as factors associated with academic achievement. Participants included 268 Latinx youth, including 101 (37.7%) in one-parent households. Participants were 5th through 7th-grade students (56.7% female; Mage = 11.4), mainly 2nd generation (US-born with foreign-born parents; 77.2%), and primarily identified as Mexican American (70.5%). Analyses revealed that there were no significant differences in levels of family obligation (F (2,421), p =.06) or standardized test scores (t(257) = -0.62, p =.132) across household types. School climate moderated the relation between family obligation and test scores (b = 5.78, 95% CI[.73, 10.8], t(152) = 2.26, p < .02), but only among youth residing in two-parent households. These results underscore the intricate dynamics of cultural values, family composition, and environmental factors that may influence academic achievement among Latinx youth.

SLP Collection