Variations In Background Characteristics Among Asian American Students of Different College Majors
Hinonangan, Margie D
McEwen, Marylu K.
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This study explored how Asian American college students with different majors vary by gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic background, degree of acculturation and perceived parental educational expectation using data from the National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988 (NELS:88). Significant differences were found between students' gender, ethnicity, home resources, perceived parental educational expectations and students' choice of major. Students' socioeconomic composite quartile score and generational status were not significant. The number of non-English proficient students was too small to test the null hypothesis. The findings provide a glimpse of the contextual elements that could be shaping the major choices of Asian American students. Educators need to be aware of the heterogeneity of the Asian American community and develop culturally sensitive interventions when working with this population (Leong & Gim-Chung, 1995). The inability to establish a causal connection and the small cell size of Pacific Islander students was a limitation for this study.