Who Helps? Immigrant-native Differences in Patterns of Homework Assistance

Yader R. Lanuza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In the United States, the dominant view of children is that they are passive receivers of parental resources - sites of investment that consume parental assets. However, this research largely ignores immigrant families, a fast-growing segment of the American population. This study uses data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Class of 1998-1999 (ECLS-K) to examine immigrant-native differences in who provides homework help to children in their households, a resource that most, if not all, children need and which parents are asked to provide. I find that, relative to white children in native-born households, both Asian and Latino children in immigrant households are more likely to rely on siblings for homework help (as opposed to parents). Unequal parental resources do not explain these immigrant-native differences. I show that far from being passive receivers of parental resources, children in immigrant families contribute much-needed resources - homework assistance, in this case - to their household members. This contribution, I suggest, is an expression of a larger immigrant adaptation strategy in the United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-314
Number of pages22
JournalSociological Perspectives
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • childhood
  • children's contributions
  • immigrant children

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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