annals-2Table of Contents
Migrant Youths and Children of Migrants in a Globalized World
Edited by: Alícia Adserà and Marta Tienda
Comparative Perspectives on International Migration and Child Well-Being
Alícia Adserà and Marta Tienda (p. 6-15)
International migration has been increasing since 1970, with the largest flows originating in developing
nations and streaming into industrialized nations (Zlotnik 2006). The United Nations estimated the 2010
global foreign-stock population at 214 million, up from approximately 82 million in 1970 (United Nations
[UN] 2012; Freeman 2006). About 3.1 percent of all people did not reside in their country of birth in 2010, compared with approximately 2.2 percent in 1970.1 Contemporary international migration differs from that of earlier periods in several important ways related to the social and economic well-being of migrants, especially the young.
Migrant Youths’ Educational Achievement: The Role of Institutions
Deborah A. Cobb-Clark, Mathias Sinning, and Steven Stillman (p. 18-45)
The authors use 2009 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) data to link institutional arrangements in OECD countries’ to disparities in reading, math, and science test scores for migrant and native-born students. The authors find that achievement gaps are larger for migrant youths who arrive at older ages and for those who do not speak the language of the PISA test at home. Institutional arrangements often serve to mitigate the achievement gaps of some migrant students while leaving unaffected or exacerbating those of others. For example, earlier school starting ages help migrant youths in some cases but by no means in all. Limited tracking of students by ability appears to be beneficial for migrants’ relative achievement, while complete tracking and the presence of a large private school sector appear to be detrimental. Migrant students’ achievement, relative to their native-born peers, suffers as educational spending and teachers’ salaries increase, but it improves when teacher evaluation includes an examination component.
Educational Achievement Gaps between Immigrant and Native Students in Two
“New” Immigration Countries: Italy and Spain in Comparison
Davide Azzolini, Philipp Schnell, and John R. B. Palmer (p. 46-77)
The authors use 2009 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) data to determine how immigrant children in Italy and Spain compare with native students in reading and mathematics skills. Drawing on the vast empirical literature in countries with traditionally high rates of immigration, the authors test the extent to which the most well-established patterns and hypotheses of immigrant/native educational achievement gaps also apply to these comparatively “new” immigration countries. The authors find that both first- and second- generation immigrant students underperform natives in both countries. Although socioeconomic background and language skills contribute to the explanation of achievement gaps, significant differences remain within the countries even after controlling for those variables. While modeling socioeconomic background reduces the observed gaps to a very similar extent in both countries, language spoken at home is more strongly associated with achievement gaps in Italy. School-type differentiation, such as tracking in Italy and school ownership in Spain, do not reduce immigrant/native gaps, although in Italy tracking is strongly associated with immigrant students’ test scores.
The Educational Expectations of Children of Immigrants in Italy
Alessandra Minello and Nicola Barban (p. 78-103)
In this article, the authors investigate the short-run educational expectations and long-term educational aspirations of the children of immigrants living in Italy and attending eighth grade. The authors look at educational ambition, both as a predictor of educational choice and as a measure of social integration. They consider both secondary-school track and university goals. Data come from the ITAGEN2 survey (2005–2006). First, the authors analyze the relationship of short-run expectations and long-term aspirations to structural (e.g., migration status and country of origin) and social (e.g., family socioeconomic status and friendship ties) conditions.
The latter seem to be determinants of both expectations and aspirations, but long-term educational aspirations are not associated with migration status. Second, the authors investigate the relevance of context in delineating educational attitudes. The authors performed a multilevel analysis including both individual- and school-level variables. Their results show that attending a school where most of the Italian pupils have high educational expectations may lead children of immigrants to enhance their own aspirations.
Child-Parent Separations among Senegalese Migrants to Europe: Migration
Strategies or Cultural Arrangements?
Amparo González-Ferrer, Pau Baizán, and Cris Beauchemin (p. 106-133)
The authors use the Migration between Africa and Europe (MAFE) project data to examine the incidence and duration of child-parent separations and the determinants of child-parent reunification among Senegalese migrants. Their findings indicate that approximately one-sixth of the Senegalese children in the sample were separated from their parents due to parental migration to Europe. These separations are relatively long, especially if the absent parent is the father. Reunification of Senegalese migrant parents with their children is infrequent, both in Senegal and in Europe. However, the location where reunification occurs is important, as it is
associated with markedly different family types. Parents who end separations by returning to Senegal belong to families that clearly depart from the Western nuclear model, whereas Senegalese families in which parents decided to bring their children to Europe are closer to Western family arrangements.
