Generational Differences in Educational Attainment across Asian American Groups

Tuesday, 17 July 2018
Distributed Paper
Philip YANG, Texas Woman's University, USA
Existing research has uncovered a parabolic trajectory across multiple generations in educational attainment among Asian Americans as a whole, but little is known about whether and to what extent this trajectory is applicable to different Asian American groups because of a lack of multi-generation data by ethnicity. This study analyzes generational differences in educational attainment across the six largest Asian American groups, using the newly released pooled 2013-2015 Current Population Survey data. The bivariate analyses detect a reverse U-shaped pattern in educational attainment among Chinese, Filipinos, Koreans, and Asian Indians; a U-shaped pattern among Japanese; and a non-parabolic pattern among Vietnamese. Results of multiple regression analyses reveal diverse patterns in educational attainment net of other predictors: a highly significant reverse U-shaped trajectory for Chinese, a significant U-shaped pattern for Japanese, a significant upward straight-line pattern for Vietnamese, a significant downward straight-line pattern for Asian Indians, and insignificant cross-generation differences for Filipinos and Koreans. Separate analyses by gender show even more mixed and interesting patterns across Asian American groups. These findings point to the needs to avoid overgeneralization and to attend to ethnic differences in cross-generation educational attainment among Asian Americans.