Mexican American high school dropouts: A look at nine personal attributes that place students at-risk

Oscar A Rico, University of Texas at El Paso


This project examines nine attributes pertinent to Mexican Americans and the decision that many of them take to drop out of school prematurely. Millions of Mexican American students drop out of school every year in this country. For many of these students dropping out of school usually represents entering a workforce an a society that they will be unprepared to encounter. Dropouts will face increased levels of poverty, incarceration, unemployment along with many other ailments. This project presents dropping out not as a single event in which a student decides to endure such conditions inexplicably from one day to the next. Rather this decision is usually an event years in the making in which certain variables are interdependently affecting particularly Mexican American youth. Since the early 90's with the move towards excellence and the policy eras that have followed it many have been the efforts to define a dropout uniformly and tackle the problem by pursuing pertinent variables. This study attempts to continue on the efforts of many prior research endeavors to find relational variables that influence students. Particular of this study is the tracking of Mexican American youth rather than the larger ethnic categorical umbrella of Latinos. Using NCES collected data from 1988-2000 variables are isolated in this project using multiple linear regression to isolate variables with most statistical significance. By using a stepwise method, variables are included or eliminated based on the impact of them as a whole. The framework of analysis for this study comes from looking at three levels in social ecological theory: microsystem, mesosystem and exosystem. This study attempts to focus on the Mexican American high school student and describe relationships amongst variants and the decision to drop out of school.

Subject Area

Educational leadership|School administration|Educational psychology

Recommended Citation

Rico, Oscar A, "Mexican American high school dropouts: A look at nine personal attributes that place students at-risk" (2011). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI3489989.