Time and Neighborhood Exposure, Economic Disparity and the Volunteering of Immigrant Youth

Yuying Tong, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

This study investigates how time exposure measured as length of residence and neighborhood exposure measured as proportion of foreign-born at census tract affect children of immigrants’ likelihood of volunteering. The data source is the children sample from immigrant families in The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. The Multilevel logistic regression produced the segmented assimilation paths for children living in wealthy neighborhoods and the poor neighborhoods. The moderation effect of the neighborhood exposure on length of residence only exists in wealthy neighborhood for adolescence. It implies that when the proportion of foreign-born in the same neighborhood increases, the initial positive effect of time exposure on volunteering weakens and changes to negative effect when the concentration of foreign-born is high enough. The set of adult models show that the pattern observed for economically advantaged neighborhoods remains. The findings partially confirmed segmented assimilation theory: in economically advantaged neighborhoods, the lack of exposure to native-born people indeed slows assimilation.

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Presented in Poster Session 3