Objectives. The purpose of this study was to explore generational differences in math/science enrollment and achievement among Mexican-American students and the role of family and school contexts in these differences.
Methods. We applied survey regression techniques to data from 12,020 adolescents in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health.
Results. Native-born Mexican-American students had lower math/science enrollment than their peers, especially after differences in family and school contexts were taken into account. Mexican-American immigrants had lower achievement when enrolled in such classes, but this was explained by their greater level of family and school disadvantages.
Conclusions. Persistence and success in the math/science pipeline, a mechanism of social mobility in the modern economy, would likely be enhanced in the fast-growing population of Mexican-American students by improvements in family resources and school organization.