Immigrant legacies: Ethnicity, generation, and children's familial and economic lives

R. S. Oropesa, Nancy S. Landale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Objective. This study examines the impact of immigration on the familial and economic circumstances of children. Its main objectives are (1) to demonstrate the ethnic and generational diversity of the child population; (2) to demonstrate ethnic and generational diversity in children's risks of living in single-parent families, living in poverty, and receiving public assistance; and (3) to determine whether generational differences are consistent with the assimilation model. Methods. The analysis consists of descriptive statistics and logistic regression models based on the 5% Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) of the 1990 U.S. Census. Results. There is considerable diversity in the generational composition of the child population, both across and within panethnic categories. Although Asian children are generally more advantaged than Latino children, generational differences in familial and economic circumstances are also evident across groups falling within these panethnic categories. Last, the results do not provide strong support for the assimilation model. Conclusions. Attention to specific generational groups and ethnic groups is needed to understand the long-term outlook for children. First- and second-generation children in some ethnic groups are doing well economically, while others are highly disadvantaged. Nevertheless, the prognosis is unclear because the two-parent family appears to weaken across the generations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)399-416
Number of pages18
JournalSocial Science Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


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