Help or Hindrance?: A Multi-Level Analysis of the Role of Families and Communities in Growing up American

Reanne Frank, Harvard University

The possibility of downward assimilation among children of immigrants has received considerable attention in both the academic and popular presses. Chief among the explanations behind this possible trend involves the disproportionate residence of children of immigrants in inner-city communities. Yet beyond allusions to cumulative disadvantage and close proximity to other U.S. minority groups, very little is known regarding the process through which deleterious residential context may or may not influence the well-being of children of immigrants. Nor do we know whether some neighborhoods actually provide a buffer against such negative outcomes. An appropriate test necessitates a multi-level analysis. The proposed analysis will test the possibility that the success of children of immigrants is linked to a mix of parental and community factors. The data for this analysis will come from the L.A.FANS, a L.A.-based survey designed specifically to model multi-level effects.

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Presented in Session 150: Risky Adolescent Behaviors