Words and Hugs: Emotional Support for Latino and Asian Children of Immigrants Compared to their White Counterparts with Native-Born Parentage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Previous research highlights parental psychological and personal resources as determinants of children’s emotional support. Less emphasis is placed on the social forces that may be equally important in shaping children’s emotional sustenance. Consequently, I examine the case of Latino and Asian children of immigrants, leveraging instrumental (advice) and affective (cheering up) emotional domains. Using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study—Kindergarten Class of 1998–1999 and quantitative methods, I find that Latino children of immigrants are less likely receive advice from their parents compared to white children with native-born parentage and Asian children with immigrant parentage, and I find that Latino and Asian children of immigrants are less likely to report cheering up from their parents compared to their white counterparts with native-born parentage. In addition, I find that, compared to whites in native-born families, Latino children of immigrants are more likely to receive emotional support from relatives (as opposed to parents), and Latino and Asian children of immigrants are more likely to receive emotional support from siblings (as opposed to parents). Although differences in parental resources explain some of these propensities, gaps remain, especially in the case of cheering up. I argue that parental resources and racialized discursive frames that dictate “normal” family functioning, including emotional performance, shape emotional support receipt differences between white children with native-born parentage and Latino and Asian children of immigrants, which can be detrimental for Latino and Asian children and may be implicated in deepening racial/ethnic inequalities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalRace and Social Problems
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020

Keywords

  • Culture
  • Emotions
  • Families
  • Immigrants
  • Race

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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