Tiger Children? Academic Trajectories of Asian Children of Immigrants across Three Continents: United States, United Kingdom and Australia

Kate H. Choi, Princeton University
Amy Hsin, Queens College, City University of New York (CUNY)

Asian Americans are frequently referred to as the ‘model minority’ because of their high educational attainment. Using longitudinal data from three countries - the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia – we examine whether the Asian educational advantage emerges in childhood, whether it extends beyond the United States, and whether it can be accounted for by differences in socioeconomic status and/or parenting behaviors. Our results show that the Asian educational advantage is not universal. Rather, it is an age- and context-specific phenomenon. We find that although Asian mothers have higher educational expectations for their children, they are less likely than white mothers to be involved in educational activities with their children, which is contrary to popular accounts. Overall, our findings detract from sensationalized accounts about Asian parenting and the superior academic performance of Asian children.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Session 215: Race, Ethnicity, Immigration and Children