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Immigrant Generation, Assimilation, and Adolescent Psychological Well-Being


Harker, Kathryn (2001). Immigrant Generation, Assimilation, and Adolescent Psychological Well-Being. Social Forces, 79(3), 969-1004.


Utilizing data on adolescents in secondary school from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), this article examines the link between immigrant generation and adolescent psychological well-being. I find that first-generation immigrants experience less depression and greater positive well-being than their native-born agemates of similar demographic and family backgrounds. Second-generation immigrants, however, do not differ significantly from native-born youth in terms of psychological well-being. A number of family influences serve as “protective” factors that enable first-generation immigrants to maintain their higher levels of well-being. These factors include parental supervision, lack of parent-child conflict, religious practices, and social support. Assimilation among first-generation immigrants, as measured by age at arrival in the U.S., does not significantly affect their positive well-being.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Social Forces


Harker, Kathryn