Date of Award

12-2008

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Applied Sociology

Advisor

Haller, William

Committee Member

Granberg , Ellen

Committee Member

Britz , Margaret

Abstract

Abstract: In this paper, I focus on the assimilative paths of second- generation immigrants using data from the Children of Immigrants Longitudinal Study. Primarily my goal is to determine early factors that put these youth at risk of downward assimilation. I use incarceration (in early adulthood) as a conservative measure for downward assimilation. While I recognize that this, in actuality, underestimates the extent of downward assimilation, I feel that it is the most efficient theoretical measure because of its extreme negative, long-term occupational, economic, and social effects. I use logistic regression to analyze a number of independent variables in my attempt to determine some of the early, significant predictors that place adolescents at risk for a downward path into the lower realms of American society. Ultimately, I examine race, length of time living in the U.S., educational-related variables (highest expected education in high school and educational goals of peers in high school), family dynamics/composition (time spent together, parental SES and job-loss), dissonant acculturation (how often parents and children clash over their differences), and feelings of discrimination. With the exceptions of parental socioeconomic status, all of these variables yield significant findings.

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