The Everyday Lives of Immigrant Youth: Implications for Assimilation

Yelizavetta Kofman, University of California, Los Angeles
Suzanne M. Bianchi, University of California, Los Angeles

Using the 2003-2010 American Time Use Survey (ATUS), we compare how time use differs among 15-17 year olds who live with immigrant parents versus those who live with US native-born parents. We analyze the time teenagers spend on activities in five major categories, including: paid work, unpaid work in the home, personal care, free-time activities, and education activities. Preliminary findings indicate that both Latino and Asian immigrant youth spend more time studying and less time in paid employment than native-born youth. This difference may help explain the mechanism by which immigrants achieve educational mobility and is consistent with classical and neo-classical assimilation theory. We also find evidence of segmented assimilation: Controlling for socioeconomic factors, Asian immigrant youth study more than Latino immigrant youth and native-born youth.

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Presented in Poster Session 7