Assimilation among Immigrant Adolescents: Neighborhood Context and Parental Control

Emily Greenman, University of Michigan

Segmented assimilation theory argues that there are many possible pathways of assimilation for immigrants to follow. This paper explores determinants of assimilation trajectories among immigrant families. Segmented assimilation theory predicts that the consequences of assimilation should differ according to local context. This theoretical framework implicitly assumes that immigrant families are passive agents subject to the influence of their local environments. However, if immigrant families experience divergent outcomes depending on local context, they may anticipate these consequences and adjust their assimilation behavior accordingly. It therefore follows that the decision of whether and how to assimilate may also depend on local context. I investigate the hypothesis that neighborhood socioeconomic status affects how immigrant parents guide their children’s assimilation processes, and that therefore immigrant children’s degree of assimilation varies systematically according to neighborhood SES. I operationalize assimilation as the degree of similarity between immigrant and non-immigrant youth with respect to peer-influenced at-risk behaviors.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Session 166: Neighborhoods, Social Connectedness, and Immigrant Group Incorporation