The Educational Aspirations of Adolescents from Refugee Families: How Parents’ Attitudes and Expectations Affect Their Children’s Goals

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Thibodeaux, Elinore
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University Honors College Middle Tennessee State University
This qualitative study provides a view of Arab refugee families and their experiences as they acculturate into the American educational system: what their challenges are, how parents support their adolescents in their education, and how parents’ prioritization of education and higher education affect adolescents’ goals. Fourteen adolescents and their parents were interviewed. Data were coded using constant comparison methods. Responses suggested that parents and adolescents had different perceptions of what their greatest educational challenges were. Because of these differences and acculturation gaps between parents and adolescents, adolescents did not always receive the academic support they needed. Despite challenges, however, parents and adolescents both had high aspirations for adolescents’ futures, including their higher education and career goals.
Behavioral and Health Sciences, Refugee, refugee experience, arab, parent, adolescent, educational experiences, educational aspirations, language brokering