Lugares de Vida: places of life

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Selma T. Chipenda-Dansokho (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Andrea Hunter

Abstract: A `new' wave of immigration is challenging our assumptions and understanding of immigrant social integration, family organization and well-being, and mobility. Yet, relatively little attention has been given to the development of new conceptual models that are sensitive to the ecologies of today's immigrants who are predominantly people of color. This study extends current theorizing on immigrant adjustment and acculturation by focusing on a set of socio-structural factors that characterize the Mexican immigrant experience and their places of life. Specifically, the study tests an integrated conceptual model that examines the linkages among the neighborhood social environment, hardships associated with being an immigrant ethnic minority, parental distress, parenting practices, and adolescent internalizing and externalizing. The study further examines if the hypothesized associations vary by neighborhood ethnic concentration. Several important findings emerged from the study. Social cohesion was associated with financial hardship and difficulties with English, and in turn, financial hardship was associated with parental distress. Although perceived discrimination was not significantly associated with neighborhood social capital it was consistently associated with parental distress - and directly with adolescent externalizing behaviors. The study also found that parental distress was associated with parental supervision of adolescent children, and parental supervision was negatively associated with internalizing and externalizing behavior problems. An examination of the moderating effect of neighborhood ethnic concentration showed that the relative influence of neighborhood social capital and/or family on adolescent adjustment varied depending on whether families lived in predominantly Latino neighborhoods or non-Latino neighborhoods. Specifically, parenting practices were directly associated with adolescent adjustment and enforceable trust was associated with adolescent internalizing behaviors, but only in predominantly Latino neighborhoods. The results further suggest that social cohesion and enforceable trust serve different purposes or yield different benefits depending on neighborhood ethnic concentration and the challenges and constraints of each environment. The results of the study have implications for research, policy, and practice.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2010
Immigration, Socio-structural factors, Parenting practices
Mexican American families.
Mexican Americans $x Cultural assimilation.
Mexican Americans $x Economic conditions.
Mexican Americans $x Social conditions.
Mexican Americans $x Emigration and immigration.

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