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Tempo Social

Print version ISSN 0103-2070On-line version ISSN 1809-4554


PORTES, Alejandro; HALLER, William  and  FERNANDEZ-KELLY, Patricia. Children of immigrants in the United States. Tempo soc. [online]. 2008, vol.20, n.1, pp.13-50. ISSN 0103-2070.

This article summarizes a research program on new second-generation immigrants in the USA, begun at the start of the 1990s and completed in 2006. The four waves involved in the Children of Immigrants Longitudinal Study (CILS) are described and the main theoretical models emerging from this study are presented and summarized in graphic form. After considering the critical approaches to these theories, we present the most recent findings from this longitudinal research: (i) in the area of quantitative models, anticipating a downward assimilation at the beginning of adulthood; and (ii) in the area of qualitative interviews, identifying ways in which children of immigrants in a situation of social disadvantage manage to escape this condition. The quantitative results provide strong support for the effects of exogenous variables anticipated by the theory of segmented assimilation, and highlight the factors intervening during adolescence that mediate the influence of these variables during adult life. Qualitative evidence accumulated during the study's final phase point to three factors that may lead to exceptional educational performance among socially disadvantaged young people.

Keywords : Second generation; Immigrants; Assimilation; Acculturation; United States.

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