Comparative Description of Migrant Farmworkers Versus Other Students Attending South Texas Schools: Demographic, Academic, and Health Characteristics

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Abstract of Journal Article - August 2005  

By Sharon P. Cooper, PhD; Nancy F. Weller, DrPH; Erin E. Fox, MS; Sara R. Cooper, BBA; and Eva M. Shipp, MS  

Little is known about academic performance, health, and social functioning of youth from migrant farmworker families. This study was designed to compare demographic, academic, health, and social data between migrant and nonmigrant youth residing in South Texas. Anonymous cross-sectional survey data were collected from 6954 middle and 3565 high school students. About 5% of South Texas middle and high school students reported belonging to a migrant family. Compared with nonmigrant students, migrant youth were more likely to miss and arrive late to school, sleep in class, and study fewer hours weekly. Migrant students reported fewer hours of nightly sleep, fewer hours spent with their friends, and more minor illnesses than nonmigrant youth. These results demonstrate the need for interventions specifically targeted to this vulnerable adolescent population. 

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