Where There's a Will, There's a Way? Social and Mental Forces of Successful Adaptation of Immigrant Children in Young Adulthood

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Article number6433
Journal / PublicationInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume19
Issue number11
Online published25 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022

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Abstract

Although the twenty-first century is deemed as a new era of globalization, waves of immigration continue, due to disparities between politically and economically unstable regions and Western democratized and developed countries. Immigration research has therefore reignited its attention on the successful adaptation of immigrants' offspring, which has profound implications for Western immigrant-receiving countries, as well as worldwide stability. Although immigration research mainly informed by the conventional assimilation theory and/or segmented assimilation perspective accentuates the importance of structural factors, termed as social forces here, in relation to immigrant children's successful adaptation in adolescence, an argument of determinism and tenability keeps on and the contribution of human mental resources and determination, termed as mental forces here, in shaping life trajectories of immigrant children should be not ignored. For this, with a representative sample of 3344 immigrant children from the Children of Immigrants Longitudinal Study (CILS), we examined and compared both the effects of social and mental forces measured in adolescence of immigrant children on their multiple adaptation outcomes in terms of college graduation, engagement in postgraduate study, and first and current job attainments in young adulthood with a Bayesian multilevel modeling framework. The results found that both social forces of segmented assimilation theory and mental forces of immigrant children in adolescence were significantly predictive of immigrant children's successful adaptation in young adulthood (OR = 1.088-2.959 and beta = 0.050-0.639 for social forces; OR = 11.290-18.119 and beta = 0.293-0.297 for mental forces), in which, although the latter showed stronger effects than the former, the effects of mental forces on adaptation of immigrant children were conditionally shaped by the contexts of the social forces informed by segmented assimilation theory. The findings of the current study highlight the significance of the organism-environment interaction perspective on immigration research and provide an insight to consider a context-driven response thesis proposed.

Research Area(s)

  • children of immigrants, successful adaptation, social forces, mental forces, FUTURE ORIENTATION, SCHOOL CLIMATE, EDUCATIONAL-ATTAINMENT, IDENTITY FORMATION, SELF-ESTEEM, ADOLESCENTS, ASSIMILATION, CONTEXT, 2ND-GENERATION, DETERMINANTS

Citation Format(s)

Where There's a Will, There's a Way? Social and Mental Forces of Successful Adaptation of Immigrant Children in Young Adulthood. / Yeung, Jerf W. K.; Chen, Hui-Fang; Zhang, Zhuoni; Low, Andrew Yiu Tsang; Lo, Herman H. M.

In: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Vol. 19, No. 11, 6433, 06.2022.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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