Children of immigrants in unmarried families a double jeopardy
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Children of Immigrants in Unmarried Families: A Double Jeopardy?. Yolanda C. Padilla, PhD, LMSW Melissa Radey, Eunjeong Kim, Robert Hummer Population Research Center University of Texas at Austin. Background. 1 in every 5 children in the U.S. has at least one foreign born parent

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Children of immigrants in unmarried families a double jeopardy l.jpg

Children of Immigrants in Unmarried Families: A Double Jeopardy?

Yolanda C. Padilla, PhD, LMSW

Melissa Radey, Eunjeong Kim, Robert Hummer

Population Research Center

University of Texas at Austin


Background l.jpg
Background

  • 1 in every 5 children in the U.S. has at least one foreign born parent

  • Children of immigrants are at greater risk than are the children of US-born parents

  • Children of single parents are at greater risk than the children of two-parent families


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Research Question

What are the living conditions of young children of immigrants relative to children of US-born parents in married and unmarried families?


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Purpose

  • To assess the impact of marital status on immigrant child well-being

  • To examine social and economic hardship faced by children of immigrants at age 1 relative to children of US-born parents

  • To assess access to social support, health services, and social services among immigrant families


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Study Design

  • Fragile Families and Child Well-being Study, Mother Survey, Year 1 and Baseline

  • Comparative analyses of children of immigrant mothers and children of US-born mothers broken by marital status

  • Weighted data, except in the tables providing sample distribution data (pros and cons of weighting the data are to be considered)

  • “Children of immigrants” are defined as those with foreign-born mothers (all born in the U.S.)

  • Puerto Ricans born in PR are not classified as immigrants


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Table 1. Sample Distribution of Place of Origin of Immigrant Mothers

Note: “Other” are respondents from the continents of Africa and Australia/Oceania, and from Canada.




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Table 3. Recency of Immigration and Citizenship of Immigrant Mothers by Marital Status

Significance level between married and unmarried: * = p<.10; ** = p < .05; *** = p < .01


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Significance level between married and unmarried within each category of immigrant or US-born: * = p<.10; ** = p < .05; *** = p < .01

Significance level between between immigrant and native: + = p<.10; ++ = p < .05; +++ = p <.01

Table 4. Socioeconomic StatusEducation


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Table 4. Socioeconomic Status category of immigrant or US-born: * = p<.10; ** = p < .05; *** = p < .01 Poverty


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Table 4. Socioeconomic Status category of immigrant or US-born: * = p<.10; ** = p < .05; *** = p < .01 Race/Ethnicity


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Table 4. Socioeconomic Status category of immigrant or US-born: * = p<.10; ** = p < .05; *** = p < .01 Employment


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Table 4. Socioeconomic Status category of immigrant or US-born: * = p<.10; ** = p < .05; *** = p < .01 Occupation


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Table 4. Socioeconomic Status category of immigrant or US-born: * = p<.10; ** = p < .05; *** = p < .01 Relationship Status Among Unmarried Mothers


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Table 4. Socioeconomic Characteristics category of immigrant or US-born: * = p<.10; ** = p < .05; *** = p < .01 Mother’s Age and Number of Children


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Table 5. Mother’s Assets category of immigrant or US-born: * = p<.10; ** = p < .05; *** = p < .01


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Table 6. Mother’s Health Behaviors category of immigrant or US-born: * = p<.10; ** = p < .05; *** = p < .01


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Table 7. Maternal and Child Health category of immigrant or US-born: * = p<.10; ** = p < .05; *** = p < .01


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Table 8. Childcare Arrangements category of immigrant or US-born: * = p<.10; ** = p < .05; *** = p < .01


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Table 9. Material Hardship category of immigrant or US-born: * = p<.10; ** = p < .05; *** = p < .01


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Table 10. Irregular Work Schedules category of immigrant or US-born: * = p<.10; ** = p < .05; *** = p < .01 (If Worked After Child’s Birth)






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Conclusions Stability:

  • Children of unmarried immigrants face a double jeopardy.

  • Although 35% of children of immigrants are living in poverty, they are less likely to receive TANF or food stamps (although US citizens).

  • They have poorer health and are less likely to have private health insurance.

  • In addition, children of immigrants are less likely to live in families with access to social support.


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Implications for Policy Stability:

  • The study shows that children of immigrants, especially unmarried, are at risk due to their socioeconomic conditions.

  • Recent policy developments under the 1996 Welfare Reform Act exclude immigrant families from access to many health and social services.

  • Parents often lack benefits for their children and, thus, their children run the risk of not getting their needs met.