Tong, Y. (2010). Foreign-born concentration and acculturation to volunteering among immigrant youth. Social Forces.
vol. 89 (1) pp. 117-143
Using children of immigrants sample from National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, this study investigates how immigrant youth acculturating to the American social norm of volunteering and how the acculturation is modified by living in immigrant neighborhoods. Multilevel logistic regression produces distinct patterns for children living in high-SES and low-SES neighborhoods. In high-SES neighborhoods, being among foreign-born residents serves as a buffer against acculturating to the social norm for youth, and this buffer has an enduring impact when they enter into their early adulthood. Conversely, in low-SES neighborhoods, acculturating to this social norm is irrelevant to the proportion of foreign-born residents in their neighborhoods. However, the experience of growing up in such neighborhoods has the potential to enhance the acculturation to volunteering when the adolescents enter into young adulthood. The findings shed new light on segmented assimilation theory: that is, being among the foreign-born not only could prevent immigrant youth from downward assimilation, but also could restrict acculturation to positive social norms.