Exploring Home-School Value Conflicts: Implications for Academic Achievement and Well-Being among Latino First-Generation College Students

Vasquez-Salgado, Yolanda; Greenfield, Patricia M.; Burgos-Cienfuegos, Rocio
Publication Year:
Journal of Adolescent Research

U.S. colleges place a high value on the fulfillment of academic obligations by their students. The academic achievement of each individual student is the institutional priority; this is an individualistic frame of reference. However, many Latino first-generation college students have been raised to prioritize family obligations; their home socialization is collectivistic. Our exploratory study investigated how Latino first-generation college students experience home-school value conflict between family obligation and individual academic achievement during their transition to college. A group interview followed the prompt of a conflict scenario that each group member first responded to in writing. The written responses provide evidence of the prioritization of school or home and the conflict that can arise in making these decisions. The group discussions that followed identified multiple types of home-school conflict and provide insights into how these conflicts are experienced. Conflicts revealed by the data included attending family events or visiting parents versus doing academic work, family assistance versus focusing on academics, allocating money for travel to see family versus allocating money for educational expenses. In turn, these home-school value conflicts were experienced both as lasting over time and as playing a negative role in students' academic achievement and sense of well-being.

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