Title

Environmental characteristics related to achievement in Puerto Ricans

Date of Completion

January 1999

Keywords

Education, Early Childhood|Sociology, Individual and Family Studies|Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

This study examined the relationship of selected early environmental characteristics as they may relate to high academic attainment in high achieving Puerto Ricans from poor, working class homes in which parents were characterized by low educational attainment. ^ Research has shown variance in school achievement may be attributed to early environment. Literature is limited, addressing the relationships between the early environmental characteristics and high academic attainment as measured by post-graduate degrees in Puerto Ricans from low socioeconomic backgrounds. Seven research questions were employed to address the relationship of selected early environmental characteristics related to high academic achievement of Puerto Rican Hispanic individuals. The early environmental characteristics were demographic characteristics, home environmental characteristics, ethnic family characteristics, parental characteristics, child-rearing practices, attitudes and personal characteristics, and community characteristics. Each characteristic was addressed to examine which characteristics were related to educational achievement in the twenty-one Puerto Rican subjects. Analysis of data using naturalistic research techniques, demonstrated that twenty-one successful Puerto Rican professionals had parents who were supportive, who had high educational aspirations for their children, who provided reading materials, supervision, and responsibility training. These successful Puerto Rican professionals were students who persevered even when adverse situations were present and worked hard in the school systems, striving for excellence and approval from parents and teachers. ^