Researchers largely have relied on a measure of family structure to describe children’s living arrangements, but this approach captures only the child’s relationship to the parent(s), ignoring the presence and composition of siblings. We develop a measure of family complexity that merges family structure and sibling composition to distinguish between simple two-biological-parent families, families with complex-sibling (half or stepsiblings) arrangements, and complex-parent (stepparent, single-parent) families. Using the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), we provide a descriptive profile of changes in children’s living arrangements over a 13-year span (1996–2009). SIPP sample sizes are sufficiently large to permit an evaluation of changes in the distribution of children in various (married, cohabiting, and single-parent) simple and complex families according to race/ethnicity and parental education. The article concludes by showing that we have reached a plateau in family complexity and that complexity is concentrated among the most disadvantaged families.
family complexity; children’s living arrangements; family structure; measurement
In this paper I move beyond current understandings of family- and school-related dynamics that explain the educational and occupational success of low-income immigrant children to investigate the role of cultural capital acquired in the country of origin. Class-related forms of knowledge acquired prior to migration can become invaluable assets in areas of destination through the realization of what Pierre Boutdieu calls habitus, that is, a series of embodied predispositions deployed by individuals in their pursuit of set objectives. Although the concept has attracted prolonged attention, the mechanisms by which the habitus is fulfilled remain unspecified. Here, I propose and examine three of those mechanisms: (a) cognitive correspondence, (b) positive emulation, and (c) active recollection. My study shows that class-related resources, like education, self definition, and remembrance of nation and ancestry play an important function, shaping youthful expectations and behaviors, and protecting the children of low-income immigrants from downward mobility.
How can we explain exceptional advancement by disadvantaged immigrants’ children? Extending segmented assimilation theory, this article traces the structural and relational attributes of high schools attended by young adults who reached their late twenties in 2000. Hypotheses are derived from theories in sociology of education and tested with four waves of data from the National Educational Longitudinal Study (NELS). The authors offer three major findings. First, an overwhelming majority of disadvantaged students attend public schools; some relational attributes are typical in public schools attended by disadvantaged students. Second, children’s upward mobility is shaped by the structural and relational attributes of their high schools. Most school effects are the same for disadvantaged and advantaged youngsters, and student-educator bonds and curriculum structure have even stronger positive effects for the disadvantaged. Finally, mobility patterns differ widely among Chinese, Mexicans, and whites. Mexicans are less likely to be exposed to favorable school attributes.
immigrant children; upward mobility; high school effects; segmented assimilation; immigrants and education; structural and relational attributes; Mexican; Chinese
The collapse of the labor, housing, and stock markets beginning in 2007 created unprecedented challenges for American families. This study examines disparities in wealth holdings leading up to the Great Recession and during the first years of the recovery. All socioeconomic groups experienced declines in wealth following the recession, with higher wealth families experiencing larger absolute declines. In percentage terms, however, the declines were greater for less-advantaged groups as measured by minority status, education, and pre-recession income and wealth, leading to a substantial rise in wealth inequality in just a few years. Despite large changes in wealth, longitudinal analyses demonstrate little change in mobility in the ranking of particular families in the wealth distribution. Between 2007 and 2011, one fourth of American families lost at least 75 percent of their wealth, and more than half of all families lost at least 25 percent of their wealth. Multivariate longitudinal analyses document that these large relative losses were disproportionally concentrated among lower income, less educated, and minority households.
Declining rates of marriage and overall increases in union instability, combined with high levels of unintended and nonmarital fertility, create the possibility for parents to have children with more than one partner, called multiple-partner fertility, or MPF. The unique characteristics of families with MPF present data and other logistical challenges to researchers studying the phenomenon. Drawing from recent studies and updated data, I present new estimates of MPF that show that about 13 percent of men aged 40 to 44 and 19 percent of women aged 41 to 49 have children with more than one partner, with a higher prevalence among the disadvantaged. Compared to parents with two or more children by only one partner, people with MPF become parents at younger ages, largely with unintended first births, and often do so outside of marriage. This article touches on the implications of MPF for families and concludes by discussing the theoretical difficulties in studying MPF and the challenges it presents to public policy.
multiple-partner fertility; family complexity; nonmarital childbearing; unintended fertility; union instability; repartnering
This paper analyzes mortality rates for 3 of the main causes of deaths between the ages of 15 and 34 (motor vehicle injuries, homicide, and suicide) from 1950 to 1996, and across 26 countries. Average sex ratios and age patterns and the trends in age- and sex-standardized mortality rates are analyzed for each cause. Overall, youth violent mortality levels have been remarkably stable since the 1950s. As mortality due to other causes has receded, the contribution of these three causes has increased from 25 to 40 percent between the 1950s and the mid-1970s, and has remained above 40 percent since. Last, a principal component analysis is performed to summarize the variance in age-, sex-, and cause-specific rates over time and across countries. This summary representation of international differences displays regional clusters and emphasizes the “outlying” position of the United States among industrialized nations.
