The Flynn effect among Hispanics: I showed in a prior post that scores on the General Social Survey's vocabulary test (WORDSUM) have increased since the 70s among Mexican Americans. The nomination of Sotomayor to the Supreme Court made me wonder if Puerto Ricans have had a similar increase.
Mean Wordsum score
Mexican Americans, N = 393
This decade 5.53
Puerto Ricans, N = 102
This decade 5.12
I limited the sample to those born in the United States. The improvement for Mex-Ams in the past two decades over the seventies and eighties is significant at the .05 level. There were too few Puerto Ricans in the 70s to calculate a mean, but we also see an increase for them in the past two decades (not significant).
I'm not sure why the numbers have risen. I doubt that the schools are doing a better job. My guess would be more hours of watching TV. People always knock TV, but the children of uneducated parents will hear the best English from teachers and TV, and who listens to teachers? My daughter soaks up television and DVDs like a sponge. Many of her phrases are from kids' shows. This might also explain why blacks have higher Wordsum scores than Hispanics.
Anyway, this is some good news for people who worry about Hispanic assimilation.
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