Book on the Academic, Social, and Emotional Adaptation of Newly Immigrant Children and Adolescents

Awarded Scholars:
Jerome Levitt, Advanced Research Consulting
Mary Levitt, Florida International University
Project Date:
Oct 2013
Award Amount:
$23,090
Project Programs:
Immigration

Psychologists Mary Levitt and Jerome Levitt have conducted a multi-year study of academic, social, and emotional adaptation in newly immigrant children and adolescents. Project SOL (Students from Other Lands) is unique in addressing adaptation in elementary, middle, and high school students from five culturally-distinct areas, Argentina, Colombia, Cuba, Haiti, and the English-speaking West Indies, who had lived in the U.S. for less than a year at the beginning of the study. Students were interviewed and their parents were surveyed yearly over a three-year period. Teacher ratings of student adaptation were obtained at the end of each year, along with attendance, effort, conduct, and achievement data provided by the school system from centralized school records. Focus groups were conducted subsequently with representative students and parents from each country/region of origin.

The study has amassed a rich and meaningful body of data. This includes information about changes over time in immigration-related stresses, social network relationships and sources of support, parent-child relationship quality, acculturation and acculturation conflict, perceived discrimination, neighborhood quality, and school experiences. Associated changes in personal, socio-emotional, and academic outcomes were also assessed. Levitt and Levitt will produce a book-length monograph detailing the findings from Project SOL.

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