Dennison, Andrea Beth (2015-08). Bilingual Education, Acculturation, and the Psychological Health of Mexican-Heritage Preadolescents. Doctoral Dissertation.
As the population of the U.S. becomes increasingly diverse, and greater numbers of children in U.S. public schools speak a language other than English at home, an intensified interest has begun to focus upon the lives of these children and the environments in which they learn and grow. Mexican heritage students are of particular interest as they comprise a steadily increasing proportion of all students. The present study is cross-sectional, exploratory and non-experimental in nature, and involved groups of fifth grade students in Texas, most of whom were of Mexican heritage. Following consent- and assent-gaining procedures, students from bilingual and non-bilingual classrooms were asked to complete measures examining their psychological health and acculturation status. Results from multiple analyses did not reveal a statistically significant relationship between the type of language environment in which they were instructed, their acculturation class membership and their overall level of psychological well-being. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.