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Southern Immigrant Academic Adaptation Study

The 1990s were marked by greater dispersion of immigrant, specially Latino immigrants, to new areas in the United States. Among these, North Carolina ranked first in the growth of new immigrant and Latino families. The influx of Hispanic children to North Carolina and other new receiving communities has had a profound impact on their educational systems and is of enormous public policy significance. This study will be the first population-based study of the daily acculturation experiences and academic adaptation of Latino youth in a new receiving community. Moreover, this study will capitalize on research already completed in Los Angeles to allow comparisons between a traditional and new immigrant receiving community. Throughout this study, aims to: (1) determine the extent to which the daily acculturation experiences of Latino immigrant youth in North Carolina vary by psychosocial factors (e.g., gender, family values, school orientations, and work orientation); (2) compare and contrast the daily acculturation experiences of immigrant youth in a new receiving community (i.e., North Carolina) with the acculturation experiences of immigrant youth in a traditional receiving community (i.e., Los Angeles, California); (3) examine the association between daily acculturation experiences and the mental well-being of immigrant youth in North Carolina; (4) evaluate the association between daily acculturation experiences and the academic engagement and performance of Latino immigrant youth in North Carolina, and (5) determine to what extent the demographic composition, and institutional and social resources available in new versus traditional receiving communities affect the daily acculturation experiences of Latino immigrant youth, their mental well being, and their academic performance.