Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

From risk to resiliency : academic persistence in Mexican-American high school English as a Second Language students

Public Deposited

Downloadable Content

Download PDF


Attribute NameValues
  • Five student-researchers and the author engaged in a continually-evolving, student-driven qualitative research study. Despite significant disadvantages, including navigating a. foreign culture without speaking the language, these invulnerable learners succeeded. Ultimately of greatest interest to the six were an analysis of their collective knowledge and experiences, and their individual transformation over the course of the study. The findings are organized around emergent themes and their evidence. Themes participants identified include resilience, the Mexican family, teachers and education, Mexican pride, and misconceptions about Mexicans. Resilience: A combination of personal resources (e.g., resilience) and environmental resources helped student participants to feel cared about, supported, and significant in school. Schools, as external mediators, were critical environmental resources in alleviating negative effects of student participants' stress. Family: Families, especially participants' parents, were their greatest source of motivation, inspiration, and support. The five student participants' concluded that the best means of promoting the ability to avoid problems is to instill in children early on a strong, non-negotiable value system. Teachers and Education: Participants and their families viewed education, and related necessary sacrifices, as key to success in this country. Academic frustrations included often-unchallenging curricula, isolation in the English as a Second Language program, and being treated as "less than" by teachers and peers. Pride in Being Mexican: The five expressed strong pride in being Mexican, and chose to demonstrate this through showing the dominant culture that Mexicans are capable, intelligent, hard-working people. Participants were also committed to serving as role models and counselors to those struggling as they had. Misconceptions about Mexicans: Interdependence, generosity, altruism, and camaraderie are attributes highly valued among most Mexican individuals. Misconceptions about Mexicans abound and are exacerbated by the American media.
Resource Type
Date Available
Date Issued
Degree Level
Degree Name
Degree Field
Degree Grantor
Commencement Year
Committee Member
Academic Affiliation
Non-Academic Affiliation
Rights Statement
Peer Reviewed
Digitization Specifications
  • File scanned at 300 ppi (Monochrome) using ScandAll PRO 1.8.1 on a Fi-6770A in PDF format. CVista PdfCompressor 4.0 was used for pdf compression and textual OCR.



This work has no parents.

In Collection: