The Structuring of Active Development: Immigrant Youth Participation in School and Community Activities

Dina G. Okamoto, University of California, Davis
Cassie Hartzog, University of California, Davis
Daniel Herda, University of California, Davis

There is a burgeoning literature on the developmental advantages of youth participation in school and non-school organized activities. However, no studies to date have analyzed participation in extracurricular activities among immigrant and second-generation youth. In this paper, we use two nationally representative data sets, the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) and the National Education Longitudinal Study (NELS), to explore how youth in immigrant families are incorporated in schools and neighborhoods by examining their participation in extracurricular activities. The contributions of this paper are substantive and methodological: we identify the general patterns and predictors of participation for immigrant youth as well as the larger youth population and uncover interesting life course effects that would not have been discovered had we not compared the two data sets. We also highlight the consistencies and differences between the results from the national data sets, which is likely to have important implications for other studies using Add Health and NELS to understand immigrant adaptation.

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Presented in Session 85: Immigrant Children and Educational Outcomes