New Research on Immigrants in New Destinations

March 1, 2012

The March 2012 issue of Social Science Quarterly features two immigration research articles from RSF grantees. The first article was written by Krista Perreira, Stephanie Potochnick, and Andrew Fuligni:

Title: Fitting In: The Roles of Social Acceptance and Discrimination in Shaping the Daily Psychological Well-Being of Latino Youth

Abstract: We examine how acculturation experiences such as discrimination and social acceptance influence the daily psychological well-being of Latino youth living in newly emerging and historical receiving immigrant communities. We use data on 557 Latino youth enrolled in high school in Los Angeles or in rural or urban North Carolina. Compared to Latino youth in Los Angeles, Latino youth in urban and rural North Carolina experienced higher levels of daily happiness, but also experienced higher levels of daily depressive and anxiety symptoms. Differences in nativity status partially explained location differences in youths’ daily psychological well-being. Discrimination and daily negative ethnic treatment worsened, whereas social acceptance combined with daily positive ethnic treatment and ethnic and family identification improved, daily psychological well-being. Our analysis contributes to understanding the acculturation experiences of immigrant youth and the roles of social context in shaping adolescent mental health.

Krista Perreira, one of the article's authors, also wrote a summary of her project for RSF's website. The second article published in the journal was written by Melissa Marschall, Paru Shah, and Katherine Donato:

Title: Parent Involvement Policy in Established and New Immigrant Destinations

Abstract: This study examines how schools situated in different “contexts of reception” go about the critical task of engaging and supporting immigrant parents. Using data from the 2003–04 National Center for Educational Statistics’ Schools and Staffing Surveys, we estimate regression models to test the effects of cultural brokers, teacher training, and professional development on school policies and practices specifically designed to engage and support immigrant parents as well as more traditional, school- and home-based parent involvement programs. We find cultural brokers and school attributes are more strongly associated with the type and magnitude of parent involvement programs in established destinations, whereas teacher training and in-service professional development are most consistently associated with these policies in new destination schools. We also find a strong association between minority principals (African American or Latino) and parent involvement programing in new destinations, suggesting that principals of color are taking an active role in addressing the needs of immigrant and minority parents. As the U.S. population becomes increasingly multicultural, these findings have important policy implications for both federal and local governments.

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