Age at Immigration and the Adult Attainments of Child Migrants to the United States
Audrey Beck, Miles Corak, and Marta Tienda (p. 134-159)
Immigrants’ age at arrival matters for schooling outcomes in a way that is predicted by child development theory: the chances of being a high school dropout increase significantly each year for children who arrive in a host country after the age of eight. The authors document this process for immigrants in the United States from a number of regions relative to appropriate comparison regions. Using instrumental variables, the authors find that the variation in education outcomes associated with variation in age at arrival influences adult outcomes that are important in the American mainstream, notably English-language proficiency and intermarriage. The authors conclude that children experience migration differently from adults depending on the timing of migration and show that migration during the early years of child
development influences educational outcomes. The authors also find that variation in
education outcomes induced by the interaction of migration and age at arrival changes the capacity of children to become fully integrated into the American mainstream as adults.
Fertility Patterns of Child Migrants: Age at Migration and Ancestry in
Comparative Perspective
Alícia Adserà, Ana M. Ferrer, Wendy Sigle-Rushton, and Ben Wilson (p. 160-189)
This article examines the fertility of women who migrated as children to one of three OECD countries—Canada, the United Kingdom, and France—and how it differs from that of native- born women, by age at migration. By looking at child migrants whose fertility behavior is neither interrupted by the migration event nor confounded by selection, the authors obtain a unique perspective on the adaptation process as a mechanism that explains variation in observed foreign and native-born fertility differentials. The authors find patterns that are broadly consistent with the adaptation hypothesis—which posits that as migrants become accustomed to their host countries, their fertility norms begin to resemble those of the native
population—and, on average, limited cross-national variation in fertility differentials. The effect of exposure to the host country, however, seems to vary by country of origin, a finding that underscores the importance of taking into account the heterogeneity of the foreign-born population.
Nativity Differences in Mothers’ Health Behaviors: A Cross-National and
Longitudinal Lens
Margot Jackson, Sara McLanahan, and Kathleen Kiernan (p. 192-218)
Nativity differences in birth outcomes in the United States are well documented, with more favorable outcomes among children of foreign-born parents than those of native-born parents. Using longitudinal data on mothers from the United States Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (N ~ 4,000) and the United Kingdom Millennium Cohort Study (N ~ 15,000), the authors provide a comparative and longitudinal perspective on nativity differences in mothers’ health
behaviors. First, the authors ask whether healthier behaviors observed among Hispanic immigrants in the United States extend to foreign-born mothers in the United Kingdom, including South Asian, black African and Caribbean, and East Asian immigrants. Second, the authors consider the persistence of differences throughout early childhood. The findings demonstrate healthier behaviors among foreign-born mothers in both the United States and the United Kingdom, including both socioeconomically disadvantaged and advantaged mothers. These differences are stable over early childhood, suggesting a “universality” of healthier behaviors among foreign-born mothers, spanning racial/ethnic and socioeconomic groups, time, and two different policy contexts.
Race/Ethnic and Nativity Disparities in Child Overweight in the United States
and England
Melissa L. Martinson, Sara McLanahan, and Jeanne Brooks-Gunn (p. 219-238)
Child overweight is a growing problem in wealthy countries. There is also evidence that child overweight varies by race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status. In this article, the authors use data from two recent birth cohort studies in the United States and England to address four questions: (1) Are race/ethnic and immigrant status associated with child overweight? (2) Is the association between socioeconomic status and child overweight similar across race/ethnic and
nativity subgroups? (3) Does the age of immigrant mothers at migration moderate the
association between immigrant status and child overweight? and (4) Does maternal obesity mediate the association between race/ethnicity and nativity and child overweight? Findings indicate that (1) race/ethnicity and immigrant status are risk factors for child overweight in both countries, (2) the influence of socioeconomic status differs by subgroup, (3) mother’s age at migration does not moderate the association, and (4) mother’s obesity mediates some of the race/ethnic disparities in child overweight.
How Do Children of Mixed Partnerships Fare in the United Kingdom? Understanding
the Implications for Children of Parental Ethnic Homogamy and Heterogamy
Lucinda Platt (p. 239-266)
Many claims are made about the significance of interethnic partnerships for individuals and for society. Such partnerships continue to be seen as a “barometer” of the openness of society and have spawned extensive analysis investigating their patterns, trends, and determinants. But we know little about the experience of children growing up in families of mixed parentage. In the United Kingdom, the increase in the self-defined “mixed” population is often celebrated. But
there has been little quantitative sociological analysis that has investigated the circumstances of the children of mixed ethnicity partnerships. Using two large-scale UK datasets that cover a similar period, this article evaluates the extent to which mixed parentage families are associated with circumstances (both economic and in terms of family structure) that tend to be positive or negative for children’s future life chances and how these compare to those of children with parents from the same ethnic group. It shows that there is substantial variation according to the outcome considered but also according to ethnic group. Overall, children in mixed parentage families do not unequivocally experience the equality of outcomes with majority group children that the assimilation hypothesis implies.