Parenting in Immigrant Families: How Contexts Shape Behaviors

Julia Gelatt, Urban Institute
Heather Koball, Urban Institute

Substantial research has shown that parenting matters for young children’s healthy development, and that parenting varies by socioeconomic status and race. As the share of children in the United States with immigrant parents grows, an emerging literature has begun documenting how parenting differs among immigrant parents from diverse origins. However, few studies have examined what shapes these differences. To better understand the factors affecting parenting practices and styles in the contemporary United States, this paper uses rich, nationally-representative data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study Birth Cohort to investigate 1) the different socioeconomic, community, work, mental health, and social support contexts in which immigrant parents operate and 2) how contexts mediate differences in parenting by place of birth.

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 Presented in Session P1. Marriage, Unions, Families, and Households