The Development of Children of Immigrants

368 pages

3 figures

October, 2015

ISBN: 9780814770177



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Carola Suárez-Orozco is Professor of Human Development and Psychology at UCLA. Her previous books include Children of Immigration and Learning a New Land

All books by Carola Suárez-Orozco

Mona M. Abo-Zena is Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Education at Brown University. Her books include Emerging Adults’ Religiousness and Spirituality

All books by Mona M. Abo-Zena

Amy K. Marks is Associate Professor of Psychology at Suffolk University. Her books include The Immigrant Paradox in Children and Adolescents, and Immigrant Stories.

All books by Amy K. Marks

Winner Best Edited Book Award presented by the Society for Research on Adolescence

Immigration to the United States has reached historic numbers— 25 percent of children under the age of 18 have an immigrant parent, and this number is projected to grow to one in three by 2050. These children have become a significant part of our national tapestry, and how they fare is deeply intertwined with the future of our nation. Immigrant children and the children of immigrants face unique developmental challenges. Navigating two distinct cultures at once, immigrant-origin children have no expert guides to lead them through the process. Instead, they find themselves acting as guides for their parents.
How are immigrant children like all other children, and how are they unique? What challenges as well as what opportunities do their circumstances present for their development? What characteristics are they likely to share because they have immigrant parents, and what characteristics are unique to specific groups of origin? How are children of first-generation immigrants different from those of second-generation immigrants? Transitions offers comprehensive coverage of the field’s best scholarship on the development of immigrant children, providing an overview of what the field needs to know—or at least systematically begin to ask—about the immigrant child and adolescent from a developmental perspective.
This book takes an interdisciplinary perspective to consider how personal, social, and structural factors interact to determine a variety of trajectories of development. The editors have curated contributions from experts across a carefully selected variety of topics covering ecologies, processes, and outcomes of development pertinent to immigrant origin children. 


  • "This important new book humanizes the experience of immigrant youth by illuminating how they cope with the numerous challenges they face in adjusting to a new country and culture. Insightful, informative and thought provoking, this book will be an invaluable resource to those who seek to move beyond the headlines to understand the experience of immigrant youth."

    —Pedro A. Noguera, Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education, New York University

  • "Offers a stunning developmental psychology of childhood in motion. . . . These children enter the U.S. with and without parents or papers, with and without dreams, trauma or bellies full of hope. Through this book we bear witness to stories of the social and psychological processes they enact and embody, and the wildly varied outcomes they produce and endure. Beautifully written for the general public and college students, future teachers, lawyers, social workers and community members with a soul, Transitions is a mirror to yesterday, a GPS to tomorrow, and a vivid history of the contemporary reimagination of America. A gift to psychology and education, this study has been delicately midwifed and tenderly inscribed by creative and talented researchers, Carola Suárez-Orozco, Mona Abo-Zena and Amy Marks."

    —Michelle Fine, Graduate Center at the City University of New York

  • "An era of mass immigration to the United States has brought newcomers from the most diverse class and national origins, legal statuses, and cultural backgrounds. Their children too come in all castes and hues, sometimes in unimaginable circumstances, and must adapt in highly variable and rapidly changing conditions. This fascinating volume—the most illuminating single book on the subject to date—employs a wide-angle ecological framework to understand their developmental contexts, processes, and (at times paradoxical) outcomes, from health and mental health to identity and acculturation, language and religion, academic achievement and civic engagement. Transitions is a superb contribution, offering a wise and thorough assessment of a vast field and of future directions for research, practice and policy."

    —Rubén G. Rumbaut, co-author of Legacies: The Story of the Immigrant Second Generation