Explaining the academic achievement gap of immigrant youth in Austria

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Informed by a risk and resilience developmental perspective, this study tests individual, family and school level processes as potential explanations of the immigrant academic achievement gap. In total, 1155 adolescents (48% girls; 20% immigrants, 11–14 years) attending grades 5, 6, 7 and 8 in secondary schools participated. Controlling for gender, age, citizenship, country of birth, SES, and school type, immigrant adolescents had lower levels of academic achievement compared to non-immigrants. High levels of scholastic anxiety, low levels of scholastic self-concept, high levels of parental performance expectations, and high school performance expectations helped to explain these associations. In the full model, only scholastic anxiety and self-concept remained significant mediators. Recommendations are to implement positive and growth-oriented student-centred teaching styles to reduce the immigrant academic achievement gap.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101560
JournalJournal of Applied Developmental Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2023


  • Academic achievement
  • Adolescence
  • Immigrant
  • Resilience
  • Socio-ecological model


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