Low-Income Immigrant Parents and Their Children in Four Large Urban Cities

Lisa A. Gennetian, The Brookings Institute
Andrew S. London, Syracuse University

Recent waves of immigrants may be particularly disadvantaged in the U.S. labor market, lacking the formal education or training, as well as necessary legal status to secure higher quality, full-time work. We use data from the Project on Devolution and Urban Change, a longitudinal study of welfare-receiving mothers in 1995 who lived in highly disadvantaged neighborhoods of Cuyahoga, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and Miami-Dade counties to examine whether immigration status moderates the effect of maternal work hours on the educational, health, and behavioral outcomes of preschoolers (aged 2 to 6 at Wave I) and adolescents (aged 12 to 18 at Wave I). Approximately 19 percent of the 8,600 children in the data are born to immigrants. Most of these immigrants are of Hispanic origin, with a fifth from Puerto Rico, one third from Mexico, and notable minorities from Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and El Salvador.

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Presented in Session 152: Immigration and Adolescent Development