Immigrant Families and Household Instability

Maria Carolina Mota Pereira Arag√£o , University of Texas at Austin
Inbar Weiss, University of Texas at Austin

Household instability is a critical indicator of family health and well-being. Immigrant families form a significant and growing proportion of all families in the United States, thus, understanding to what extend household instability affects children in immigrant families is increasingly important. Using the SIPP 2008 we estimate transitions of household composition comparing natives and immigrant children from birth to age 16. Furthermore, since family instability can be conceptualized as a mechanism of intergenerational transmission of inequality we compare first and second generation children as to evaluate the assimilation process in family patterns. Our preliminary results suggest immigrants experience more instability than native born children, yet these levels are considerably more pronounced among first generation immigrant children. Still, after controlling for SES of the householder, we find that SES explains some of the gap in household composition instability, especially for first generation Asians.

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 Presented in Session 2. Children & Youth