We present a method for dividing the historical development of community migration streams into an initial period and a subsequent takeoff stage with the purpose of systemically differentiating pioneer migrants from follower migrants. The analysis is organized around five basic research questions. First, can we empirically identify a juncture in the historical development of community-based migration that marks the transition from an initial stage of low levels of migration and gradual growth into a takeoff stage in which the prevalence of migration grows at a more accelerated rate? Second, does this juncture point exist at roughly similar migration prevalence levels across communities? Third, are first-time migrants in the initial stage (pioneers) different from first-time migrants in the takeoff stage (followers)? Fourth, what is the nature of this migrant selectivity? Finally, does the nature and degree of pioneer selectivity vary across country migration streams?
migration; selectivity; cumulative causation; Mexico; Latin America
Rural-to urban migration is increasingly common among youth and could affect sexual activities. We use life history calendar data collected in Kisumu, Kenya, to investigate how the timing and number of rural-to-urban moves are associated with premarital pregnancy. Among sexually experienced young women aged 18-24 (N=226), 39 percent have experienced a premarital pregnancy and 60 percent experienced a move in the last 10 years. Results of the event history analysis show that those who experienced one or two moves or whose most recent move occurred in the last seven to 12 months are at increased risk of premarital pregnancy compared to nonmovers. Those whose last move occurred at age 13 or younger were also at an elevated risk. Migration brings about specific needs for youth, including the need for sexual and reproductive health education and services, which should be made available and accessible to new urban residents.
adolescents; Africa; migration; premarital pregnancy; sexual behavior
The nature and organization of segregation shifted profoundly in the United States over the course of the twentieth century. During the first two-thirds of the century, segregation was defined by the spatial separation of whites and blacks. What changed over time was the level at which this racial separation occurred, as macro-level segregation between states and counties gave way steadily to micro-level segregation between cities and neighborhoods. During the last third of the twentieth century, the United States moved toward a new regime of residential segregation characterized by moderating racial-ethnic segregation and rising class segregation, yielding a world in which the spatial organization of cities and the location of groups and people within them will increasingly be determined by an interaction of race and class and in which segregation will stem less from overt prejudice and discrimination than from political decisions about land use, such as density zoning.
Increasingly, state legislatures are enacting laws to regulate immigrant populations. What accounts for these responses to foreign-born residents? To explain legislative activity at the state level, the authors examine a variety of factors, including the size and growth of foreign-born and Hispanic local populations, economic well-being, crime rates, and conservative or liberal political ideology in state government and among the citizenry. The authors find that economic indicators, crime rates, and demographic changes have little explanatory value for legislation aimed at restrictions on immigrant populations. Rather, conservative citizen ideology appears to drive immigrant-related restrictionist state legislation. Meanwhile, proimmigrant laws are associated with larger Hispanic concentrations, growing foreign-born populations, and more liberal citizen and governmental orientations. These findings suggest that ideological framing is the most consistently important factor determining legislative responses to newcomers. These findings are in line with the relatively scarce empirical literature on legislative tendencies associated with vulnerable populations.
immigration; immigration policy; state law; racial threat theory; conservative ideology; Hispanics
Not all biases are equivalent, and not all biases are uniformly negative. Two fundamental dimensions differentiate stereotyped groups in cultures across the globe: status predicts perceived competence, and cooperation predicts perceived warmth. Crossing the competence and warmth dimensions, two combinations produce ambivalent prejudices: pitied groups (often traditional women or older people) appear warm but incompetent, and envied groups (often nontraditional women or outsider entrepreneurs) appear competent but cold. Case studies in ambivalent sexism, heterosexism, racism, anti-immigrant biases, ageism, and classism illustrate both the dynamics and the management of these complex but knowable prejudices.
stereotypes; prejudice; discrimination; race; gender; age; class
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.
immigration; children; education; intermarriage; language proficiency; age at arrival
Of the three main contributors to population growth—fertility, mortality, and net migration—the latter is by far the most difficult to capture statistically. This article discusses the main sources of federal statistical data on immigration, each with its own characteristic set of strengths, weaknesses, possibilities, and limitations in the context of the interested social scientist. Among the key limitations, the article argues, are the elimination of parental birthplace from the Census and the lack of complete data concerning the legal statuses of the U.S. population. This article will conclude with suggestions on remedying such deficiencies, at relatively low marginal cost, such as the inclusion of questions on parental birthplace, instituting a regular survey of randomly selected legal immigrants, and the use of the “two-card method” in statistical data.
