Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

C. Michael Robinson

Second Supervisor

Julie A. White


This study explored if there is a statistically significant positive correlation between racial-ethnic identity, family socialization, and student engagement for Latino youth attending select New York City independent schools. Independent schools prepare students well for academic success however; national trends show Latino students are at risk of academic disengagement. Racial-ethnic self-schemas that focus on connectedness, awareness of racism, and embedded achievement serve as a protective buffer for Latino youth who face academic barriers. Racial-ethnic identity that is supported by family socialization is also associated with an increase in youths’ academic self-efficacy. The purpose of this study was to explore how Latino youth attending select New York City independent schools described their racial-ethnic identity, are socialized by the family, and are academically engaged. This study included 52 students in seventh, eighth, or ninth grade attending one of 14 New York City independent schools. Students completed surveys that include both open-ended qualitative questions with close-ended quantitative questions. Their teachers completed a student engagement measure using a Likert-scale. A quantitative software program compiled the data. Students describe their identity with connectedness, with an awareness of racism, and with embedded achievement. Participants identify overt forms of family socialization more often than covert forms of socialization, although both forms are high. Students are highly engaged in the classroom on both the emotional and behavioral levels. Recommendations include support groups for Latino students and transition programs for middle school students entering high school.

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