Spanning Borders, Cultures, and Generations: A Decade of Research on Immigrant Families

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The authors review research conducted during the past decade on immigrant families, focusing primarily on the United States and the sending countries with close connections to the United States. They note several major advances. First, researchers have focused extensively on immigrant families that are physically separated but socially and economically linked across origin and destination communities and explored what these family arrangements mean for family structure and functions. Second, family scholars have explored how contexts of reception shape families and family relationships. Of special note is research that documented the experiences and risks associated with undocumented legal status for parents and children. Third, family researchers have explored how the acculturation and enculturation process operates as families settle in the destination setting and raise the next generation. Looking forward, they identify several possible directions for future research to better understand how immigrant families have responded to a changing world in which nations and economies are increasingly interconnected and diverse, populations are aging, and family roles are in flux and where these changes are often met with fear and resistance in immigrant-receiving destinations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)224-243
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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