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01-08-2010 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 8/2010

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 8/2010

Perceived Discrimination and Linguistic Adaptation of Adolescent Children of Immigrants

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 8/2010
Auteur:
Maria Medvedeva

Abstract

This study examines the relationship between perceived discrimination and self-reported proficiency in English and non-English languages among adolescent children of immigrants. Data from the Children of Immigrants Longitudinal Study was used. The average age of participants was 17.2 years; 1,494 were females and 1,332 were males. Among 2,826 participants, 61% reported Latin American and Caribbean national origin and 39% reported Asian national origin. Findings from probit regression analysis showed that adolescents who felt discriminated against by school peers were more likely to report speaking and reading English less than “very well”. On the other hand, adolescents who felt discriminated against by teachers and counselors at school or reported perceived societal discrimination were more likely to report speaking and reading English “very well.” The results suggest youth’s English, as opposed to non-English language, as the primary venue in which perceived discrimination influences youth’s linguistic adaptation. The findings further indicate that the direction and possible mechanisms of this influence vary depending on the source of perceived discrimination.

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