A new study has revealed that immigrant children from countries with lower levels of economic development have better scholastic performance than comparable children who emigrate from countries with higher levels of economic development.
Sociologists Mark Levels, Jaap Dronkers and Gerbert Kraaykamp looked at the mathematical literacy scores of 7,403 of 15-year-old immigrants to 13 Western nations from 35 different native countries. It showed that economic development and political conditions in an immigrant's home country impact the child's academic success in his or her destination country.
The study authors analyzed the impact of policies and political conditions in destination countries and found that in traditional immigrant-receiving countries such as Australia and New Zealand, immigrant children academically outperformed their counterparts in other Western nations.
Even the children from immigrant communities with higher socioeconomic status relative to the native population had higher scholastic performance than those from other immigrant communities.
Likewise, children from large immigrant communities were more likely to perform better academically than children from smaller immigrant communities.
However, children of immigrants from politically unstable countries have poorer scholastic performance compared to other immigrant children.
"Adult political immigrants are known to face serious negative consequences that can be related to the political situations in their origin countries," said Levels, junior researcher in the Department of Sociology at Radboud University, Nijmegen, in the Netherlands.
"We found that these consequences carry across generations to affect their children's educational chances as well. Our findings therefore have urgent implications in countries that receive a large number of these immigrants."
"Specific educational programs designed to counter the negative effects of political migration may be essential to ensure that the children of politically motivated immigrants achieve their full potential," he added.
The study appears in October issue of the American Sociological Review.