Mexican Adolescents’ Education and Hopes in an Anti-Immigrant Environment: The Perspectives of First- and Second-Generation Youth and Parents

Maria Gurrola, Cecilia Ayón, Lorraine Moya Salas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examines consequences of recent policy changes on the lives of Latino adolescents from the perspective of Latino youth and adults. The sample included 1.5- and second-generation youth and adult immigrant parents (N = 43). Findings indicate three common themes including sense of belonging, barriers to education, and lack of opportunities and consequences. Participants view the United States as a home, while enduring discriminatory practices they find supports in their communities where their sense of belonging is nurtured. Youths’ educational access and opportunities are limited. They experience many challenges including documentation status, economic insecurity, and threat of family disintegration through deportation. Responding to barriers created by legislation many youth report shifting from an educational path to a work path, as they are ineligible for financial aid, to support their families. Participants linked limited opportunities, as result of policy changes, to maladaptive behavior among youth. Implications for practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)494-519
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Volume37
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016

Keywords

  • Latino families
  • adolescents
  • education
  • immigration policies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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