Academic Outcomes of Youth in “Non-Traditional" Two-Parent Families: The Effects of Immigrant Status

Kathryn H. Tillman, Florida State University
Ursula Keller, Florida State University

Despite the fact that at least 20 percent of all school-aged children in the U.S. are either immigrants or the children of immigrants, strikingly little research examines whether the negative effects of living within "non-traditional" family forms are as great for immigrant youth as for non-immigrant youth. Many immigrant families come to the United States from cultures that place a greater emphasis upon familial responsibilities and obligations than does the United States. It is possible these cultural values motivate immigrant families to “act like” (and have the effects of) traditional, two-biological parent families, even if they do not conform to the traditional standard in terms of their actual family structure. Using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, we will address this gap in the literature and expand our general understanding of the mechanisms that underlie the association between family structure and adolescent academic outcomes.

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Presented in Poster Session 5