The development of immigrant-origin children’s social relationships

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Shivani W. Raina (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Julia Mendez Smith

Abstract: With the growing rate of immigrants in the United States, there has been an increased need for research on immigrant-origin children’s experiences as it relates to their social development in the preschool context. For young children, emotion regulation has been shown to be an important skill in the development of positive social relationships with peers and teachers. However, there exists a gap in the literature on the role that acculturation plays in immigrant-origin children’s experiences within the classroom. The present study aimed to look at the association between parents’ acculturation levels, children's emotion regulation, and children's social relationships within the Head Start classroom. Specifically, this study examined if children's emotion regulation levels impact the relationship between parents’ acculturation levels and the children’s peer/teacher relationships in immigrant families. I hypothesized that children whose parents have higher levels of acculturation will also have more positive peer relationships and closer student teacher relationships. I further expect that this relationship will be stronger with children who have higher levels of emotion regulation. This study was conducted as a secondary data analysis using a sample (N=86) of Head Start families who have recently immigrated to the United States. Zero-order correlations and linear regression models were used in order to test the hypotheses. I created an interaction variable of parents of acculturation and children's emotion regulation to test our main question. Results indicated that parents’ acculturation levels did not predict children's peer or teacher relationships and further emotion regulation did not seem to significantly affect this relationship. However, we did find a main effect for emotion regulation on children's peer and teacher relationships. These results highlight the importance of social emotional learning within the ECE context and further contribute to the growing literature on immigrant children's experiences within Head Start.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2023
Children, Development, Immigrant, Relationships, School
Children of immigrants $x Psychology
Interpersonal relations in children
Emotions in children
Assimilation (Sociology)

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