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Living through our children: exploring the education and career ‘choices’ of racialized immigrant youth in Canada

Author(s): Alison Taylora and Harvey Krahnb

Date: November, 2013

Summary

The purpose of this paper is to explore the links between the experiences of parents and youth within racialized immigrant families to gain a better appreciation of intergenerational dynamics, drawing on interviews and preinterview surveys with 47 immigrant youth and their parents. Our thematic analysis of data explores the diversity of families' immigration experiences, labor market challenges for parents, shared family discourses of sacrifice and opportunity, and differences in youth responses to the high expectations of parents. We conclude that the life course transitions experienced by parents have important consequences for their children; immigrant youth feel a strong sense of intergenerational obligation, and this obligation is problematic for a significant minority of youth. Our qualitative findings thus temper the optimistic picture of these youth presented in large-scale studies of their aspirations and attainment.


Website: Link to Research Article

Navigating and Negotiating Cross-Cultural Experiences and Identities Among Mainland Chinese Immigrant Youth in Canada

Author(s): Lin Fang, Yu-Te Huang, Hattie Liu, Grace Zhang

Date: November, 2013

Summary

Juggling multiple identities across cultures is a complex task for immigrant youth. During adolescence, youth cement their self-identity, expand social worlds, and renegotiate with their parents the boundaries around independence. In addition to their developmental tasks, immigrant youth also need to manage the intercultural differences in languages, values, beliefs, and traditions. Delineated by categorical topologies, existing acculturation models have provided helpful insight in immigrants’ cultural adaptation outcomes, but they are limited in their understanding of cultural negotiation processes.

Since the 1990’s, Mainland Chinese immigrants have significantly contributed to Canada’s population growth. Moreover, as Mainland China has adopted the “One-Child Policy” since late 1970’s, youth from Mainland Chinese families may experience family dynamics different from that of Chinese families from other origins. Given the background, the study focuses on immigrant youth from Mainland China and aims to understand how these youth navigate and negotiate their cross-cultural experiences and identities.


Website: Link to Research Article

Brokering for the primary healthcare needs of recent immigrant families in Atlantic, Canada

Author(s): Sandra Isaacs, Ruta Valaitisa, K. Bruce Newbolda, Margaret Blacka and Jan Sargeanta

Date: November, 2013

Summary

Aim This case study describes how broker organizations supported a network of community-based services to work together to address the primary healthcare needs of recent immigrant families with young children.

Background In parts of Canada with low levels of immigration compared with large urban centres, service providers may need to collaborate more closely with one another so that cultural competencies and resources are shared. Providers within Atlantic Canada, with its relatively small immigrant population, were faced with such a challenge.

Methods Social network analysis and qualitative inquiry were the methods used within this case study. Twenty-seven organizations and four proxy organizations representing other organization types were identified as part of the network serving a geographically bounded neighbourhood within a mid-sized urban centre in Atlantic Canada in 2009. Twenty-one of the 27 organizations participated in the network survey and 14 key informants from the service community were interviewed.

Findings Broker organizations were identified as pivotal for ensuring connections among network members, for supporting immigrant family access to services through their involvement with multiple providers, and for developing cultural competence capacities in the system overall. Network cohesiveness differed depending on the type of need being addressed, as did the organizations playing the role of broker. Service providers were able to extend their reach through the co-location of services in local centres and schools attended by immigrant families and their children. The study demonstrates the value of ties across service sectors facilitated by broker organizations to ensure the delivery of comprehensive services to young immigrant families challenged by an unfamiliar system of care.


Website: Link to Research Article

Current Perspectives on Gender Roles and Relationships in Immigrant Families

Author(s): Susan S. Chuang, Catherine S. Tamis-LeMonda

Date: November, 2013

Summary

The exploration of family relationships and functioning in immigrant families has gained considerable attention. However, the intersection of immigration and gender is less explored. Gender adds another layer of complexity to the immigration and settlement process as children and family members navigate and negotiate their adaptation pathways according to gender norms and expectations within their own and the host community. Thus, a question of central importance is on how gender roles and gendered relationships in immigrant families play out in the lives of children and families. This overarching theme of gender provides the framework for this edited volume. The collection of chapters will be organized into three broad parts: (1) The Parenting Roles and Experiences of Mothers and Fathers; (2) Gendered Parent–Child Relationships and Child Outcomes; and (3) Gendered Immigrant Experiences Among Children and Youth.


Website: Link to Research Article

Examining Students’ Experiences as a Foundation for Multicultural Curriculum Development

Author(s): Candace Schlein, Elaine Chan

Date: November, 2013

Summary

In this article, we discuss the findings of a narrative inquiry into the development of a classroom–based experiential and multicultural curriculum in the context of an urban, public, and culturally diverse K–8 school in Canada. We present the implementation of multicultural curriculum activities that drew upon students’ lived stories of culture, immigration, and settlement to explore the social and linguistic impact of such activities for English Language Learners (ELLs). We further illustrate in this paper the potential of students’ experiential narratives of schooling, culture, and cross–cultural movement for expanding the possibilities of teacher preparation and development for engaging in curricular situations and interactions with diverse student populations.


