Immigrant Youths in Italy: Early Leaving from Education and Training

Alessio Buonomo, La Sapienza University of Rome
Giuseppe Gabrielli, University of Naples Federico II
Salvatore Strozza, University of Naples Federico II

The phenomenon of early leaving from education and training (since now only ELET) among immigrants is very significant in the countries of South-Europe (Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece) where reaches on average the quota of 40% among immigrant resident population. European Commission included the goal of reducing the quota of ELET (of the total resident population) below the 10% among Europe 2020 strategies to improve European policies of education and social inclusion (European Commission 2014). Different studies show how the ELET have important economic negative effect on the society (Belfield 2008) and how it increases the social and economic emargination of individuals (Checchi 2014).

Appling multivariate regression analyses, we aim at analyzing the determinants of failure to enroll at university among immigrant youths aged 14-20 years old and of ELET among immigrant youths aged 18-24 years old. The main individual, origin family and school characteristics are considered as well as different synthetic indicators of integration. We use the first (and only) survey on the “Social Condition and Integration of Foreign Citizens” carried out in 2011-2012 by the National Institute of Statistics in Italy (ISTAT). The survey collects data on around 12,000 households with at least one foreign citizen and provides original information on foreigners living in Italy.

Our results highlight on average that specific categories among immigrant youths present greater fragilities and difficulties in achieving higher levels of education. Moreover, the cultural and economic integration of immigrants’ immediate descendants (and their families) produces positive effects on the school participation and performances. The attitudes and behaviors of parents toward the school system affect school performances of their children, as well as school strategies to involve origin families and actions aimed at reducing the cultural and linguistic distances can significantly have positive effect on school performances of immigrant youths.

Presented in Session 39: Attitudes Towards Immigrants and Social Cohesion