immigration population growth; assimilation; Current Population Survey; Yearbook of Immigration Statistics; Public Use Microdata Sample; American Community Survey
Our research aims to understand the consequences of inadequate workplace flexibility through the lens of daily stress processes. Using a sample of hourly hotel employees with children aged 10 to 18 who participated in a daily diary study, we compared workers with low and high flexibility on stressor exposure, reactivity, and transmission. Our findings showed a consistent pattern of hourly workers with low flexibility having greater exposure to work stressors in general and to work place arguments in particular. Workers with low flexibility were also more emotional and physically reactive to work stressors. There was some evidence of stressor transmission to children when parents had low flexibility. Increasing workplace flexibility could serve as a protective factor in exposure and reactivity to stressors that are experienced in daily life.
Workplace Flexibility; Daily Stress; Stressor Exposure; Stressor Reactivity; Stress transmission
We use PISA 2009 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 traditional immigration countries, we test the extent to which the most well-established patterns and hypotheses of immigrant/native educational achievement gaps also apply to these new immigration countries. Findings show 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 countries. While modeling socioeconomic background reduces the observed gaps to a very similar extent in the two countries, language spoken at home is more strongly associated with achievement 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 students’ test scores.
educational achievement gap; immigrant children; generational status; new immigration countries; Italy; Spain; PISA
In this article, the authors report the results of a large-scale field experiment conducted in New York City investigating the effects of race and a prison record on employment. Teams of black and white men were matched and sent to apply for low-wage jobs throughout the city, presenting equivalent resumés and differing only in their race and criminal background. The authors find a significant negative effect of a criminal record on employment outcomes that appears substantially larger for African Americans. The sequence of interactions preceding hiring decisions suggests that black applicants are less often invited to interview, thereby providing fewer opportunities to establish rapport with the employer. Furthermore, employers’ general reluctance to discuss the criminal record of an applicant appears especially harmful for black ex-offenders. Overall, these results point to the importance of rapport-building for finding work, something that the stigmatizing characteristics of minority and criminal status make more difficult to achieve.
race; criminal record; discrimination; employment; low-wage labor markets
By guaranteeing college admission to all students who graduate in the top 10% of their high school class, H.B. 588 replaced an opaque de facto practice of admitting nearly all top 10% graduates with a transparent de jure policy that required public institutions to admit all applicants eligible for the guarantee. The transparency of the new admission regime sent a clear message to students attending high schools that previously sent few students to the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University. Using 18 years of administrative data to examine sending patterns, we find a sizeable decrease in the concentration of flagship enrollees originating from select feeder schools and growing shares of enrollees originating from high schools located in rural areas, small towns, and midsize cities, as well as schools with concentrations of poor and minority students. We also find substantial year-to-year persistence in sending behavior once a campus becomes a sending school, and this persistence increased after the top-10% policy was implemented.
Quantitative researchers distinguish between causal and effect indicators. What are the analytic problems when both types of measures are present in a quantitative reasoned action analysis? To answer this question, we use data from a longitudinal study to estimate the association between two constructs central to reasoned action theory: behavioral beliefs and attitudes toward the behavior. The belief items are causal indicators that define a latent variable index while the attitude items are effect indicators that reflect the operation of a latent variable scale. We identify the issues when effect and causal indicators are present in a single analysis and conclude that both types of indicators can be incorporated in the analysis of data based on the reasoned action approach.
effect indicators; causal indicators; measurement models; Integrative Model
This paper uses 10 years of enrollment data at four Texas public universities to examine whether, to what extent, and in what ways high school attended contributes to racial and ethnic differences in college achievement. Like previous studies, we show that controlling for observable pre-college achievement variables (e.g. test scores, class rank) shrinks, but does not eliminate, sizable racial differences in college achievement. Fixed-effects models that take into account differences across high schools that minority and nonminority youth attend largely eliminate, and often reverse, black-white and Hispanic-white gaps in several measures of college achievement. Our results, which are quite robust across universities of varying selectivity, illustrate how high school quality foments race and ethnic inequality in postsecondary achievement. Leveling inequities in the quality of high schools that minority students attend is a long-run agenda, but remediation programs that compensate for instructional shortfalls at low performing high schools may help close achievement gaps in the interim.