STEM Experiences among Latinos and Asian Americans in the U.S.: Generational Change and Access to STEM among the Two Largest U.S. Immigrant Groups


  • Sandra L. Hanson Sandra Hanson Professor of Sociology Catholic University Washington DC 20064



STEM, race/ethnicity, generation, Latinos, Asian Americans


This research examines Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) attitudes and experiences for the two most recent U.S. immigrant groups – Asian Americans and Latinos. The special focus is on generations. Emerging literature suggests that younger Asian American generations may be trying to avoid the model minority stereotype at the same time that younger Latino generations may be trying to use science as a ladder to mobility. Using recent GSS data on several measures of STEM attitudes and experience, we find considerable support for unique generational effects. Results show virtually no differences between generations on STEM attitudes and experiences among Latinos. In contrast, we find that generation has a significant influence on a majority of the STEM attitudes and experiences among Asian Americans with the second (plus) generation having fewer experiences and less positive attitudes. Findings support the increasingly distinct STEM attitudes and experiences of younger generations of Asian Americans relative to first generation Asian Americans. The experiences of second (or higher) generation Asian Americans are converging with those of second (or higher) generation Latinos. Differences between the first generation Asian Americans and Latinos are quite large with Asian Americans having more STEM experiences and positive attitudes in STEM. Implications of these findings for research and policy on STEM in the context of race/ethnicity and generations are discussed.


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How to Cite

Hanson, S. L. (2018). STEM Experiences among Latinos and Asian Americans in the U.S.: Generational Change and Access to STEM among the Two Largest U.S. Immigrant Groups. Asian Journal of Humanities and Social Studies, 6(4).