Dina Birman, Dorothy Addae

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

7 Scopus citations


Two years ago, when Andre was 10 years old, he was excited about coming to the United States from Haiti. Because he did not speak English initially, he struggled at school and was very isolated, going straight home after school to watch his younger sister while his mom went to work. During the first year, the family joined a Haitian church and got to know other families, and Andre made friends with some of the other kids. Now he spends a lot of time hanging out with them, speaks fluent English, listens to American music, and plays basketball. In fact, he admires rappers and basketball players so much that he wonders if he can become one. But he is concerned because his mother, Laurette, does not approve of these new interests. She thinks Andre is becoming “too American." Andre is also concerned about his 17-year-old sister, Nadege, who is having even more arguments with their mother than he does. Nadege wants to go to college and become a professional, a task she is handling independently since Laurette does not know enough about the U.S. college admissions process to help her. At the same time, Laurette argues that Nadege is too young to decide for herself how much time to spend with her friends and when to start dating; besides, Nadege’s social life is taking time away from her studies. Andre’s younger sister, Marriette, just started school and loves it. She picked up English quickly and no longer speaks Creole, a source of more worry for Andre’s mother. Laurette had believed that moving to the U.S. would change her children’s lives for the better, but she had not anticipated how much the U.S. would change them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTransitions
Subtitle of host publicationThe Development of Children of Immigrants
PublisherNew York University Press
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9780814770948
ISBN (Print)9780814789445
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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