Website: Link to Research Article

Cross-Linguistic and Cross-Cultural Effects on Verbal Working Memory and Vocabulary: Testing Language-Minority Children With an Immigrant Background

Author(s): Pascale M. J. Engel de Abreu, Martine Baldassi, Marina L. Puglisi, Debora M. Befi-Lopes

Date: November, 2013

Summary

In this study, the authors explored the impact of test language and cultural status on vocabulary and working memory performance in multilingual language-minority children.

Twenty 7-year-old Portuguese-speaking immigrant children living in Luxembourg completed several assessments of first (L1)- and second-language (L2) vocabulary (comprehension and production), executive-loaded working memory (counting recall and backward digit recall), and verbal short-term memory (digit recall and nonword repetition). Cross-linguistic task performance was compared within individuals. The language-minority children were also compared with multilingual language-majority children from Luxembourg and Portuguese-speaking monolinguals from Brazil without an immigrant background matched on age, sex, socioeconomic status, and nonverbal reasoning.


Website: Link to Research Article

At the Interface of Ethnicity and Recent Immigration: Family Functioning of Chinese with School-Age Children in Canada

Author(s): Lily L. Dyson, Jimmy Qi, Mancia Wang

Date: November, 2013

Summary

This study examined the family functioning of recent Chinese immigrants living in Canada in terms of its status and those socio-ecological factors that influence it. Recent immigration has resulted in an increasingly large number of residents in Canada and the US who represent both an immigrant and an ethnic minority status. Among such residents are Chinese immigrants. Because of the potentially large number of school-age children who are part of these families, the family functioning of the new Chinese immigrants with school-age children would be important for the children’s development. This study therefore compared 112 Chinese families who recently immigrated to Canada with 90 Caucasian non-immigrant families. Scales were administered to the families to measure various aspects of family functioning. The results showed that the Chinese immigrants experienced a lower degree of family cohesion. Their socio-ecological factors were both similar and different from the non-immigrants, with a lower degree of social support and certain differences in child-rearing practices than the non-immigrants. Social support and child-rearing practices were differentially related to different dimensions of family functioning. However, these relationships were not entirely unique to the immigrants. The results have increased our understanding of immigrants and may contribute to the provision of effective support for immigrants. Implications are suggested for community support for immigrants and for further research.

 


Website: Link to Research Article

School Success and School Engagement of Immigrant Children and Adolescents

Author(s): Frosso Motti-Stefanidi, Ann S. Masten

Date: November, 2013

Summary

Academic achievement in immigrant children and adolescents is an indicator of current and future adaptive success. Since the future of immigrant youths is inextricably linked to that of the receiving society, the success of their trajectory through school becomes a high stakes issue both for the individual and society. The present article focuses on school success in immigrant children and adolescents, and the role of school engagement in accounting for individual and group differences in academic achievement from the perspective of a multilevel integrative model of immigrant youths’ adaptation (Motti-Stefanidi, Berry, Chryssochoou, Sam, & Phinney, 2012). Drawing on this conceptual framework, school success is examined in developmental and acculturative context, taking into account multiple levels of analysis. Findings suggest that for both immigrant and nonimmigrant youths the relationship between school engagement and school success is bidirectional, each influencing over time the other. Evidence regarding potential moderating and mediating roles of school engagement for the academic success of immigrant youths also is evaluated.


Website: Link to Research Article

The Impact of Ethnic-Immigrant Status and Obesity-Related Risk Factors on Behavioral Problems among US Children and Adolescents

Author(s): Gopal K. Singh and Stella M. Yu

Date: November, 2013

Summary

We examined the prevalence and correlates of parent-reported behavioral problems among immigrants and US-born children aged 6–17 years. The 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health was used to develop an 11-item factor-based behavioral problems index (BPI) and a dichotomous serious behavioral problems (SBP) measure. Logistic and least-squares regression and disparity indices were used to analyze differentials. BPI scores varied from 92.3 for immigrant Asian children to ≥102.4 for native Hispanic and Black children. The prevalence of SBP ranged from 2.9% for immigrant Asian children to 17.0% for native Black children. Children in most ethnic-immigrant groups had higher adjusted levels of behavioral problems than immigrant Asian children. Native Hispanic children, native and immigrant White children, immigrant Black children, and native Asian children had ≥3.0 times higher adjusted odds of SBP than immigrant Asian children. Lower socioeconomic status, obesity, physical inactivity, lack of sports participation, increased television viewing, and sleep disruption were associated with greater behavioral problems. Sociodemographic and behavioral factors accounted for 37.0% and 48.5% of ethnic-immigrant disparities in BPI and SBP, respectively. Immigrant children had fewer behavioral problems than native-born children. Policies aimed at modifying obesity-related behaviors and social environment may lead to improved behavioral/emotional health in both immigrant and native children.


Website: Link to Research Article

Immigrant StatusEarly Skill Development, and Postsecondary Participation: A Comparison of Canada and Switzerland

Author(s): Garnett Picot, Feng Hou

Date: November, 2013

Summary

This paper examines differences in postsecondary-participation rates between students with and without immigrant backgrounds in Switzerland and Canada. For both countries, a rich set of longitudinal data, including family background, family aspirations regarding postsecondary education, and students' secondary-school performance as measured by Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) scores, are used to explain these differences. Two groups are analyzed: all 15-year-old students; and all low-performing 15-year-old secondary-school students.

 


Website: Link to Research Article


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