A new study published in the multidisciplinary journal PNAS credits the growing achievement gap between Asian American and white students to work ethic, reports the Los Angeles Times.
The study is by sociologists Amy Hsin of Queens College in New York and Yu Xie of the University of Michigan.
“Asian and Asian American youth are harder working because of cultural beliefs that emphasize the strong connection between effort and achievement,” the authors wrote. “Studies show that Asian and Asian American students tend to view cognitive abilities as qualities that can be developed through effort, whereas white Americans tend to view cognitive abilities as qualities that are inborn.”
But the authors say this high work effort comes at a cost with Asian American youth less socially adjusted at school than their white peers.
The conclusions of this study remind me of Amy Chua’s latest book, the The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America. It’ll be interesting to see if this study generates the same controversy that Chua has drawn.
The study in PNAS divides Asian Americans in four groups, East Asians, Filipinos, Southeast Asians and South Asians and discounts family wealth for advantages in performance.
You can read more about that in the Los Angeles Times.