Social Context and Health-Risk Behaviors among Immigrant Adolescents in Los Angeles

Reanne Frank, Ohio State University and Harvard University
Magdalena Cerda, Harvard University
Maria Rendon, Harvard University

In the last two decades, immigrants, and particularly Latino immigrant groups such as Mexicans, have begun to fan out across the country, initiating new immigrant-receiving areas at the same time that older ones are being altered by increased immigrant suburbanization. These geographic shifts underscore the need for a more complete understanding of the role of social context in helping or hindering immigrants and their children. This analysis explores the possibility that family context and residential location directly alter the adaptive trajectories of Latino youth. Data for this analysis come from the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey (LAFANS). We employ multivariate multilevel Rasch models to estimate the effects of individual, family and neighborhood-level influences on two scales of adolescent health risk-behaviors (substance use and delinquency).

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Presented in Session 26: Developmental Trajectories of Children of Immigrant Families