INDIGO Home University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign logo uic building uic pavilion uic student center

School Climate and Acculturation: The Academic Impact for Newcomer Adolescents

Show full item record

Bookmark or cite this item:

Files in this item

File Description Format
PDF HUFFMAN-GOTTSCHLING-DISSERTATION-2016.pdf (2MB) (no description provided) PDF
Title: School Climate and Acculturation: The Academic Impact for Newcomer Adolescents
Author(s): Huffman-Gottschling, Kristen Suzanne
Advisor(s): Mattaini, Mark
Contributor(s): McKay-Jackson, Cassandra; Gleeson, James; Birman, Dina; Acosta Price, Olga; Mattaini, Mark
Department / Program: Jane Addams College of Social Work
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Chicago
Degree: PhD, Doctor of Philosophy
Genre: Doctoral
Subject(s): School Climate Acculturation Grounded Theory: Refugees Youth High School
Abstract: Research shows that school climate can affect a student’s well-being, academic success, and connectedness to a school. This research is largely understood from the experience of students who have either been born in the United States or who are part of an immigration group that has been in school for many years. Refugee youth’s experiences of school climate have not been part of this large body of research. This study aimed to address this gap in the literature. Using a grounded theory approach, this study examined the impact school climate has on the academic experience of refugee youth. More specifically, the study explored the critical components of school climate for refugee youth and any role acculturative press may play in that experience. Using a semi-structured interview process, fifteen youth who arrived in the United States as high school students were interviewed about their experience of school climate. Interviews were conducted both in English and through a translator who spoke a participant’s first language. Demographic questionnaires were used to collect information about age, country of origin, described home country, length in school prior to arrival in the United States, date of arrival, and current year in school. Students identified teaching and learning, safety and conflict, and interpersonal relationships as all being critical components of their experience of a school’s climate as they built a pathway to belonging to the school and its members. Experiences of acculturative press that were more multiculturalist in nature were articulated as supportive experiences that created a stronger connection to the school. Experiences that were more assimilationist in nature were articulated as barriers to belonging and as leading to a decreased sense of safety and an increased disconnection to the school community. Learning English, understanding the rules and expectations of the school, and building relationships, including friendships, were connected to greater participation in school life and a greater sense of belonging.
Issue Date: 2016-11-03
Type: Thesis
Rights Information: Copyright 2017 Huffman-Gottschling, Kristen Suzanne
Date Available in INDIGO: 2017-02-17
Date Deposited: December 2

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show full item record


Country Code Views
United States of America 61
China 38
Russian Federation 8
Ukraine 6
Italy 4


My Account


Access Key