Afterword: New directions in research with immigrant families and their children

New York University, New York, USA.
New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development (Impact Factor: 1.17). 06/2008; 2008(121):87-104. DOI: 10.1002/cd.224
Source: PubMed


Although migration is fundamentally a family affair, the family, as a unit of analysis, has been understudied both by scholars of migration and by developmental psychologists. Researchers have often struggled to conceptualize immigrant children, adolescents, and their families, all too often giving way to pathologizing them, ignoring generational and ethnic distinctions among immigrant groups, stereotyping immigrants as "problem" or (conversely) "model" minorities, and overlooking the complexity of race, gender, documentation, and language in their lives. In addition, contexts other than the family remain understudied. In this afterword, the authors examine these issues, the contributions of the chapters in this volume to understanding them, and their implications for research and theory within the field of developmental science.

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    • "Another factor potentially related to perpetration of peer violence among immigrant youth is perceived discrimination. Although prior research has documented that both first-and second-generation immigrants experience discrimination, second-generation immigrants have reported increased discrimination experiences (Gee, Ryan, Laflamme, & Holt, 2006; Portes & Zhou, 1993; Suarez-Orozco & Carhill, 2008). Given that recent work has documented a strong association between discrimination and peer violence perpetration among minority men, it is possible that greater discrimination with increased time in the United States may erode any initial protective effects of foreign nativity (Reed et al., 2008). "
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    ABSTRACT: Researchers have found an inverse relationship between immigrant status and violence perpetration. Most studies have examined Mexican immigrants, and few have assessed immigration factors other than nativity. Additionally, the majority have focused on the most serious forms of violence despite the fact that moderate violence is more common. Using data from the 2008 Boston Youth Survey, we generated prevalence estimates of peer violence perpetration across immigration related factors, examined whether risk factors for peer violence differed by these variables, and explored the contribution of risk factors to peer violence perpetration. Recent immigrants had a significantly lower prevalence of peer violence compared to each other generations/time in U.S. group. Known risk factors for violence perpetration varied by generation/time in U.S.: compared to other groups, recent immigrants were less likely to have used substances, and were more likely earn A's and B's in school. Recent immigrants had a significantly lower risk of violence perpetration relative to U.S.-born (RR = 0.35, 95% CI: 0.19, 0.62). Adjusting for known risk factors did not attenuate differences in risk. While immigrant youth had a lower risk of peer violence, the protective effect was diminished among immigrants who had resided in the U.S. for >4 years. This pattern demonstrates that negative assimilation occurs within the first generation, not just across generations. Results suggest that perpetration of violence worsens with increased time in the U.S. Research is needed to identify factors that contribute to the acquisition of behaviors such as violence among recently arrived immigrant youth.
    Journal of Interpersonal Violence 09/2011; 26(13):2658-80. DOI:10.1177/0886260510388288 · 1.64 Impact Factor
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    • "Scholars (e.g., Capps & Fortuny, 2006; Suarez-Orozco & Carhill, 2008) have called for research that explores the effects of deportation policies and practices on immigrant parents, families, and children. The research generated thus far has either been primarily descriptive, has focused on the impact of deportation on parents, or has used a simplified definition of legal vulnerability (i.e., documented vs. undocumented). "
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    ABSTRACT: Children of Latino immigrants, many of whom live in “mixed-status” families, are a rapidly growing group in the United States. It is widely accepted that their development is affected by multiple and complex factors, including those in their distal context (e.g., laws, institutions, policies). Despite the enormity of the deportation system and its vigorous implementation in recent years, little research has investigated how this particular component of the distal context affects Latino immigrant families. The present survey was designed to statistically explore the impact of detention/deportation on Latino immigrant parents and children (N = 132). Regression analyses indicated that (1) parents with higher levels of legal vulnerability report a greater impact of detention/ deportation on the family environment (parent emotional well-being, ability to provide financially, and relationships with their children) and children’s well-being (child’s emotional well-being and academic performance) and (2) parents’ legal vulnerability and the impact of detention/deportation on the family predict outcomes for children. Implications for practice and policy are discussed.
    Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences 07/2010; 32(3):341-361. DOI:10.1177/0739986310374053 · 0.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Academic achievement and educational expectations as a function of parental absence were examined among 268 newly immigrant elementary, middle, and high-school students from Spanish-speaking countries. Data collected as part of a longitudinal study of adaptation and achievement in newly immigrant students were analyzed. Participants had varying experiences with parental absence, in terms of length of absence, gender of absent parent, and reason for absence. Reasons for parental absence included parental divorce, parental death, and serial migration, a cause unique to immigrant children. Students who experienced parental absence reported lower educational expectations. Students who experienced the death of a parent had lower achievement scores and lower expectations than students who did not experience parental death. Prolonged absence was also important, with students who experienced parental absence for more than one year performing worse than students who had minimal parental separation. In addition, boys who experienced parental absence because of serial migration performed worse academically than boys who did not have this occurrence. Educational expectations were reduced among students who experienced parental absence as a result of the migratory process, especially for younger students. The extent to which parental absence related to achievement and expectations through potential mediating factors, such as economic hardship, perceived school support, and parental school involvement was assessed with structural equation modeling. Overall, the model was able to explain some of the relationship between parental absence and the academic achievement and educational expectations of immigrant students from Spanish-speaking countries.
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